This blood orange cake makes great use of a seasonal citrus treat – and topped with crunchy popcorn and drizzled with blood orange glaze for a sweet and crunchy texture. Blood oranges have distinctly dark colored flesh compared to regular navel oranges and their flavor is more tart and a touch more bitter but with notes of raspberry. The unique taste and appearance makes them highly sought after during their season from early winter to early spring.
Mixing the blood red juice of these oranges with powdered sugar creates the pink tone of the glaze but. But you can still the flavor even when the fruit is no longer in season by using bottled blood orange juice. After all, this cake is too good to restrict to just one season!
We like baking it in a bundt pan because the center column of the pan helps distribute the oven heat evenly and results in a perfectly baked cake. We also take advantage of that center hole to fill with popcorn before glazing because we love a little crunch in our desserts. When the glaze firms up on top of the popcorn, it creates a candy-like shell that you’ll want more of. But, hey, you can always double the glaze recipe and just pour it over a separate bowl of popcorn.
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and butter and flour a bundt cake pan.
Tip: To insure easy release from a bundt pan, try using baking spray with flour added.
In a stand mixer, cream together the unsalted butter and granulated sugar for a few minutes until fully incorporated. Beat in the eggs, one at a time and then add the blood orange zest and blood orange juice.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients into the wet and mix just until combined.
Pour the dough into the prepared bundt pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool before removing from the pan and glazing.
To make the glaze, add the confectioner's sugar, blood orange juice, milk or cream and salt to a small bowl. Whisk together until smooth.
Tip: If your glaze is too thick, add more blood orange juice or milk, one teaspoon at a time until you like the consistency. If your glaze is too thin, add more confectioner's sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time.
Pile the popped popcorn in the center of the cooled cake so that some falls through the center hole. Drizzle the blood orange glaze over the popcorn and the sides of the cake.
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