The perfect afternoon cake to brighten up your tea break, this Blood Orange Loaf Cake is moist, light and SO flavourful!
Blood orange season is short but oh so sweet! Not as tart as their ‘regular’ orange cousin, a blood orange is sweeter with hints of berries and red grapefruit. It’s truly delicious, and though you could absolutely make this loaf cake with a regular orange, if you can get a hold of blood oranges you’ll be in for a treat! The loaf cake is so light and really moist, with a crisp sugary crust from the glaze. I love simple loaf cakes like these, that see you through the week, with a slice a day for an afternoon tea break. Or of course, they can be the centrepiece of a celebration or party!
Key Ingredients You’ll Need
- Blood Oranges – Of course! There are a few different varieties of blood orange, with Moro being the darkest and what I personally used for the cake. So choose a variety you like or can easily get hold of.
- Unsalted butter – This is quite a buttery cake, so its really essential you make sure your butter is at room temperature before you start baking. Cold butter won’t incorporate well into the other ingredients and will result in a dense cake.
- Icing Sugar – Similar to a lemon drizzle glaze, this loaf cake has a thin glaze made from icing sugar and freshly squeezed blood orange juice. It gives the cake the most delicious crisp bite, and adds a little extra sweetness!
How to make blood orange loaf cake
This is quite a simple recipe, especially as theres no fancy buttercream decoration to contend with. But I’ve still got lots of tips to share to help you make the best possible loaf cake! It really is so delicious – sometimes the simpler the better!
Making the loaf cake batter
For this loaf cake, we’ll use the creaming method. Beating together the butter and sugar, before adding the eggs and dry ingredients. But before that, you first need to prepare your cake tin.
I used my Nordicware fluted loaf pan which is very fancy (a Christmas present from my lovely sister!), and gives the cake the most gorgeous pattern. But any patterned loaf pan you have will look gorgeous, or even just a plain loaf pan – it will still taste delicious regardless of how it looks! And the tin preparation process remains the same, you will just need to be a little more thorough if you have a patterned tin.
So all you need to do, is butter the tin liberally and then coat with a thin layer of flour. The easiest way to do this, is to sprinkle a little flour into the buttered tin, and then pick up the tin and swirl it around to ensure the flour coats all sides. This will prevent your cake from sticking, and honestly never fails!
Now onto making the actual batter! Your butter should be at room temperature and placed into a large bowl with the caster sugar. Using either an electric hand-whisk or a silicone spatula, beat the butter and sugar together on a medium-high speed until well combined. This is the stage you can really add air into your batter to keep the cake nice and light, so beat for a good few minutes. Then the eggs should be beaten in one at a time, before adding the dry ingredients. Once the dry ingredients are being mixed in, only mix until you can no longer see streaks of butter. You don’t want to overmix at this stage.
Finally, blood orange zest and juice should be added! I used the zest of one whole blood orange, but only one tablespoon of the juice. If you want it to be a really punchy flavour, you could add two tablespoons! Then its bake time!
Glazing the loaf cake
Once your cake has cooled completely, you can create the glaze. But only once its cooled completely, otherwise it’ll just slide off completely and be a mess! The glaze is a simple combination of icing sugar and fresh blood orange juice. The glaze consistency should be fairly thin, so we only need one tablespoon of the juice. The idea is to still be able to see the loaf cake through the glaze, and it give just a light crisp bite to the cake.
Either pour the glaze over, or you can drizzle it over with a spoon. You might need to gently coax the glaze down the sides of the cake, to make sure its evenly covered. Then you can leave it to set for 10 minutes or so, before slicing in and devouring!
Tips & Tricks
Absolutely yes! Keep all the measurements exactly the same, and it’ll be delicious.
Each recipe I develop is made with a certain size tin in mind, so I would try to avoid making this cake in anything but a loaf tin. You don’t need anything fancy and most supermarkets stock cheap versions!
Yes! A loaf cake always lasts really well, and this is no exception. Providing you keep it wrapped air-tight, you can enjoy the cake for up to 5 days.
Blood orange is such a delicious fruit and it really shines in this loaf cake. The cake is light, tender and moist with a perfectly caramelised crust and sweet sugary glaze. It’s the perfect cake to have a slice of with an afternoon cuppa. Or even be the star of an afternoon tea tray! It also works very well sliced daily in lunchboxes! Its so easy to make, and really lets the blood oranges shine.
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Blood Orange Loaf Cake
- 190 g unsalted butter room temperature
- 190 g caster sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 190 g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 blood orange zest & 1tbsp juice
- 50 g icing sugar
- 1 tbsp blood orange juice
- For the cake: Grease and flour a 2lb loaf tin and preheat the oven to 170C/150C Fan/Gas Mark 3. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together using an electric hand-whisk or a silicone spatula, until well combined. Then add the eggs, one by one, beating well between each addition. Then beat in the plain flour and baking powder, until just combined and you cannot see any streaks of flour. Finally, mix in the blood orange zest and tablespoon of freshly squeezed juice.
- Pour into the prepared loaf tin, and bake in the oven for 55mins-1hr until golden brown and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Leave the cake in the tin for 30 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
- For the glaze: Place the icing sugar into a small bowl, and stir in the freshly squeezed blood orange juice until you have a thin icing without any lumps. Pour this over the cooled cake, making sure the whole cake is covered. Leave to set for 10 minutes, then slice and serve.