Let's Bake

Chocolate Orange Cake

Yield Serves 12-16 pieces 1x
Prep: 270 minutesCook: 30 minutesTotal: 5 hours

Chocolate orange sheet cake topped with a fudgy chocolate orange ganache. 


Chocolate orange cake

  • 230 grams (1 cup or 2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 200 grams (1 cup) caster sugar or granulated sugar
  • 135 grams (3/4 cup) brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature 
  • 245 grams (1 and 3/4 cups) plain flour or all purpose flour
  • 60 grams (3/4 cup) cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Zest of 2 oranges, finely grated
  • 120 ml (1/2 cup) orange juice, freshly squeezed
  • 240 ml (1 cup) full fat or whole milk

Chocolate orange ganache frosting

  • 360 ml (1 and 1/2 cups) thickened or heavy cream*
  • Zest of 1 orange, finely grated
  • 400 grams good quality dark chocolate*, finely chopped
  • 30 grams butter, softened


  1. Chocolate orange cake
    Grease and line the bottom of a quarter sheet pan (9 by 13 inches) with baking or parchment paper. Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F) standard / 160 C (320 F) fan-forced.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add butter and sugars and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until pale and creamy.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat briefly on a low speed until mixture is combined. It may look a little curdled here – that’s ok. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  4. In a separate bowl, add plain flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and orange zest and lightly whisk.
  5. Add dry ingredients, along with the orange juice and milk, to the butter mixture. Mix on a low speed until all the ingredients are combined and you have a creamy chocolate cake batter. 
  6. Pour chocolate batter into prepared cake pan and bake for approximately 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Leave the cake in pan to cool completely, but place the pan on a cooling rack.  
  7. Chocolate orange ganache
    Pour cream into a medium saucepan. Place on a low heat. Add orange zest and stir while cream is warming and being infused with orange flavour.
  8. Once the cream is warm (but not boiling), add chopped chocolate. Continue to stir while chocolate melts and becomes smooth. Add butter and stir until melted. Ganache should be smooth and glossy.
  9. Remove chocolate ganache from heat and transfer to a heatproof bowl. Let it cool for 15 minutes and then place it in the fridge for at least 3-4 hours. Give it a stir every hour. 
  10. Once the ganache is thick enough to spread, frost top of cake using a small spatula. 


Cake shape and size: I used a quarter sheet pan (9 by 13 inches) for this recipe. You can use this recipe to make two 8 inch cakes or three 6 inch cakes.

Orange juice: I recommend using freshly squeezed orange juice for maximum flavour. However, if you would like to use bottled orange juice, just make sure it’s 100% orange juice. 

Cocoa powder: I tested this recipe with 100% natural cocoa powder – it should not be sweetened. 

Cream: Be sure to use a high fat (at least 30%) cream for the ganache frosting. Don’t use pre-whipped cream or light cream.  I tested this recipe using thickened cream.

Dark chocolate: I recommend using a good quality block of dark or semi sweet chocolate (50-70% cocoa). I make this recipe using either Nestle Plaistowe dark chocolate or Cadbury Baking dark chocolate.

Ganache frosting: This frosting will take a few hours to chill in the fridge. Time and temperature will turn the ganache from runny to thick and fudgy. Times will vary, so check on your ganache every hour, giving it a quick stir, until it reaches your desired consistency. My ganache takes roughly 3 hours to thicken. You can make it ahead of time but it will continue to harden in the fridge. So you can either, leave it out of the fridge to soften slightly or microwave for 20-30 seconds at a time, until it’s soft enough to work with. 

Watch How To Make It

Nutrition Information

Serving Size: 1 slice Calories: 451 Sugar: 36.9 g Sodium: 143.9 mg Fat: 26 g Carbohydrates: 53.8 g Protein: 6.3 g Cholesterol: 83 mg
Nutrition information is a guide only.
Author: Jessica HolmesCategory: CakeCuisine: British
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