Vanilla Blood Orange Almond Cake


Happy Eleventh Blogiversary to Vegetarian & Cooking! This recipe made A LOT of cake. In addition to the cake pictured here, I also had enough extra batter for eighteen cupcakes. The blogiversary prep also took the entire month of February because I tried a different cake recipe that didn't turn out so I've had cake crumbs, cupcakes, and now slices of cake to deliver to friends. Early reviews of this Vanilla Blood Orange Almond Cake are very positive. You'll notice this isn't the first blood orange blogiversary cake I've made and I'll be honest I'm a little obsessed with it. 

This year of Vegetarian & Cooking was a little crazy because I bought a house this year (if you know, you know) but we're signed up for our annual CSA with Birdsong Farms again and I moved into 2023 with a renewed interest in cooking at home. As always, I'm honored some of you continue to follow this little project through the various stages of my life and there are only more good things to come. Like slices of this cake. 

Past Milestones:
Year One: S'mores Cake
Year Two: Whopper Cake
Year Three: Chocolate Turtle Cake
Year Four: Red Velvet Oreo Truffle Cake
Year Five: Almond Pear Cake
Year Six: Mulled Wine Chocolate Cake with Orange Mascarpone Cream
Year Seven: Pink Champagne Cake
Year Eight: Blood Orange Ricotta Cake
Year Ten: Lemon Layer Cake

Cake Recipe from Sugar Coated Cottage and Frosting from Baran Bakery.

Cake: all ingredients room temp
-4 cups cake flour
-2 3/4 cups sugar
-1 cup butter
-1/2 cup oil
-6 eggs
-1 1/2 cups buttermilk
-3 tablespoons blood orange zest
-1 1/2 tablespoon vanilla paste
-1 tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
-1 teaspoon salt
-1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Blood Orange Almond Syrup
-1/2 cup blood orange juice
-1/2 cup sugar
-1/4 tsp almond extract

Blood Orange Buttercream
-3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
-zest from 3 blood oranges
-6 cups powdered sugar, spooned and leveled
-1 teaspoon vanilla paste
-1/4 cup blood orange juice

Candied Blood Oranges (optional)
-1 1/2 cups water
-1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
-1 medium blood orange


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease five six-inch cake pans (and have a cupcake tin handy for the extra batter). One of my layers did break coming out of the cake pan so I wish I had waited to pour the cupcakes but I was able to salvage it in the middle of the cake.  

In a medium bowl combine the flour, salt, and baking powder. 

In the bowl of a mixer cream the butter and sugar until light fluffy. Add the oil and continue to mix together until well combined (about 2-3 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed). Add the eggs two at a time while mixing. Next add the almond extract, vanilla paste, and blood orange zest.

Turn the mixing speed to low and alternate adding the buttermilk and flour mixture until both are fully combined. 

Pour into the prepared cake pans (and cupcake pans if needed). 

Bake 30-35 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes in the cake pans before moving to a cooling rack.


Combine the blood orange juice and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the almond extract. 

In the bowl of a stand mixed beat the butter with the blood orange zest until it's pale and fluffy. Add half of the powdered sugar and beat until fully incorporated. Add the second half of the powdered sugar and continue beating for 5-10 minutes until the sugar is fully combined and the frosting is smooth.

Turn the mixer to low and slowly add the vanilla paste and blood orange juice. Fully combine.

CANDIED BLOOD ORANGE SLICES (optional garnish, need time to set)
Bring water to a simmer in a high sided skillet, add sugar and stir once to dissolve. 

Place the orange slices in the water (do not overlap) and simmer on medium heat for 15 minutes. Flip and simmer on low for another 15.

Remove from the sugar mixture and place on a cooking rack to cool. 

Brush the tops of each cake layer with the blood orange almond simple syrup. Stack the layers using frosting and decorate as desired. I used all but 3/4 cup of the frosting in the layers and on the outside of the cake. The candied blood orange slices were the only additional garnish added. 




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