Buying produce because of how pretty is it is something I try not to do too often, but once in a while I give in. This time the lure wasn’t so much the produce itself, but the knowledge of what I could make with it. And this blood orange poppyseed loaf cake didn’t disappoint. I mean, come on, that pink icing is ridiculous.
Add in some rainbows, and you have a recipe for some seriously photogenic bread.
My cats, especially Adventurous, LOVE to try to get right in front of whatever I’m photographing. I guess it’s another variation of when cats get in front of what you’re reading–they just want your attention to be on them.
I thought I was being smart when I tried to use a mandoline to slice the blood oranges for the top of this cake, but it was a total failure. They got kind of squished and sad. So learn from my mistake, and cut them as thinly as possible with a sharp knife.
The recipes I based this on had double the amount of pink glaze I made, plus some had a syrup that you let soak into the cake before it cools. I felt like this would be way too sweet for my taste, plus the addition of applesauce will keep it from getting too dry. My tastes do tend to be on the less sweet side these days, though, so if you like things sweeter, you may want to try adding the syrup, or more glaze.
Blood Orange Poppyseed Loaf Cake
2½ cups (350 g) all purpose flour
2 Tbsp poppy seeds
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1 cup almond milk, or other non-dairy milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil, or melted coconut oil
1/2 cup applesauce
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed blood orange juice, 1-2 oranges
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp blood orange zest, 2-4 oranges
For the Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
2 1/2 tbsp blood orange juice
Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C).
Grease and flour three 3×6 pans or one 9×5 loaf pan, and set aside.
In a bowl, combine the flour, poppy seeds, orange zest, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and mix with a whisk.
In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, almond milk, oil, applesauce, 2 tbsp blood orange juice, and vanilla extract. Whisk together.
Create a well in the flour mixture, pour in the liquid mixture, and mix until it is just combined. Do not over mix!
Pour the cake batter into the prepared loaf pans. Top with blood orange sliced as thinly as you can slice it, packed fairly close together (they’ll spread out when baked).
Bake in the preheated oven for 50- 55 mins, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake come out clean.
Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan. Let cool completely on a rack.
Mix the powdered sugar and 2 1/2 tbsp orange juice until smooth and lump free.
Pour the glaze over the cake and spread to cover all of it.
If you want a sweeter cake, you can double the glaze above, and if you want it even sweeter, add the following syrup before letting the cake cool completely and adding the glaze. I liked it without the syrup, as written above, but your taste may differ from mine.
Optional Syrup: Combine 1/3 cup fresh blood orange juice with 1 Tbsp sugar in a saucepan. Heat over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture just comes to a boil. Remove from the heat.
While the cake is still warm, slowly pour the syrup over the top of the loaf, letting it soak in.