completely smitten, cranberry & blood orange loaf

I’ve been completely taken with blood oranges. They’re everywhere in the markets now and it is a lovely way to send off winter. Pink, fragrant and just a little bit tart, I love you blood orange, you make me hopeful!

A few days ago I made a delicious blood orange/lemon/honey-ade. Tart and refreshing, it quenched my desire for a summer drink…powerful stuff, since I had woken up Friday morning with a serious craving for a root beer float. And then, there was the issue of cake. I wanted something sweet but not too decadent and when I stumbled across the The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook‘s recipe for an orange-cranberry loaf, I knew I had found my weekend cake calling.

While it’s not a gooey frosted cake, it is one tasty loaf. It’s dense and slices wonderfully. I made the recipe as is, subbing in blood oranges but next time I make this I’ll reduce the sugar. It’s definitely sweet….and a bit too sweet for my taste buds. It’s quick to whip up before guests arrive, the batter is pleasingly pink and pretty, and there’s only 2 tablespoons of butter in the entire recipe. Not bad for a lovely little loaf!

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34 comments to “completely smitten, cranberry & blood orange loaf”

  1. 1
    radish   March 31, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    i love cakes like this — cranberries just make everything better.

  2. 2
    Maggie   March 31, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    Yum. I am all about the blood oranges.

  3. 3
    VeggieGirl   March 31, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    Can you believe that I have YET to try a blood orange??? Sad, I know.

    Looove that cake!!

  4. 4
    Dawn   March 31, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    Umm yeah I can see why. Man this looks good!!

  5. 5
    brie   March 31, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    I made this recipe recently too, except I made the orange and poppyseed variation (no cranberries in the house). I used clementines and it turned out quite nicely. However, I found that the batter was a little too doughy when I made it so I added some milk—I’m thinking the clementines didn’t yield quite as much juice as was required.

    I love the pink from the blood oranges!

  6. 6
    kickpleat   March 31, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    Maggie, me too! I love them.

    Radish, I completely agree :)

    What’s up, VeggieGirl? Get yourself to a market now!! And pick up a couple kumquats too :)

    Definitely Dawn!

    Brie, that’s where I “stumbled” onto the recipe…I added a link to your site in the post. Thanks for the discovery.

  7. 7
    EAT!   March 31, 2009 at 5:07 pm

    I picked up a half dozen blood oranges by mistake at the market – thanks for the new recipe to try them in.

  8. 8
    Bijoux   March 31, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    I first tried a blood orange or a ‘sanguinello’ as they call them in Europe when I lived in Europe…They sold sanguinello juice at the supermarket and I was so captivated by its colour and aroma. I have had no luck whatsoever in tracking them down in Toronto, hmpf…I bet this cake tastes incredible!!

  9. 9
    Sarah   March 31, 2009 at 6:40 pm

    What a fun loaf!

  10. 10
    eatme_delicious   March 31, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    Now I want to go make a loaf! Yours looks gorgeous.

  11. 11
    Not Another Omnivore   March 31, 2009 at 8:43 pm

    That loaf looks crazy before you bake it! I cannot stop looking at it!

    NAOmni

  12. 12
    CookiePie   April 1, 2009 at 5:40 am

    That looks delicious!! So pretty-in-pink with the lovely blood oranges. I bet if you had a slice toasted with cream cheese it would cut the sweetness a bit :)

  13. 13
    eileen   April 1, 2009 at 8:48 am

    Pink batter! yes!

    My favorite way to have blood orange is as freshly reamed juice. Oh yeah.

  14. 14
    Jessica   April 1, 2009 at 8:48 am

    What a yummy blog you have. Literally. How long do you think it’ll take me to catch up with all of your delicious posts? ;)

  15. 15
    Hayley   April 1, 2009 at 10:28 am

    This looks gorgeous! I love anything pink.

  16. 16
    Culinary Wannabe   April 1, 2009 at 10:44 am

    The pink batter is too pretty! Sounds like the perfect cake for the start of spring.

  17. 17
    kickpleat   April 1, 2009 at 11:04 am

    Eat, picking up all those oranges isn’t a mistake at all!

    Bijoux, if you can’t find blood oranges, just sub in the normal kind. I’m surprised you can’t find any in TO.

    Thanks Sarah!

    Eatme, it is!

    Naomi, it’s true, it does look pretty incredible. I was wondering if it would retain any pinkness, but sadly it did not.

    Cookiepie, you just gilded the lily there!!

    haha, Kids Napping! Thanks :)

    Eileen, making juice with it is wonderful, I agree.

    I agree, Hayley!

    Culinary, I hope so! I so want some spring :)

  18. 18
    hag   April 1, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    You can’t beat anything with pink batter! This loaf looks tasty and soooo moist…Yum! I have never baked with blood oranges…so this is something I will have to try!

  19. 19
    Not Another Omnivore   April 1, 2009 at 6:32 pm

    The UP is an absolutely amazing place…unfortunately at this point it is much more amazing to visit than to actually live there. I hope something eventually restores the region…

    Anywho, I hope you make you way back there one day and when you do please make sure to accomplish the following:

    1. Ask a local for directions to the best pasty and eat it

    2. Soft serve from local joint

    3. Mackinaw Island fudge and ice cream

    4. Go to Eagle River, find the Eagle Harbor Inn and get pizza

    5. The Ambassador. Three cheese sub, pizza, and the nachos.

    You will thank me :)

    NAOmni

  20. 20
    jodye   April 1, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    This sounds absolutely heavenly, I am in LOVE with blood oranges!

  21. 21
    JC   April 2, 2009 at 10:02 am

    I love a colourful batter! Do you think it would work with cherries?

  22. 22
    Shannalee   April 2, 2009 at 11:14 am

    Bookmarked this to make later.

    Will it be completely sappy for me to say that it makes me happy how perfectly pink it is? Love.

  23. 23
    coyotemarie   April 2, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    Yesterday I happened to need a dessert recipe, so I made this after work and it was AMAZING! So delicious. Even with 3/4 c sugar (and dried cranberries instead) it was super sweet. I used some extra juice to make an icing, which was satisfyingly pink, but made it way too double-sweet. Now I’ll just have to make cupcakes or something too. :p Anyway, thanks for posting this!

  24. 24
    Dana   April 2, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    I just used blood oranges in a salad and, although I’m not a huge citrus fan in baked goods, the color made me thing I’ve got to try baking with them. You gave me the perfect idea! Love that color!

  25. 25
    glidingcalm   April 3, 2009 at 4:44 am

    Gorgeous loaf!! so pretty!

  26. 26
    Daily Spud   April 3, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    I just love the pinkness of the batter… Blood oranges are a rare enough treat around here, but always happy if I can get them.

  27. 27
    Celine   April 4, 2009 at 5:50 am

    I just finished a big bag of blood oranges, and I can’t find anymore over here. hold me?

  28. 28
    MB   April 4, 2009 at 6:41 am

    yes I adore blood oranges too. I juice them, with other fruits. I grate the zest onto roasted asparagus, with juice, olive oil, fleur de sel.

  29. 29
    Danielle   April 4, 2009 at 10:07 am

    Oh wow! That is some beautiful batter!!!!

  30. 30
    Maris   April 5, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    Pretty colors! Orange/cranberry is such a tasty combination, great for winter but refreshing enough for warm weather too!

  31. 31
    thecleanveggie   April 5, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    love blood oranges. this recipe sound sooo good!

  32. 32
    Aleta   April 6, 2009 at 9:53 am

    Do you know . . . I have the same blue plate at home! Really! Clearly you have excellent taste.

    In more food-related colour obsession, that might just be the prettiest bread batter I’ve ever seen.

  33. 33
    kickpleat   April 6, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    Hag, I agree the pink batter is pretty rad!

    Thanks for the UP tips, Omnivore!

    Oh it is heavenly, jodye!

    JC, try it out, I’m sure cherries would be just fine (just reduce the sugar by a bit!)

    Shannalee, I’m sappy for it too.

    coycotemarie, so glad you tried this!! hooray :)

    Dana, I love blood oranges for drinks so this was a nice surprise.

    Thanks glidingcalm.

    Well, at least you have home grown spuds, eh Spud?

    Oooh, so sad, Celine!

    MB, sounds delicious! I’ll try that when I get ahold of some asparagus.

    Thanks Danielle.

    It is good, cleanveggie!

    Maris, the tastes may say winter but the colour is so spring!

    Wow, amazing Aleta!! That is a coincidence since I thrifted that plate ages ago.

    Teagan, glad you loved this loaf :)

  34. 34
    Teagan   April 6, 2009 at 9:55 am

    This is a great recipe!! Everyone, try it!

    I made a loaf the other day (and blogged about it), and it is definitely a new favourite- so flavourful, but not overpoweringly sweet. A nice spring-y treat!

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