blood orange loaf cake

citrus season is finally here and i could not be more excited!! as i venture deeper into the world of food photography and recipe development, its become a beloved routine of mine- waiting on seasonal favorites to make their way to the grocery stores. i’ve been on the hunt for blood oranges for a month or so. sure, there are oranges available year round, but now is when the more beautiful ones come out! as a food blogger, aesthetics matter just as much as how a dish tastes. in my opinion, you can’t ask for a more striking citrus than moro blood and cara cara oranges. they are my absolute favorite…im a sucker for pink and red citrus, i guess. as you can imagine, i was incredibly delighted to spot a whole four blood oranges a couple of weeks ago. you can bet i bought them all and felt like I had just won the lottery. 🙂 thankfully, you can now find them in abundance at most grocery stores…no hunting for you lucky ducks.

this recipe came about in a very familiar way- tweaked from several other versions of banana, pumpkin, etc. each time, figuring out what changes lead to different results. for this particular incarnation, my daughter asked to make blueberry bread. with it being the middle of winter and no good blueberries around, I had to let her know that wasn’t happening. then my mind went to the whole four blood oranges we had and after a bit of tweaking, and a few test loaves, we (she helped!) landed on this recipe. i hope you love this loaf cake just as much as we do!

a few tips…

  • you can absolutely sub blood oranges with any other orange you like. if you prefer, you could even use lemon and make this a lemon loaf cake! in fact, i have a citrus loaf cake coming really soon to the blog.
  • this recipe calls for a 9X5 loaf pan. this is the preferred size for this recipe, but you could also just an 8X8 or 9X9 and make bars. double the recipe and bake in a 9X13. baking times will vary of course. the top will be golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean.
  • freshly squeezed juice is written in the recipe. I recently bought an electronic juicer and find any and every excuse to use it. if you are pressed for time, you can use bottled juice.
  • make sure your baking powder and baking soda are no older than 3 months. i know this sounds like a silly reminder, but the cake won’t lift properly without fresh lifting agents.
  • this recipe calls for cake flour. this has been a recent ingredient for me and I absolutely LOVE the way my cookies and breads come out using this flour. for this recipe, you can just use all purpose in place of the cake flour. but, the texture will be denser and the cooking times, as well as the overall lift will be different. it will still be delicious, but you will have to watch the loaf carefully.
  • if needed, a foil tent can be added to the top of the loaf around minute 40/45 for the remainder of the baking time.
  • pour half the glaze about 5 minutes after the loaf comes out of the oven. let this set for 10 minutes. pour the remaining half of the glaze and let set while the bread cools. after 30 minutes, carefully remove the glazed bread from the loaf pan and continue to cool an additional 15-20 minutes. this ensures the glaze is completely set.
  • the blood orange glaze is optional, but in my opinion totally makes the bread, so take this as “optional” but not really. plus, it adds such a beautiful pop of color!

enjoy! -megs

blood orange loaf cake

its officially winter and citrus is having its moment. grab a few blood oranges, some lemons and make this simple and simply stunning quick bread. perfectly balanced between tart, sweet, light with the right amount of crumb, this will be a new winter favorite!
0 from 0 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 55 mins
cooling 45 mins
Total Time 2 hrs
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 1 loaf


  • 9X5 loaf pan
  • stand mixer with paddle attachment
  • parchment paper
  • electronic juicer and zester


blood orange loaf cake

  • 2 c cake flour (272g)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted (85g)
  • 3/4 c sugar (165g)
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • zest from 2 medium blood oranges
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp orange or lemon extract, optional
  • 1/2 c blood orange juice (~ 2-3 blood oranges)
  • 1/2 c whole milk greek yogurt

blood orange glaze

  • 1 c powdered sugar (120g)
  • 1-2 tbsp blood orange juice


blood orange loaf cake

  • Line 9×5 loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving 1-2in. overhang on the long sides. Preheat oven to 350F. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
  • In a stand mixer with paddle attachment (or by hand), beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy (~3 minutes). Add eggs, beating well after each one until well combined. Add orange zest, vanilla and orange extracts, beating until well combined. Add orange juice. Beat until just combined.
  • In this order (dry, yogurt, dry, yogurt, dry), add dry ingredients to the wet alternating with the yogurt. On lowest setting (or by hand ) mix each time until JUST combined. A few flour streaks is okay! Evenly pour into prepared pan.
  • Bake at 350F for 40 minutes. Check the top. Ifits browning too quickly, top with a foil tent.Return to the oven for 10-15 minutes, checking for doneness every 5 minutes(50-55 minutes total). When a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, its done. Cool in pan for at least 30 minutes. If topping with glaze, you can pour the glaze directly on top while the bread is in the pan. Glaze is fully set in about an hour. After 30 minutes, remove loaf from the pan and cool an addtional 20-25 minutes on cooling rack. Slice and enjoy!

blood orange glaze

  • Combine powdered suagr and juice in a bowl. Mix until well combined and desired consistency, adding a tsp more juice as needed. Pour on top of loaf cake while still warm. Allow 45-1 hr to fully set.
Keyword blood orange cake, citrus cake, loaf cake, quick breads, winter baking
did you make this recipe?tag @olivesnthyme on Instagram

did you make this recipe?

tag @olivesnthyme on instagram

2 thoughts on “blood orange loaf cake

  1. Loved the glaze, it carried the loaf. Two fixes, melting the butter doesn’t allow it to cream with the sugar (maybe this was supposed to read soften) and 200 grams of powdered sugar equaled 2 cups. Depending on how much glaze you want, adjacent sugar or amount of juice.

    1. Hi Christi!

      Thank you for the feedback! Glad to read you loved the glaze. The bread itself isn’t very sweet, so I love the glaze on it as well. You are right about the “cream”. The instructions should read “beat” the melted butter and sugar. Correction on the weights for powdered sugar is right on. It should read 120g. Updating the recipe to reflect these changes.

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