blood orangesI know, I know, the title hardly rolls off the tongue. But this cake has so much flavour going for it that I couldn’t come up with a simpler title – it is a blood orange coconut velvet cake! I’d been reading up about natural food colourings and I decided that I should put my glorious blood oranges to use. It was also a chance to use my coconut oil – I’ve officially jumped on the coconut products bandwagon!

I figured that I was changing a classic Red Velvet mixture by removing red food colouring, so I tweaked the recipe a little further by adding coconut! I was happy with the moist cake that resulted, although the colour wasn’t as appetisingly red as normal red velvet cakes are. The coconut and chocolate are much stronger flavours than the blood orange, so when I make this cake again I will select the reddest blood oranges possible!

I’ve got more blood orange recipes to come, I’m in love with this beautiful, dramatic fruit!

spoonBlood orange coconut velvet cake

  • 1 cup blood orange juice (about 3-4 blood oranges)
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 cup soft coconut oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon bicarb
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • ¾  cups milk

Icing:

  • 60g butter
  • 1 tspn vanilla
  • 125g cream cheese
  • 3 cups icing sugar

juicePreheat the oven to 180˚C and line a 22 inch cake tin.

Juice your blood oranges (stop to admire them for a little while as well, I did!)  Set the blood orange juice to heat over a medium flame and add in 4 tbsp of sugar. Stir the mixture until the sugar dissolves, then turn up the heat and let it thicken and reduce to about ½ a cup of syrup. Don’t stop stirring, you don’t want it to burn!


Take the syrup off the heat and allow it to cool. While the syrup cools beat together the cup of sugar and coconut oil together. It’s easiest to mix if the coconut oil has been left at room temperature, or softened shellsslightly in the microwave. Add the eggs to the oil and sugar, then add the flour and cocoa. Add in your syrup and milk now.

In a small bowl, stir the baking soda and vinegar together, they should foam up a little. Add them to the cake batter and stir them in to combine.

Pour the mixture into your prepared pan and bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

cakeLet the cake cool slightly before transferring to a cooling rack, and ice when it is completely cold – you don’t want your icing running off!

I used the same icing on this cake that I did on my carrot and poppy seed cake, it’s simple and delicious. Simply whip the butter, vanilla and cream cheese together, then add the icing sugar one cup at a time. Depending on what brand of cream cheese you use, you may need slightly more or less than three cups. Spread the icing generously over your cooled cake.

I topped mine with the zest from the blood oranges that I’d already juiced – no point in letting that beautiful zest going to waste!

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