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Blood Orange & Apricot Vanilla Cake with Meringue Buttercream

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Rest Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 55 minutes
Servings 12


For the Blood Orange Vanilla Cake (Makes three (3) 6" cake layers)

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. fine sea salt
  • 4 large eggs room temperature
  • zest of 1-2 blood oranges
  • 1 ½ cups granulated cane sugar
  • 6 tbsp. butter
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract or 1 ½ tsp. vanilla bean powder
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • BUBBL’R passion fruit wond’r for serving

For the Filling

  • ¾ cup apricot preserves

For the Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • 6 large egg whites
  • 2 cups granulated cane sugar
  • 1 ½ cups unsalted butter softened but still on the cold side, cut into tbsp pieces
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt


For the Blood Orange Vanilla Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Butter three 6" cake pans, then line the bottoms with parchment paper. 
  • In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. 
  • In the bowl of a mixing bowl, add the eggs to beat for 1 minute. 
  • In the meantime, combine the sugar and blood orange zest in a small bowl. Mix with your fingers until the sugar absorbs the blood orange oils.
  • Gradually add the sugar while mixing on high speed. Mix on HIGH for 6 more minutes. 
  • In the meantime, add the milk and butter to a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat just until the butter is melted. 
  • While the butter melts, add the flour to the beaten eggs mixture in 2 batches. Mixing just until combined. 
  • Remove 1 cup of that batter to a separate bowl. Add the vanilla, olive oil, and hot milk mixture. Whisk vigorously until smooth. 
  • Add that mixture back into the batter and stir just until combined. 
  • Evenly distribute the batter between the prepared cake pans. 
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. 
  • Let cool in the pans 10 minutes, then transfer to cool completely on a baking rack.

For the Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • Place the egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk in the sugar.
  • Set the bowl over a saucepan filled with 2” of simmering water. Make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water.
  • Whisk constantly until the sugar dissolves, about 3-4 minutes. Rub a small portion between your fingers to test for any granules.
  • While still warm, transfer to your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until stiff glossy peaks, about 10-15 minutes. It may take longer depending on humidity.
  • Feel the bowl for any warmth. It must cool to room temperature before adding the butter.
  • Switch the whisk attachment for the paddle attachment. Add the butter in a tablespoon-at-a-time. Beat until fully incorporated, about 3-4 minutes.
  • (TIP: Prep in advance and cover to sit at room temperature for 1-2 days in advance. When ready to use, whip up in the stand mixer for 2-3 minutes until creamy again.)

To Assemble

  • Use a long serrated knife to remove the very tops of the cake layers for even surfaces. 
  • Pipe a small amount of buttercream on your cake serving plate. Add one cake layer. Pipe a thick circle around the outer edges of the cake. Fill the circles with the apricot jam. Repeat with the other cake layer. (See video for visual instructions)
  • Frost the outside of the cake with the remaining meringue buttercream or leave the cake layers "naked" and just pipe frosting on the very top.
  • Enjoy with BUBBL’R passion fruit wond’r