Blood Orange and Almond Cake

  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 60 to 65 minutes


Blood Orange Syrup;
5tablespoons granulated or superfine sugar
5tablespoons liquid (water/alcohol/citrus juice)
-- Add any flavor you wish to use (1 vanilla bean, finely grated zest of 1 lemon or orange, passion fruit pulp juice of 1 blood orange)
1 1/4cups unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2cups granulated or superfine sugar
3 1/2cups finely ground almonds
2teaspoons vanilla extract
5-- eggs
-- Finely grated zest and juice of 1 blood orange
1cup stone ground cornmeal
1teaspoon baking powder
-- good pinch of salt
2-- whole blood oranges (for topping)
1/3cup whole almonds


  1. To make the syrup:
  2. Put the sugar and liquid, along with your preferred flavoring, into a small pan over low heat.
  3. Allow the sugar to dissolve and the syrup to reduce until thick, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  4. Once cool remove the vanilla bean if using, and brush the syrup over your cake of choice.
  5. To make the cake: 
  6. Grease a deep 9-inch round cake pan. Preheat oven to 325F. 
  7. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  8. Stir in the ground almonds and vanilla, then add the eggs.
  9. Add the blood orange zest and juice, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. 
  10. Slice the blood oranges and arrange in the base of the prepared pan.
  11. Spoon the mixture into the pan and bake for 60 to 65 minutes, until golden.
  12. Leave for 10 minutes, then turn out and let cool slightly. 
  13. When the cake is still warm, brush the blood orange syrup on the top.
  14. Smash the almonds and sprinkle over the cake; serve warm.

Tip: Once the cake is cooked, leave it to rest in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn it out and allow it to cool upside down for five minutes. 

Variation: You can also do this recipe with slices of pineapple instead of blood oranges, if you prefer. 

Reprinted with permission from Abi Fawcett's My Cooking Class: Cake Basics (Firefly Booksm Ltd., 2012)