Blood Orange Magic Custard Cake

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Blood Orange Magic Custard Cake

Mmmmm… Blood Oranges! Do I really need to say more?

Probably. Because for some reason, I am not sure why, it took me until now to realize how awesome blood oranges are. Their intoxicating, fragrant aroma put me under their magical spell this winter.  I always thought they were sour/bitter like grapefruit and just never tried them before.

However, as we were walking through the produce aisle in the grocery store earlier this year, suddenly a wonderful aroma filled my nose and I couldn’t quite place it. I looked around and realized the magical smell was coming from a large display of juicy blood oranges. I just HAD to pick up a bag. Something that smells so heavenly has to be good, right? If not I could always just mix them in with my smoothies.

At home I couldn’t wait to try them. I quickly sliced one up and to my surprise it was wonderfully sweet! A love relationship was born.

Blood Orange Magic Custard Cake

Since that one fateful day I am picking up a bag of blood oranges with our weekly groceries. And I will continue doing so as long as possible. I heard their season ends by May latest 🙁

Other than eating the freshly cut slices, I thought it would be fun to bake with this colorful citrus fruit. Magic custard cake has been on my to-bake list since it first started appearing on the food porn sites. When I came across a citrus version, I knew I had to adapt it with blood oranges.

Blood Orange Magic Custard Cake

In case you are unfamiliar with magic custard cake, it is made from just 1 batter but while baking it magically separates into 3 different layers (although only 2 were very pronounced in my cake). The top is a very light, airy cake layer, followed by denser, pudding-like, custard layers.

I baked one vanilla and one blood orange version, that’s why you see the loaf pan pictured. However, the recipe below is for an 8-inch square pan.

The blood orange juice in the batter gives the custard layer a slight bluish tint. If this bothers you, you could always add a few drops of red food coloring to the batter to make it look more like red blood orange juice.

Blood Orange Magic Custard Cake

Blood Orange Magic Custard Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Magic custard cake (1 batter separates into 3 layers while baking) infused with the magical flavor of blood oranges.
Yield: Makes 16 cake servings
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • pinch of salt or cream of tartar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 150 g (3/4 cup) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 125 g (1/2 cup) butter, melted and cooled
  • 115 g (3/4 cup) flour
  • 420 ml (1½ cup) milk, lukewarm
  • ½ cup blood orange juice (from about 3 oranges)
  • 1 tablespoon blood orange zest
  • blood orange slices for topping (from 2 oranges)
  1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Grease an 8-inch square pan and set aside.
  2. In clean, grease-free bowl beat the egg whites with salt or cream of tartar until stiff. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl beat the egg yolks with water, sugar and vanilla until light. Add melted butter and beat for another minute. Then mix in the flour.
  4. Add the lukewarm milk (cold milk will harden the butter), blood orange juice and zest and beat until incorporated.
  5. Using a spatula, gently fold in beaten egg whites.
  6. Pour the batter into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes, place blood orange slices on top and bake for another 30 minutes or until the top is golden.
  7. Cool for at least 3 hours before slicing and serving.

Recipe adapted from Kitchen Nostalgia

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    • Regina says

      Definitely give them a second chance! I just read that the deep red colour of blood oranges is mainly antioxidants. Isn’t that alone a good reason to try some?

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