This Blood Orange and Almond Olive Oil Snack Cake is a delightfully delicious option for your brunch menu. Capitalizing on springtime citrus, this cake is a prime example of seasonal baking. The beauty of eating and cooking with the seasons really is all about enjoying the best produce at their peak. Blood Orange season is one of my absolute favorites. Read more below to see why and get the details on this delicious cake.
Blood Oranges: Nature’s Crimson Jewel
Nature has a way of surprising us with its breathtaking creations and blood oranges are no exception. With their vibrant crimson flesh and a citrusy aroma that lingers both in the air and on our taste buds, it’s always a delight to find these in our CSA box delivery between February and May.
Here are 4 key facts about blood oranges and their growing season:
- Enigmatic Origins: While the precise origin of blood oranges remains shrouded in mystery, it is believed that they first emerged in the Mediterranean region centuries ago. The lush groves of Sicily, Italy, have become particularly renowned for producing some of the finest blood oranges in the world. Today, they can also be found growing in Spain, the United States (mainly California given its Mediterranean like climate), and Morocco.
- The Jewel Within: What sets blood oranges apart from their citrus cousins is the mesmerizing ruby-red hue of their flesh. The vibrant color comes from anthocyanins, natural pigments that develop during the fruit’s growth. The amount of anthocyanins can vary leading to variations in the intensity of the red coloration. Some blood oranges feature a marbled effect with streaks of red running through their flesh, adding to their aesthetic appeal. They are so beautiful to see!
- A Symphony of Flavors: Beyond their captivating appearance, blood oranges possess a remarkable taste profile that distinguishes them from other citrus fruits. The flavor is a delightful balance of sweetness and tartness, often with berry-like undertones. The unique blend of citrus and hints of raspberry or pomegranate creates a symphony for the taste buds, making blood oranges a true delicacy.
- A Seasonal Delight: Like many citrus fruits, blood oranges have a limited growing season between December and May. Their scarcity and short availability only enhance their allure, turning them into a highly anticipated seasonal treat.
Blood Oranges: Nutritional Benefits
More than just how they look and taste, blood oranges pack a nutritional punch. For starters, blood oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C, supporting the immune system, aids collagen production, and are a powerful antioxidant. Next, they contain dietary fiber, folate, potassium, and various other beneficial nutrients that contribute to overall health and well-being.
In addition to their nutritional value, blood oranges are highly versatile. Blood oranges carry a distinct flavor profile and stunning appearance making them a favorite ingredient among chefs and home cooks alike. The juice can be used to add a zesty kick to beverages, sauces, dressings, and desserts. The segmented flesh adds a burst of color and flavor to salads, salsas, and even savory dishes like roasted meats or fish. If look to elevate your healthy cooking game, blood oranges will add zest and variety to every meal.
Now, let’s talk about how we make this delectable Blood Orange and Almond Olive Oil Snack Cake.
Blood Orange and Almond Olive Oil Snack Cake
For this cake, we thought it would be great to build in texture by using amaretti cookies. They’re light and crunchy with the right amount of added almond flavor to help round out this cake. Here are a few of the featured ingredients we will need:
- Blood Oranges: It goes without saying that we’ll use that fragrant citrus in this cake. If you are not able to find blood oranges, or you want to make this cake in the off season, substitute with lemons or Navel or Valencia oranges.
- Almond Flour + All-Purpose Flour: We use a blend here both for texture and for the almond flavor. It works beautifully.
- Olive Oil and Almond Extract: I had initially tested this recipe a couple of times using an almond olive oil blend from California Olive Ranch. I was so sad to learn they discontinued it (it was amazing in this recipe!) but tested three more times using a blend of their mild blend olive oil and almond extract. This was a helpful revision and yields a moist and flavorful cake.
All other remaining ingredients are noted in the recipe card below. Full step by step instructions are shared in the recipe card below.
How to Bake the Cake
This cake is ready in a little under an hour. To start, grease a 9-inch round cake pan with butter and flour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, measure out granulated sugar in a large bowl. Zest blood oranges and, using your hands, work the zest into the sugar to infuse it with the blood orange zest. To that same bowl, add almond flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and kosher salt. Whisk to combine.
In a food processor fitted with the chopping blade, add amaretti cookies and grind them up. Add them to the flour mixture and stir to combine.
In a separate medium bowl, whisk eggs, blood orange juice, yogurt, almond-olive oil blend, and vanilla extract until well combined.
Finally, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold the mixture together. Pour batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes until cake tester comes out clean in center and edges of cake are golden.
You’ll want to cool completely before garnishing with powdered sugar and the toasted almonds. This cake makes a great breakfast cake to serve alongside coffee or tea as part of a brunch menu. It’s perfection.
More Sweet Treats to Love
Blood Orange Season is such a short season and this Blood Orange and Almond Olive Oil Snack Cake is one to make every year. We love celebrating the short growing season with a few delicious baked good to share with neighbors, friends, and family. Two of our favorites are shared below. Add all three of these your recipe books when blood orange season arrives!
Let me know if you make this recipe by tagging me on Instagram. I can’t wait to see what you make!
In the meantime, cheers to the next nourishing meal. ❤️
Blood Orange and Almond Olive Oil Snack Cake
- 1/2 cup almond olive oil blend
- 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Zest and juice from 2 blood oranges about 1 tablespoon zest and 1/4 cup juice
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup amaretti cookies ground up will yield about a 1/4 cup
- 3/4 cup almond flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar for garnish
- 1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan with butter and flour. Set aside while prepping batter.
- In a large bowl, measure out granulated sugar. Zest blood oranges and, using your hands, work the zest into the sugar to infuse it with the blood orange zest. To that same bowl, add almond flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and kosher salt. Whisk to combine.
- In a food processor fitted with the chopping blade, add amaretti cookies and grind them up. Add them to the flour mixture and stir to combine.
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk eggs, blood orange juice, yogurt, almond-olive oil blend, and vanilla extract until well combined.
- Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold the mixture together. Pour batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes until cake tester comes out clean in center and edges of cake are golden.
- Cool completely before garnishing with powdered sugar and the toasted almonds.