A good citrus pound cake has got to be one of the best things on this earth. This Blood Orange Pound Cake is no exception: it has a tangy glaze, pieces of fruit speckled inside, and all the buttery goodness of a pound cake.
Blood Oranges (and How to Find Them)
Blood oranges are one of the prettiest fruits! I love cutting them open to see the deep ruby interior. The taste is wonderful, too: like an orange, but with slightly more sweetness and a slight bit more bitterness, too. It's like an orange, but amplified.
Blood oranges are really only available seasonally, in the winter and early spring here in the Northern Hemisphere. Lately, I've been finding them at Whole Foods Market. If you can't find them at your local supermarket, try checking farmers markets in your area.
They are also available by special order from certain farms in the U.S., like Pearson Ranch. Keep in mind that this will be the most expensive option with specialty shipping.
Can I Use a Different Type of Citrus?
Of course! This cake would be wonderful with pretty much any citrus flavor. A mix of citrus would be great too, like part grapefruit and part orange, or orange and lemon together. I'd love to hear your variations in the comments at the bottom of the page.
Making the Blood Orange Pound Cake
Assembling the Batter
The hardest part of making this batter is probably cutting up the citrus! You'll want to take all of the outer membranes off from each section of the fruit. The main benefit of doing that is when you bite into a chunk of citrus in the cake, there won't be any tough membrane to chew up.
Once you have prepped the fruit, the batter itself comes together pretty quickly. Just whisk or beat together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Then mix together the sour cream, cooled butter and eggs, and add that to the flour mixture, a third at a time.
Lastly, you'll mix in the juice from the fruit, and then carefully fold in the chunky pieces. You want them to be distributed evenly, but they'll break apart too much if you overmix.
Bake the Cake
Pour the batter into a prepared bundt pan or tube pan, at least 10 cups (about 2.5 liters) in volume. Bake at 350°F (177°C/gas mark 4) for about 45 to 55 minutes. It will be done when the internal temperature reaches 205°F (96°C), or a toothpick comes out clean and the top springs back when lightly touched.
Make the Soaking Syrup
Although the syrup is optional, it will really add to the cake's moistness and flavor. And it's very easy to make! Just juice 3 blood oranges, and combine the juice with sugar in a small saucepan. Heat it up until the sugar dissolves and it comes to a boil. Then remove it from the heat. Once it cools a little, you can use a pastry brush to brush it all over the cake.
Make the Icing
Once the cake is completely cool, you can make the icing. The icing is optional, but is just another way to add to the orange flavor of the cake. You could also choose to sprinkle powdered sugar on top of the cake for a different presentation.
The icing is a simple combination of powdered sugar and blood orange juice. Just put the powdered sugar in a bowl and add the orange juice, a little at a time, until you get to the consistency that you like. Then, just drizzle it onto the cake using a spouted container or a large spoon.
Other Recipes You Might Like
- Blood oranges make amazing cocktails, like these Blood Orange Ginger Whiskey Sours
- These pillowy, homemade Raspberry Lemon Marshmallows make a tasty snack
- This Vanilla Buttermilk Pound Cake is another delicious bundt cake
Did You Make This Recipe?
I would love to know if you tried this recipe! Did you like the blood orange flavor? Please let me know by leaving a star rating or a comment below!
Blood Orange Pound Cake
- Small saucepan
- Mixing bowls
- Spatula or wooden spoon
- Stand mixer (optional)
- Bundt pan or tube pan, at least 10 cups in volume
- Baking spray, or butter and flour for greasing the pan
- Citrus zester and juicer
- 170 g butter (1½ sticks)
- 2-3 blood oranges - use 2 if they are big like navel oranges, or 3 if they are small like juicing oranges
- 300 g sugar (1½ cups)
- 345 g all-purpose flour (2¾ cups)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon fine grain salt
- 5 eggs room temperature
- 185 g sour cream (¾ cup)
Citrus Soaking Syrup
- 115 g blood orange juice (about ½ cup) - from approximately 3 blood oranges
- 100 g sugar (½ cup)
Blood Orange Glaze
- 2-3 tablespoon blood orange juice
- 115 g powdered sugar (1 cup)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C/gas mark 4) and place the oven rack in the bottom third of the oven.
- Prepare your pan by spraying it well with baking spray. Alternatively, use a pastry brush to coat it with softened butter and then add a layer of flour.
Make the Batter
- Melt the butter in the microwave or in a small saucepan and set aside to cool.
- Use a fine grater to zest two of the blood oranges, so you have about 2 tablespoon of zest.
- Add the sugar to a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, and place the zest in with the sugar. Use your fingers to rub the zest into the sugar and set aside.
- Remove the peels and white pith from the oranges. Then, use a paring knife to remove the outer membranes from each section of orange. This will get a little messy, so do it over a bowl to catch all of the juice.
- Once you have removed the membranes, you can separate each section of orange into smaller pieces, so the pieces are about the size of a thumbnail. Set aside.
- Add the flour, baking powder and salt into the bowl with the sugar and zest. Whisk or use the paddle attachment of a stand mixer to combine.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, until fully combined.
- Add the sour cream, melted butter and the juice from cutting up the oranges into the flour mixture and mix well.
- Add the citrus chunks and fold gently into the batter, or mix on the lowest speed until they are just combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan, making sure the top of the batter is level all around.
- Place the pan in the oven and bake for about 45-50 minutes.
- The cake will be done when the internal temperature is 205°F (96°C), the top springs back when lightly touched or a toothpick comes out clean.
Removing the Cake from the Pan
- Let the cake cool in the pan on a cooling rack for about 10 minutes.
- Take another cooling rack and place it upside down on top of the pan. Carefully hold both the rack and pan together and flip them both upside down. Then, gently remove the pan from the cake.
Make the Syrup
- Take the oranges you've reserved for the syrup and juice them with a citrus juicer or reamer. Reserve some of this juice for the icing and place it in the refrigerator.
- Add the rest of the juice along with the sugar to a small saucepan. Bring the mixture just to a boil, stirring occasionally so the sugar is fully dissolved. Remove from the heat.
- Let the syrup cool for a few minutes, and then use a pastry brush to brush it all over the still-warm cake.
- Allow the cake to fully cool, for a couple of hours, and then prepare the icing.
- Add the powdered sugar to a bowl and whisk in your reserved blood orange juice, a little at a time, until you get to the consistency that you like.
- Drizzle the icing all over the cake using a spouted container or a large spoon.
Serve and Store
- Cut the cake into large slices and serve.
- The cake will keep well at room temerature in an airtight container for about a week. To freeze, wrap individual pieces and place the pieces in an airtight container.