Blood orange pound cake

Try this modern take on an American pound cake, with soured cream and sharp blood orange icing to balance the sweetness. Decorate with pistachios 

  • Prep:25 mins
    Cook:50 mins
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 420
  • fat 16g
  • saturates 10g
  • carbs 63g
  • sugars 43g
  • fibre 2g
  • protein 5g
  • salt 0.6g


  • 150g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for the tin
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 3 medium eggs, at room temperature
  • 250g plain flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 100g full-fat soured cream
  • 3 blood orange, finely zested
  • 3 tbsp chopped pistachios, to decorate (optional)
  • candied peel, to decorate (optional, see tip, below)
  • 170g icing sugar, sifted
  • 2-3 tbsp blood orange juice


The perfect sponge

Beat the butter and sugar for the recommended time, and don’t overmix when adding the dry ingredients. Gently incorporating these will result in a softer sponge with a finer texture.

Make candied peel

To make your own candied peel, use a vegetable peeler to peel large, wide strips of zest from 2 blood oranges. Remove any pith with a knife, then slice the peel into thin matchsticks. Tip 200g granulated sugar into a saucepan with 200ml water and warm over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Add the peel and simmer gently for 15 mins. Scoop the candied peel out of the sugar syrup using a slotted spoon and transfer to a piece of baking parchment. Leave to cool completely.


  1. Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and butter and line a 1-litre loaf tin.

  2. Beat the butter and sugar in a bowl for 8 mins until fluffy and very pale. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Fold in the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt, then the soured cream and zest. Spoon into the tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 45-50 mins, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool slightly in the tin, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.

  3. To make the icing, combine the sugar and juice and spoon over the cake. Sprinkle over the pistachios and candied peel, if using (see tip, below). Will keep in an airtight container for up to three days.

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