Orange chocolate cake

Orange chocolate cake


This recipe is one which is close to my heart. It forms part of one of my earliest and fondest memories. I was 5 and my two younger brothers, Tim and Nick, were packed into the backseat of the family car heading south on holiday with Mum. Having just started school, I was unable to join them, and my disappointment showed as Dad and I stood on the grass berm outside our little villa waving goodbye. Sensing this, Dad bundled me up in his arms and took me into the kitchen where he sat me up on the bench. We measured and mixed, sifted and stirred and here my love of food and cooking was born, as well as my first chocolate cake.

This recipe has evolved over the years into a darker, richer cake than the one Dad and I made over 20 years ago! What I like most about it is that although it contains very little fat or sugar, it is always a crowd pleaser, being consistently moist, light and deliciously tasty. It is also a very versatile cake. Whilst in this instance it is flavoured with orange zest, you can substitute this for rose water, grated ginger or frozen berries. Mum does a great Black Forest version where she cuts the cake in half, spreads one side with jam and cream, and finishes it off with chocolate butter icing. However if you are short on time, the original chocolate cake recipe (the recipe below minus the orange zest) simply dusted with icing sugar is always delicious too.


Cake 50g butter 2 tbsp golden syrup 1/2 cup brown sugar 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 egg 1/2 cup cocoa 3/4 cup flour 1 tsp baking powder 1 cup milk 1 tsp baking soda grated zest of one orange Icing 200g dark chocolate ½ cup cream


Cake 1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 C. 2. Melt the butter and golden syrup together, either on top of the stove or in the microwave. Add the sugar and the vanilla extract to this melted mixture and whisk together for a minute. Add the egg and whisk again. 3. Dissolve the baking soda in the milk and then add to the golden syrup mixture, stirring to combine. 4. Sift the cocoa, flour and baking powder together over the golden syrup mixture, and add the orange zest. Stir together until just combined, making sure to get rid of any lumps (without overmixing). 5. Pour into a greased 20cm ring tin and bake for 25 - 30 mins or until a skewer comes out clean. Icing 1. Put the cream and chocolate in a saucepan and melt over a medium heat until the mixture is smooth. 2. Let the mixture cool slightly. 3. To ice, place the cake on a rack and pour icing over evenly. 4. Decorate with crystallised orange peel.

17 thoughts on “Orange chocolate cake”

  • dear god! im trying to sip my coffee while catching up on foodie news and i have to saw my jaw just dropped. this looks sinfully delicious yet light and airy, can’t wait to give it a shot!

  • dear god! im trying to sip my coffee while catching up on foodie news and i have to say my jaw just dropped. this looks sinfully delicious yet light and airy, can’t wait to give it a shot!

  • There’s something so simple yet elegance about the picture above! Of course, there are tons of recipes for chocolate cake with thousands of variations out there, but I think I must try out your recipe!

    Thanks for posting and for sharing!

  • Thank you! It is a beautifully simple but delicious cake. I did put whipped cream between the layers. I made it the other day and also tried it with marmalade between the layers which worked really well too. Enjoy! Emma.

  • I was just wondering what size cake pans did you use? The cake looks wonderful and I’m making it for a birthday and want it to be just right!!!
    Thank You!

  • Thank you for your lovely comments. I am sorry for the slow response and I hope this reaches you in time. I often use a 23cm ring tin, but for the cake in the photo I used a 20cm loose bottomed tin. I will measure my tins at home just to be sure and get back to you if I am wrong. Happy baking!

  • Today I baked this cake with my friends for a birthday. They’d never made cake before, so it was nice that the recipe wasn’t too difficult. Furthermore, it was a hit! The orange zest really made it special. Thanks!

  • I’m glad it was such a hit! It is my favourite, quick, easy and fail-safe cake recipe which always tastes SO good! Emma

  • Hi there, i would like to try this cake for my son’s birthday and the cake tin requires a “2 tin” recipe. Is this recipe for one layer i.e. double it to make the 2nd layer, or does this recipe divide among two tins? Hope this isn’t a silly question! Thanks

  • Hi Suzie,
    It’s not a silly question at all – I should have been more clear in the first place! I just make the one cake and then cut it in half with a bread knife. It is really easy! Happy baking, and Happy Birthday to your son.

  • Hi Emma,

    The cake looks yummy and was featured in Kitchen & Bathroom Living. I would love to make it. Can you give me the recipe using ounces or grams please rather than cups. Thanks.

  • Hi Helene,

    That is really cool that you saw us featured in Kitchen and Bathroom Living – it is nice to know we are popping up round the world!

    I went onto the net to find the conversions for you so I hope that they translate well. The things which I converted for you are the sugar (100g), the cocoa (60g), the flour (85g) and the milk (250ml). Remember to bake the cake in a ring tin as it gives it more height.

    Let me know how you go!


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