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+ servings
Side angle view of a chocolate orange cake, frosted with chocolate frosting and the top has sliced oranges

Chocolate Orange Cake

Rich and decadent chocolate orange cake with a chocolate orange fudge frosting
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 26 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 1 minute
Servings 12 slices
Calories 559kcal
Author Ella


  • 2x 8" cake pans



  • 240 ml hot water
  • 65 grams cocoa powder
  • 350 grams granulated sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 eggs room temperature
  • 220 grams all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 240 ml buttermilk room temperature
  • 120 ml vegetable oil
  • zest 2 oranges
  • 2 tablespoon orange juice


  • 80 ml heavy cream
  • 146 grams unsalted butter room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 300 grams bittersweet chocolate chopped
  • 200 grams confectioners' sugar sifted
  • zest 1 orange
  • 2 teaspoon orange juice



  • Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C. Grease 2x 8-inch cake pans with butter, then line the bottoms with parchment paper.
  • Combine the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment. Set aside. In a large jug, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, orange zest and orange juice and vanilla
  • While the mixer is on low speed, slowly pour in the ingredients in the large jug
  •  While the mixer is still running, slowly add the hot water and mix. Your batter will be very thin. Make sure the mixer is on your lowest speed so it doesn't splash everywhere
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted
  • Allow the cakes to cool completely before removing from pans.


  • In a medium saucepan over a low heat, mix together the cream, butter, and salt and bring to a simmer until completely melted. Add your chocolate and make sure it is completely covered by the cream. Let it sit for 2-3 minutes, then whisk until smooth. It may look curdled at first, but keep whisking it!
  • Pour the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Allow the mixture to cool completely, it should get thick like a ganache. If it is a hot day when you are making this, place the bowl in the fridge for 20-30 minutes to thicken up.
  • Add your orange zest and orange juice to the bowl, then place the bowl into your stand mixer and turn the speed to low.
  • Add your confectioners' sugar a spoonful at a time, making sure it is well incorporated before adding the next spoonful. Use immediately
  • Frost your cake! Place your cake in the fridge to firm up a bit. I decorated my cake with orange slices and chopped mixed peel.


My recipes have been developed and tested in metric grams. I highly recommend using a weighing scale and measuring out your ingredients the metric way. I have provided a conversion to US cups but please note that I haven't tested the recipe with this method.
Butter: I use European style butter, like Kerry Gold, in my recipes. This will make your finished bake much creamier and richer.
Salt: If you don't have kosher salt, halve the amount of salt called for in the recipe. 1 teaspoon kosher salt = ½ teaspoon fine salt.
Storage: Cover the cake tightly and keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. 
Freezing: Freeze for up to 3 months, let the cake defrost overnight in the fridge and then come to room temperature when you're ready to eat it. 
Buttermilk: No buttermilk on hand? Mix one tablespoon of lemon juice or white wine vinegar with 1 cup of milk, then let it sit for 5 minutes so it can curdle. 
The frosting recipe is adapted from Zoe Francois' book 'Zoe Bakes Cakes' 


Calories: 559kcal | Carbohydrates: 78g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 66mg | Sodium: 451mg | Potassium: 298mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 40g | Vitamin A: 495IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 80mg | Iron: 3mg