As we're in peak citrus season, this blood orange cake is a must-bake. It's made with olive oil, which perfectly balances the sweetness and tang from the oranges. It also happens to be vegan and gluten-free, making it a great option for when hosting friends with dietary restrictions.
I could not tell you the last time I made a sheet cake. I have a true love for making round layered cakes. There's just something about icing and decorating them that brings me so much joy... But, I don't always have time to make them. While they're not difficult to make, there are additional steps when making a layered cake. And that means extra dishes too - ugh!
But, this blood orange cake seemed like a happy compromise. It's so easy to make and it's still delicious and beautiful. It comes together in just a couple of quick steps and is definitely a crowd-pleaser.
What you'll need to make this cake:
- Blood oranges
- Olive oil
- 1:1 GF Mix (this is what I used)
- Cane sugar
- Ground flaxseed
- Baking soda
- Baking powder
- Sea salt
- Parchment paper
- 9"x13" baking pan (or something similar) - because I know someone will ask, this is the baking pan pictured. We got it as a wedding gift, and I LOVE it!
Tips for making the blood orange cake:
- Have a variety of colors: While blood oranges come in all different shades of crimson, sometimes you end up with a bunch that are all the same color. It happens... That's why I always keep a couple of regular oranges on-hand. Yes, I realize it's kind of cheating, but having an array of colors will make the cake really pop. Of course, it'll taste delicious either way!
- Before cutting the oranges, have a plan: I've kept the rinds on the oranges, but I will admit that they are bitter. If you or any of your guests are particularly sensitive to bitterness, you may want to remove the rinds.
- Line and grease the pan really well: This recipe is for an upside down cake, meaning you put the orange slices down first and then pour the batter over. The photos are a little misleading because I had already flipped the cake over!
- Let the cake chill overnight: If possible, let the cake chill overnight before removing from the pan or serving. Since it is gluten-free, it is a little more fragile and chilling helps make it sturdier. If you want to serve the day of, just be extra careful when you flip the cake over.
- Use an extra sharp knife to cut: Cutting through dried oranges is not the easiest of tasks. You'll need an extra sharp knife to get clean cuts.
Looking for more vegan treats? Try these favorites:
- ⅓ cup (56g) cornmeal
- 2 cups (316g) 1:1 gluten-free flour (or all-purpose flour)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 tablespoons (28g) orange juice
- 1 cup (207g) cane sugar
- 3 tablespoons ground flaxseed
- ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon filtered water
- 1 cup (200g) extra virgin olive oil
- Pre-heat the oven to 350F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9"x13" baking dish (or similar sized dish) and line with parchment paper. Lightly grease the parchment with a little more oil.
- Thinly slice oranges (about ⅛") and remove peels, if desired. If possible, use oranges that have different colors to add more interest. In total, you should have about 15 slices. Line the pan with the slices.
- Add ground flax and water to a small bowl and mix to combine. Let sit until texture is goopy and resembles that of an egg.
- Whisk dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl.
- Combine sugar, orange juice, and flax egg and whisk vigorously until mixture is smoothy and fluffy. About 3 minutes.
- Slowly add olive oil into the sugar mixture and continue whisking until thickened.
- Add dry ingredients to wet and mix until combined. If using all-purpose flour (vs. gluten-free), do NOT overmix.
- Pour batter over the orange slices and carefully spread the batter until smooth and even.
- Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, rotating midway.
- Allow cake to cool thoroughly before removing from pan. If possible, refrigerate cake overnight to set-up before serving.
Store cake in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 166Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 494mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 2gSugar: 10gProtein: 3g