clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Chocolate Orange Layer Cake

Chocolate Orange Cake

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

No reviews

  • Author: Rebecca Neidhart
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: An 8", 3 layer cake 1x


Layers of chocolate cake, tangy orange curd, and sweet buttercream make this cake a beautiful blend of flavors and textures



For the Cake Layers:

  • 2 1/4 cup (270 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 cups (450 g) white sugar
  • 3/4 cup (60g) dark cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp. (9 g) baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. (9 g) baking soda 
  • 1 1/2 tsp. (14 g) salt
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. (12 g) cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

For the Orange Curd:

  • 2/3 cup orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 8 Tbsp. butter, unsalted

For the Buttercream:

  • 5 egg whites
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups + 4 Tbsp. soft butter

For the Ganache:

  • 4 oz. (1/2 cup) whipping cream
  • 4 oz. chopped dark (at least 60%) chocolate
  • Candied Orange Slices


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees f, then grease two 8” cake tins and sprinkle them with cocoa powder.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all of the wet ingredients together and mix on low until well combine. Sift in the dry ingredients, then stir on medium low for about 2 minutes, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula to make sure that all of the ingredients are being mixed together.

Divide the cake batter between the two cake pans and bake for 28-30 minutes, or until the top of the cake springs back when you tap it very gently. Alternately, you can insert a toothpick and make sure it comes out clean or with only one or two crumbs on it.

Remove the baked cakes from the oven and allow them to sit in the pans for 5-10 minutes before turning them out onto cooling racks. Allow them to cool completely before leveling or decorating.


Orange Curd:

In a small mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks until smooth, then set them aside. Combine the raspberry and lemon juice, sugar, and salt in a medium sized saucepan, then stir and heat over medium-low heat until the sugar has completely dissolved and the mixture is steaming.

Slowly pour the hot juices into the egg yolk while whisking briskly. Be sure not to add it too quickly, or it will cook the egg yolks and create chunks. Pour it all back into the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Remove it from the heat, then cut the butter into chunks and stir it in until it has all melted. Pour the curd into a clean bowl and cover it with a sheet of plastic wrap. Refrigerate until completely cool, then store in an airtight container.

For the Buttercream:

Place the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer (make sure it’s heat proof). Add about an inch of water in the bottom of a medium sized pot and bring it to steaming over medium low heat. It shouldn’t be actually boiling, but there can be small bubbles around the edges. Place the bowl with egg whites over the water, and whisk and heat until the sugar has completely dissolved and the mixture has reached 160F.

Once they are ready, place the egg whites bowl on your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on medium speed until it forms stiff peaks and the bowl no longer feels hot to the touch. You don’t want it melting your butter!

Cut the soft butter into chunks of 1-2 tablespoons, and with the mixer still running, add the butter in one piece at a time. It will look curdled while adding the butter, but once it’s all added it should be smooth and fluffy, perfect for spreading!

To Assemble the Cake:

Set one layer of the cooled cake on your cake plate, then spread a very thin layer of buttercream over it. Place some of the buttercream in a piping bag or ziploc bag and cut the corner of. Pipe a rope of frosting around the edge of the cake, creating a dam to hold the filling in. Spoon a layer of the curd over the cake inside the dam, then set another layer of cake on top.

Repeat the frosting/dam/filling steps, and place the top cake on upside down so that the finished edge from the pan is facing up. This will make it easier to decorate without getting lots of crumbs in the frosting.

Frost the entire cake with a thin layer of frosting, then put it in the refrigerator and allow it to harden completely. This traps and crumbs in the lowest layer and makes the final product look cleaner.

Once the frosting is chilled and hardened, add a thicker layer of frosting. You can opt for a semi-naked finish on the sides (that’s what I did), which simply means you want to add less frosting and allow some of the cake to show through. Or you can smooth more frosting over it and cover the cake completely.

To decorate the frosted cake, make the ganache by bringing the whipping cream to a simmer. Pour it over the chopped chocolate and allow it to sit for 5-8 minutes, then stir until smooth. Spread it over the top of the cake, pushing it gently over the sides if you want a drip. Top with the candied oranges, and serve. 

Cake can be made a day ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator.


  • There are multiple components for this one, so I would recommend starting at least a day before you want to serve this cake. You can even make the cake layers a couple of weeks ahead of time and freeze them, and the orange curd can be made several days early!
  • You can make your own candied oranges (I used this recipe), or you can purchase them. Trader Joes has some nice ones.
  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Category: Cakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Dessert