I wasn't sure whether to share a Chocolate Orange Cake as there are SO many recipes for them out there. But then I thought, well this is my version and if you like my other cakes then you will surely like this one too! This Chocolate Orange Cake is two layer of moist chocolate orange sponge with chocolate orange buttercream, decorated with Terry's Chocolate Orange pieces and orange sprinkles. I've made it several times over the years for birthdays and other celebrations and it always goes down well!
Ingredient Tips & Equipment Information
- Make sure all your ingredients (particularly the butter and eggs) are at room temperature before you start baking.
- For the best flavour, make sure to use a good quality orange extract and not an essence.
- I used a baking spread for the cake and unsalted butter for the buttercream.
- Although I provide cup measurements, I highly recommend weighing your ingredients out using digital kitchen scales*. It is the most accurate way to measure ingredients and will ensure the best results. Digital scales are very low cost and can be purchased for around £12 ($16.50) .
- For teaspoon (tsp) and tablespoon (tbsp) measurements, please use measuring spoons* and not the type of spoons you eat with. Again this will ensure accuracy and provide the best results.
For the full recipe with measurements, head to the recipe card at the end of this post.
How to make Chocolate Orange Cake
To make the sponge, mix butter and sugar together. Then whisk in eggs and orange extract. Finally mix in self raising flour, baking powder and cocoa powder. Divide the mixture between the cake tins and bake.
To decorate the cake, make a buttercream from butter, icing sugar, cocoa powder, milk and orange extract. Pipe it between the layers and on top, then decorate with Terry's Chocolate Orange pieces and orange sprinkles.
What can you use instead of orange extract?
I get my orange extract from either the supermarket or Amazon, and I do recommend it for this recipe. If you can't find orange extract for the sponge and buttercream, you can use the zest of three oranges for the sponge. Orange juice is not strong enough to get orange flavour in the buttercream, you would have to use a lot and it could make the buttercream sloppy. What I would suggest instead is mixing 150g melted chocolate orange into the buttercream, then adding 2-3 tbsp milk to loosen it if it's too thick.
How long does the cake last for and can it be frozen?
The cake will last for 2-3 days in an airtight container in a cool place. You can freeze both the cake sponges and the buttercream. To freeze them separately, wrap the cakes well in cling film or put them in an airtight container (with some baking paper between them so they don't stick together). The buttercream can be frozen in a sealed tub. To freeze it decorated, freeze the cake on a plate until frozen solid, then carefully wrap in cling film. Remove the clingfilm when you take the cake out of the freezer to defrost, as if it defrosts with it still on it could damage the buttercream.
Can you make the cake with plain/all purpose flour?
Self raising flour, which is very commonly used in the UK where I am based, already contains a raising agent and a little salt too. Therefore if you want to swap it for plain or all purpose flour, you will need to add some additional baking powder and also a little salt if you like. Some people like to add salt to cake recipes and some don't, so I'll leave that up to you as it won't affect the bake. The general advice is to add 2 teaspoons baking powder (a measuring teaspoon, not the kind you stir your coffee with) per every 200g plain or all purpose flour. So for this recipe you'd need to add 3 teaspoons baking powder. Please note, I have not tested this recipe using plain or all purpose flour.
Can the cake be made gluten or dairy free?
Yes! For gluten free you can replace the self raising flour with a gluten free self raising flour blend. If you only have a gluten free plain flour blend, you will need to add baking powder. The general advice is to add 2 tsp baking powder per 200g flour, so for this recipe you'd need to add 3 teaspoons baking powder. You may also like to add ½ tsp Xanthan Gum for better texture. Terry's Chocolate Orange is not gluten free, so you will also need to use an alternative orange flavoured chocolate to decorate. For a dairy free version, use a dairy free baking spread for the cake and the buttercream. You will also need to decorate the cake with a dairy free orange flavoured chocolate.
Can this recipe be made into cupcakes?
More tips for making the Chocolate Orange Cake:
- I recommend using a good quality orange extract (not an essence) to get the best orange flavour in this cake. I like to use the brand Nielsen Massey
- I piped the buttercream onto the cake using a Wilton 2D nozzle, but you can use any nozzle you prefer or spread it on with a spoon.
- If you don't have Terry's Chocolate Orange where you live, or you can't get hold of it, just use any other orange flavoured chocolate treat like Lindt, Matchmakers, or perhaps the elusive orange Twirl!!
If you have any questions about this recipe, or if something went wrong and you need help, please use the comment form below and I will get back to you. You can also get in touch with me on my Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. I'd love to hear from you!
Recommended equipment & ingredients*
- 8" cake tins
- Mixing bowls
- Cooling rack
- Kitchen scales
- Electric hand mixer
- Piping bags
- Wilton 2D Piping nozzle
- Orange extract
- Terry's Chocolate Orange
*I earn a small amount of money if you buy the products after clicking on the links. You will not be charged anything extra for this. Thank you for supporting The Baking Explorer!
More chocolate orange recipes...
- Chocolate Orange Loaf Cake
- Chocolate Orange Fudge
- Vegan Chocolate Orange Cheesecake
- Chocolate Orange Biscotti
- Chocolate Orange Baked Donuts
- Terry's Chocolate Orange Cheesecake (No Bake)
- Chocolate Orange Brownies
- Chocolate Orange Pancakes
- Chocolate Orange Cupcakes
- Chocolate Orange Custard Tart
- Chocolate Orange Cookies
- Chocolate Orange Ice Cream (No Churn)
- Chocolate Orange Drip Cake
- Chocolate Orange Rocky Road
- Chocolate Orange Traybake Cake
Chocolate Orange Cake
For the sponge
- 350 g Butter or baking spread
- 350 g Caster sugar
- 6 Eggs large
- 2 tsp Orange extract
- 1 tbsp Milk
- 300 g Self raising flour
- 50 g Cocoa powder
- ½ tsp Baking powder
For the buttercream
- 250 g Butter or baking spread
- 450 g Icing sugar
- 50 g Cocoa powder
- 1 ½ tbsp Milk
- 2 tsp Orange extract
- 1 Terry's Chocolate Orange
- Orange sprinkles optional
- Pre-heat your oven to 160C Fan/180C/350F/Gas Mark 4, and grease and line two 8" cake tins (that are at least 2" deep)
- Make the sponge by mixing the butter and caster sugar in a large bowl with a spoon until fluffy, or mix using an electric mixer
- Add the eggs, orange extract and milk, and whisk until fully incorporated
- Add the self raising flour, cocoa powder and baking powder and whisk in until you can't see any flour anymore
- Divide the mixture between the tins, use scales for accuracy
- Bake them for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Leave them to fully cool either in the tins or remove from the tin and place on cooling racks
- To make the chocolate buttercream mix the butter, cocoa powder and icing sugar together. Once it starts to come together add the orange extract and milk and mix until smooth. I use my electric hand whisk to do this but you can also do it by hand with a spoon
- If the cakes have domed on top, level them off with a cake leveller or a serrated knife
- Put one of the sponges on your plate or cake stand and pipe or spread some of the buttercream onto it
- Add the other sponge on top and pipe or spread the remaining buttercream on top
- Decorate with the Terry's Chocolate Orange pieces, and orange sprinkles if using
- Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in a cool place for 2-3 days
If you like this, check out more of my Cake recipes!
NB. This post is NOT sponsored by Terry's - I just love their product!