Cakes Loaves + Quickbreads Spring Winter

Blood Orange Loaf Cake

blood orange cake with icing on marble
blood orange cake sliced

I’m sort of obsessed with blood oranges, as you may have guessed after seeing my Olive Oil Sugar Cookies with Blood Orange Icing. As I am immersed in gray winter days, the shock of bright purple segments hiding under that rusty orange peel brings light and warmth into our little home.

This loaf cake is the perfect vessel for these oranges. It’s crammed full of zest, has a tender crumb, and is brushed with a blood orange glaze. The oil keeps the loaf light and moist, and the orange flavor is perfectly sweet-tart. There is some sun in this snow country after all.

This recipe is adapted from my first book, The Vanilla Bean Baking Book, it is a variation of the Lemon Bread on page 96. I like to use regular orange juice in the bread base, and blood orange juice in the icing so it turns a pretty pink shade, but you can mix and match as you see fit.

blood orange olive oil cake, sliced

More Blood Orange Recipes:

blood orange olive oil cake with pink knife next to it

Moist Blood Orange Loaf Cake

Servings: 10 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Cooling Time: 15 minutes
This easy to make loaf cake is full of orange zest, has a tender crumb and is brushed with a blood orange glaze. The oil keeps the loaf light and moist, and the orange flavor is perfectly sweet-tart.
Sarah Kieffer
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate


  • 1 3/4 cups [249 g] all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup [120 g] sour cream at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup [60 g] orange juice
  • 8 tablespoons [1 stick or 113 g] unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cup [250 g] granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon triple sec or other orange liqueur, optional
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 to 3 tablespoons blood orange juice
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 cup [120 g] confectioners’ sugar


  • 9x4x4 inch Pullman pan


  • Adjust an oven rack to the middle position. Preheat the oven to 350F [180C]. Grease an 8 by 4 in [20 by 10 cm] loaf pan or a 9 by 4 by 4 in [23 by 10 by 10 cm] Pullman pan and line with a parchment sling.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and baking soda. In a small bowl, whisk the sour cream and orange juice.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter on medium until smooth. Add the sugar, zest, and salt and beat on medium until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well on medium after each addition and scraping down the sides as needed. Add the oil and vanilla and mix on low until combined. Add half the flour mixture and mix on low until almost combined. Add the sour cream mixture and mix on low to incorporate. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix on low until completely combined.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake 45 to 60 minutes, until a wooden skewer or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the bread cool for 15 minutes. Use the parchment sling to remove the bread from the pan, then let it finish cooling on the wire rack.
  • While the bread is cooling, make the icing: in a small bowl, whisk together the melted butter, 1 tablespoon orange juice, and the salt. Add the confectioner’s sugar a mix together, then whisk until well combined and smooth. Add more orange juice, 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed, to reach the desired consistency.
  • Pour the glaze over the bread when it is just warm to the touch. Let the bread finish cooling and the glaze set, then slice and serve. The bread can be served cold or at room temperature. Store leftover bread in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


I only use a little bit of olive oil in the bread, but the flavor goes a long way. You can use canola or vegetable oil instead. 
  • Reply
    sally w
    Friday, February 23, 2024 at 9:00 am

    This loaf looks amazingly delicious -can’t wait to make and take it to my family in Canada.
    Please, can you tell me can it be frozen with the blood orange glaze on it?
    With thanks,

    • Reply
      Sarah Kieffer
      Friday, April 26, 2024 at 8:41 am

      Hi Sally – I haven’t tried freezing it with the glaze, so I’m not sure. I think it would hold up ok, but it if did crack or look wonky, you could always make a little more glaze and coat the top again after it thawed.

  • Reply
    Friday, March 31, 2023 at 2:04 am

    5 stars
    I just made the Moist Blood Orange Loaf Cake this evening and it’s absolutely delicious! As the name states, the loaf is very moist and packed with a wonderful orange flavor. The glaze tastes amazing and is such a beautiful color. I will be taking a loaf to my daughters house for Easter.

  • Reply
    Friday, March 24, 2023 at 8:34 pm

    Going to try this now but am out of sour cream! Hoping Greek yogurt will be an okay sub!

  • Reply
    Thursday, June 27, 2013 at 1:38 am

    Wow, your photography is absolutely gorgeous! I can’t wait to try this! There are not enough blood orange recipes out there!!

    • Reply
      Thursday, June 27, 2013 at 8:44 am

      Thank you so much Caitlin!

  • Reply
    Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 3:41 am

    I don’t have buttermilk, but I have coconut milk, the consistency is nearly the same…do you think it would work?
    LOVE your blog!

    • Reply
      vanilla bean blog
      Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 12:43 am

      Thank you April! And, I think it should work. I can’t see why it wouldn’t. Let me know if you make it, and how it turns out!

  • Reply
    Wednesday, February 8, 2012 at 12:30 am

    Just stumbled onto your lovely blog. New subscriber 🙂

    • Reply
      vanilla bean blog
      Wednesday, February 8, 2012 at 2:00 pm

      Thank you Laura! And thanks for all your Twitter love. It made my day.

  • Reply
    Lauren Knight
    Thursday, January 26, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    I love the colors in this! I must see if I can find some blood oranges to try this out! Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    kale @ tastes good to me!
    Monday, January 23, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    Love the spatter of the blood orange glaze!

  • Reply
    Friday, January 20, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    Oh! I’m in love with your cake!
    I got it in my mind to make a blood orange loaf cake a couple of weeks back but couldn’t find any blood oranges. I made it with clementines instead and it was nice, but nothing special. Yours is exactly the cake I wanted to make, except I’d never have thought of that gorgeous red glaze. It’s absolutely beautiful and the perfect way to add the blood red colour to the dish (as it doesn’t seem to make it through the dough). Gorgeous 🙂

  • Reply
    Thursday, January 19, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    Sounds and looks amazing!

  • Reply
    my little celebration
    Thursday, January 19, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    Pretty Pretty Pictures! And beautiful cake! This looks too luscious not to try.

5 from 5 votes (4 ratings without comment)

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