Blood orange and olive oil cake

Blood orange and olive oil cake

How to Cook Cakes
Peter Cassidy

This cake uses the colour of the blood orange juice to colour the icing, so when the oranges are very deep red, it can be rather a shocking pink. If you prefer a more muted colour use the juice of normal oranges instead. It works well with any tart citrus fruit such as lemon, lime or grapefruit. Just replace the blood orange zest and juice with the fruit of your choice. You will need a 20cm round cake tin.


Quantity Ingredient
butter, to grease
190g plain flour, to dust
2-3 blood oranges
200g caster sugar
120ml extra virgin olive oil
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
pinch salt
80g full-fat natural yoghurt
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
100g icing sugar


  1. Heat the oven to 180°C. Lightly grease the cake tin, line the base with a disc of greaseproof paper and grease again. Coat lightly with flour before tapping out the excess.
  2. Finely grate enough blood orange zest to give you 2 tbsp, and squeeze enough juice to give you 135ml juice; set both aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the caster sugar, orange zest and olive oil, then whisk in the eggs one at a time and mix until well combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Stir the dry ingredients into the sugar and egg mixture.
  5. In a small bowl, mix 30ml of the blood orange juice with the yoghurt and stir this into the mixture.
  6. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and gently smooth the top with a spatula. Tap the tin sharply a couple of times on the work surface to release any large air bubbles. Bake in the middle of the oven for 50–60 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean, or with only a few moist crumbs clinging to it.
  7. Meanwhile, to make the syrup, simmer 80ml of the blood orange juice with the granulated sugar in a small saucepan over a gentle heat until the sugar dissolves and the syrup thickens a little. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  8. Remove the cooked cake from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes in the tin before transferring to a wire rack. Using a skewer or a cocktail stick, poke holes evenly over the surface of the cake, down to the centre, then spoon the blood orange syrup over the cake, allowing the cake to cool completely while absorbing the syrup.
  9. To make the glaze, sift the icing sugar into a bowl and add the remaining 25ml orange juice, whisking until smooth. Pour over the cooled cake and allow the icing to set before serving.
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