Chocolate Orange Cake


Dec 08

Chocolate Orange Cake – Dark chocolate cake layers with a hint of orange zest, covered with a chocolate orange buttercream.

Chocolate Orange Cake Update

Oh, this cake was due for an update! I first came up with this recipe a couple years ago when I went to Fox 13’s The Place, a local lifestyle show here in Salt Lake City. It was a super simple recipe back then, and still is today, but one that is totally going to win you over.

My goal was to make the cake taste exactly like the chocolate orange I used to get in my Christmas stocking as a child. It’s a flavor combination that will always make me think of Christmastime. And I think you’ll really like it in cake form!

I used my go-to chocolate cake recipe and added some orange zest for a hint of flavor in the cake. It’s the buttercream, however, that I think really steals the show. To add flavor to the buttercream, I used orange emulsion by Lorann, which you can find HERE. Emulsions are a lot like extracts, but are water based. Extracts are alcohol based. I typically lean toward emulsions because I like the flavoring better, but an extract will work too. Just sub it 1-for-1 in the recipe.

I don’t think this cake needs a lot of added decorations, but love how a little rosemary and dried oranges give the brown some contrast.

Excited for you to whip this one up!

Chocolate Orange Cake

Yield One 3-layer, 8-inch cake

Chocolate orange cake layers with chocolate orange buttercream.

Ingredients

For the Cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cups good quality cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • zest of two large oranges
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature and shaken
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup hot coffee or hot water 

For the Frosting

  • 2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 10 oz. good quality dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 5 cups powdered sugar, measured and then 
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons orange emulsion
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

For the Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray three 8-inch round cake pans (you can also use four 6-inch pans) with nonstick spray. Line the bottom of each pan with parchment paper and spray the pans again.
  2. Combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. Add the zest and mix until combined.
  3. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, coffee or water and vanilla.
  4. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for about 16-18 minutes.
  6. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
  7. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill until ready to use. You're still going to want to level your cake layers to ensure a completely even surface for frosting and stacking. 

For the Frosting

  1. In a microwave safe bowl, heat the heavy whipping cream for about one minute. Pour the heated cream over the chocolate chips and stir until the chocolate chips are melted. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium-high speed for 2 minutes.
  3. Turn the mixer to low and gradually add the powdered sugar, orange emulsion and pinch of salt.
  4. With the mixer on low speed, add the chocolate ganache. Beat for another 3 to 5 minutes on medium-high. 
  5. Before frosting your cake, give the frosting a good stir with a wooden spoon to push out any air bubbles.  

3 thoughts on “Chocolate Orange Cake

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  1. Looks yummy, but I’d love to see a white orange cake….don’t see it on the website, unless I’m missing it! Keep it up, Courtney!

  2. Best Cake Ever!! I made this cake for my birthday. Yes, I made my own cake. But I love to bake and these are my favorite flavors and it did not disappoint. The cake was super moist with just the right amount of citrus flavor. I used dark chocolate cocoa for the buttercream and I could have eaten the entire bowl! It was amazing! Thank you for this recipe, it will be saved and made time and time again I’m sure!