Last week we covered wine and chocolate as a delicious Valentine’s Day treat. This week, in honor of the month of everything pink and red overlapping with wonderful winter citrus season, I’m excited to bring you this blood orange bundt cake covered in cinnamon caramel!
While I love citrus on its own, my appreciation for blood oranges in drinks, meals, and baked goods has grown throughout the years. The vibrant jewel toned ruby red insides of the oranges combined with the bright orange peel are enough to warrant attention on their own, but the amazingly fresh flavor and the gorgeous pink color that the juice provides makes this the perfect cake for this time of the year.
When I first cut into this blood orange cake I was shocked at how bright it was. The juice doesn’t shine through enough to make the cake pink (though wouldn’t that be awesome?!), but it is noticeably yellow and fragrant with that citrus smell reminiscent of when you first start peeling an orange. Filled with juice and a bit of Greek yogurt, the cake is extremely moist and totally addicting.
This blood orange bundt cake is topped with a cinnamon caramel sauce that I could eat by the spoonful. It stems from one of the most popular recipes on the site – this chocolate cake with whiskey caramel frosting – but swaps warming whiskey for a hint of cinnamon.
While I love the look of the pale pink blood orange glaze, I find that coating the cake with both glaze and caramel is a bit much, but pouring one on top of the cake and just drizzling the other provides the perfect amount of sweetness and makes the prettiest piece of cake. If you want a pretty pink cake for Valentine’s Day, pour the glaze on top and drizzle each slice with the caramel. If you want a cake that will span the seasons, try a layer of caramel atop the entire cake, with a drizzle of pink glaze when you serve them. Both are so beautiful and so delicious!
Blood orange bundt cake with cinnamon caramel is almost too pretty to eat – but we’ll get over that. ;)
Blood Orange Cake with Cinnamon Caramel
Blood Orange Cake
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
zest of 1 orange
zest of 1 blood orange
2 cups sugar
2 egg yolks
¼ cup olive oil
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
½ cup milk
½ teaspoon almond extract (optional)
juice from 2 blood oranges (about ¼ cup)
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 cup sugar
7 tablespoons cold butter, cut into tablespoons
¼ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Optional Blood Orange Glaze
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2-3 tablespoons juice from a blood orange
To make the blood orange bundt cake
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously coat a bundt pan with non-stick baking spray then shake flour around so it gets into every nook of the pan. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. In another bowl, mix together the orange zests and sugar. Use your fingers to break up the zest and rub it into the sugar.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until it is smooth. Add the zest and sugar to the butter and mix on medium until it is fluffy and pale. This will take about 3-4 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the mixer on low, add in the eggs and egg yolks, one at a time. Add the oil and mix until everything is combined.
With the mixer running on low, slowly pour in half of the dry ingredients and continue to mix just until combined. Stop the mixer and add the yogurt, milk, almond extract, and juice. Mix on low speed as you add the rest of the dry ingredients to the bowl. Increase the speed to medium-low and mix until all of the flour is incorporated.
Pour the cake batter into your prepared bundt pan and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a skewer or knife inserted into the cake comes out clean.
Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 15 minutes. Flip the cake onto a wire rack (I find it helps to thoroughly shake the pan before flipping) and allow it to cool completely before decorating.
To make the cinnamon caramel
In a small bowl, heat the cream in the microwave until warm (30 seconds worked for me, but this will depend on the strength of your microwave).
In a small saucepan, heat the sugar on medium high until it starts to melt around the edges. Gently swirl the sugar with a spatula until it has completely melted.
Add the butter, one tablespoon at a time, constantly stirring until it is fully melted. Carefully and slowly add the warm cream little by little to the sugar-butter mixture. The mixture will bubble violently when the cream comes in contact with it – just keep stirring.
Pour the caramel into a jar and let it cool for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, stir in the salt and cinnamon until they are fully incorporated into the caramel. Add more of either to taste.
Pour the caramel all over the top of the cooled bundt cake so that it runs down the sides and covers the cake. If the caramel has cooled too much you may need to use a spoon to help it spread out, or heat the caramel in the microwave in 15-second increments. Use extra caramel as garnish when you serve each slice.
You can store leftover caramel in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
To make the blood orange glaze
In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and blood orange juice until smooth. Add additional confectioners’ sugar or blood orange juice as needed to create a viscous, but not too runny, consistency. Use this to garnish each slice, or pour it over the entire cake.
Blood orange cake slightly adapted from Style Sweet CA