Continuing with my love of citrus season by sharing with you my blood orange olive oil pistachio bundt cake, and let me tell you, this is a must bake. I’ve long considered blood oranges the prettiest of citrus fruits and they make for a beautiful looking cake with beautiful citrusy blood orange and olive oil flavor, with nutty pistachios throughout the batter and a sweet and tangy pink blood orange juice glaze. So yum.
Olive oil vs butter
Olive oil is a common fat to use in baking in many different cultures, and is particularly common in Italian baking. 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 easier and faster, olive oil cakes are moist and tend to remain so, even after a couple days. I find that this olive oil cake tastes even better the next day.
I recommend using a good quality extra virgin olive oil. It definitely 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 tastes good.
How to make blood orange olive oil pistachio bundt cake
As with all bundt cakes, 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, and I love it.
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.
Since there isn’t any butter to aerate, the eggs need to be whipped to incorporate air to get a fluffy and tender cake. The eggs are whipped for a few minutes on high speed to break them up, then the sugar/orange zest mixture is added and the mixture is whipped until lightened, fluffy and thick.
Stream in the olive oil and beat until incorporated, followed by the milk and vanilla. Fold in the dry ingredients in three parts as to not deflate the batter, then add the chopped pistachios. 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 completely.
Blood Orange glaze
While the cake is cooling, prepare the glaze. Simply whisk together the confectioner’s sugar and fresh blood orange juice until thickened and thoroughly mixed. This glaze is creamy, sweet and tangy, packing in even more blood orange flavor. Pour or drizzle the glaze over the cake once the cake is cooled. I garnished my cake with dried blood orange slices to make it extra pretty. Let the cake sit for 5-10 minutes for the glaze to firm up a tad before slicing and serving.
If you make my blood orange olive oil pistachio bundt cake, let me know! Drop a comment or tag me on Instagram. I love seeing your bakes and creations.
For more citrusy cake recipes, check out these posts:
Blood Orange Olive Oil Pistachio Bundt Cake
Blood Orange Olive Oil Pistachio Bundt Cake
- 2 cups (240g) all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fine salt (reduce to 1/4 teaspoon if using salted pistachios)
- 1/2 cup (50g) pistachios, finely chopped
- 1 ½ cups (300g) granulated sugar
- 1 heaping tablespoon blood orange zest
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 3/4 cup (150g) extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup (114g) whole milk, room temperature
- 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Blood Orange Glaze
- 1 cup (114g) confectioner's sugar
- 1/4 cup (25g) 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.