Not only is this blood orange olive oil cake so pretty, with its pink glaze and dried blood oranges, but it's also so incredibly delicious. This cake is packed with citrusy blood orange, extra virgin olive oil, with nutty pistachios throughout the batter and a sweet and tangy pink blood orange juice glaze.
Olive Oil vs Butter
Just as butter is typically used for both moisture and flavor in baking, olive oil is used the same way, so flavor of the olive oil is equally important. While most butter based cakes firm up over time, and also tend to dry out faster, olive oil cakes are moist and tend to remain so, even after a couple days.
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- Tender, fluffy and super moist cake.
- Simple recipe but straightforward with flavor. The blood orange makes this cake super citrusy while the olive oil gives it a floral and fruity flavor.
- This cake can be made in advance. It's even better the day after it's made.
- This a perfect celebration or anytime cake.
- Easy to follow recipe with step by step photo instructions.
All purpose flour - Fluff up the flour in its storage container by giving it a few light stirs. Scoop the flour into a measuring cup, then level the flour with a straight edge utensil, like the back of a butter knife.
Baking powder - Baking powder helps the cake rise and contribute to a tender and fluffy texture.
Fine sea salt - for flavor
Pistachios - finely chopped, salted or unsalted
Blood Oranges - Two oranges are needed for this recipe. Two oranges for the zest, one orange for the juice.
Extra virgin olive oil
Whole milk - I recommend using whole milk as it provides more fat to the recipe. Fat=moisture. But you can use any milk you like.
Before beginning the recipe, butter and flour a 10", 6 cup non stick bundt pan. Alternatively, you can use baking spray. Be sure to get into the nooks and crannies to prevent any sticking. Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and pistachios. Set aside.
- Combine the granulated sugar and orange zest in a medium bowl. Work the zest into the sugar with your fingers until the sugar is damp, pale orange and super fragrant.
- Beat the eggs on high speed for 3 minutes in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Alternatively, you can use a hand mixer.
- Add the orange sugar and continue to beat until the mixture is a pale yellow color and has thickened.
- Stream in the olive oil.
- Beat in the milk and vanilla.
- Fold in the flour/pistachio mixture in three parts as to not deflate the batter.
- Pour the batter into the prepped bundt ban.
- Bake the cake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out with a few moist crumbs, about 40-55 minutes. Leave the cake in the pan for 15 minutes before flipping onto a cooling rack to cool.
- When the cake is nearly cool, make the glaze by whisking together the confectioners sugar and blood orange juice. The glaze should have the consistency of melted chocolate.
- Pour the glaze over the cooled cake. Decorate with fresh or dried blood orange slices. Wait for the glaze to set 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.
- Choose a good quality extra virgin olive oil. It doesn't need to be a superior quality olive oil, but note that olive oil is a major flavor component to this cake, so choose one that you enjoy cooking with.
- Be sure to liberally spray your pan with baking spray, or grease and flour the pan WELL. It's always a bummer to put effort into making a cake only for it to get destroyed when trying to turn it out of the pan. I used this pan.
- Releasing the oils of the zest into the sugar by working the zest into the sugar with your fingers before mixing ensures optimal blood orange flavor. This is one of my favorite techniques to use when making citrus cakes. It is the best way to get all of the flavor out of that zest.
Storage and Freezing
Leftover cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
This cake can be frozen, cooled completely and unglazed, stored in an airtight container or tightly wrapped with cling wrap and foil for up to 3 months.
Swap out the blood orange for any citrus you like - orange, lemon, grapefruit and lime.
Swap out the pistachios for almonds or hazelnuts.
Nut allergy? They can be omitted from the recipe.
Yogurt can be substituted for the milk.
Add a couple tablespoons of confectioners' sugar at a time to the glaze until it is the right consistency. The glaze consistency should be similar to chocolate on a drip cake.
Add more blood orange juice a ½ teaspoon at time until it is the right consistency. The glaze consistency should be similar to chocolate on a drip cake.
If you make my blood orange olive oil cake, let me know! Drop a comment or tag me on Instagram. I love seeing your bakes and creations.
More Citrus Recipes to Try
Blood Orange Olive Oil Cake
Blood Orange Olive Oil Cake
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon fine salt (reduce to ¼ teaspoon if using salted pistachios)
- ½ cup pistachios, finely chopped
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 1 heaping tablespoon blood orange zest
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup whole milk, room temperature
- 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Blood Orange Glaze
- 1 cup confectioners sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons fresh blood orange juice
Make the bundt cake
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Spray a bundt pan with baking spray. Alternatively, you can grease and flour the pan if you do not have baking spray.
- In medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and pistachios. Set aside.
- In another medium bowl, combine the granulated sugar and orange zest. Work the zest into the sugar with your fingers until the sugar is clumpy, pale orange and super fragrant. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the eggs on high speed for 3 minutes.
- Reduce the speed to medium high and add the orange sugar and continue to beat until the mixture is a pale yellow color and has thickened.
- Reduce the speed to medium and stream in the olive oil.
- Add the milk and vanilla extract, mixing until just combined.
- Remove the bowl from the stand mixer. Fold in the flour mixture into the egg mixture in 3 parts.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared bundt pan and smooth the top with an offset spatula.
- Bake for 45-40 minutes until golden brown, and a toothpick, when inserted into the center of the cake comes out with few crumbs and no wet batter. Do not overbake.
- Leave the cake in the pan to cool 10-15 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
Make the blood orange glaze
- In a medium bowl, combine the confectioner's sugar and blood orange juice.
- Whisk until thoroughly combined. Drizzle the glaze over the cake.
- Let the glaze firm up for about 10 minutes or so before slicing into servings.