Chocolate Orange Cake

Chocolate Orange Cake

This is a really unassuming cake, looks like nothing but tastes amazing.

It’s not often my boys ask me to make something in particular but the other half will beg for this cake.   I see some bribery tactics up my sleeve….


200g caster sugar

125g butter, softened

2 eggs, large

1 whole orange

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp salt

250g plain flour

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda dissolved in 180ml water.

200g dark chocolate

Makes 1 x 8″ cake

Preheat the oven to 160c (fan)/180c/Gas Mark 4.

Prepare an 8″ tin by lining with baking paper.  I’m using a paper liner, because I’m a lazy oik.

Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in the water and set to one side.  Good ol’  jug!

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs and vanilla and beat well until fully combined.

Add the flour and salt to the mixture and fold through until you have an even consistency.

Take the whole orange, remove the brown stalky bit if it has one.

Chop it into rough chunks by hand and then blitz in the food processor, skin and all.

Don’t puree it too finely so its dissolves to mush just until the pieces are like a chunky marmalade.

Add this to the cake batter along with the water and bicarbonate of soda and stir.

Don’t say it, I know it looks vile…

Chop the block of chocolate into fairly large pieces, about 1/2cm squares.

Finally add the chocolate and stir through to combine.

Pour the mixture into your prepared tin and bob it in the oven to bake.

An 8″ cake should take 45-50 minutes to bake, however it’s really important to test it by inserting a skewer which should come out clean.  If the skewer still has cake mixture clinging to it return it to the oven and check further every ten minutes.

I normally like to give really accurate bake times for my recipes but depending on how big (and how juicy) your orange is will affect the baking time.  Occasionally I have had one of these cakes take just over one hour to bake so do check your cake!

Once baked right through remove from the oven and allow to cool fully on a wire rack.

Serve with a big mug of tea!

Chocolate Orange Cake

Chocolate Orange Cake

Ruth Clemens, Baker Extraordinaire


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103 Responses to Chocolate Orange Cake

  1. Christine Shearer says:

    Ooooh that looks delicious Ruth! Just made a cuppa and really neeed a slice of that cake noooowww! 🙂

  2. Magnolia Verandah says:

    Orange and chocolate are such a great combination. Never judge a book by its cover.

  3. Wrenster says:

    Hi Ruth. This looks absolutely divine – will definitely be printed off for my recipe folder! A quick question if that’s ok? Would milk chocolate work ok aswell? My family are fusspots and while I love dark choc, they don’t! I’m never sure in baking if there is a reason everyone recommends dark chocolate? If you could help that would be great. Thanks so much

  4. Kathleen McKeown says:

    Hi Ruth,
    Going to make this cake please could you tell me where you got the cake liners from. Kath.x

  5. Just waiting for the online shop, I do believe I ordered oranges! What luck!! This looks lovely.

  6. Ruth, my boys like butterscotch and caramel so I guess this would work with either of those instead of chocolate. They asked me once to make them a big jaffa cake cake so I made a sponge, covered it with marmalade and them topped off with chocolate. Very well received! While I am here, can you please confirm about how long I can keep lemon curd either in the fridge or cupboard. I have read conflicting views of two to three weeks to a couple of months.Help!

    • Officially three weeks once opened in the fridge – much the same as a lot of other sauces but I find it keeps much longer (as long as you keep children with crumby buttery knives out of it!) xx

  7. Rachel Brown says:

    How long does this cake keep? I’m guessing because of the orange it’s mosit and therefore could cope with 4 days?

  8. dharma says:

    Este bizcocho es una delicia. Doy fe de ello. Saludos

  9. Kate says:

    Ooh, that looks divine, Ruth. And so simple!

  10. Liz Faulkner says:

    Sounds a like gorgeous must try! Thanks for another great recipe Ruth 🙂

  11. HELEN says:

    ooh that looks amazing…another one of your fab recipes I have to try!

  12. narf7 says:

    Nice and easy to make and looks delicious… I just worked out what I am baking this weekend. The mug of tea sold it 🙂

  13. Barb says:

    Oh man! My giving-up-chocolate-for-Lent is under serious threat!! Would covering it in melted chocolate be a step too far, do you think? (serious question!)

  14. Femke Castles says:

    Hi Ruth
    Yum, yum! Sounds delish! I will make this today.
    I have a question about butter. My daughter is allergic to dairy, so can’t have butter. What do you think if I use dairy free margarine for this cake (or any cake really)
    Femke from NZ

  15. maud says:

    Hi Ruth, i will definately be trying this choc orange is my favorite combo, can you use wholemeal flour, have you tried it ?

    • I’ve not tried it with wholemeal flour, i’d be tempted to use half plain and half wholemeal x

      • maud says:

        good thinking, I will make it this afternoon and let you know how it turns out

        • maud says:

          The cake was lush a little denser because of the wholemeal but excellent all the same. I made half the quantity in a 6inch tin and it took about 40 mins to cook,
          Hubby doesnt like choc/orange so I guess I will have to wat it all myself o)
          Thx for the great recipe.

  16. Heather says:

    I’ve a tried and true recipe for an orange cake that has a whole orange in it just like yours – but not the chocolate – Yummm – I can’t imagine that keeping 4 days in our house – it’s the kind of cake my other half would love too 🙂

  17. Sarah says:

    Yum I’m going to make this today.
    Do you think it will be ok as a tray bake? As I want to do it for lots of people

  18. I’ve had cakes like this before and 100% agree – they don’t look particularly special but they are SO good. No need for any glaze or icing, just a big slice of chocolate orange deliciousness.

  19. Karrie says:

    Actually looks and reads as totally yummy … will be giving this one a try very soon!

  20. rosie larking says:

    Hi Ruth, this arrived in my inbox and I immediately sorted the ingredients out & bought oranges this morn! Great!
    But have only just read through whole recipe now and the dreaded F.P word was mentioned….I dont have one of these!! Would it just be a case of chopping up really really small??!!
    I do have a blender though I have just remembered! Would this work?

    Cheers, rosie

  21. Rainie Bish says:

    This sounds really delicious, hope to try making it this weekend. Thanks for the recipe Ruth

  22. Sarah says:

    Mine turned out lowly. Thank you Ruth. I will be sharing it tonight with a group of people. The tray bake method worked fine. X

  23. Beth says:

    This popped up in my email and I made it yesterday. Really easy to make and really yummy. I think my pan was too shallow. Ruth, what depth should the 8″ pan measure?

  24. Mark says:

    Hi I have an idea using your mix but I’d need to shape the mixture it looks pretty wet when it goes into the oven would you recommend partial cooking or maybe putting in the fridge? any advice would be awesome thanks

    • Shaping isn’t going to be possible with this cake mixture. You either need a shaped tin or to bake it as a traybake, cut into smaller pieces, stack and then carve the shape you’re looking for.

  25. Janjam says:

    Ohh noo not another cake I have to make. Just taken it out of the oven, even looks like yours. All your recipes are just so easy, you are my kind of cook!

  26. Judi Delaney says:

    Hi Ruth made this just after lunch – absobloominlutely lovely and as my elder son said ‘if it’s got a whole orange in it then it counts towards my 5 a day – can I have another slice and count it as 2 of my 5 a day?’ Love the logic almost as much as the cake!

  27. Rosy says:

    Hi Ruth – This cake is yummy, i made it today and am enjoying now with a cup of tea as recommended :-). All the chocolate has sunk to the bottom – how can i fix this? (although having a choc layer is rather nice!) Thanks x

    • That tends to happen if your orange is really juicy! Try chopping the choc into smaller chunks or tossing it in an extra tablespoon of flour before adding to the mixture which should help hold it up! Xx

  28. Cathy Glynn says:

    I have been dying to make this all week and it is now in the oven, can’t wait to taste it. Thank you so much for the recipe x

  29. tracey h says:

    hi ruth made this cake over the weekend,
    and it was fab….tasted amazing thankyou for sharing the recipe xx

  30. Libby says:

    Hi, have been reading your blog for a while, but this is the first time I’ve got round to trying one of the yummy recipes, and it is indeed yummy! (However, I managed to muck up getting it out of my not-lined-properly-because-I’m-lazy spring form tin, and have now gone and bought cake liners to prevent future disasters!)

  31. Nicola Smith says:

    My chocolate all sunk to the bottom too, and it needed a lot longer in the oven. Must have been the size of my orange. Tasted lovely though.

  32. Ruth Jones says:

    Hi Ruth! I also made this at the weekend,gone too soon! I also had the problem of sunken chocolate, but it was still very tasty.I’ll try your tips next time.

  33. Shelly Terry says:

    Hi Ruth,

    This recipe was great, it turned out a treat 🙂 Both me and my husband loved it! As did my customers in the cafe that I bake for!
    Can I ask where you got this recipe? Is it one of your own creation?
    I always like to know the history of where recipes come from 🙂

    Thank you X

  34. Abi says:

    Made this today (with satsumas, didn’t have oranges) and it’s been swiftly demolished, really easy and tastes fabulous! One for the recipe book!
    Thanks a lot Ruth 🙂

  35. Cath H says:

    A lovely cake that the whole family enjoyed.Thanks

  36. Jud says:

    Made this cake for my lot just after the email recipe came. It was the “my boys” reference that made me think this would be a winner with mine and it was! Tinkered with the recipe (sorry can’t help myself sometimes) and substituted 50g of flour with 50g of ground almonds and it was beautifully moist and yummy. The chocolate sank to the bottom but we didn’t care. Youngest son calling it “Jaffa Cake” so I think that name may stick in our house. Great recipe!

  37. Katie Bryson says:

    I love the look of this Ruth – the kind of cake to have in your cake tin for afterschool treats or mid-morning recovery with coffee… def putting this on the list to try.

  38. Heather says:

    Hi Ruth
    I made the cake today, chocolate was well dispersed and didn’t sink :)- but had the age old problem of cake being cooked really nicely except for 1 1/2 inch circle in the middle – have you ever tried it in a ring tin? Cooking it longer would have dried out the edges – any suggestions ?

    • I’ve never tried it in a ring tin but it should work fine. I would check your tin is 8″ as a smaller tin would mean a deeper cake which would take longer to bake through in the oven. I’d also check your oven temp with a removable thermometer to check it’s where it should be temp wise. Failing that put your tin on a good quality baking tray which will help to conduct the heat evenly through the cake to get it cooked through in the centre x

  39. Evie says:

    Made this cake today-yummy! Lovely and light and very easy but mine did take a little more than an hour to cook. As my husband is not a great chocolate lover can you suggest anything else to complement the orange flavour. Thanks!

  40. Yvonne says:

    It’s in the oven as I type. Have used a square Pampered Chef (lined as I don’t think it’s reached it’s optimum non-stickiness yet!) and the mixture filled it just about right. Not sure how long it’ll take to bake but the kitchen smells lovely already! Many thanks!

  41. Baking Bookworm says:

    This looks so yummy! I just made vanilla cupcakes this morning using your recipe and they are delicious! I am only just starting out in baking and didn’t even know you could get vanilla paste until I read that recipe. Got some and what a difference to the taste! Mmmmmm!

  42. Lucy says:

    I made this for my Mum’s birthday and we’ve just finished eating it – delicious, loved by all! 🙂

    Because it was a birthday cake I made a simple icing with icing sugar, orange zest & juice which was lovely, but I can easily imagine it being just as good without.

    Best bit is that my (usually fussy) husband enjoyed it too, do I will definitely be making it again, yey! Thanks for yet another great recipe Ruth 🙂

  43. Monkey says:

    Made this afternoon and it is absolutely delicious, thank you once again Ruth – I love your recipes. To others: please try Ruth’s beef cobbler recipe, it’s superb and soooo easy! I made both today and have earned myself some serious brownie points :0)

  44. Now that sounds like the perfect cake, never mind what it looks like! You don’t eat cake by looking at it!

  45. Anna's Pantry says:

    Ruth, tried this at the weekend since orange & choc together is one of my favourite combinations. Delicious.

    Anna’s Pantry

  46. Julie says:

    Made this yesterday morning whilst O/H was still in Bed, the smell got him up, it hadn’t been out the oven 5 mins before I was asked if it was cool enough to cut, we did abstain for a further 15 mins but couldn’t wait any longer….. mmmmmmm wounderful when the chocolate is still a little runny and the scrumptious orange taste, don’t think it will last the week.. Thank you

  47. Lorraine says:

    I made this last weekend but didn’t have enough dark chocolate so added a few grams of white…it was awesome. My Husband has made everyone drool at work lol.

  48. alia khan says:

    Woah this cake is gorg! I made it to use up an easter egg and it was deeelicious. Any idea what quantities i would need to make this as a traybake? I feel as many people as possible should be able to taste this cake.

  49. Errin says:

    You are a real inspiration. I started baking after watching you on The Great British Bake Off. This is the 4th recipe of yours I’ve tried and it’s turned out great. I doubled the recipe and made 3 smaller 4″ cakes and some cupcakes. I live in South Korea, so I only have a small toaster oven. The big cakes took just over 2 hours, but the cupcakes finished in 40 minutes and tasted delicious. I’m taking them into work tomorrow to treat my coworkers and use as bribes to get my students to write more. I’d recommend people to double the recipe. My boyfriend has already eaten 3 cupcakes and is eyeing up one of the big cakes. He claims that he has to eat one so that I know that they’ve all been cooked all the way through.

  50. I made this last weekend using a square 8inch tin and using gluten free flour. Worked very well. I don’t have a FP so used the liquidiser on my kenwood chef. I’ve already been asked to make it again. Thank you Ruth it was scrummy.

  51. Awful, wont make again, batter very runny, did not bake nice at all, i don’t do disasters but this was definately one!

  52. Gerry says:

    Mine is in the oven. Excited!!

  53. Mrs Charlotte Rotherham says:

    Hi Ruth

    The chocolate and orange cake can it be made in advance and frozen I am doing a Macmillan Coffee morning on the 28th September so would thaw it out Thursday morning ready for the coffee morning thanks

  54. Nicola says:

    Awful! Made this today for my husband’s birthday as he loves chocolate orange. I even melted two Terry’s choc orange bars and spread on top of this cake, before cutting it looked and smelt beautiful. When cut it was really soggy, the orange was too overpowering and I really wish I had omitted the orange skin cause thats all I could taste. I have checked the recipe and am confident I have followed it correctly! Disappointed and embarrassed as was cut in front of my husbands family!!!!

  55. Pingback: 10 best recipes with … chocolate | Seasoned Blog

  56. Rachel says:

    You did a very chocolate-y orange cake at the Cake and Bake show this year, with whole segments of orange in not processed (or at least that is how i remember it, may just be having a blonde moment) id you did indeed bake this, please can i have the recipe or know where to find/buy it? I would love to try make it. Thanks Rachel

  57. Lisa says:

    I’ve made this cake at least once a month since Ruth first put it on here & each time it’s been fabulous.
    Today, I decided to make buns rather than a cake & they weren’t as great as the cake. I don’t know why but the cake seems to be the winner.
    The buns didn’t look as nice as a slice of cake.
    So from now on I’ll stick to making the cake 🙂 It is a fabulously tasting treat!!!

  58. Lindsey says:

    I tried this recipe for my family yesterday and it was a huge success! My chocolate had also sunk to the bottom but they asked me not to try to fix it next time, they all loved the gooey layer!
    Thanks for the recipe, I’ve been re-bitten by the baking bug after finding your blog 🙂

  59. Eileen Pashute says:

    Just made it, it’s in the oven now – will report back in a couple of hours xx

  60. Dawn says:

    Yummy, easy, recipe – no chance of it lasting 4 days in our house! Thank you!

  61. Gill says:

    The smell in my kitchen is divine…. Had to bake it for 1 hour 5 mins as the centre was still sticky. The pain of waiting for it to be cool enough to eat is killing me. Happy Mothers Day to me tomorrow 🙂

  62. Stella says:

    Thank you Ruth! Just made this cake and it is heavenly! My roommates love it 🙂 Used an tangelo (Mineolla) instead of an orange, baking powder instead of soda and added some milk and it worked out fine. Greetings from Holland!

  63. Daintydear says:

    I made this last night as I had a lonely orange in my fruit bowl! It was delicious! The texture was perfectly moist and it took ALL my will power not to have a third slice 🙂

  64. Rebecca says:

    Hiya – how long will this cake keep as a maximum or does it freeze well? I’m in charge of cakes for our camping holiday and need something that will last 5-6 days or so.

  65. Hi Ruth, I’ve just made this, it was really easy and it smells lovely…chocolate seems to have stayed where it should too 🙂 The only downside is it’s not for me so I don’t get any! :p

  66. Debbie says:

    Hi Ruth, I was just wondering if the flour can be replaced with spelt? if yes, will it be the same amount? Would really want to try this but my family can’t take to much gluten.

    Thanks and looking forward to bake this goody!

    • It can yes, I think it would be trial and error try replacing the full amount and see what the cake is like, it may be you have to reduce the spelt to 75 -50% depending on how it turns out x

  67. Claire says:

    Just made this and it’s fab. Very forgiving recipe, I used up 3 types of sugar, 2 flours random sized eggs and a smallish orange oh and three different chocolate types, popped in the oven for an hour and hey presto! Thanks Ruth 🙂

  68. takethatfan1978 says:

    I’m really looking forward to this cake,its in oven now however it still seems to be raw at the middle centre. I gave never had that with a cake before!

    • just keep testing it with a skewer until its done, the difference in bake time is because some oranges are larger than others and obviously then contain more juice – these will push the cake baking time higher x

  69. Cate says:

    Just made this cake for Sunday afternoon tea and we ate it when it was still warm. Oh my god it’s amazing. Keep up the great work x

  70. Gemma Matthews says:

    Cooking chocolate or normal chocolate ?

  71. I’ve made this using two lemons and white chocolate chips. Very yummy. Worked well with both normal and gluten free flour as well.

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