There's no finer food to share with friends than a big, messy tea cake . . . This one, pumped with juicy blood orange glaze, whip cream tempered with the tang of greek yogurt and rich due to almonds, honey and olive oil -- is one of the finest I've ever eaten. It's beautiful the next day as well, as the flavors meld even more, the ideal partner to a strong cup of coffee.

the table is set with more blood oranges as a centerpiece, neighborhood wildflowers too.
almost too pretty to eat, *almost.

pouring on the glaze, one of life's greatest pleasures!

Blood Orange Almond Cake with Zesty Glaze and Whipped Cream
Serves 8

Blood oranges are a favorite food of mine, for eating out of hand over the sink as a quick snack, as a bright accent within a salad or enchanting friends atop an almond, olive oil cake. Their juicy flavor is slightly sweeter and less acidic than other citrus, making them a perfect fit for desserts or cocktails. This cake is a true crowd pleaser, it’s a common snacking cake reminiscent of treats I’ve enjoyed for teatime in the North Africa and across the Mediterranean, in Italy. Best of all, it’s gluten free so friends with a gluten allergy can partake in a slice or two. This cake is not difficult to make, it can be pulled together in under 30 minutes, and it incorporates a lot of pantry staples like good olive oil and honey. This dessert will leave you with more time to relax as hostess, and that means more time for giggling with girlfriends.

Make ahead tip:
You can make the cake the day before, just wrap it tightly in plastic wrap at room temperature. Same goes for the glaze and whip cream, make these two as directed and refrigerate until guests arrive. Finally, assemble the cake and top with fresh orange slices. You can even assign a guest to take over this easy, messily elegant confection.

For the cake:
4 cups almond meal, plus a little more for dusting the pan
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
½ cup olive oil, plus a little more for greasing pan
½ cup honey
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons blood orange zest
1 blood orange, sliced into ¼” rounds (optional garnish)

For the cream
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup greek yogurt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
extract pinch of salt

For the glaze:
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
3 tablespoons blood orange juice
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon orange zest
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously grease and coat an 8-inch spring form pan with olive oil and almond meal. In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk the olive oil, honey, eggs, vanilla and orange zest until fully combined. Pour the wet ingredients into dry and whisk until mixture is evenly incorporated. Add the batter to the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes, until deep golden brown and when a toothpick is inserted in the center of the cake, it comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes, remove from pan and allow to finish cooling on a wire rack.

When ready to serve: Make the glaze by whisking together the sifted powdered sugar, blood orange juice, milk, orange zest and pinch of salt. Gently poke a few holes in the cake with a match or toothpick, pour glaze evenly over top (it will make a little extra which you can reserve for the top) and allow to sit for about 10-20 minutes before serving.

Whip the cream in an electric mixer until medium peaks form. Add yogurt, sugar, vanilla and salt. Continue to beat on high speed until stiff peaks are formed.

Assemble the cake: Top the glazed cake with a generous dollop of whipped topping -- you may have a little extra for serving, or delicious with oatmeal the next morning. Pour any remaining glaze you may have leftover on top of whipped cream topping, place about 5 orange slices on top and serve immediately. Cake will keep, covered in the fridge, for about 3 days.

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