Chocolate Pound Cake with Blood Orange Frosting


Another pink post, are you sensing a theme? 

But in all seriousness I had 4 blood oranges leftover from this tart that I had to use before they became too squishy. I also love a good pound cake/loaf cake, and am totally guilty of splurging on Starbucks lemon loaf and pumpkin bread at the hospital way too often. This recipe, adapted from King Arthur Flour, is a cinch to whip up, bakes up beautifully, and easily comes out of the pan (insert praise hands emoji here). I made it yesterday afternoon when I was done work early and then brought it the next morning to the School of Medicine to share with a couple of my classmates. It's fourth year...interview season is's time to eat cake for breakfast. 

Chocolate pound cake (adapted from king arthur flour)

  • 8 tablespoons butter at room temp
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2/3 cup cocoa  
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup milk

Blood Orange cream cheese Frosting

  • Juice from 1 blood orange, strained
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon blood orange zest
  • small pinch salt 
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened 
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • sprinkles and orange slices for garnishing (optional) 

Start by combining sugar, baking powder, cocoa, butter, and vanilla. It's easiest to do this with your hands so that you don't have cocoa powder flying everywhere. It should become a crumbly mixture. Add in eggs 1 at a time and beat on medium speed until well incorporated before adding the next. 


After all 3 eggs are added the batter should look thick, as seen below. 


Add milk and flour, alternating in 3 batches and mix well, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. The mixture will finally look like thick cake batter. Pour into greased loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees fah for 60 minutes, checking with a knife or cake tester to make sure it comes out clean. Cool cake COMPLETELY before frosting.  


When thinking about how to decorate the cake I was inspired by this post by one of my favorite food blogs. The only problem was that I didn't have orange or red sanding sugar. Luckily, you can make your own pretty easily with clear sparkling sugar and gel food coloring. Just pour about 1 tablespoon of sprinkles into a bowl, and add a *very* small drop of food coloring. Mix with clean fingers until the color is well distributed in the sugar. You can combine colors to get the exact shade you want, just remember a tiny but of color goes a long way here. 


To make this sandy pink coral shade I used a combination of "Dusy Rose" and "Terracotta" colors from Americolor food coloring. 


For the frosting, cream together butter, sugar, and cream cheese until fluffy. Add 1 teaspoon blood orange zest and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Mix on medium speed. 


Add strained blood orange juice and mix on medium speed. 


Slowly add powdered sugar, 1 spoonful at a time until your mixture is thick. It should be spreadable, but not runny. Place in bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and chill in fridge until you are ready to frost. 

orange slices for garnishing 

orange slices for garnishing 


To assemble cake spread a generous layer of frosting over cooled cake, and use an offset spatula to make a back-and-forth "wave" pattern on the surface. Sprinkle with colored sugar and place orange slices on top. 


Ta Da! 

Cake can be eaten immediately or chilled in the fridge for 3 days in glass or plastic tupperware.