I’m crazy about blood oranges right now, absolutely in love with them!
I started preparing for their arrival by collecting recipes weeks before they appeared at my local grocery store.
I believe nature truly gives us citrus in winter to help colour and brighten our long dark days, and vibrant blood oranges are our greatest reward.
While they’re in season, I grab a couple every time I’m at the store; I can’t get enough of their deeply red tones, robust flavour and fragrance. There’s just something dramatic and special about them…
I’ve eaten a lot of blood oranges this year!
I snack on them, juice them, cook with them and throw them in salads; a few weeks ago, I put a few splashes into a vinaigrette for this this cauliflower and chickpea salad.
With its relatively short season, I’ve been trying to find more recipes that showcase their beauty and bounty, so on weekends, I bake and cook with them when I’m not busy doing other things… because I want to eat all the blood oranges I can before its season is over!
Since I love polenta, and I’m having this moment with blood oranges, it was inevitable that I’d find a way to put these two together.
I made this blood orange polenta cake a few weeks ago when a family member was feeling poorly, I hoped it’ll brighten their day and bring them much needed cheer.
This is the kind of cake you bake on a quiet Saturday afternoon just before your evening starts; it’s a moment for peaceful contemplation as you measure, slice, mix and finally bake.
Or make it on a Sunday morning when everyone is sleeping in, you’ll get to savour the silence and gratitude as delicious aromas of baking wakes up the house.
This is a beautiful cake, not just because it’s good-looking but figuratively because it’s infused with loving ingredients… citrus, coconut milk, agave, almond milk, stone-ground polenta and white whole-wheat flour.
It takes little effort to put together and it’s wonderfully crumbly with a moist interior and a sweet crispiness from the cornmeal, it’s also fruity, the blood orange has a tangy, rich marmalade-like flavour that makes me wish I’d loaded the bottom with more slices.
This cake does bring the cheer; it goes perfectly with coffee or tea, it’s good on its own too.
- 1 -2 blood oranges, thinly sliced crosswise with pith and seeds removed
- 1 cup whole-wheat flour (I used white whole-wheat flour)
- 1 cup polenta/cornmeal (fine or medium ground)
- 2 tablespoons blood orange zest
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1/2 cup agave or maple syrup
- 1/4 cup blood orange juice
- 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon pure orange extract, optional
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- Grease 9-inch round cake pan and line bottom with parchment paper
- Arrange orange slices at the bottom of the parchment-lined pan in a single layer and set aside
- In a large bowl, combine flour, polenta, orange zest, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and mix
- In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, agave, orange juice, and coconut oil, add orange and vanilla extracts
- Pour milk mixture into dry ingredients and use a spatula to mix until well combined but do not over mix
- Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30 – 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center of cake comes out clean
- Remove from oven and let it cool for 2 minutes in the pan
- Invert cake onto cooling rack and allow to cool slightly before serving
- - All-purpose and (most) gluten-free all-purpose flour will work perfectly for this cake too