It’s snowing! Here in northern Oregon, snow is not a guarantee in winter. We get lots of rain, but snow is elusive. It actually snowed about a week ago, but it was pockets of hit and miss. Some areas got dumped, and others got little to nothing. We were little to nothing. So I’m left to bake on a snowy day. I’m so happy I picked up some blood oranges at Trader Joe’s last Friday. Now I can settle in and make a blood orange poppyseed bundt cake.
Hooray for winter and citrus! I go a little crazy this time every year because I love blood oranges and Meyer lemons. There is something about being able to buy citrus when it’s snowing outside. It’s a reminder that winter affects us all differently.
I debated whether to make this into a cake or a bread. I decided on cake because I love this Heritage bundt pan. I knew I wasn’t going to do a frosting. So this is the perfect shape for a glaze.
How to zest citrus
If you already know how to zest citrus, you can ignore this section. But I didn’t want to assume that everybody knows what this is. Also called a microplane, a zester removes the outer layer of skin on lemons, limes, and oranges. OXO makes a good zester and I love the grip on this. You only want the colored part of the fruit, which adds a bright flavoring to your dishes. The white layer is bitter and no bueno.
Again with the creme fraiche?
I know what you’re thinking. “Why does she keep giving me recipes with creme fraiche?” And the answer is “Because it’s so dang good!”
Since I’ve been making my own creme fraiche (recipe found here), there really is no reason NOT to use it. It’s milder than sour cream and yet has the benefits of developing a nice texture. But if you don’t have it, or don’t want to make it, I suppose you can substitute sour cream, or even Greek yogurt. But I didn’t test those ingredients, so I don’t know if you’d have to adjust anything else. 🙂
Using blood orange extract
I am so excited about this. I recently found this awesome website that has so many different extracts, baking chips, spices, and flavored oils. Olive Nation has the best products. The blood orange extract, is the best and I feel like I should share the love! I added just a tiny bit of extract to the bundt cake and the smell while baking was intoxicating. A little goes a long way, so I only used 1/2 teaspoon for the blood orange poppyseed bundt cake.
When you use extracts for baking, make sure they are food grade and not an essential oil. Some website sell different flavorings that are not meant for consumption. Just a little PSA about using the right ingredients.
A little tip on creaming the butter and sugar
Again, if you’re a seasoned pro at baking and don’t need the tips shared here, jump on ahead to the recipe. But it’s worth mentioning that there’s a right and wrong way of creaming butter and sugar.
Butter should be at room temperature for many recipes. This means that if you pressed your finger on a stick of butter, it would leave a little impression. Unless a recipe calls for melted butter, do not melt the butter. It has different intended results that will affect the texture and taste of your recipe.
Whenever I cream butter and sugar, I always start with just the butter. A KitchenAid stand mixer fitted with the paddle does the job perfectly. Creaming butter does not take very long. In fact, if you cream the butter too long, the end result is much like a facial scrub. King Arthur has a blog called Flourish, with a great article on how to cream butter and sugar. You can find it here. The goal of creamed butter is to aerate it so the leavener can do its job. Light and fluffy is the look you want.
So now you’re ready to bake! Grab some blood oranges, poppyseeds and a bundt pan and you’re all set to make the blood orange and poppyseed cake!Print
For the cake:
- 2 1/2 cups | 12.5 ounces all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
- 2 tablespoons poppyseeds
- 1 1/2 cups | 10.5 ounces granulated sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 2/3 cup creme fraiche
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon blood orange extract
- grated zest of 2 blood oranges
For the glaze:
- 2 tablespoons blood orange juice
- 1 – 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons creme fraiche
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon poppyseeds (optional)
To make the cake:
- In a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, poppyseeds, and cardamom. Set aside
- In a small bowl combine the creme fraiche, milk, vanilla, blood orange extract, juice, and zest. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, cream the room temperature butter on medium low speed for 2 minutes. Mixture should be light and fluffy.
- Add the sugar and mix on medium low for 1 to 2 minutes more, til fully combined.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping the bowl after each addition.
- Alternate adding the flour and milk mixtures, starting and ending with the flour. Mix until just combined.
- Spray a Heritage bundt pan with non-stick and dust with flour. Remove excess.
- Pour batter into bundt pan, smoothing surface with a spatula. Batter is thick, so it may be necessary to spread the batter into the grooves of the pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 50-55 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean and the surface is a nice, golden brown.
- Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then cool completely on a wire rack.
For the glaze:
- Mix all ingredients in a small bowl and drizzle over cooled cake. If you do not plan to serve it immediately, hold off on the glaze as it will soften the cake.