Blood Orange Infused Pound Cake Recipe

What do you do when “Cake Craving” comes on?  You know what I mean….when your sugar addiction is kicking you in the head and you’re dying for something sweet, full of calories and loaded with butter fat. When all the diet promises you’ve made to yourself have taken a hike around the corner and nothing satisfies the crave obsession until you stuff your entire mouth with cake goodness.

I do POUND CAKE!  Dense, rich and filled with buttery melt-in-your-mouth-ness! Because I like to fiddle with recipes, I usually dress up my pound cakes with the addition of flavorings and toppings. I replace the good old stand-by flavoring, vanilla extract with more exotic and unusual tastes.  Citrus is an excellent addition to this cake.  Blood orange with the additional punch of citrus essential oils mixed into the batter make this cake a crave celebration.

When the winter cold comes on, blood oranges appear in the market fresh food section.  The taste of blood orange is deep, rich, red!  Think of the freshest full-blown naval orange, jacked up on intensity steroids.  Bloods are usually less acidic than most oranges and sweet with a crazy raspberry overtone.  I love the red meat of these oranges.  This citrus juices out full-blown crimson bloody red. Kidlets love these oranges and beg for the pulpy rinds to squeeze, dribbling red juice down their chins. They chase each other around the kitchen with bared dripping fangy-teeth, rasping “let me drink your blood” in their evil vampire voice.

**NOTE. Be sure to wash their little or big faces after play, as citrus juice can be photosensitizing on skin – meaning sunlight and citrus juice interact causing skin burning.

Pound cake has been a staple of kitchens for several hundred years. The origin of the name comes from the ingredients. One pound of each;the sugar, eggs, flour and butter, all beaten together by hand to incorporate masses of air volume into the batter.  Today we add baking powder to lighten the heaviness of this compact cake.

There are a multitude of essentail oils that one can add to pound cake (and use to flavor foods, in general). These oils can be found under the name of chef’s essences and are begininng to be sold at higher end cook stores.  Drops of perfumery essential oils may also be used to flavor food.

**NOTE. Before adding any of these oils, be sure they are a safe ingestible. This can be done by pulling up MSDS files on google and checking with the manufacturer of the oil. Not all essential oils are ok for cooking and eating.  It’a also a good practice to ask if the oil plants have been grown and certified as organic.

A short list of possibilities:

  • rose oil
  • cold pressed lime oil
  • bergamot oil
  • pettitgrain oil
  • neroli oil
  • pink grapefruit oil
  • peppermint oil
  • green lemon oil
  • fresh ginger oil
  • geranium oil
  • lavender oil
  • jasmine oil
  • pepper oils – pink and black

The Pound Cake is a British creation that dates back to the early 1700s.
Blood Oranges are a citrus fruit mutation – earliest known reference comes from 8th century China.
The red color of Blood Oranges comes from anthocyanin, which is a powerful antioxident.
Blood Orange seasonal availability is from November through May.


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Top Dressing
Top Dressing
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Line a 9×6″ loaf pan with butter and parchment paper or use a greased and floured decorative bundt pan. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and set aside. In a large bowl with a sturdy spoon or electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add vanilla and eggs, one by one. Add milk, and slowly add the sifted ingredients.
  4. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake at 325°F for 45-60 minutes, until a pick inserted at the center of the cake comes out clean.
  5. Cool 10 minutes before inverting onto a rack.
  6. Cool completely before slicing. Makes 1 loaf.
  1. Mix orange flesh, poppy seeds and sugar in small sauce pan.
  2. Heat on med, stirring until sugar dissolves and shows a light syrupy characteristic.
  3. Cool and dress pound cake slices with this topping.
  4. Swirl big dollops of fresh whipped cream on each piece of cake and top with whole slices of blood orange.
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