Sicilian Blood Orange Frosting & Candied Blood Orange Slices

IMG_6361If you aren’t used to the sight of a sliced Blood Orange, you may be a little apprehensive. Growing up in the Northeast, it was uncommon to find Blood Oranges in the Produce Department. Back then, we drank all of our orange juice ‘orange’ and that was that.

The first time I saw blood orange juice, I was in the land of its birth, Sicily. The orange groves are abundant, and 70‰ of the groves produce Blood Oranges from January to May. The hotel in Taormina offered fresh squeezed blood orange juice, and much to my surprise, it resembled the color of blood. I said, “no way.” I didn’t know much about those oranges, and I made some gruesome assumptions.

Later in the day, at the store, there it was again. It seemed this was an immensely popular way to drink orange juice in Sicily, possibly the only way.  At that point, I decided to try it the next morning.

Needless to say, I can understand why these unique oranges have made their way to Northeastern produce aisles in abundance. They are delicious, nutritious, and quite frankly, beautiful.  And as an added bonus, they are the only orange to contain anthocyanins, an antioxidant rarely found in citrus.

Sicilian Blood Orange Frosting and Candied Blood Orange Slices

Blood Orange tinted frosting and a garnish of candied Blood Orange

Recipe by Gourmetmarichef


for the candied blood oranges:

  • 2 washed Blood Oranges, rind removed
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 c. water

for the frosting, you will need:

  • 1 juiced blood orange
  • 3 c. powdered sugar
  • 1/3 c. dairy free butter


  1. Cut the oranges into slices removing pits, and arrange in the bottom of a flat pan.IMG_6360
  2. In another pot, bring 1 c. water and 1 c. sugar to a boil for about 5 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Pour the boiled water over the arranged orange slices and continue to simmer over low heat.
  4. Gently stir once in a while until the syrup is thickened, total time about 1 hour.

    Candied Blood Orange slices before drying out

  5. You can use these sweetened slices and the orangey syrup to garnish an unfrosted cake or a flan, or any number of dessert garnishes.
  6. Or, you can remove the slices to a rack to dry out so they are similar to candy (first photo).
  7. If you have a food dehydrator, that will also work. Just let the slices air dry for 4 hours before placing in the dehydrator, because they need to drip off some of the syrup.

To make the frosting:

  1. Pour the freshly squeezed juice into a small pot.
  2. Boil it on low until it is a bit concentrated, approx. ½ hour.
  3. Remove from the stove and cool.
  4. Slowly add the cooled liquid into 3 c. of powdered sugar and 1/3 c. dairy-free butter in a mixing bowl, and beat until frosting consistency. You may need to add a bit of almond milk (a teaspoon at a time) if it needs further thinning.
  5. Frosts 18 mini-cupcakes.



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