Savor a slice: Blood orange bundt cake

December 28, 2006


I’m running out of adjectives.

That’s right: I unfurl such effusive praise of my husband’s cooking that I start to sound like a broken record. Now, when something truly noteworthy rears its beautiful, bundt-cake head, I’m hard pressed to express its majesty in words.

But you can’t blame a cake-lover for trying. Here it is folks, a blood orange bundt cake. It was B-E-A-utiful coming out of the oven… completely golden and perfect for devouring. It filled our kitchen with that luscious smell that only a perfectly cooked cake can emit. Part vanilla, part ambrosia, that fragrance whirls up the nostrils and sets the tummy rumbling.

But wait… there’s more. My husband next drizzled sweet, blood-orange flavored icing all over that golden dome. It ran into a sweet confectioner’s sugar stream under the cake, perfect for dipping your finger into. (You know as an appetizer or something.) Finger-lickin’ never was so sweet.

The finished cake had a subtle blood orange flavor that was reinforced by its fragrant icing. The slices were moist, warm and delicious. I’m only sorry that we had to give the rest to our cabdriver on our way out of town! (But you can’t just let good cake like that go to waste!)

If you’ve got blood oranges and a hankering for cake, you’re in for a treat. Enjoy!

Click here to download the recipe for Blood Orange Bundt Cake



Blood oranges. They’re beautiful, and they’re a place to find color where you’d least expect it in the kitchen. Blood oranges have a vibrancy and a look that will cause many to pause to stare at their deeply colored and unusual juice.

But are they like Britney Spears… all show and no substance? No. Blood oranges have a distinct and different flavor. While they possess much of a naval orange’s familiar sweetness and acidity, they also contain a much more potent tart flavor — reminiscent of raspberries. Now that I have shown them to be more Scarlett Johansen than soon-to-be former Mrs. Federline, the key is to find a simple use for them.

I’ve been doing a great deal of baking because of the holiday season. So my immediate thought was to make a fancy blood orange cake that would be completely pink; one that I could push on you all as a perfect tea cake for baby showers and Valentine’s day. But the results were both better and worse than I expected. The flavor of my blood orange cake was more vibrant and enjoyable than I anticipated, but the color was more subtle. As a result, it’s a cake perfect for any time of year or any time you can find our beautiful and exotic friend. So grease up your bundt pans, and get baking with blood oranges!

Blood Orange Bundt Cake

Cake Ingredients
3 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 cup milk
4 large eggs
2 blood oranges (zest & juice)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt

Glaze ingredients
1/2 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
2 cup confectioner’s sugar
juice from 2 blood oranges


1. Preheat oven to 325F.

2. In a stand mixer, cream together the sugar and butter for about 3 min. or until smooth, pale and fluffy. (NOTE: Scrape down the sides regularly throughout this process.)

3. Add one egg at at time and continue until all eggs are intergrated.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the baking soda, baking powder, salt and flour. On low speed, add the flour mixture to the creamed butter and eggs in small increments, alternating with the milk, until both are intergrated. Don’t overmix. It does not need to be smooth, a few lumps are OK; they will cook out. If you overmix, the batter will form lots of gluten and make your cake more like a bread.

5. Using a spoon or spatula, hand fold in the juice and zest of the orange.

6. Grease/spray your bundt pan making sure to cover every ridge and crevice. Add the batter to the bundt pan; it should not be more than 3/4 full.

7. Place in oven and bake for 1 hour and 15 min. Check after 1 hour using a skewer or toothpick. Once it pulls out clean from the center of the cake, remove and let cool for 15 min. before turning out.

8. It’s glazing time! In a medium bowl or stand mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and blood orange juice and mix until smooth. Pour over warm bundt cake. Serve cake immediately or later. Enjoy!


  1. This may be a stupid question, but are blood oranges from the west coast? I have never seen them at Publix, and I live in Florida, so we are not lacking on the citrus here. Maybe I need to stop by the produce stand to get some? This sounds like it would make a delicious cupcake, or good muffin(nice and moist) if you left of the glaze (I hope your wife doesn’t beat me up for messing with the recipe).

    I guess I will have to look harder next time I am at the market. Maybe they are hidden, I hope so!

  2. Well, we live in DC and we are in Cincinnati this week and saw blood oranges. The literature speaks them a good deal as traditionally being from Italy, but now being grown in the US citrus hotbeds like Florida and California. The ones we had were from California according to the little sticker. As for using the recipe to make cupcakes etc. feel free to try. I think it would be a great idea. Let us know how it goes.

  3. Oh wow! That sounds and looks so delectable. I may have to try to make a gluten-free version. I love blood oranges.

  4. That looks AMAZING. I want that.

    Also, the random Britney Spears dig? Well-played, dear brother.

  5. I would totally make this, likely with regular oranges since I have a lot of those this time of year. Being a good Minnesota girl (the home of Nordicware who made the FIRST and ONLY bundt pan) I grew up eating bundt cakes all the time in any combo and flavor you can think of. One of my current favs is a Lemon cake, so tart yet so sweet.

    Great photos, yet again. You amaze me with how stellar your pictures are, and how thoroughly and informatively you cover your cooking/baking. It’s so great to read

  6. How about elegant? Is that a good enough word to describe this cake?

  7. I will definately have to ask about them next time I go in. Sadly we do not have a whole foods (or the like) anywhere near. I have been wanting to try a grapefruit cake/muffin something lately but was scared to try on my own (just getting into baking) so I might sub the oranges for grapefruit if I have to.

    PS I made the oatmeal cookies and they were great!

  8. You folks continue to inspire and amaze. Beautiful work. I’m adding this one to my list!

  9. I made this today with minor citrus substitution and it went down a storm at the Baby SHower I went to. Hope to write about it soon


  10. Beautiful! I will definitely have to try my hand at making this cake.

  11. I love this recipe, for any type of cake. I even made a blueberry cake with it.

  12. oooh… I want to try and make a chocolate-blood orange version of this for my boyfriends birthday.

  13. This was delicious! I used about three blood oranges in mine and I added a bit of vanilla. I will definitely be making this again.

  14. I wanted to print there was no print page.

  15. […] you feel like this lovely blood orange I squeezed to make these cupcakes. Here’s the recipe – the fragrance will perk you […]

  16. Out of all the recipes I’ve seen, your cake comes out the prettiest. What do you use to grease the bundt pan?

  17. […] Blood oranges, grayish looking batter and rosy colored glaze sound like a mish-mash of something that wouldn’t be good, but trust me, it’s good. My Blood Orange Bundt Cake recipe is adapted from My Husband Cooks. […]

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