A from scratch egg free cake that will wow your guests! This Blood Orange Cake has greek yogurt and freshly squeezed orange juice. Top with vanilla frosting and fresh citrus fruit, then garnish with fresh rosemary and sage.
We’re bringing a little sunshine to your winter today! If there was ever a cake to beat the winter blues, this is it. Other orange cakes such as our orange creamsicle cake, mandarin orange cake and orange coffee cake may take a little less time, but the presentation of this layered cake is worth the effort.
Blood Orange Cake Recipe
Although the recipe itself is delicious, the main focus of this cake is the decorations and styling. The contrast of the white frosting with the bright citrus fruits and fresh herbs all are what *make* the cake. You can take the decorations as far os as simply as you’d like. And no fancy cake decorating is needed. Anyone can make this cake!
Let’s talk through the steps.
Egg Free White Cake
This white cake is a great base cake for anyone who needs an egg free cake. It uses Greek yogurt to give a similar texture to an egg cake. We suggest using plain, full fat greek yogurt for the best results.
Here are a few other hints:
- Whisk together the dry ingredients in a stand mixer.
- We recommend a high quality salt. We love freshly ground pink himalayan salt. This is the brand we buy.
- Mix in the wet ingredients. They’ll mix in the best if they are at room temperature so plan ahead with the yogurt for that.
- Be sure to use high quality orange juice….it’s best if you squeeze your own juice. It’s ok if you get some of the pulp in there.
- Use the zest from 1 large orange. Don’t skip this. There is SO MUCH flavor in that orange zest.
- We bake this cake in 2 6″ round cake pans which means it is small in diameter, but nice thick layers. Be sure to grease and flour the pans. Use Baker’s Joy non-stick spray or our cake release to make sure the cakes come out cleanly.
- Bake for about 26-30 minutes. The center of the cake should spring back when you touch it.
**Pro Tip: To make sure you divide the batter between the pans evenly, use an ice cream scoop! Make level scoops of the cake batter and alternate adding to pans. This will help your cakes bake evenly.**
White Buttercream Frosting
For this cake you can use your favorite buttercream frosting or the one we give the recipe for below. Even a cream cheese frosting would be amazing on this cake. Get creative!
- Use room temperature butter. It should be a little soft to the touch, but definitely not melted.
- Cream the butter first. Use a stand mixer or hand mixer to cream the butter until it is almost white in appearance.
- Add the milk or cream one tablespoon at a time until you get a good spreading consistency. If you add too much too soon, it may end up runny.
How to Assemble a Cake
- Get a cake plate or a cake stand. Place a small dollop of frosting on the center of the pan, then place your first layer down. That little dollop of frosting will help your cake to stay in place.
- Frost the top of the first layer.
- Place the second cake layer on.
- Frost the sides and top of the entire cake.
Don’t stress too much about having perfectly smooth frosting. That is nice sometimes, but this cake fits more of the rustic frosting swipes and swirls. Really…anyone can make this!!
**Pro Tip: It is sometimes easiest to frost cakes when they are cold. Wrap the cooled cakes in plastic wrap, then refrigerate for a few hours before frosting.**
How to Attach Fruit to a Cake
You may be wondering how that fruit stays on the cake?
Carefully heat about 5 jumbo marshmallows in the microwave. Stir them often to prevent burning and heat just until melted. A tiny bit of Wilton’s golden yellow food coloring gel to create a pale orange color. This mixture will be extremely sticky. You can use disposable gloves that were covered with a little bit of oil to help prevent sticking to the gloves and your hands while working with it. This step is optional, but gives a beautiful backdrop and a place for fruit to “sit”.
How to Decorate a Cake with Fruit
Pile orange peel, orange slices and small mandarin oranges on top of the cake as you like. Leave some of the oranges in their peel…others you can peel and use just the fruit flesh for added texture and color variation.
Give the sage leaves a little bit of natural body and movement by making them loop up a little bit here and there. The leaves very easily stick to the fresh frosting which holds them perfectly in place.
Wrap the rosemary around the base of the cake.
How to Store Cake
The frosting will “seal” the cake to keep it fresh, but because there is fresh fruit slices on the cake, you should loosely cover and refrigerate the cake until serving. Because of the juices from the fresh fruit, we recommend serving the cake shortly after assembling it.
Once you cut the cake, store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will keep well for about 4-5 days.
TOOLS TO MAKE THIS CAKE
- Stand Mixer: A hand mixer will work, but I always find it easier to make frostings with a stand mixer.
- Citrus Squeezer: For juicing all of those fresh lemons and limes!
- Zester: We have this zester. It’s long and easily sits on bowls for quick zesting.
- Beater Blade with Scraper: The best invention ever!
- 6” Round Cake Pan: These are my favorite pans!
- Cake Spatula: To get that frosting nice and smooth.
- Wire Cooling Racks:This will help your cakes cool more quickly.
- Cake Plate: I have this cake plate and everyone loves it! It comes with the cute server too.
Blood Orange Cake
For the cake:
- 2 1/4 cups cake flour (plus a little more for greasing and flouring the baking pans)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon quality salt (I used Himalayan)
- 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- ½ cup salted butter (room temperature)
- 1 cup freshly squeezed juice from oranges (or high quality orange juice)
- 6 ounces full fat plain greek yogurt (this equals ¾ of a cup)( room temperature)
- Zest from one large orange (I used a little bit of the leftover pulp from juicing the oranges as well )
For the buttercream:
- 1 cup salted butter (softened)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 3-4 tablespoons milk (or heavy cream)
Marshmallow Blobs (optional):
- 5 jumbo marshmallows
- Wilton golden yellow food gel coloring
- Orange peel strings
- Mix of different citrus fruits including Blood oranges, juicing oranges, mandarins…
- Fresh sage
- fresh rosemary sprigs
- Start by washing all of the citrus fruits really well, then dry them.
- Juice the oranges to get the 1 cup of juice needed, remove any seeds, but some pulp is definitely okay.
Make the cake:
- Combine all of the dry ingredients together in a medium size bowl and whisk.
- Cream the butter and sugar together in a separate bowl. Add the orange juice, Greek yogurt and orange zest. Mix well.
- Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and use an electric mixer to combine. You should have a thick, fluffy and rich batter.
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 6" round cake pans with shortening, then dust with flour.
- Evenly divide the batter between the 2 prepared pans.
- Bake for about 26 to 30 minutes (even though the pans are small, these are thick layers and you’ll need to ensure the cakes are baked all the way through). Check with a toothpick and remove when it comes out clean.
- Let the cakes cool for 5 minutes in the pans and then carefully transfer to a wire cooling rack until they are completely cool.
- If time allows, wrap the cakes tightly with plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 hours before planning to frost them. This helps them to firm up and they'll be easier to frost.
For the frosting:
- In a stand mixer bowl, with the mixer on medium speed, whip the butter for 2 minutes until it is almost white in color.
- Add in the powdered sugar, vanilla and 3 tablespoons milk. Beat on low speed for 3-5 minutes, adding in the last tablespoon of milk if the buttercream needs to be thinner to spread easily. Cover the buttercream with plastic wrap until you are ready to frost the cake.
Assemble the cake:
- When you are ready to frost and the cakes are cool, check that the cake layers are even. If needed ,use a sturdy serrated knife or cake splitter to even out and remove the tops.
- Put a small amount of frosting on the bottom center of the plate to help hold the cakes in place.
- Cover the bottom cake with a thick and even layer of frosting.
- Set the second cake layer on top. Check to make sure the cake is level on top.
- Frost the top and sides of the cake in whatever style best fits you. You can make the frosting as smooth as possible or leave it a little rough and rustic.
- For the marshmallow blobs, Carefully heat about 5 jumbo marshmallows in the microwave. Stir them often to prevent burning and heat just until melted. A tiny bit of Wilton’s golden yellow food coloring gel to create a pale orange color. This mixture will be extremely sticky. You can use disposable gloves that were covered with a little bit of oil to help prevent sticking to the gloves and your hands while working with it.
- Dollop the marshmallow blobs to the top of the cake.
- Then build the rest of the embellishments off of that, piling orange peel, slices and small mandarin oranges on top.
- Give the sage leaves a little bit of natural body and movement by making them loop up a little bit here and there. The leaves very easily stick to the fresh frosting which holds them perfectly in place.
- Wrap the rosemary around the base of the cake.
- Carefully & loosely cover and chill until you’re ready to serve. Store in the refrigerator.
- This lasted very nicely for 5 days (before disappearing) when kept air tight and chilled.