Blood Orange Olive Oil Bundt Cake {w/sesame seeds}

I was super nervous about this cake for several reasons. 1) The recipe was just hands down odd. It called to pulverize whole citrus fruit in the blender or food processor. 2) When I tasted the batter while folding it into the cake pan, I made the snake face. It was sooooo bitter.  Soooooo bitter that I got paranoid about how the cake would taste once baked and dumped a bunch of sugar onto the top of the batter. (I later read the rest of the recipe and discovered the cake would be brushed with a citrus syrup glaze and topped with whipped cream but I wasn’t sure this would be enough to mitigate the bitter taste of the batter.) 3) I had no idea how long to bake the cake because I was using a bigger pan than the original recipe called for.

Looking back at this recipe I’m amazed it even turned out. I intended to multiply the recipe by 1 1/2 so I could bake it in a bundt pan instead of a spring form (didn’t have access to a spring form pan). However, it looks like I doubled a few ingredients by mistake (olive oil + flour). More correctly I doubled the cup number but multiplied the tablespoon number by 1 1/2. No, I wasn’t drinking while baking this cake so I can’t explain how this happened other than to say my mind is very scattered these days.

Despite that gaffe and having no idea how long to bake the cake (40 to 45 minutes was likely sufficient; I set the timer for 60), this cake turned out oddly good. It has a bitter after taste and I can’t decide if it’s because I threw whole oranges into the batter or cobbled the orange juice simple syrup together with some grapefruit (ran out of oranges!). It actually tasted even better the next day. It was like the bitterness had completely tempered. And I liked the taste of it cold. I do not normally like to eat cake cold – I feel like it changes the texture/taste of the cake. But in this instances the cake is so dense I almost think it made the texture/taste even better.

The original recipe (found at the Baker Chick–also a former Wisconsin girl!) was for a clementine and olive oil cake. I used blood oranges because I had them on hand and I’m mildly obsessed with them right now. My ingredients list below is based on multiplying Audra’s originally recipe by 1.5, which again, isn’t what I actually did. But I have to believe her recipe will work in a bundt pan cake when directions are followed as written.


  • Blood oranges equalling 480g
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 ½ c. sugar
  • ¾ c. plus 1 ½ T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 c. plus 1 1/2 T. all purpose flour
  • 1 ½ T. baking powder
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • Sesame seeds (optional)

topping ingredients.

  • ⅔ c. orange juice
  • ⅓ c. sugar
  • 1 c. heavy whipping cream
  • 2 to 3 T. powdered sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Liberally grease a bundt pan with butter and sprinkle with sesame seeds, if using.
  2. In the bowl of a blender or food processor, add the oranges and process until you have a smooth pulp. If necessary, add some of the olive oil to the blender. Pour into a large bowl and whisk in the eggs, sugar, and (remaining) oil.
  3. Sprinkle the flour, baking powder, and salt on top of the wet ingredients. Whisk together gently and then combine with the rest of the batter. Pour batter into the cake pan.
  4. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean or with little moist bits of cake attached. (My preference is to have bits of moist cake attached.)
  5. While the cake is baking make the citrus syrup. In a small saucepan combine the orange juice and sugar. Stir until the sugar has dissolved and cook over medium heat, allowing the syrup to boil, until it has reduced down about half – you want a thicker syrup instead of a runny liquid.
  6. Turn cake out of the pan onto a rack or plate.
  7. Prick the top with a toothpick. Generously brush the cake with the syrup.
  8. Beat the whipped cream to medium peaks, stirring in powdered sugar, then continue to whip until a bit more firm.
  9. Top the cake with whipped cream. Enjoy room temperature or cold.

Recipe rating: 

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