blood orange and almond cake

If you look back through my archives you'll find a few posts featuring blood oranges. When I was growing up, blood oranges weren't available in Australia. It wasn't until a school trip to Europe that I first discovered their existence. I ordered a very expensive glass of orange juice when we were in Italy and when the waiter brought it to me, I thought he'd given me tomato juice. Despite the colour the juice was delicious and almost worth the price we paid. 

Now whenever blood oranges are in season I try to find new ways of using them. It's not just the colour that's so appealling, the flavour is a bit more astringent than that of a regular orange.

Last year I made a version of this cake and due to jet lag, it was a bit of a disaster. I thought I'd revisit the cake which I made with a few modifications to the recipe. My polenta flour has gone AWOL, so I left it out entirely making this a blood orange and almond cake.

I made a mini version of the recipe and bought 3 blood oranges at the fruit market and I used every-one of them in the recipe. Blood oranges are a bit smaller than regular oranges so you made need a 4th orange to cover the top of the cake.

When the cake came out of the oven I decided not to douse it with blood orange syrup. Instead I glazed the top with some warm apricot jam thinned down with blood orange juice.

Here's the recipe for you.
250g unsalted butter, softened
200g caster sugar
Finely grated rind of 2 blood oranges
3 eggs
1½ cups self raising flour
½ cup almond meal
The juice of 1 blood orange
2 - 3 blood oranges, rind, pith and seeds removed and sliced horizontally
Apricot jam to glaze

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Grease and flour a 23cm/9 inch tin and line the base with baking paper.

Sift the flour and almond meal together into a small bowl. Set to one side. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, orange rind and caster sugar. In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs then mix into butter mixture. If the mixture starts to look curdled, add a spoonful of the flour mixture.

Add the remaining flour mixture to the batter alternating with the orange juice to make a soft batter. If the batter looks too thick add a little more juice. Spoon the batter into the prepared tin and arrange the blood oranges slices on top.

Bake the cake in the preheated 180°C/350°F oven for about 45 minutes or until the top is lightly golden and cake is cooked when tested with a skewer. Leave the cake to cool on a wire rack.

If desired, just before serving glaze the top of the cake with warmed sieved apricot jam.

I took the cake into work with me today and by lunch time there wasn't a morsel left - always a good sign. I had a little slice and I have to say this is a winner. I'd still make a few changes though. Almond meal is heavier than flour so the cake didn't rise as much as I'd hoped - perhaps a teaspoon of baking powder would help. I'd also add a bit more grated orange rind to give the cake a bit more oomph. 

I hope you enjoy the cake as much as I did.

Bye for now,



  1. Anonymous2:45 am

    Its always a delight to pop by your blog. Not only are you pictures beautiful, but your recipes are creatively simple... :)

  2. Thanks for that. I like to think of my recipes as uncomplicated food for busy people.



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