It's not until January arrives when I realize how much I love citrus fruits. Navel oranges are always great but cara cara oranges, pommelos, meyer lemons, and blood oranges are pretty spectacular citrus fruits. You can do so much with these fruits including juicing, turning them into jams, delicious sauces, and of course, eating them raw. Today I'm paying respect to one of my favorites, blood oranges, by turning them into a glorious dessert. This blood orange poppy seed cake is a twist on the classic lemon and poppy seed pairing. Finish the cake with a lovely blood orange glaze for one stunning dessert.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
Slice into a blood orange and you just have to stop and take a picture. These oranges have a pleasantly sweet and tart flavor making them the perfect dessert fruit. We're going to use every part of the fruit including the juice and zest to make the ultimate blood orange poppy seed cake.
Grate the blood oranges and rub them with sugar to release the oils in the zest. I have to say, this is my favorite part of the recipe. Just give the sugar a whiff and you'll see what I mean. I would take a bath in this blood orange sugar if I could (not a bad spa idea, no?).
The technique for making this blood orange poppy seed cake is pretty standard. Cream together the blood orange sugar with softened butter, add the eggs followed by the wet ingredients and stir in the dry ingredients just until combined. Pour the batter into a prepared loaf pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Meanwhile, while the cake cools, make the blood orange glaze. You'll be using about 4-5 oranges total for this recipe so make sure to save some juice for the glaze. Just whisk together sifted powdered sugar with enough blood orange juice to make a glaze. You don't want it to be too runny, just thick enough to slowly trickle off the sides of the cake.
Go ahead and cut yourself a thick slice of the cake, you deserve it. I licked my plate clean, including every crumb and drop of icing. This cake is just all-around lovely with a generous amount of poppy seeds, just the way I like it. With just a hint of citrus and a touch of sweetness from the glaze, it hits the spot for an afternoon delight. Thank you blood oranges!
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