This blood orange almond cake is complex in flavor and texture—sweet, citrusy, nutty, and moist. Blood oranges are the star of this cake, lending a burst of color and serving as the perfect antidote for midwinter blues. Almond meal (not to be confused with almond flour) can be found at some specialty/baking stores or purchased online.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch round springform baking pan with parchment paper. Grease the sides of the pan.
- Place the butter, sugar, blood orange, and lemon zest in the bowl of a stand mixer with the beater attachment. Beat on low speed until the butter and sugar are just combined. Add half of the almond meal.
- With the mixer running, add the eggs one at a time. Add the remaining almond meal, flour, almond extract (if using), fennel, and salt. Beat until smooth.
- Line the blood orange rounds in a single layer on top of the parchment.
- Pour the batter into the baking pan. Level the batter with a palette knife.
- Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. When the cake is almost done, prepare the blood orange syrup. Combine the blood orange and lemon juice (you should have about ½ cup) and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, poke the cake all over with a wooden skewer (about ¾ of the way through the cake). Pour the hot syrup over the cake.
- Let cool completely before removing it from the springform pan. Place a large plate over the cake and with one swift motion carefully invert the pan so that the orange slices are on top. Peel off the parchment. Slice and serve.