Blood Orange Yogurt Cake

Did you know that by adding fruit and yogurt, you totally have an excuse to eat cake for breakfast?
Not that you ever really needed one.

This simple loaf cake is packed with blood orange and drenched in the most pretty pink glaze. I’ll be honest — I was between making a grapefruit cake and a blood orange cake and was one hundred percent swayed by the pink glaze on this. In the past couple months, I’ve found my local Trader Joe’s overflowing with all kinds of citrus and was pleasantly surprised to find out that winter is actually peak time for citrus fruits. In my mind, I guess I had always associated citrus with warm places year-round, like Florida, and summertime. I already can’t wait to make this cake again with lemon, grapefruit, minneolas, cara cara oranges, or any other citrus on hand!

Usually when it’s freezing out, I’m making lots of warm bubbling fruit crisps and big pots of soup. But luckily here in Boston, we’ve been having a pretty mild winter (if we forget the couple blizzards a few weeks ago). It’s like we forget what 60 degrees feels like and on a nice day, everyone breaks out shorts and contemplates sunbathing. This blood orange cake sort of feels like a lucky sunny, warm day in the middle of February.  It’s cheerful, refreshing, and makes spring feel just a little closer. It has the dense richness of a butter pound cake, but it’s made lighter and healthier with a combination of oil and yogurt.

I’ve had blood oranges in drinks before, but I’ve never actually eaten the fruit until baking this cake. Although the flesh is a deep red, I was mostly expecting it to taste like your average orange. I was happy to find that the blood orange is actually much more unique and interesting. The flavor was intense, sweet, and what some even call berry-like. The juice and a generous amount of zest are folded into the cake, giving it a full-on citrus flavor.

Candying the orange slices was an extra step that I wanted to try out for the first time. I cut the oranges super thin and let them simmer in a simple syrup until the slices had shrunk and candied, leaving a shiny coat. (Note: I saved the leftover blood orange simple syrup for a cocktail that I’m imagining would be amazing with gin, champagne, and maybe elderflower?!)

This loaf cake is what I like to call the perfect “snacking” cake. It’s just sweet enough to be indulgent but just light enough to be great for breakfast, dessert, or an anytime snack.

Blood Orange Yogurt Cake
Recipe from Tide & Thyme

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
zest of two blood oranges
1/3 cup freshly squeezed blood orange juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2-3 tbsp. freshly squeezed blood orange juice

Candied Orange Slices
1 blood orange
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 and grease and prepare a loaf pan.

In a small bowl, combine the dry ingredients of flour, baking powder, and salt.

Using the whisk attachment of a standing mixer or whisking by hand, combine the yogurt, sugar, eggs, orange zest, orange juice, and vanilla. Slowly add in the flour mixture and mix on low until just combined. Pour in the oil and mix well until incorporated.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for about 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely.

While the cake is baking, prepare the candied orange slices. Cut the orange in thin slices crosswise. Gently remove any seeds without damaging the flesh. Heat the sugar and water together in a wide saucepan over medium-high until the sugar dissolves. Add the slices in a single layer, trying not to overlap. Reduce heat to medium-low and let it simmer for 20 minutes, flipping the slices over half way through. Remove the slices from the syrup and let cool on a rack or plate until ready to use. (Note: the remaining simple syrup can be saved for flavoring drinks)

When the cake is cool, make the glaze by combining powdered sugar with the orange juice and blend until smooth. Start with less juice and add more if glaze is too thick. Add more powdered sugar if glaze is too runny. Pour or drizzle the glaze over the cake and top with candied oranges.


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