Blood Orange Cake with Olive Oil

AS blood oranges are in season, this week's recipe is a very juicy and moist cake citrus flavour it is especially nice cold so keep it in the fridge. Don’t be put off with the olive oil as it has no trace of the olive flavour it is for the texture. The blood orange is originally from Sicily, we used them freshly squeezed in Ramsons, we imported them when they were in season every week from the Milan market.

Most citrus history starts in china and Japan it is believed that the more bitter tasting fruits were from India. The Arabs brought this fruit from Sicily Italy in the 11th and 12th century. About 500 years later the monks planted sweeter varieties. Blood oranges have a pigment anthocyanin which is not typically found in cirtus but more common in red fruits and flowers. Not only is the inside of the fruit darkly pigmented depending on the variety the outside may also have dark washes of red.


3 blood oranges

210g caster sugar

4 tbsp butter milk

3 free range eggs

250g plain flour

1 ½ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp bicarbonate soda

a pinch of salt

50 mls extra virgin olive oil


pre-heat the oven to 180c/360f/gas 4/170 fan

1. Grease a loaf tin.

2. Grate the zest of 2 blood oranges. Process the sugar with the orange zest in a food processor to impart the sugar with a lovely orange flavour. Squeeze the juice of all three blood oranges, mix the orange juice with the butter milk, mix in the sugar and then the eggs one by one finally stir in the olive oil.Mix the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate soda and salt mix well with the wet ingredients.

3. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf tin and place into a pre-heated oven, bake for 55 mins.

Check with a skewer, cool on a wire rack.

Enjoy with a cup of tea in the afternoon.