Cooking with Manuela: Italian Blood Orange Cake

Soft and moist Italian blood orange cake, drizzled with orange juice and decorated with fresh orange slices and candied orange peels

Here it is! As promised, here is the recipe for the most voted blood-orange dessert on my Instagram story. If you follow me on Instagram (… it’s not too late to do it now ;)), you’d know that I’ve partnered up with CSO (Centro Servizi Ortofrutticoli), and @freshupyourlife.usa to bring you two delicious desserts made with the best, high-quality blood orange juice coming right from Italy.

First, this delicate, soft and orange cake, topped with fresh blood orange slices and sugar-covered candied orange peel. 

And second, a luscious, velvety and rich orange cheesecake, topped with blood orange syrup and caramelized orange slices. Take a look! 

These two are oh-so different in texture, baking time and technique, yet both are deliciously infused with the sweet and tangy aroma of oranges. And not only these oranges are beautiful and flavorful, but also good for you (rich in antioxidants and an excellent source of Vitamin C and A). 

Read more about Fresh Up Your Life project here. 

I think I will need to share the recipe of my cheesecake too. What do you think?!?

Now, let’s get baking! 

TIME:  one hour

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175 ° C).

Melt the butter cut in pieces in a double boiler or in the microwave  (for 30 seconds, than add 10 seconds intervals, as necessary). Let it cool down.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs with the sugar.

Add the vanilla extract, the melted butter, the salt, orange zest and juice. Beat well.

Whisk in the flour and the baking powder. Mix until just combined (don’t over mix!).
Grease a 9 in. (23 cm) pan (with removable bottom) with butter and flour. I used parchment paper for the bottom, and only greased the sides. Pour the batter and level with a spoon.

Bake at 350°F (175 ° C) for 40 to 45 minutes, until slightly golden on top. Turn off the oven and let the cake rest inside the oven for five minutes. 

Poke holes on top of the cake with a toothpick, and when still hot, slowly pour some orange juice on top (you can sweeten the juice if you’d like) Let the cake cool down and absorb the liquid .

To decorate, top with sliced oranges and sugar coated candied peels.


To make these, use a zester or potato peeler and cut thin slices (matchsticks) of orange peel (the orange part only), simmer in a little water for 10 minutes. Remove from the water and let the peels dry completely. Toss with sugar when dry. 


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