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!
blood orange & cranberry loaf
(adapted from The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook)
2 c all-purpose flour
3/4 c or 1 c sugar (depending on your sweet tooth)
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1 t salt
zest from 3 oranges
3/4 c blood orange juice (about 3 oranges)
1 large egg, at room temperature
2T unsalted butter, melted
1 c cranberries, coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour a loaf tin. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and orange zest. In another bowl, combine the orange juice, egg and melted butter together. Add in the flour mixture and stir until just blended. Throw in the cranberries and combine. Pour batter into tin and bake for about 1 hour or until cake tester comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack.