This super moist chocolate orange cake is made in one bowl and is made with fresh oranges, and frosted with chocolate orange buttercream.
This cake is a delectable dessert that combines the rich and indulgent flavors of chocolate with the refreshing citrus taste of oranges.
The combination of chocolate and orange creates a delightful balance of sweetness and tanginess, making this cake a crowd-pleasing treat for any occasion.
Made with the most amazing chocolate orange buttercream that has orange zest and melted chocolate in it!
Why this recipe works
- Texture- this cake is extremely moist and tender and is topped and frosted with a silky smooth chocolate orange buttercream. Every bite will melt in your mouth.
- Chocolate and orange flavor- this cake is made with moist chocolate and orange cake layers that are topped with chocolate orange buttercream.
- Chocolate orange buttercream- this cake is frosted with an easy but delicious and silky smooth orange chocolate buttercream that is made with orange zest, cocoa powder, and melted chocolate for the ultimate burst of flavor.
- One bowl cake- this cake comes together in just one bowl like plenty of my chocolate cake recipes which makes this process super easy and effortless.
How to make even cake layers
Before you start to make this recipe, measure and prepare your ingredients so the cooking process will go smoothly and easily.
Flour– we used all-purpose flour for this recipe, self-rising flour, and cake flour will work great as well.
Dutch cocoa powder– we like to use Dutch-process cocoa powder for our chocolate cake because we like the deep and rich chocolate taste, but the natural cocoa powder will work great as well!
Granulated sugar– we like to use granulated sugar, also the most common sugar used in baking. Caster sugar will work great as well.
Orange juice- we highly recommend squeezing your own orange juice because it really adds a lot of flavor and aroma, way more than using store-bought orange juice.
Orange zest- you will need 1 teaspoon of orange zest. Don't skip this step, this really gives the cake a delicious orange aroma.
Eggs- To give the cake a good structure. Make sure you’re using room-temperature eggs.
Hot coffee- make a strong hot coffee, you can use espresso, or instant coffee, both will work.
Salt- We used kosher salt for this recipe. Salt doesn’t give the cake a salty taste, it helps to enhance the chocolate flavor.
For the chocolate orange buttercream
Butter- use unsalted butter for this recipe. Only butter will work for this recipe, no margarine, and no coconut oil. Margarine has a weird taste and can ruin the flavor of these delicious cookies.
Vanilla extract- adds extra flavor.
Powder sugar- is known as confessional sugar. For a smoother buttercream, sift it before adding it to the butter.
Cocoa powder- we used Dutch cocoa powder. You can use natural cocoa powder as well.
Add the hot coffee, and mix well until the batter is smooth. Don't overmix!
Divide the mixture into two 8-inch baking pans, we suggest using cake strips for even baking. (weight the batter for better results) and bake in a preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
For the chocolate orange buttercream:
Make the orange chocolate frosting: into a large bowl add room temperature butter and mix with a hand mixer or a stand mixer until the butter is light and fluffy.
Add half of the powder sugar and the cocoa powder and carefully mix until combined.
Add the other half of the powder sugar and mix until smooth.
Add the orange zest and vanilla extract and mix until combined.
Pipe a small dollop of the frosting on the surface that you will frost on. Lay the first cake layer over the frosting dot.
Pipe ⅓ of the frosting on top of the cake layer and spread an even layer.
Top with the second cake layer and frost the cake.
For decoration, smooth the sides of the cake (it shouldn’t look perfect) and make wave motions on the top of the cake for a rustic look. We like topping this cake with slices of fresh orange.
- Don’t skip the coffee in the cake, you can’t taste the coffee, it simply enhances the chocolate flavor.
- Use cake strips! Cake strips give you even and perfectly baked cake layers. Click here for the amazon link.
- Cool the melted chocolate before adding it to the chocolate frosting! This step is a must, if the melted chocolate will be hot, it will melt the butter and the chocolate frosting will be ruined.
- Use room temperature ingredients. It is important that you use room-temperature ingredients like eggs and butter. This step ensures that your mixture mixes into a homogenous mixture and bakes perfectly. you don’t want to place cold batter into the oven.
- Measure your flour correctly! When measuring your flour, avoid scooping it with a measuring cup. Instead, stir the flour with a spoon to create as many air pockets as possible, and spoon it into your measuring cup. Finally, level it with a back of a knife.
- Don’t overmix the batter, you don’t want to develop the gluten in the flour. This step ensures you have a moist cake and not a dense and dry cake.
- Line your baking pan with parchment paper! This step helps the cake to bake evenly, and it makes sure that your loaf cake will release easily from the pan.
- Make sure that your butter is at room temperature. An hour or two before making these cookies, take the butter out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature. The butter should be soft to the touch. If your butter is too cold, it will be harder to mix and there will be lumps of butter in the dough.
- Be patient! I know it’s extremely tempting to frost this cake as it is pulled out of the oven, but let the cake cool for at least 1 hour so it will be more firm and won’t crumble up, and prevent the frosting from melting.
Yes! you can bake this cake into a 9x13 inch sheet cake. Change the baking time and keep an eye on the cake so it is fully cooked.
No! you can’t taste the coffee. Adding the coffee simply enhances the chocolate flavor. So, don’t skip the coffee on the cake!
We like to use Dutch processed cocoa powder because it gives the cake a deeper rich chocolate taste, and natural cocoa powder will work! It’s just a personal preference.
This cake will last up to 5 days stored in the fridge. Cover the cake with plastic wrap or foil to prevent it from drying out.
You can freeze this cake after it cooled completely in an airtight freezer-friendly container for up to 3 months, some people find the cake tastes better after freezing it.
You can freeze the whole cake or slice it into slices and then freeze it.
If you are freezing individual slices of the cake, I would recommend storing them in a ziplock bag and then transferring them to an airtight freezer-friendly container.
Make it ahead of time
You can make this cake ahead by freezing the cake layers ahead of time. Wrap each cake layer with a few layers of plastic wrap and freeze for up to 2 months.
Thaw at room temperature for 1-2 hours or in the fridge overnight.
When you are ready to frost and assemble the cake, make the frosting, and assemble the cake as written in the instructions!
Gluten-free - if you want to make this recipe gluten-free, simply replace the flour with gluten-free flour.
Egg-free- to make this cake egg-free, replace the eggs with ⅔ cup of applesauce.
Dairy-free - you can make this cake dairy-free by replacing the butter with vegan butter.
Frosting- Use your favorite chocolate frosting like dark chocolate frosting, chocolate fudge frosting, chocolate whipped cream frosting, stabilized chocolate whipped cream frosting, chocolate cream cheese frosting, etc.
Cupcakes- make this cake into cupcakes! Divide the batter and the frosting in half and make a dozen of chocolate orange cupcakes!
More chocolate recipes
Double chocolate banana bread- This double chocolate banana bread is filled and topped with chocolate chips, extra moist, and melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
Best fudgy brownies- These fudgy brownies are made from scratch brownies are loaded with chocolate chunks, and take under an hour to make. These brownies are fudgy, rich in chocolate flavor, have a crinkly top, and are gooey on the inside.
Chewy double chocolate cookies- These double chocolate cookies are chewy, soft, have slightly soft edges, and are loaded with chocolate flavor and chocolate chips!
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If you liked this recipe:
Moist Chocolate Orange Cake
- Cake strips to make perfect baked cakes with even tops.
- 8-inch cake pans to bake the cakes in.
- Mixing bowls best glass mixing bowls.
For the cake:
For the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 180 (350f) and prep two 8-inch baking pans with parchment paper.
- Add the hot coffee, mix well until the batter is smooth. Don't overmix!
- Divide the mixture into two 8-inch baking pans, we suggest using cake strips for even baking. (weight the batter for better results) and bake in a preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely before frosting.
For the frosting:
- Make the chocolate frosting: into a large bowl add room temperature butter and mix with a hand mixer or a stand mixer until the butter is light and fluffy.
- Add half of the powder sugar and the cocoa powder and carefully mix until combined.Add the other half of the powder sugar and mix until smooth.
- Add the orange zest and vanilla extract and mix until combined.
For the assembly:
- Pipe a small dollop of the frosting on the surface that you will frost on. Lay the first cake layer over the frosting dot.
- Pipe ⅓ of the frosting on top of the cake layer and spread an even layer.
- Top with the second cake layer and frost the cake.
- For decoration, smooth the sides of the cake (it shouldn’t look perfect) and make wave motions on the top of the cake for a rustic look. We like topping this chocolate orange cake with slices of fresh orange.