Little Blood Orange Cakes

2012 Jan/Feb

If you like, brush the still-warm cakes with a glaze made with equal amounts of orange (or lemon) juice and sugar, simmered until the sugar dissolves.


  • 1/2 c. butter, softened
  • 1/4 c. canola oil
  • 2 c. sugar
  • finely grated zest of a blood orange
  • 5 large eggs
  • 3 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 3/4 c. buttermilk or thin plain yogurt
  • juice of a blood orange
  • 1 blood orange, washed and sliced very thin
  • sugar, for sprinkling


Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, beat the butter, oil, sugar and orange zest for 2 to 3 minutes, until pale yellow and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Add about a third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beating it on low speed just until they’re combined. Add half the buttermilk to the batter in the same manner, then another third of the flour, the rest of the buttermilk and the orange juice, then the rest of the flour. Beat the batter just until the ingredients are combined.

Divide the batter among lined or greased muffin tins, filling them three-quarters full, or fill two 8”x 4” loaf pans. Top each little muffin-tin cake with a slice of orange, or arrange orange slices in rows on top of the loaf cakes. Sprinkle the tops of the cakes with sugar.

Bake the muffin-tin cakes for 25 to 30 minutes or the loaf cakes for 50 to 60 minutes, until golden and the tops are springy to the touch. Let the cakes cool for about 10 minutes before turning them out onto a wire rack to cool completely. 

Makes about 1-1/2 dozen small cakes or 2 loaves.