Blood Orange Buttermilk Bundt Cake

Over the past few months, I’ve seen a bunch of pictures of bundt cakes with pink, blood orange icing—I just had to see for myself if it was really was that pink.


Spoiler alert: It really is bubblegum/Pepto Bismal pink.

I often get the question of where I come up with the things that I bake. To be honest, the answer is not really that exciting. In fact, it is often as simple as—“I had something I needed to use up.” In this case, it was several blood oranges and buttermilk from my freezer. This recipe is adapted from a lemon version from Bon Appétit but I simply swapped out the lemon components with blood orange and added a simple syrup and icing as well. Might as well try to maximize the flavor in as many ways as possible, right?

If you can’t find blood oranges or if they are out of season, lemons or limes would also work. The final icing color will be white instead of bright pink and the white looks very classy. Nonetheless, I don’t think you could really go wrong with a butter bundt cake and a citrus icing. I love bundt cakes because they are very easy to pull together and they look gorgeous. It is very tempting to want a fancy Nordic Ware bundt cake pan with a complex design but whatever pan you have on hand will work. I still adore the one that Popo gave me years ago. The most important thing is to butter and flour it well. I like to melt the butter first and use a pastry brush to get into all the cracks and crevices. Any imperfections can be covered with the icing!


Also, it has been officially 4 years now since I started this blog and I haven’t gotten to a fancy layered cake, so here is my temporary celebratory cake.

Happy bundt-ing!

Blood Orange Buttermilk Bundt Cake

Recipe adapted from Bon Appétit

Yields: 8-10 servings


If you can’t find blood oranges or if they are out of season, lemons or limes will also work. The final icing color will be a classy white instead of bright pink.


Bundt Cake

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour plus more for pan

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 2 cups sugar

  • Finely grated zest of 8 small blood oranges (about ½  cup)

  • 4 large eggs, room temperature

  • 1 cup buttermilk

Blood Orange Simple Syrup

  • 2 tablespoons blood orange juice

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Blood Orange Icing

  • 2 tablespoons blood orange juice

  • 1½ -2 cups powdered sugar


Bundt Cake

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour bundt pan. Set aside. Whisk baking powder, salt, and 3 cups flour in a medium bowl. Combine sugar and blood orange zest in a large bowl. Rub together using your fingertips or a spatula until blood orange sugar is well blended.

Add 1 cup butter to blood orange sugar. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat until mixture is light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend between additions and occasionally scraping down sides and bottom of bowl with a rubber spatula, until mixture is light and very fluffy, about 4 minutes longer.

Reduce speed to low. Add dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth top.

Bake cake until golden brown and beginning to pull away from sides of pan, 60-70 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes. Invert cake onto rack, remove pan and let cool completely.

Blood Orange Simple Syrup

While the cake is cooling in pan, heat blood orange juice and sugar on medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Once the cake is inverted, brush the top and sides of cake with simple syrup until it is soaked through.

Blood Orange Icing

Whisk blood orange juice and powdered sugar until well combined. The consistency should be thick but still pourable. When cake is cool, pour on top of cake, letting it naturally drip down the sides. Best served on same day.