Chocolate is great on it’s own but add a touch of orange and, in my opinion you have a truly magical combination.
I had a craving for a chocolate orange hit recently, so I decided to make this chocolate orange cake. For the cake base I adapted Ina Garten’s delicious Beatty’s Chocolate cake recipe, which is deliciously dark, rich, moist and almost sticky cake. I then made a tart orange curd which I spread in the middle of the cake and covered it in a dark chocolate and orange buttercream.
So you have a rich,moist and sticky chocolate cake with that sweet tart orange hit in the middle, which provides somewhat of a break from the richness of the chocolate. What could be better than that?
While the outer layer of frosting wasn’t as smooth and perfect as I had hoped (I obviously need lots of practice frosting cakes), the flavours are all there. So don’t let it’s imperfect looks deceive you.
Are you a chocolate orange fiend like me?
Chocolate Orange Layer Cake
- Butter, for greasing the pans
- 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- ¾ cups good quality cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk, shaken
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice
- zest of 1 large orange
- Preheat the oven to 175 Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit) and butter 1 8-inch/20cm round cake tin and line with baking paper.
- Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and add the sugar and mix on low speed until combined.
- In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, oil, eggs,orange zest and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry.
- With mixer still on low, add the orange juice and mix until just combined.
- Pour the cake batter into two 20cm prepared cake tins and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
- Cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then turn out onto a cake rack and cool completely.
- zest of 2 large oranges
- 1 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 eggs
- Combine the sugar, orange zest, and juice in a saucepan, and bring to a simmer.
- Crack the eggs into a bowl and beat until light.
- Add some of the juice to the eggs and beat in well to combine to prevent it from curdling when added to the saucepan.
- Pour the egg mixture into the saucepan and cook until mixture thickens, stirring constantly.
- Set aside to cool.
- 225g of room temperature butter
- 5 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
- ⅔ cup of milk
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1¼ cups of cocoa, sifted
- zest from a small orange or half a large orange
- In an electric mixer with a paddle attachment fitted cream the butter until light.
- Switch the mixer to it’s lowest speed and add the orange zest and then the dry ingredients alternately with the milk.
- Add the vanilla extract and beat until light and fluffy.
- 1 ½ cup (330g) caster (superfine) sugar
- ⅔ cups (160ml) water
- 1 orange, thinly sliced
- Place the sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat and stir to dissolve the sugar.
- Add the orange slices and bring to the boil and cook for 12–15 minutes or until the syrup has thickened and the oranges are translucent.
- Scoop the orange slices and draining on a cake rack and allow them to cool and firm up before topping the cake.
- Once the cake is cooled, slice across the middle each cake in two, creating 4 layers. Slice the top of each cake to create an even surface.
- Place the first layer onto a chopping board or flat plate, which you will use while assembling the cake. Spread an even layer of the buttercream frosting over the cake. Add the second cake layer and top this one with the orange curd in an even layer.
- Carefully top with another layer of cake, being careful not to push down too hard as the curd will flow out the sides of the cake. Top with an even layer of buttercream.
- Top with the final layer of cake and give the cake an overall coating with the buttercream and refrigerate for an hour to set. Then coat with another layer of the frosting.
- Top the cake with slices of candied orange.