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Blood Orange Rose Cake close up with candied blood oranges.

Blood Orange Rose Cake with Candied Oranges

  • Author: Aberdeen
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes


A three layer citrus and rose flavored cake with buttercream frosting and a blood orange glaze. A little piece of springtime in a slice!



For the Cake

  • 3 3/4 cups all purpose, unbleached flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 egg whites, room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon blood orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract (optional - can substitute with another teaspoon vanilla extract)
  • 1 teaspoon rose water (optional - can substitute with another teaspoon vanilla extract)
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup blood orange juice
  • Flowers, candied blood orange slices, dried culinary rose buds, light pink and white sanding sugar for garnish

For the Frosting

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon blood orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon rose water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste (if unavailable, you can substitute vanilla extract)
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream

For the Blood Orange Glaze

  • 1/4 teaspoon blood orange zest
  • 3 tablespoons blood orange juice
  • 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted

See Notes for Optional Candied Blood Orange Slices Garnish Recipe


Make the Cake Layers

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease 3 8″ straight edge cake pans. Line with parchment paper and grease.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together. Whisk until completely mixed.
  3. In a standing mixer or with a hand held mixer and a large bowl, cream butter, sugar, and blood orange zest until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  4. Whisk in eggs, egg whites, vanilla extract, orange extract and rose water on a high speed until combined, about 2 minutes, scraping down sides as needed.
  5. On a low speed, whisk the flour mixture to the egg mixture until just combined.
  6. Still on a low speed, pour in the buttermilk and blood orange juice, mixing until just combined.
  7. Pour batter evenly into greased layer pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of each cake. Set on a wire rack to cool, at least one hour, or frosting will melt.*

Make the Frosting

  1. In a standing mixer or with a handheld mixer, whisk butter and cream cheese until light and creamy. Sift in 3 cups of powdered sugar. Add blood orange zest, rose water, vanilla paste, and heavy cream. Whisk until completely smooth and fluffy. If too thin, add more powdered sugar. If too thick, add more heavy cream.

Make the Glaze

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients for the glaze until completely smooth.

Assemble the Cake

  1. When the cake layers are cooled, place one of the cake layers with the flat side down on a plate or cake stand. With an offset spatula, spread the top with about 1 cup of frosting.
  2. Place the second layer on top of this frosted layer and spread another 1 cup of frosting.
  3. Add on the final layer, flat side up to make the cake even. Lightly frost the rest of the cake with the remaining frosting. Place cake in fridge and chill for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove cake from the fridge and drizzle with glaze as desired. Garnish with flowers, candied blood orange slices, dried culinary rose buds, light pink and white sanding sugar.
  5. Place in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes to an hour, until frosting is set.
  6. Cover cake tightly and store in the fridge for 4-5 days.


You can make the cake layers the night before! Let them cool on a wire rack, cover with some plastic wrap (still in the cake pans), and place in the fridge to chill until your ready to assemble the cake the next day.

For the Candied Blood Oranges

  1. Slice a medium blood orange into 1/8 to 1/4 inch rounds, discarding the very top and bottom slices.
  2. In a large skillet, bring 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1 1/2 cups cup water and 2-3 tablespoons blood orange juice to a simmer. Add blood orange slices and cook 1 hour, flipping over every 15 minutes.
  3. Place slices onto a piece of parchment paper or silpat to cool completely. Let rest for at least 1 hour, preferably 24 hours until completely dry and no longer tacky.