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Blood Orange Campari Cake

Let this be an example of why we need to eat more cake.

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Cake doesn’t need a special occasion. In fact, we all need more cake in our lives. We often think of cake as something for birthday parties, overly frosted and excessively sweet. But a semi-sweet cake made rich with olive oil and blood oranges, now that’s a cake I could eat every day. What’s happening here is truly beautiful; juicy, ruby-colored blood oranges are the crown jewels of this delicious winter cake. If you’re looking to try something new, look no further than this absolutely delicious Blood Orange Campari cake.

Three elements make this cake different from anything you’ve had before. First, the semolina flour. Semolina flour adds a subtle bite to the cake while the second element, olive oil, adds a luxurious richness in texture and flavor. Finally, it’s the two different liquors – Grand Marnier and Campari – that add dynamic flavor to the cake experience as a whole.

The cake has three “layers” – the first is a blood orange slurry made of fresh-squeezed blood orange juice and sugar that coats the bottom of the Springform pan. Next, thin slices of blood oranges, and yes, this includes the rind! The rind, softened when baked, will become slightly bitter-sweet and also adds texture. The third layer is the cake batter itself, made with two kinds of flour and olive oil. The batter is poured over the top of the sliced oranges and then transferred into the oven to bake for 40-45 minutes.

The cake will need to cool slightly before you carefully flip it onto a serving platter to reveal the absolutely stunning spheres of ruby-red blood oranges. To serve, I garnish the top of the cake with a slurry made of blood orange juice, sugar, and Campari. The sauce will permeate the top of the cake and deliciously ooze in all of the right places – I mean, just try not to use your finger as a spoon to scoop up every last bit of this sauce.

A cake like this only confirms that we need to eat more cake! It’s light and not overly sweet, perfect for the end of a delicious dinner. Just look at how gorgeous this is! A Blood Orange Campari Cake is exactly the right way to finish a beautiful meal.

Blood Orange Campari Cake is a part of the Table for 12 Venetian Dinner menu. It was served with Caramelized Radicchio Risotto, Rolled Beef Braciole in a Slow-Roasted Tomato Sauce, and Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Crispy Pancetta in a Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette.

Yield(s): Serves 10-12

15m prep time

45m cook time

Rated 5.0 out of 5
Rated by 1 reviewers
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you're making mealtime meaningful.
100% of the Share to Care sponsor fees fund meals for families in need. Learn More
For the cake batter:
  • 4 medium blood oranges, sliced thin, save ends of orange for juice
  • 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup semolina flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 3 tablespoons Grand Marnier
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
For cake soak:
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons campari
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Prepare a 10-inch springform pan with cooking spray and a parchment circle.
  3. Mix 1/3 cup sugar and 1/3 cup freshly squeezed blood orange juice until a thick sugar slurry is formed. Drizzle sauce at the base of the springform, then layer with blood oranges.
  4. Combine both of the flours, baking powder, orange zest, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
  5. In a stand mixer, beat the remaining sugar with the eggs until the eggs become pale and ribbon-like.
  6. Stream in the olive oil, vanilla extract, and Grand Marnier until incorporated. Lightly incorporate the dry ingredients until the mixture shows no more flour clumps.
  7. Pour batter into springform and bake for 40 - 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. If the top gets brown, cover with aluminum foil until cooked.
  8. Mix together orange juice, sugar, and campari. Reserve for later.
  9. Remove cake to a cooling rack and let rest for 5 minutes. Flip cake out of the pan onto the wire rack.
  10. Drizzle warm cake with Campari syrup before serving.

This recipe is from the Table for 12 Venetian Dinner menu.