Looking for something special and indisputably crowd-pleasing to whip up for Mother’s Day next weekend? This blood orange and buttermilk cake tastes like spring and uses a fascinating fermented ingredient we love — buttermilk.

Like yogurt or kefir, buttermilk is a rich source of probiotics. It contains active cultures that can help replenish healthy bacteria in the gut. Buttermilk is also a wonderful source of riboflavin, a vitamin that supports liver function, and activates enzymes in our cells to boost energy production and aid in detoxification. Adding more traditionally fermented foods to your diet has a myriad of benefits — even in a decadent cake like this one.

blood orange Buttermilk Cake

This cake recipe comes from our recent feature on a farm lunch in Sonoma hosted by Alicia Lund, Sarah Anderson and Kevin O’Connor, the chef at large for Cobram Estate olive oil.

Said Anderson of the inspiration behind her blood orange buttermilk cake: “In the early months of spring I have an abundance of blood oranges that usually end up being turned in to marmalade. The bitterness of the blood oranges pairs well with the sweetness of the honey and fruitiness of the extra virgin olive oil. Feel free to use normal marmalade or other preserves you have on hand.”

Blood Orange Honeycomb Cake


For the cake:
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup organic buttermilk (at room temperature)
zest of 1 blood orange
6 pasture-raised eggs (at room temperature)
2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cups local honey
1 1/2 cups Cobram Estate EVOO, plus more for greasing

For EVOO icing:
3⁄4 cup powdered sugar
6 Tbsp Cobram Estate EVOO

For decorating:
2 cups blood orange marmalade
pure and raw honeycomb


For the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans and set aside. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder.

In a large mixing bowl beat eggs and sugar with a whisk until pale and fluffy. (Note: Proper creaming of the eggs and sugar takes some time, so feel free to use a stand mixer with a whisk attachment.) Slowly mix in the honey, followed by the buttermilk then the EVOO and orange zest.

Whisk in half of the flour mixture until well incorporated. Slowly mix in the remaining half until just incorporated. Using a rubber spatula, scrape batter into two prepared pans.

Bake cakes for about an hour, or until tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the baked cakes from the pans and allow them to cool completely on a rack.

Spread the marmalade between the two cakes on a cake decorating platform. Spread the icing over the top of the cake, leaving the sides exposed. Adorn the finished cake with globs of honeycomb and fresh citrus trimmings.

For the icing:
With an electric whisk, thoroughly mix sugar and oil together until icing is velvety.

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