Chocolate orange cake recipe

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This more-ish chocolate orange cake is great for making with the kids in the holidays. Make sure you get first dibs on licking the chocolate bowl though!

Chocolate orange cake
(Image credit: TI Media Limited/Essentials)
Serves8
SkillMedium
Preparation Time15 mins plus cooling
Cooking Time25 mins
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories575 Kcal29%
Sugar50.5 g56%
Fat29.4 g42%
Saturated Fat11.3 g57%
Salt0.31 gRow 4 - Cell 2
Protein8.5 g17%
Carbohydrates68.3 g26%
Salt0.31 gRow 7 - Cell 2

This chocolate orange cake creates an incredibly light and fluffy sponge, perfect for the chocolate and citrus combination.

The method for making this sponge is slightly more complex than the all-in-one method where you simply mix all the ingredients together, but the results are really impressive. This delicious cake uses the zest of two whole oranges, and the juice of one to give it a really zesty kick. Then we've used cocoa in the sponge and real chocolate in the icing, to make sure the chocolatey flavour really infuses every bite. The result is a clean and simple looking cake that is so decadent and delicious. Decorate it with pretty, edible orange flowers to hint at the flavour inside.

Ingredients

  • 4 large eggs
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 190g plain flour
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 1 rounded tsp baking powder
  • 100ml mild, light olive oil
  • Grated zest of 2 oranges
  • Juice of 1 orange

For the icing:

  • 75g softened butter
  • 175g icing sugar, sifted
  • 100g plain chocolate, melted
  • 25g plain chocolate, chopped
  • Orange zest to decorate, or edible orange flowers

WEIGHT CONVERTER

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Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/Fan 160ºF/350ºF/gas mark 4. Line a 20cm (8-inch) round cake tin with lightly oiled baking parchment paper.
  2. Place the eggs and sugar in a large bowl, over a pan of simmering water. Use an electric whisk to whisk the eggs until creamy and thick, enough to leave a trail when the whisk heads are lifted from the mixture.
  3. Sift over the flour, cocoa and baking powder and gently fold in. When the flour is almost mixed in, add the olive oil, orange zest and juice and gently fold in.
  4. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 20-25 mins or until the cake is risen and spongy - the sponge should bounce back when lightly touched in the centre. Cool in the tin for 10 mins before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
  5. For the icing, cream the butter and icing sugar together with an electric whisk until fluffy. Add the chocolate and whisk again until smooth.
  6. Spread the icing over the top of the cold cake, then decorate with the chopped chocolate. Serve in wedges decorated with orange zest if desired.

Tips for making chocolate orange cake:

If you want a really glossy, fancy finish to your icing, swap the butter for double cream and turn the buttercream icing into ganache. Make sure you heat the cream to about 100 degrees celsius and add in the chocolate whole, allowing it to melt into the cream. 

What makes this cake super moist and fluffy?

Beating the eggs and sugar together over a pan of simmering water causes the sugar to dissolve completely and the eggs to increase in size, allowing plenty of air into the mixture, which gives an incomparably light and fluffy texture to the sponge. If you find it easier, the pan does not need to be simmering, you can simply beat the eggs over a pan of just boiled water - the steam will still heat the eggs. Do not let the bowl touch the water directly or the eggs may actually cook.

How do I line a cake tin properly?

This is a skill every novice baker should master, but it's simple once you know how. Check out our how to line a round cake tin video, and have your greaseproof paper at the ready.

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Jessica Dady
Senior Content Editor

Jessica Dady is Senior Content Editor at Goodto.com and has over 10 years of experience as a digital journalist, specialising in all things food, recipes, and SEO. From the best food hampers to cookbooks, from the best cake stands to baking sets, Jessica has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to must-have food products. A passionate baker, she spends much of her time creating celebration cakes for friends and family - particularly for her two lucky children.