While it's only the beginning of the week, it always ends up being my weekend, yay to Tuesdays! These are the days when I get the most baking done when I'm not teaching cooking classes.
Nothing says day-off happiness like citrus seasons...at least for me...I don't know about you. But when I see blood oranges in stock, I panic and buy all I can cause next week they might not be there. With my bounty of blood oranges, this was first on my list to make on my day off.
I've realized as February is coming to an end quickly, I have less than 60 days until I go to Italy! Finalizing trips and classes, my boyfriend is most excited for his morning trips getting fresh blood orange juice when we grab our big slab of focaccia in Florence. So of course he's been happily eating this cake while we continue planning this trip.
This recipe uses a lot of the citrus, not just the juice but also the zest! I get upset when people go straight for cutting citrus and forget all about that delicious flavor on the skin of any citrus. If you've got a microplane, you should try zesting that first layer of skin and adding to anything that calls for citrus, whether it's baking or adding in cocktails. You only want to zest the first layer, once you've gone over a spot on the blood orange, you don't go back over it, otherwise you'll start pulling the bitter part, yuck.
The benefit to adding the zest is all that delicious flavor held in the rind. When you cook or bake with any citrus juice, it can still cook out some of the flavor, but if you add juice AND zest, you'll get a solid flavor foundation.
Using oil in cake always helps the texture of your cake from drying out and giving it a little fluff. With this cake, I like to add a bonus ingredient to really elevate the texture, yogurt! As I like to say, "Kaylin looooves her yogurt" (Brooklyn 99 is the best show, end of discussion). I use whole milk yogurt but if you can find whole milk greek yogurt that equally works great. I can't stress enough on the importance of whole milk, it provides a great texture versus low to non-fat yogurts that don't provide the right mouth bite. If you're in the market for a vegan yogurt, I really enjoy Kite Hill almond yogurt for my vegan recipes.
If you aren't lucky enough to find blood oranges this season, don't sweat it! A combination of grapefruit and orange works wonderful. So warm up your zesters and get to making this delicious cake, just make sure to leave enough glaze for the cake while your eating it straight up with a spoon. ;)
Blood Orange Yogurt Cake with Zested Blood Orange Icing
Makes: 1 Standard Sized Loaf
Blood Orange Cake
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup whole milk yogurt or greek yogurt
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed blood orange juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil, or you can use coconut oil, melted then cooled
Blood Orange Icing
- Zest from 2 blood oranges
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2-3 Tablespoons fresh squeezed blood orange juice, depending on your preference of consistency
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x5 loaf pan and line with parchment. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk your flour, baking powder, and salt together.
- In a large bowl, whisk together your eggs and sugar until combined. Whisk in yogurt, blood orange juice and vanilla extract until mixed well.
- Add your dry ingredients in two portions, stir gently until most of dry is combined before you add the rest of the dry ingredients, final stirring until the flour is mixed well with the wets.
- Fold in the oil and stir until combined all together.
- Pour batter into your greased loaf pan and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick or fork comes out clean with barely to no crumbs.
- Let the cake cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack.
- For the icing, whisk your blood orange zest, powdered sugar and blood orange juice together in a medium bowl until smooth and even color.
- Once cake has cooled, pour or drizzle icing over cake.
- Cut and serve, sharing optional.