A moist orange and olive oil cake, topped with vibrant pink blood orange icing and slices of ruby red oranges. The perfect recipe to enjoy the last of the season’s blood orange crop.
I didn’t intend to bring you another pink fruity recipe so soon after my raspberry upside down cake, but I just couldn’t get blood oranges out of my head.
Last Saturday night I was with my friends Chantal and Emily. Emily brought blood oranges, and Chantal turned them into Blood Orange Cosmopolitans. They were so delicious. The perfect balance of sweet and sharp. The colour was incredible, and they slipped down beautifully.
The window of blood orange enjoyment is just so short I had to bring this recipe to you as soon as possible if you’re going to get chance to try the recipe before they’re gone. A late winter fruit, we only really see them between January and early March, which is such a shame because they’re so delicious. A quick browse through the internet and the world of food blogs will show you all sorts of recipes using this lovely fruit. Their unique taste and stunning colour make them so tempting to bake and cook with, and the juice lends itself to so many cocktails.
There’s something really wonderful about eating with the seasons. Grounding us in the cycle of nature, reminding us that even the cold dark winter months can bring things that are delicious and magical. The limited season too, for me, means savouring things while you can. Like stocking up on mince pies at Christmas, knowing that seasonal fruits and vegetables won’t be available long makes them extra tasty, and especially tempting.
If you haven’t tried them before, blood oranges are juicier than the more usual oranges. The fruit sometimes looks bruised from the outside, purple splotches mark the skin. Inside they are juicy, sweet and wonderfully red. The flesh has a deep, dark reddish purple tint that seeps outwards.
They share some of the taste of regular oranges, but bring in notes from grapefruit and soft berries. Some people say they can taste raspberries in the flesh. The juice is the most fabulous colour, squeeze it out into a beautiful river of pinky red. The vibrant pink icing on this cake is coloured entirely with blood orange juice.
This is a really easy cake to whip together. Mix dry ingredients together, mix your wet ingredients together, combine the wet and the dry, pop it in the oven and 30 minutes later you’re done. The icing is made simply with icing sugar and blood orange juice. Its pink sugariness runs off the cake into nostalgic puddles, like the icing we spooned onto fairy cakes as children.
I’ve made the cake gluten free using a mixture of gluten free self raising flour and almonds. I find that olive oil cakes lend themselves beautifully to gluten free baking, the oil adds the extra moisture that can sometimes be lacking from gluten free cakes. The almonds give a coarse crumb to the cake. It soaks up all the lovely juice making the cake deliciously moist.
If you’d prefer it will work just as well with regular self raising flour and baking powder so just swap equal amounts in if thats what you’ve got in the house.
Ps – don’t forget this is your LAST CHANCE to enter my giveaway to win a bundle of baking treats! Entries close at midnight tonight (Saturday 28th) so get your entries in quick for your chance to win!
– use a good quality mild olive oil. There’s no need to use expensive extra virgin, the milder oils taste better in the finished cake. If you don’t have olive oil to hand, equal quantities of vegetable oil, or nut oil should work fine although you’ll notice a difference to the taste. Feel free to play around and see what you prefer.
- 140g gluten free self raising flour
- 120g ground almonds
- 1 teaspoon gluten free baking powder
- 2 large eggs
- 130g caster sugar
- 200ml buttermilk
- 80ml olive oil
- Juice of 2 medium blood oranges
- 120g icing sugar, sifted
- juice of 1 blood orange
- 2 blood oranges, sliced, to decorate
- Preheat the oven to 180C / 160C fan / 350F. Grease and line a 20cm round baking tin. I find spring formed loose bottomed tins to work best.
- In a large bowl, mix together the gluten free self raising flour, ground almonds and baking powder. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl or jug, beat the eggs with the sugar. Whisk in the buttermilk, olive oil, and juice of two blood oranges.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix to combine. You'll find the mixture is quite loose and runny.
- Pour into the prepared tin, and bake in the centre of the oven for 25 - 30 minutes, until risen, golden and firm to the touch. An inserted skewer should come out clean.
- Cool in the tin for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Once cool, make the icing. Sift the icing sugar into a large bowl. Slowly add the juice of one blood orange, mixing as you go, until you've achieved a fairly stiff yet pourable icing.
- Pour the icing over the cake, gently spreading it to cover. It will drip down the sides of the cake.
- Once the icing has set to a tacky constancy, press the sliced blood oranges into the icing.