Blood Orange Crumb Cake Bars
Make the most of blood orange season and make these blood orange crumb cake bars! A luscious buttery and tender cake (like an amazing pound cake) meets the sharp tang of a silky fresh blood orange curd! Topped with a crunchy and buttery brown sugar crumb streusel, it hits all the marks!
This cake reminds me a bit of a coffee cake, but the flavors are brighter (thank you citrus fruits!) and the crumb of the cake is tighter like pound cake– in the best way! And who doesn’t love a splash of PINK?! Enjoy this any time of day with your favorite cup of coffee or tea!
Blood Orange Curd
You’ve probably already heard all about lemon curd, but did you know that you could pretty much turn any fruit into a curd? One of my all time favorite things to make during the winter months is any citrus curd! During blood orange season, though, I make SO many batches of blood orange curd because it’s just TOO good! Plus, that color is absolutely beautiful!
Blood orange curd, like lemon curd, is made by combining blood orange and lemon juice, the zests of both fruits, sugar, eggs + extra yolks, butter, and sometimes, a little cornstarch. Some people like to cook this over a double boiler, but I like to keep things simple by whisking all the ingredients (except the butter) together in a medium saucepan and cooking it slowly over a low heat to prevent the eggs from scrambling. The mixture slowly thickens into a silky curd. In goes the butter, whisk whisk whisk! You’re left with a smooth and rich curd that is perfectly sweet and sharp!
- Make blood orange curd up to a week in advance— covered and kept in fridge. You can used the cold curd straight from the fridge!
- The crumb can be made up to a few days in advanced, covered and kept in fridge as well.
- The Blood Orange Crumb Cake Bars can be made the night before, completely cooled and stored in an air tight container.
Equipment You’ll Need
- Medium heavy bottomed saucepan
- Fine mesh sieve
- Stand Mixer or hand mixer
- 8×8 Inch baking pan
Ingredients for Blood Orange Crumb Cake Bars
- Blood oranges
- Granulated sugar
- Large eggs
- Unsalted butter
- Light or dark brown sugar
- All purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Powdered sugar
- Vanilla extract
How to Make Blood Orange Crumb Cake Bars
- Make the blood orange curd: Combine curd ingredients besides butter into a medium saucepan. Whisk constantly over low heat until it thickens. Whisk in butter and then pour through a fine mesh sieve. Set aside to cool.
- Make the crumb topping: Mix all the ingredients together in a medium bowl and set aside.
- Mix the cake batter: Whisk together the dry ingredients and set side. Beat the butter and powdered sugar together, then add vanilla extract. Beat in eggs one at a time. Then, add dry ingredients and mix well to combine.
- Assemble and BAKE: Put half the cake batter into the bottom of a parchment lined 8×8 inch baking pan and smooth it out. Pour the curd over, distributing evenly. Dot the remaining half of cake batter over top, spreading it out as best you can. Top with the crumb topping and bake for 50-55 minutes. Cool completely.
- Glaze and enjoy! Whisk the glaze together in a small bowl and drizzle over the cooled cake. Cut into even squares and enjoy!
A lucious buttery cake (almost like an amazing pound cake) meets the sharp tang of a silky fresh blood orange curd!
Blood Orange Curd
- 1/3 cup (80g) fresh blood orange juice + zest
- 2 tablespoons (28g) fresh lemon juice + zest
- 3 tablespoons (38g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon (4g) cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter, cubed
- 6 tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1 cup (128g) all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cup (192g) all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cup (190g) powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
Blood Orange Glaze
- 1/2 cup (62g) powdered sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons blood orange juice
Make Blood Orange Curd
- Add all the curd ingredients EXCEPT butter to a small saucepan. Whisk well and place over medium low heat, mixing with a spatula constantly. DO NOT walk away or stop mixing or the eggs could cook and scramble. After a few minutes, it will start to thicken slightly. Adjust heat to low and continue mixing until it thickens a bit more and can coat the back of the spatula.
- Remove from heat and whisk in the butter. Pour the curd through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl. Set aside to let cool completely. You can make this a few days in advance, keeping it covered and in the fridge.
Make the Crumb Topping
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8x8 inch baking pan with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, mix brown sugar and flour together. Pour in the slightly cooled melted butter and mix well to combine. Set aside.
Mix the Cake Batter
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, beat the butter and powdered sugar together for 2 minutes until well combined and slightly fluffy. Beat in the vanilla.
- Whisk in eggs, one at a time, adding the next only after the previous one has been combined.
- Add the flour mixture into the wet mixture and mix for a minute until well combined. Batter will be thick.
Assemble and Bake!
- Add half of the cake batter to the prepared pan and smooth it out with an offset spatula. Pour in all the cooled blood orange curd and smooth it out. Dot the remaining cake batter over the top of the curd and gently spread it out and evely as possible. If some curd is peaking through, it's fine!
- Crumble the crumb topping all over the top of the cake batter, distributing it evenly. Don't forget to get plenty on the edges!
- Bake for about 50-55 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and let cool completely.
Make simple blood orange glaze
- In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and blood orange juice until smooth and pourable. If too thick, add a little more juice, if too thin, add a bit more powdered sugar.
- Drizzle over the cooled cake, let set slightly, and cut into square bars and enjoy!