Valentine’s Day is around the corner! What’s your plan for the special day? This year I came up with this recipe – inspired by the natural beautifulness of blood oranges.
I actually don’t have too many romantic memories about Valentine’s Day. Mr.186 is not a big holiday person and we agreed on our first Valentine’s Day that we’re not going to join the crowd and book reservations at fancy restaurants months ago just to eat an overpriced dinner. Mr.186’s philosophy is that every day is a special day. I don’t disagree with that. Plus he does like to surprise me here and there. Therefore, Valentine’s Day really isn’t a big deal in this household.
So, why did I still come up with a Valentine’s Day recipe?
First of all, who doesn’t like heart-shaped baked goods?! Secondly, it reminds me of the girl’s time I used to have in college. Now thinking about that, all of my Valentine’s memories in college are associated with my silly girls. We would go shopping for gifts for each other. We would buy heart-shaped chocolates, macaroons and basically every Valentine’s Day themed desserts. We joked about who needs a boyfriend when you have besties.
Now we’re thousands of miles away from each other. I miss them. One of my girls recently broke up with her boyfriend. I wish I could be there for her, hug her and supply her with unlimited desserts.
No matter if you’re gonna spend the day with your lover or celebrate it as Galentine’s day or just by yourself, I hope this Blood Orange Norwegian Pound Cake will bring you some sweetness and love. A heart-shaped muffin pan will be ideal, but you don’t have to. A mini muffin pan or a regular muffin pan will work as well. Flipping the muffins upside down and you will find them look cuter all of the sudden. Sometimes small changes like that make life more fun.
The recipe itself is very simple. Honestly, you can use any of your favorite pound cake recipe as the base. I used my favorite one from King Arthur Flour but reduced the sugar significantly as we’re gonna put glaze on top.
Blood Orange Norwegian Pound Cake
Yield: 12 muffin sized cake or 24 mini muffin sized cake
Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour
1. 8 tbsp (1 stick) butter, room temperature
2. 135g (2/3 cup) sugar
3. 1 large egg
4. 1/2 tsp salt
5. 1 tsp baking powder
6. 1 tsp vanilla extract
7. 241g (2 cups) all-purpose flour
8. 170g (3/4 cup) full fat sour cream
9. Zest of a blood orange
1. Juice of 1 blood orange
2. 1 1/2 – 2 cups powdered sugar
Blood Orange Decoration:
1. 2 slices of blood orange
2. 1 tbsp sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 2 heart shaped muffin pans / regular muffins pans / mini muffin pans.
2. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until well combined. Add the egg, beating well and scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl.
3. Stir in the salt, baking powder, vanilla and zest of a blood orange.
4. Add the flour alternately with the sour cream, starting with the flour. Mix at medium speed between additions, until ingredients are thoroughly combined. The finished batter will be quite stiff.
5. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, leveling it with your wet fingers or a spatula.
6. Bake the cake for 40-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
7. Remove the cake from the oven, and gently loosen its edges. After 15 minutes, carefully turn the cakes out of the pan onto a rack to cool.
8. After the cake is completely cooled, pour the glaze on top and decorate with one piece of blood orange decoration. If using a regular muffin / mini muffin pan, flip the muffins upside down before pouring the glaze. Your cakes will look cuter!
1. Mix together the blood orange juice and powdered sugar. Adjust the thickness accordingly by adding more powedered sugar. You want the glaze to be quite thick but still pourable.
Blood Orange Decoration:
1. Cut the blood orange into mini slices and place them in a parchment paper lined baking pan. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 20 minutes at 350°F.
OBSERVATIONS & NOTES:
1. Norwegian style pound cake is more closed texture and denser than American pound cake (in a good way). It’s also less sweet, with the tang from sour cream. I really like using this KAF recipe as the base of many cakes, but feel free to use your favorite recipe. Just remember we’re gonna put sweet glaze on top, so reduce the sugar in your base cake.