Time to make our blood orange buttermilk pound cake! It’s always around this time of year that we begin swimming in citrus. 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.

Blood Orange Buttermilk Pound Cake Recipe on cooling rack

Blood Orange Pound Cake Recipe

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 Tree with Blood Oranges @whiteonrice

Slices of citrus for cake recipe WhiteOnRiceCouple.com

Finding the Answers to Our Dying Tree

After many phone calls to nurseries, conversations with Master gardeners and hours researching online we found the answer.  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.

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. 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 WhiteOnRiceCouple.com

Blood Orange Pops Recipe

Blood Orange Pops Recipe on WhiteOnRiceCouple.com

Blood Orange Ricotta Cookies Recipe 

Blood Orange Ricotta Cookies on WhiteOnRiceCouple.com

Blood Orange Chocolate Chip Muffins Recipe

Blood Orange and Chocolate Muffins on WhiteOnRiceCouple.com

Click Here for—> More Blood Orange Recipes

Visit complete list of–>  Cocktail Recipes here.Classic Margarita Recipe : a refreshing cocktail for all occasions on WhiteOnRiceCouple.com

This recipe was originally published in 2014 and re-published in 2019 with updated recipe notes. 

Blood Orange Buttermilk Poundcake

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.
Makes one 8.5 inch x 4.5 inch loaf
4.89 from 18 votes


  • 1 3/4 cups (220g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons (10ml) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 cup (113g or one stick) butter , at room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) sugar
  • finely grated zest of 2 blood oranges
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) fresh blood orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) buttermilk *see note below

For the sauce:

  • 1-2 Tablespoons (15 -30ml) fresh blood orange juice (depending on how thick you like your sauce)
  • 1/2 cup (60g) confectioners’ sugar


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 8.5 inch x 4.5 inch loaf pan.
  • Whisk or sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt for about 20 seconds or until well combined. Set aside.
  • Beat together the butter, sugar, blood orange zest and blood orange juice until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes in a stand mixer). Scrape the sides of the bowl and beat in the vanilla extract and egg.
  • Add the buttermilk and the dry flour mixture to the butter/egg batter. Carefully stir the batter until combined, but don’t overmix (it will be a thick batter), making sure to scrape the sides of the bowl.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for about 45 minutes - 1 hour, or until golden and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center. 
  • When cool enough to handle, gently remove the pound cake from the pan. 
  • 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.


Note 1: To quickly make a homemade buttermilk, combine 1 cup of milk with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice (or in the case of this recipe - 1/2 cup milk-1/2 tablespoon lemon juice)
Stir to combine and allow to sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes. Use as directed for buttermilk in the recipe. 

Nutrition Information per Serving

Calories: 352kcal, Carbohydrates: 55g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 55mg, Sodium: 524mg, Potassium: 83mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 34g, Vitamin A: 433IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 89mg, Iron: 2mg