This chocolate orange cake is super moist, and has the perfect balance of orange and chocolate flavors that compliment each other so well. Top it with candied orange slices for a beautiful presentation.
Chocolate and orange is one of my favorite flavor pairings. Who doesn’t love it? In the winter, we always get excited to buy Terry’s Chocolate Oranges. My family loves snacking on the little wedges.
This cake tastes exactly like that! Rich and chocolatey with a good kick of orange to cut the sweetness. The perfect treat to have as the weather gets colder. I would love nothing more than to have this cake and some hot tea right now.
Ingredients to Make Chocolate Orange Cake
The ingredients to this cake are simple and pretty straight forward. You’ll probably have most of them in your kitchen already.
- Unsalted Butter- The key here is unsalted. If you use salted butter it will taste slightly different. Also, make sure to set out your butter ahead of time to make sure that it’s nice and soft and ready to use.
- Sugar– plain white sugar
- Flour– plain all-purpose flour
- Orange– try to get a bio or organic orange if you can. Zest the orange all the way, then roll in on your cutting board to loosen the juice and get more liquid out of it when juicing the orange.
- Cocoa powder– you can use any kind of cocoa powder for this cake. I personally like dark cocoa powder, the extra bitterness cuts the sweetness of the cake a bit and adds a more complex flavor.
- Eggs– any eggs will do
- Baking powder and soda– pretty straight forward, but make sure your ingredients aren’t out of date so that the cake rises properly.
- Milk– in our house all we have is 1% milk, but any kind is okay for this recipe
- Powdered sugar– make sure to sift your powdered sugar if you notice any lumps in it
- Corn syrup or orange simple syrup– corn syrup will make the icing smooth an shiny, and orange simple syrup will do the same thing. If you happen to have orange simple syrup on hand, use that instead for the extra boost in flavor.
How to Make Chocolate Orange Cake
To make this chocolate orange cake, first preheat your oven to 350 F. Then grab your bundt pan, grease it liberally and flour it. I promise that if you don’t grease and flour it, your cake will stick. It’s a waste of a perfectly good and beautiful cake!
Wash and zest your orange, then roll in on your counter or cutting board to loosen the juice. Juice the orange and set the juice aside.
In a large bowl beat together your butter, sugar, and orange zest until the mixture is fluffy and doesn’t have any lumps or unincorporated bits. Add in the eggs, beating between each addition. Then throw in the rest of the cake ingredients and beat well. The batter should be slightly thicker than a normal cake batter, so if your batter is thick dont worry. It all turns out great in the end!
Pour the batter into your greased and floured bundt pan, and then put it into the oven for 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Take the cake out of the oven and allow it to set until completely cooled. It has to be cool so the icing doesn’t melt and run off the cake.
You can slice the cake and eat it without icing if you want. I actually really like it this way, because it’s not overly sweet and the flavors of chocolate and orange aren’t overpowered.
How to Make the Frosting
While the cake is cooling, make the icing by combining all the icing ingredients. Stir together until the icing is smooth and shiny. Once the cake is cool, ice the cake. I like to use a sandwich bag to ice this cake, just because it’s easier than fixing up piping bags.
Fill the sandwich bag with icing and then cut a small hole into it and ice the cake. You can also use a spoon if you don’t want to go through the trouble.
Then decorate the cake however you like! We used candied oranges to make the top look fancy.
If you don’t like icing, you could also dust the cake with powdered sugar, add a smooth chocolate frosting and chopped chocolate to the top or try this cream cheese frosting.
Can I Make a Layered Cake Instead?
Yes, you can turn this recipe into a layered chocolate cake, if you want. We used a bunt pan because it make the perfect sized slices, but you can make a two-layered cake instead, and maybe put some chocolate frosting in between the layers.
Storing Chocolate Orange Cake
Part of what I love about this cake is that it’s super moist! Because of that I recommend eating it as soon as possible so you get the soft goodness when it’s fresh. You can also keep it in a cool place in an airtight container. I would not advise freezing this cake.
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Chocolate Orange Cake
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 medium orange juiced and zested
- 5 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 4 eggs
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
For the Icing
- 2 teaspoons milk
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons light corn syrup (or use orange simple syrup)
- Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F. Grease and flour a bundt pan.
- Beat the butter, orange zest, and sugar in a large bowl until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each egg. Mix in the other cake ingredients until a smooth batter forms.
- Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Set aside until completely cooled.
- Mix together the ingredients for the icing. Ice the cake once the cake is cooled. Decorate.
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Hi! I’m Angela and I joined the team in 2020. I love to try new foods and recipes and look forward to passing them along to you. I live in a small town in Oregon with my two adult children who enjoy experimenting with food as well.