This blood orange pound cake is incredible. I don’t use that word often, but I really do think this pound cake deserve the praise. I’ll even say it again: incredible.
The pound cake is deliciously dense and moist, without being heavy. The oranges add a bright, citrus flavor that’s perfect for the spring. Of course, we still have two months until spring. I’m so ready though.
Traditional pound cakes are made with flour, butter, eggs, and sugar. However, I think the addition of cream cheese plays a big role in the richness of this pound cake. The cream cheese helps keep the cake moist, dense, and completely decadent.
Needless to say, this cake didn’t last long in our house.
The first version of this blood orange pound cake was not so incredible. I decided to try a buttermilk pound cake and ended up with something that was light and fluffy, instead of decadent and moist. It was fine, but I had an issue with calling it a pound cake.
The thing that bothered me the most about the first version was the color. You eat with your eyes first and I thought the cake looked a little fake to me. Pink icing doesn’t remind me of blood oranges, but makes me think of icing from a can. So I swapped out the blood orange juice in the icing for regular orange juice.
Plus, in certain lights, the cake almost looked a little green to me.
If you compare the first version (above) with the second pound cake I made (below), you can really see the difference in texture. The one above almost looks dry and crumbly.
The second version is so much better.
In this recipe, you’ll notice that I added food coloring to the list of ingredients. While making the batter, I saw hints of both pink and yellow. Since the color of the first pound cake wasn’t perfect, I added a few drops of yellow food coloring to boost the color. However, you can definitely leave out the food coloring without changing the cake color too much. I just think it’s important to list every single ingredient that I use in order for the recipe to accurately reflect the pictures (and vice versa).
It also helps if you use a cooling rack when adding the icing. The extra icing flows through the grate instead of pooling in the center. I didn’t use my cooling rack because I had this plan to get pictures of the icing drizzling over the cake. None of those pictures made the cut, but I did like the one above. It reminds me of a molten lava cake.
One of my favorite parts of this pound cake is the icing. For a little extra tang, I added blood orange zest along with the orange juice. The zest almost gives the appearance of sprinkles!
If you haven’t seen it already, be sure to check out my Lemon Pound Cake recipe.
I honestly can’t decide which one I like better.
Blood Orange Pound Cake With An Orange Zest Icing
For the Pound Cake:
- 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
- 1½ cups unsalted butter, softened
- 3 cups sugar
- 6 eggs, at room temperature
- zest of 4 to 5 blood oranges (or more to taste)
- 3 tbsp fresh blood orange juice
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 4 to 6 drops yellow food coloring (optional)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp butter or baking spray (for the bundt cake pan)
For the Icing:
- 1½ cups confectioner's sugar
- 2 tbsp fresh orange juice
- zest of 1 blood orange
- blood orange slices, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the cream cheese, butter, and sugar until light and fluffy. Then stir in the eggs, one at a time.
- Stir in the blood orange zest, blood orange juice, vanilla extract, and food coloring (optional).
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour with the baking powder and salt.
- Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, one cup at a time. Mix until the flour is just incorporated.
- Butter a bundt pan or spray with baking spray. Add the batter to the prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven for about 1 hour, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Allow the pound cake to cool for a few minutes in the bundt pan, then remove the cake from the pan and allow to cool fully on a cooling rack.
- While the pound cake is cooling, prepare the icing. Mix the confectioner's sugar with 2 tablespoons of orange juice and blood orange zest. Drizzle the icing over the cooled pound cake and garnish with orange slices, if desired.