Recipe: Chocolate Orange Cake

Cake iced using chocolate butter cream with chocolate and orange ruffles around the edge
Cake iced using chocolate butter cream with chocolate and orange ruffles around the edge and stripes on the side

Is there a better combination than chocolate and orange? I realised recently that it has been absolutely ages since I made a chocolate cake. Of course then I just had to make one, so decided to treat us to a chocolate orange cake.

This is a super simple recipe. The cake itself takes just 10 minutes to prep and is out of the oven in 20 minutes. Whipping up the buttercream is a doddle too and you can make the icing as complicated or not as you’d like.

I made a double batch of icing so that I would have enough to pipe extra decorations on the top, but you can easily just make one batch to cover the entire cake. Or even just fill the cake and ice the top so you don’t need to bother icing the sides. So many options! The reality is that it doesn’t matter what the cake looks like when it’s as delicious as this chocolate orange cake.

Cake iced using chocolate butter cream with chocolate and orange ruffles around the edge and stripes on the side

Chocolate Orange Cake

Beautifully simple chocolate orange cake
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Icing Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes


For the cake

  • 200 g golden caster sugar
  • 200 g unsalted butter
  • 4 large eggs
  • 200 g self raising flour
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 orange grated zest only
  • 2 tbsp milk

For the buttercream

  • 125 g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 400 g icing sugar sifted
  • 3-4 tbsp milk
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder (optional) sifted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
  • food colouring (optional)


For the cake

  • Pre-heat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas mark 5. Grease and line two 20cm round cake tins.
  • Beat together the golden caster sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Mix in the orange zest and milk.
  • Sift in the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder and then gently fold into the mixture.
  • Divide evenly between the two cake tins and then bake for 20 minutes (or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean).

For the buttercream

  • Beat the butter for a few minutes until light and fluffy.
  • Gradually sift in the icing sugar and continue beating after each addition.
  • Mix in either the cocoa powder or vanilla extract, along with any food colourings you would like to use.


Depending on how you plan to decorate your cake, you might need to make two batches of icing. The single batch should cover and fill the whole cake with a thin layer buttercream. Or it will give you a thick filling and thick layer on top, leaving the sides bare. I made two batches to ensure I had enough for the ruffles on top. For the second batch, I substituted the cocoa powder for a teaspoon of vanilla extract and some food colouring paste.
Keyword cake, chocolate, orange

If you are searching for cake inspiration, why not have a look at my Honey and Lemon Cupcakes?

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Hello, I'm Helena. Mum to two beautiful boys and wife to Mik. Born and bred in South Wales but now living in North East Scotland where I've given up my job as an engineer to be a stay-at-home Mum. I hope you enjoy following along with our parenting journey here.

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