A Halloween Trader Joes Moment and Blood Orange Cake!

English: Slices of Blood Oranges Deutsch: Sche...

English: Slices of Blood Oranges Deutsch: Scheiben einer Blutorange (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


This is a very short, fun, personal account that I actually wrote last year, about a moment that I experienced at Trader Joes. I thought I would share it with you; because it’s that fall time of year again, and if you blink, you might just miss a moment that’s worthy of a chuckle, or ponderance; or warm, fuzzy feeling.

Moments as such, are all around us, and I simply found this to be true, on a crisp, but mild, and breezy fall day; after having made a special trip to Trader Joes to purchase Blood Orange soda, for with which to make a Blood Orange Cake…

Happy, and with bottles in hand, I am leaving Trader Joes. It is a crisp, late Friday afternoon, just two days before Halloween, and Halloween falls on a Sunday this year; but children are in costumes, many leaving from school where they had just participated in costume parties and parades. Swiftly moving with bottles now clutched to my chest, I am noticing a mother and her son are also leaving Traders Joes. She, in her workout clothes, leading at a steady aerobic pace while Son lags far behind in his fresh- out -the -bag skeleton costume; bright orange pumpkin trick-or-treat pail in hand. “Hurry”, she calls back to him, hastening her steps and motioning for Son to do the same. “I am all out of energy”, Son mutters; his pail whipping his thigh from his juvenile efforts to place one skeleton leg in front of the other.

 It is simply a moment to seize, because rarely does one witness a small child all out of energy on a Halloween weekend, and the mother full speed ahead, motioning him to hurry. It is mother and child in reverse; a purely funny scene eliciting a chuckle or two, and perhaps a ponderance to occupy the mind, but all welcoming the fall holiday season, and it’s just a Halloween Trader Joes moment to share with you …

…Now back to Blood Orange Cake.

Blood Orange Cake

In my opinion, this cake turned out moist, but a bit dense. The flavor was mainly concentrated in the frosting, which was a plus because it masked the “batter-taste” of the cake. Although the cake had a batter taste, I was still able to taste a bit of orange flavor from the soda and I had to love the moistness, but again … it is a very dense cake.

To remedy this, I suggest slicing both 9 inch cake layers in half, creating 4 round 9 inch cake pieces. In other words, make the 2 layer cake into a 4 layer cake… My thoughts are if the cake is in thinner proportions (4 layers); it will not be as dense, and will not have that “cake batter taste”. Plus, the frosting will better compliment the taste of the cake rather than mask it. The next time I bake this, I will be sure to make this cake, a 4 layer.

Also, for the frosting, I used almond extract instead of using vanilla, like the recipe called for. The almond extract made the orange flavor in the frosting stand out, but the next time, I think I will try using vanilla extract. I am curious to know how well the vanilla extract compliments the orange soda flavor in the frosting. Vanilla or almond? It’s a personal call. When in doubt, test both!

Happy Baking!

… More about Blood Orange Soda and blood oranges!     (See photo above)

I thought I would add this little tidbit for those of you who are wondering about Blood Orange soda and blood oranges. Blood Orange soda is an Italian soda originating in the United States, and known for its fruity flavor, which strives to taste like the juice of  blood oranges; oranges known for their crimson skin. The  Blood Orange soda I used was simply made from; carbonated mineral water, blood orange juice ( from concentrate), sugar, citric acid, natural blood orange flavor, and black carrot juice (for color).  There is an organic version and a non-organic version, the difference being; one has the actual blood orange juice in it, and the other (the non-organic) uses carbonated water and simple syrup. 

So, there you have it! Blood Orange soda, Blood Orange Cake, and a Halloween Trader Joes moment. Thanks for visiting!  … I haven’t yet made a final decision on what tasty treat to post yet; but trust me, it will be SWEET!   — Linda Ghostwriter

Email me at  lghostwriter@yahoo.com





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2 Responses

  1. That does sound good! Do you recommend a recipe?

    • Submitted on 2011/10/07 at 9:28 pm | In reply to rumpydog.
      …And it was, minus the density issue. Using soda in cake, takes some getting use to. I may experiment a little more with this one in the future. As for recommending a recipe, I recommend one that was printed in the Food & Wine section of the Baltimore Sun Newspaper and the Seattle Times. Here is the link to the one posted in the Seattle Times.


      I didn’t mention this in my post, but the recipe calls for 2 cups of Blood Orange soda for the cake portion and 2 cups for the frosting. Be mindful that the 2 cups for the frosting is cooked down to 1/4 of a cup. DO NOT skip this step or you will have way too much soda in your frosting, making it too thin. As you reduce the soda, it should become the consistency of syrup.

      Rumpydog, should you be eating such sweet and rich desserts? What would your vet say about this?

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