Blood Orange Buttermilk Pound Cake

Blood Orange Buttermilk Pound Cake Recipe on WhiteOnRiceCouple.comIt’s always around this time of year that we begin swimming in citrus and every meal (and drink!) has some splash of fragrant juice. You can call it a garden obsession, but we’re not far from being finished. Last week we planted another (our third) blood orange tree and it wasn’t in-celebration to grow more, but rather, to replace one blood orange tree that had completely died on us.

So this blog post has mixed emotions, both sadness for losing a beloved tree and joy of giving another tree life in our garden. We’re ready to move on and celebrate blood oranges.

Call it over-zealous gardening or perhaps too much attention to care which resulted in overwatering. After ten years, our beloved first blood orange tree completely died. We were in shock and speechless when it started to deteriorate after only 4 weeks of peaking out with hundreds of blood oranges. With still about one hundred pounds of blood oranges to pick, the tree quickly started to yellow and lose it’s leaves.

Blood Orange Buttermilk Pound Cake Recipe on

After many phone calls to nurseries, conversations with Master gardeners and hours researching online, the conclusion was that our tree was being over watered.

We killed our own tree? Did we really hurt it? After a phase of feeling guilt for nurturing the tree too much, we realized we shouldn’t be punishing ourselves for loving something too much. In fact, we saw it as a learning experience on how to care for older established trees and not baby-ing it like a toddler-tree.

As we said good-bye to our first blood orange tree for all the years of beautiful juice, zest, cocktails and love, we celebrated its contribution to our garden with this blood orange buttermilk pound cake. It’s delicious and beautiful, just like the tree that we loved so much.

We’re grateful for all the wonderful blood oranges that have graced our kitchen and hope you’ll enjoy this Seasons bounty of blood oranges too.

-diane and todd

Here’s some of our previous blood orange recipes you might enjoy:

Blood Orange Bars with Brown Butter Crust Recipe 

Blood Orange Bars with Brown Butter Crust on WhiteOnRiceCouple

Blood Orange Margarita Recipe 

Blood Orange Margarita on

Blood Orange Pops Recipe

Blood Orange Pops Recipe on

Blood Orange Ricotta Cookies Recipe 

Blood Orange Ricotta Cookies on

Blood Orange Chocolate Chunk Cookies Recipe

Blood Orange and Chocolate Muffins on

Blood Orange Buttermilk Poundcake

Yield: 1 Loaf

Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Adapted from Fine Cooking's Lemon Buttermilk Pound Cake. Our pound cake is made with blood orange juice and zest but to really highlight the flavor of blood oranges we will serve this loaf with a quick and easy blood orange sauce either drizzled over top or alongside to dunk in.


  • 1 3/4 cups (220g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 cup (113g or one stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) sugar
  • finely grated zest of 2 blood oranges
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) fresh blood orange juice

For the sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons (45ml) fresh blood orange juice
  • 1/2 cup (60g) confectioners’ sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease a 8.5 inch x 4.5 inch loaf pan.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt for 20 seconds or until well combined. Set aside.
  3. Beat together the butter, sugar and blood orange zest until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes in a stand mixer. Scrape the sides of the bowl and beat in the eggs, one at a time until blended.
  4. Mix in 1/3 of the flour mixture until just combined. Mix in the buttermilk and blood orange juice until just combined. Mix in the remaining flour until just combined, making sure to scrape the sides of the bowl.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for about 1 hour or until golden and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center. Let the cake cool for about 20 minutes.
  6. Gently remove the pound cake from the pan. Allow to cool completely.
  7. After the cake is completely cool, make the sauce. Whisk together the blood orange juice and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Spoon the sauce over the pound cake or serve alongside to dunk in.
Recipe Source:

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Recipe Note for Salt: All recipes containing salt are based on kosher or sea salt amounts, not table salt. If using table salt, reduce the amount used to taste.

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

    Can there be a prettier looking cake…It’s Yummm and all the best for the new plant :)

  2. Car Rental Kuala Lumpur

    the photo is stunning..the cake looks so good

  3. Lindsay

    Can I make this in a 9×5 inch pan?

    1. White on Rice Couple

      You should be able to but we never have so I’m not 100% sure how it will come out.

  4. valentina

    I’m am madly in love with your images of the oranges. Stunning.

  5. Carla

    Usually most people kill plants by not watering enough, so at least you gave it lots of love and nourishment! You’re so lucky to be growing blood orange trees. I’d love to have one myself. Instead, I’ll have to settle for this cake 😉

  6. Trevor Sis. Boom

    YOu really have no idea how much I hate you right now.

  7. Carlinne @Cook with 2 Chicks

    This looks absolutely amazing! So sorry about your tree. I love blood oranges and all of your recipes are calling out to me.

  8. Christine @ pressure cooker reviews

    I went ahead and tried this, this makes such a yummy filled cake and the amount was perfect. So good Gina, I love love love this site. I have made so many of these recipes.

  9. Elicia

    Beautiful!! What type of blood orange tree did you plant? I’m am looking to plant one and would love a recommendation on the best variety. Thanks!

    1. White on Rice Couple

      We put in another Moro blood orange. Same variety we always have planted because we love them so much. Good luck.

  10. Abby

    Aghh! Beautiful. And yum.

    I bet this would be equally rockin’ with a sweet winter grapefruit.

  11. Judy

    You watered your tree? How do trees in the world grow without being watered? We had a ‘cooking apple’ tree in our back garden and we never watered it.
    I can’t get lovely blood oranges. I presume ordinary oranges are fine? That’s what I’ve been doing lately trying to get back into cooking and baking and I’ve been baking orange and lemon cakes not that successfully I’m afraid
    My orange chiffon sunk and my lemon burnt on the top. That sort of thing never ever ever happened to me in the past. Help! :-(

  12. cheri

    So sorry about your tree, we are having trouble with our pink grapefruit tree this year. We have lived here 20 years and it has always been there for us and our neighbor this time of year. Beautiful recipe and pics.

  13. mimi

    I hope it’s okay to have pinned this cake. I’ll probably never make it, but I have spent much time just staring at it. it’s beautiful.

  14. Darya

    I just made this cake, and it was delicious! Not too sweet, so moist, and full of the delicious flavor or the blood oranges. I loved it and will definitely make it again… soon!

  15. Laura (Tutti Dolci)

    Gorgeous cake, the blood orange sauce is stunning!

  16. Kira - The Healthable Old Soul

    Are blood oranges in season? They have been a hit lately if they are.

    I love the idea of a buttermilk pound cake. To me, I find a difference between a regular cake and a pound cake and I think the pound cake is just much better.

  17. Cate @ Chez CateyLou

    This pound cake is absolutely gorgeous! That blood orange icing on top is beautiful and looks so delicious! I hope your new blood orange tree thrives!

  18. Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence

    So sorry for the loss of your blood orange tree! You two always have the best blood orange recipes :) Glad there’s a new member of the garden family to take its place.

  19. Vickie

    So sorry to hear about your blood orange tree! I have one also – a small one – so I am thrilled to get your recipes. I think I may be killing my Mexican lime tree – I’m not sure how.

  20. Annalise @ Completely Delicious

    Gorgeous cake!

  21. Cristina

    I’m so sorry about your blood orange tree. It is very sad to lose a tree that gave so much joy. We are going on year two with our blood orange tree without fruit. Hopefully this year there will be some gems to enjoy next winter. Beautiful BO pound cake and all your other posts using blood oranges. Look forward to trying some of them with our own citrus treats! :)

  22. Lizthechef

    We lost our blood orange tree as well. I think they are trickier to grow than many citrus trees…

  23. JulieD

    10 years is a long time. I’m so sorry about your tree, I know how much you love and nurture that beautiful garden of yours and this must be tough! As I read your tribute to the blood orange tree, I can’t help but think that it could be a metaphor for some facet of life but I can’t put my finger on it yet. Lots of love to you both!

    This pound cake is beautiful!

  24. Gina @ Running to the Kitchen

    This cake is absolutely stunning. I can’t even imagine the possibilities if I had a blood orange tree in my backyard. It took me about 2 weeks and 5 different stores to find those beauties in NY last month. And when I did, I think I spent about $30 in oranges. :)

  25. Belinda@themoonblushbaker

    Wow the colours are warming my heart and I am in Australia right now. The photos are stunning and bright; and on that cake? serious stuff!

  26. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    The colour of the top of this cake is so freaking gorgeous. LOVE it!

  27. Melissa

    What a beautiful cake. Yes we have issues like that in our garden. Loving the plants to much.

  28. Averie @ Averie Cooks

    You two and your blood orange recipes make me drool every time! This is your best yet! So, so stunning! pinned

  29. Lily (A Rhubarb Rhapsody)

    I’m sorry for your gardening loss! Hopefully your new one will thrive so you can keep producing lovely blood orange recipes. :)

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