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Preheat oven to 325F(165C). Grease (6-inch baking pans and line the base of each pan with 6” parchment paper circle cutouts. Alternatively, cake may be baked in a 8 or 9-inch round baking pan for a single layer option.
In a medium mixing bowl, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk ingredients together to combine.
In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large mixing bowl, add the sugar and blood orange zest. Use a fork or finger tips to blend/incorporate zest into sugar until sugar takes on an orange tinted color and the fragrance of fresh oranges.
In the bowl with orange infused sugar, add the olive oil. Using a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment or a hand-held electric mixer, mix the sugar and oil together at medium speed to combine, about 1 minute. Next, mix in the yogurt.
Beat eggs one at a time into wet batter ensuring that the previous egg is fully incorporated before adding and mixing in the next egg.
Reduce mixer speed to low. In an alternating fashion, starting and ending with the flour mixture, mix half of the dry ingredients into wet batter followed by the blood orange juice and vanilla extract and ending with the remaining flour mixture.
Stop mixer and use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides and base of mixing bowl.
Resume mixing cake batter at medium speed for additional 30-60 seconds to help ensure an evenly smooth batter.
Divide batter between prepared baking pans and bake for 25-30 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through bake time. Cakes are ready when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool cakes in pan for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely to room temperature.
In a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment or in a large mixing bowl with a hand-held electric mixer, cream the butter and zest (optional) at medium high speed until mixture is smooth and fluffy in appearance, about 2-3 minutes.
Reduce mixer speed to low and mix in 1 1/2 cups of the confectioners’ sugar into creamed butter. Gradually increase mixer speed back to medium.
Once all the sugar has been incorporated into butter, mix in 1 ½ tablespoons fresh blood orange juice into buttercream.
If buttercream appears to be on the soft side, mix in the remaining confectioners’ sugar 1/4 cup at a time until a thick but spreadable consistency is reached. If buttercream appears too thick, mix in remaining blood orange juice, 1/2 teaspoon at a time until the desired consistency (thick but spreadable) is reached.
Increase mixer speed to medium high and mix blood orange buttercream for an additional 30-60 seconds. The resulting buttercream should be smooth and fluffy in appearance.
Level cooled cakes by cutting off dome tops with a cake leveler or serrated knife.
Position first cake layer on serving platter of choice.
Spoon half of the buttercream into the center of the cake and use an offset spatula to spread out buttercream into an even layer.
Place second cake layer top side down over buttercream filling ensuring that the cake layers are evenly aligned and not lopsided. Spoon remaining buttercream on top of cake and smooth out into an even layer with an offset spatula.
Adorn the top layer of cake with dried or candied blood orange slices and fresh herbs or flowers, optional before serving.