Blood oranges are on their way out, I know, but you can swap regular thin-skinned oranges to top these, which is what I used in the cake itself. You could leave the fancy slice off the top altogether and just make the cake. I just like the look of it, and the chewy-sweet baked slice winds up reminiscent of marmalade.
When it comes to blood oranges, their appeal (to me, anyway) is their bad-ass name and crazy purpleness, their brand luring me in far more than their flavour. I’ve never really been blown away by the taste of a blood orange, but they do look great when sliced thin and laid atop orange pound cake batter.
Don’t let the name pound cake scare you – this is actually much lighter than most, although they do retain that dense sandiness that makes them different than a plain old muffin. And this recipe makes lots. I did mine in some of those jumbo muffin tins that were around, thinking that half-filled they might turn out more like little cakes, which they kind of did. You can use regular muffin tins though, or loaf pans, or cake pans.. whatever you think. I totally trust your judgement.
Orange Cakes (Bloody or Not)
If you like, brush still-warm cakes with a glaze made with equal amounts orange (or lemon juice) and sugar, simmered until the sugar dissolves.
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup canola oil
2 cup sugar
finely grated zest of an orange
5 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk or thin plain yogurt
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 blood orange, washed and sliced very thin
sugar, for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In a large bowl, beat the butter, oil, sugar and orange zest for 2-3 minutes, until pale yellow and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Add about a third of the flour mixture, beating on low speed just until combined. Add half the buttermilk in the same manner, then another third of the flour, the rest of the buttermilk and the rest of the flour.
Divide the batter between lined or greased muffin tins, filling them three-quarters full (or you could fill two 8”x4” loaf pans, and arrange a lineup of orange slices on top); top each with a slice of orange and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 25-30 minutes for cupcakes or 50-60 minutes for loaves, until golden and tops are springy to the touch. Let cool for about 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes about 1 1/2 dozen small cakes or 2 loaves.
One Year Ago: Lower-fat Chocolate Chip Cookies
April 17 2010 11:21 pm | cake