Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake (with Rose)

This recipe is adapted from one I found in Lia Leendertz – The Almanac, A Seasonal Guide. A brilliant book for anyone interested in the seasonal tides, moons and fields.

The best thing about this cake….making it. I chose a gloomy, grey Sunday and the scent of the oranges lifted my spirits immeasurably. Blood oranges are in season from February to mid March I believe, so make this cake quick. I added rose water, because in my head this cake was so green and pink I wanted to add the delicate taste and fragrance of rose, and it really worked. This would be the perfect cake to bake for someone who needed some luck in love, or to raise the spirits after a broken heart.



  • 150g organic butter
  • 150g castor sugar
  • Zest of 3 blood oranges and juice of 1
  • 2 tsps of rose water
  • 2 free range eggs
  • 150g self raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 160g of pistachios shelled and chopped

For the icing

  • 5 tablespoons of icing sugar
  • Juice of half a blood orange


  1. To make the cake, preheat the over to 190c/Gas Mark 5.
  2. Oil a 20cm cake tin and line with baking parchment
  3. Beat the butter, sugar, rose and zest until light and fluffy and then add the eggs, one at a time, beating until well combined before adding the next.
  4. Pour in the juice and beat it into the mixture, then add the flour, baking powder and 150g of of the pistachios – keeping some to sprinkle on top.
  5. Gently mix everything until well combined, then tip into the tin and bake for around 35 minutes.
  6. Let the cake completely cool, and then to make the icing just mix the icing sugar and the juice until you have a smooth consistently and then pour over the cake followed by the pistachio sprinkles.

I made my icing too thin as you can probably see, but otherwise it was delicious and smelt amazing.

Happy baking.

Haile x o


    1. I read somewhere once that it’s a good idea to cut all sugar content in recipes by half, apparently you barely notice, but I always forget to try ! 😲


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