Blood Orange Buttermilk Pound Cake

Blood Orange Buttermilk Pound Cake made in honour of my own mum for Mother's Day and especially chosen as oranges were one of her two favourite fruits (mangoes were the other and all other fruits she hated!)

What else can I tell you about my Mum? She was the most kindest, loving and generous person there could be with a heart of pure gold. Brave beyond imagination, she loved people and would always be willing to help anyone in any way she could. She taught my sisters and I well the importance of hard work, honesty, forgiveness, being humble and always counting your blessings.

My sisters and I were devoted to my Mum and it's a testament to the wonderful mum that she was that she  inspired the same love and devotion within her grandchildren.

Precious memories of bring with her are embedded in our hearts and will never be erased. Whenever my sisters and I feel weak in the face of any problems, Mum inspires us to carry on as we never saw her weaken even in her darkest moments (and believe me there were a few).

Although I am a mother myself, celebrating Mother's Day without my Mum feels incomplete in some way. Life would be complete if God would let all mothers reunite each year with their children each year just for Mother's Day - oh the cups of tea we would drink with Mum! She was an avid tea lover. She could give up food and water but never tea! I'm sure that she would have loved this simple sponge cake so pillowy, soft and light thanks to the buttermilk with the tantalising taste of her favourite oranges.

Wishing you all the happiest of Mothering Sundays.


220g plain flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

113g unsalted butter

200g caster sugar

Finely grated zest of 2 blood oranges

2 large eggs at room temperature

120ml buttermilk

60ml freshly squeezed blood orange juice

For the sauce:

90ml freshly squeezed blood orange juice

120g icing sugar

Preheat your oven to 160C.

Grease and line a large loaf pan with parchment.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.

In a free standing mixer or with hand held electric beaters, beat together the butter, sugars and orange zest for 2 to 3 minutes until soft and creamy.

Add the eggs one at a time making sure the first is fully incorporated before adding the second.

Reduce the mixer setting to its lowest speed and add one third of the flour mixture, followed by half of the buttermilk and orange juice. Repeat with another third of flour, the remaining half of the buttermilk and orange juice and end with the final one third of flour.

Pour the batter into your prepared tin and bake for 55 to 60 minutes.

Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 15 minutes before turning it out on to a wire rack to cool.

While the cake is cooling, whisk together the freshly squeezed juice and icing sugar to make the sauce.

Make small pricks over the cake with a tooth pick and liberally brush the cake with the sauce reserving whatever sauce is left.

When the cake is cool, drizzle some of the remaining sauce over the cake and keep the rest of the sauce to serve along side the cake.

Decorate the cake with candied blood orange slices. Click here for how to make these Candid Orange Slices

Recipe found on this beautiful blog here

and adapted from this recipe here

Baking Notes:

Although the cake does contain orange juice, the taste of the oranges is very mild, hence the need to brush the cake with the sauce and keeping some extra sauce to intensify the flavour. Of course, if you prefer a milder taste of oranges, omit the brushing step and simply serve the sauce along side the cake.

I found my blood oranges in Waitrose although they call them Blush Oranges. As you can see from the pictures, these oranges were blood in colour when sliced but resumed their normal orange colour when squeezed. I suppose it all depends on the particular blood oranges you find and where they come from. M&S also have blood oranges with theirs grown in Seville.

You may need to cover your cake with foil about 45 minutes into the bake to prevent the top over browning.