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5 from 31 votes

Chocolate Orange Cake

Dark chocolate cake layers and buttercream with a hint of orange.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Cake
Keyword: chocolate buttercream, Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Orange Cake, Orange


For the cake

  • 2 cups (240g) all purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cup (350g) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (88g) good quality cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp (8g) baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp (3g) baking powder
  • 1 tsp (5.6) kosher salt
  • zest of two large oranges
  • 1 cup (240g) buttermilk room temperature and shaken
  • 1/2 cup (109g) vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 tsp (4.2g) pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (236g) hot water or hot coffee

For the frosting

  • 2 cups (452g) unsalted butter slightly chilled
  • 10 ounces (187g) good quality dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup (57.7g) heavy whipping cream
  • 5 cups (625g) powdered sugar, measured and then sifted
  • 2 1/2 tsp (8.4g) orange emulsion
  • pinch of salt
  • *This buttercream recipe makes enough to fill and cover your cake. If you want to add additional piping, you’ll want to make an extra 1/2 batch.


For the cake

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Spray three 8-inch or four 6-inch round cake pans with nonstick spray. Line the bottom of each pan with parchment paper and spray the pans again.
  • 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.
  • In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, coffee or water and vanilla.
  • With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  • Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pans and bake for about 23 t0 28 minutes.
  • Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
  • 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 Buttercream

  • 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.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium-high speed for 2 minutes.
  • Turn the mixer to low and gradually add the powdered sugar, orange emulsion and pinch of salt.
  • With the mixer on low speed, add the chocolate ganache. Beat for another 3 to 5 minutes on medium-high.
  • Before frosting your cake, give the frosting a good stir with a wooden spoon to push out any air bubbles.