Olive Oil + Blood Orange Cake

I’ve been waiting almost a year to share this post with you.  Mostly because, well, it’s using Blood Oranges.  But also, because it does so much right by this fruit, celebrating everything it has to offer: from flesh to skin, taste to scent.

Unfortunately, not only had I made it at the end of last year’s Blood Orange season, I also hadn’t actually set up my blog yet… Bit of a dilemma really.  But it’s ok.  Now both problems are solved and we just skipped past 600 followers.  A small but powerful achievement filling me up with all the fuzzies.

To be honest I can’t quite remember how I came across this recipe but heavens am I glad that I did as it is pretty darn close to perfection.  Possibly one of my favourites yet; light and fluffy, subtle spice from the olive oil and just enough tang from the blood oranges and sweetness from the icing to balance.  It’s everything you want in a cake.  And I think what I got most excited about was the fact that blood orange makes the most stunning natural food colouring!  (It’s the little things…).

It’s important to remember that reducing waste is also about being inspired and using what’s in season.  So here’s to you, no waste-ers, thinkers before you toss and food porn lovers.  Don’t hold back this Easter – bake yourselves this show stopper.  Can’t wait to keep growing with you – knowing you were all first!

Olive Oil + Blood Orange Cake
Recipe adapted from Fancy Food Fancy. 1 20cm cake.

3-4 Blood Oranges
1 3/4 cups Plain Flour
3/4 tsp Baking Powder
3/4 tsp Salt
3 Eggs
1 1/3 cups White Caster Sugar
3/4 cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 cup Icing Sugar
2 tbsp Blood Orange Juice

Preheat your oven to 175*C/350*F.  Butter and flour your pan (loaf, round cake or bundt).
Zest 2 oranges and juice 3 – you should have about ¾ cups juice, if not, juice another - placing all contents in a bowl, and set aside.  (Remember to also zest the additional orange with a vegetable peeler, freezing your peel for next time).
Whisk together all the dry ingredients; flour, baking powder and salt, and set aside.
In a separate bowl, beat your eggs until starting to froth and well combined, then start to add in your sugar, until thick and creamy, and fully incorporated.  Then alternate the addition of your dry mixture and oil, starting and finishing with the dry.  Whisk together until evenly distributed.  Finally pour in the orange juice and zest, until just combined.
Pour the batter into your prepared tin and bake for about 1 hour, or until it has turned a light golden brown and a toothpick comes out with barely a couple of moist crumbs clinging to it.
Once baked, transfer to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then pass a knife around the edges and carefully remove from the tin.  Leave to cool completely (it is best to let sit, covered, overnight – not that I could wait that long…).
In the meantime, prepare the icing: whisk together icing sugar and blood orange juice until silky smooth and watch with awe as it transforms in colour.  It should be similar in consistency to that of honey – add more icing sugar and or juice until you reach said consistency.
Pour the icing over your cooled cake, and allow to drizzle artfully over the edges – resist the urge to spread with a knife!  Allow it to cool in its natural smooth state.
Slice and serve immediately.

Would highly recommend serving with a layer of whipped, dark chocolate, water ganache.
While I have not tried, I imagine this would be quite yummy with any other citrus, potentially: clementine, lemon, grapefruit.
Instead of icing, serve with a dollop of greek yoghurt flecked with zest of chosen fruit.
Top with toasted walnuts (or nut of choice).