Blood Orange Pound Cake

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I have this terrible problem. If I’m in the supermarket, farmers market, or anywhere basically, and I spot something interesting, I have to buy it. I never have a plan for whatever it is, but I’m always filled with great confidence that I’ll find something to do with it – which sometimes I do… 

Well, that’s why I now have a fair few blood oranges. So, I have to find some way to use them (preferably one a little more refined than just stuffing my mouth with pure, unadulterated, blood orangey goodness). 


Cue the pound cake. I needed an easy last-minute dessert for dinner with my beloved cousin anyway, and what better solution than fancying up a classic? Plus, I had plenty buttermilk left over from making onion rings. It was meant to be!

This makes for quite the eye-catching dessert too. I find blood oranges wonderfully dramatic – and what dessert doesn’t benefit from a little drama?


 I topped this with candied blood orange slices. Be careful slicing as they have to be pretty thin, but they really “pretty-up” this cake. And they’re not nearly as tough to make as you might think! 

This cake is amazingly moist too (which of course is a requirement of all cakes). Fruity, moist, and delicious – just make the cake!

Blood Orange Pound Cake
Yields 2
A deliciously moist blood orange pound cake
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
For the Cake
  1. 350g Plain Flour
  2. 2 Ripe blood oranges
  3. 1/2 tsp baking powder
  4. 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  5. 225g unsalted butter
  6. 240ml buttermilk
  7. 3 large free-range eggs
  8. 2 tbsp blood orange zest
  9. 2 tbsp blood orange juice
For the Syrup
  1. 4 tbsp caster sugar
  2. 4 tbsp blood orange juice
For the Icing
  1. 200g icing sugar
  2. 3 tbsp blood orange juice
For the Candied Blood Orange Slices
  1. 4 thin slices of blood oranges
  2. 100g caster sugar
  3. 100ml water
  1. Preheat your oven to 160C/325F.
  2. Using a stand or hand mixer, cream the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy (4-5 minutes).
  3. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the eggs one at a time, beating the mixture well after each addition.
  4. Scrape down the sides of the bowl once again once all the eggs are incorporated.
  5. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, and baking powder.
  6. In a jug, measure out the buttermilk. Whisk in the blood orange juice and zest.
  7. With the stand mixture with paddle attachment on slow, add 1/3 of the buttermilk mixture to the butter/sugar/egg mixture, followed by 1/3 of the flour. Continue until all the buttermilk and flour are fully incorporated.
  8. Grease two 2lb loaf tins with butter and dust lightly with flour. Pour half the mixture in to each tin.
  9. Bake the loaves for about an hour. The cake is baked when a toothpick comes out clean from the cake.
  10. As the cake bakes, prepare the syrup and candied orange.
  11. For the syrup, combine the sugar and juice in a bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir vigorously and microwave for a further 20 seconds. Stir, and leave to rest until it is lukewarm.
  12. For the candied orange, slice a blood orange thinly (you will need 4 slices to decorate). Combine the sugar and water in a medium saucepan over a medium heat. Bring to the boil.
  13. When the sugar is dissolved into the water, add the thin slices of orange to the saucepan. Do not allow any to overlap, and don't crowd the saucepan.
  14. Allow the slices to boil for 10 minutes on each side. Store them in an airtight container with the syrup until use - Please be cautious as they are VERY hot coming out of the saucepan!
  15. Once the cakes are baked, allow them to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack to cool further.
  16. While the cakes are still warm, prick the top with a tooth pick, and pour half the syrup over the top of each cake, applying it evenly across the cakes.
  17. Allow the cake to cool completely.
  18. Make the icing by combining the icing sugar and juice in a bowl. Stir well until the mixture is smooth, and pour half over the top of each cake. Allow it to drip down the sides - it adds nicely to the rustic, homemade look.
  19. Finish the cake by laying slices of the candied orange over the top.
  20. Slice, Serve, & Enjoy!
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