Chocolate and orange is one of my favorite flavor combinations, so this week when I was deciding on a desert to take to a dinner party, I decided to be selfish and make something I really like. I began by looking at a number of orange cake recipes, I selected one from Bakers Royale that had good reviews and I already had all the ingredients for. I may be a food blogger but I still hate having to make a special trip to the grocery store for a single ingredient. The cake is light and springy, I would absolutely use this recipe again. The original recipe did not include the coriander or marmalade filling but those two additions give the cake a little extra orange flavor that I really enjoyed.

Dark Chocolate and Orange Layer Cake

The candied orange slices are something I have never made and so once I decided I was doing an chocolate orange cake I wanted to give making them a try. I had anticipated that the process would be hard or at least tedious, it’s not. It really is as simple as boiling water. The candied orange slices are like orange flavored gum drops and we all really liked them. My process is based on this post from Simply Sated. Now I just have to figure out a use for the orange simple syrup that is left over from the process, I am thinking either cocktails or glaze for pork…we shall see.

The cake was a hit at dinner, lots of flavor and the candied orange slices makes the cake a show stopper. I served it with Grand Marnier whip cream but the cake could easily stand on its own. The whipped buttercream frosting is fabulous, but don’t forget to use the dark coco powder, the extra bite goes so nicely with the orange. I am not a cake artist but the whipped frosting is easy to work with and the candied orange slices look like stained glass helping make the cake look spectacular even if your frosting skills are pretty basic.

Dark Chocolate and Orange Layer Cake

Course Dessert
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 4


Orange Cake

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 ½ tsp coriander
  • ½ olive oil
  • 2 tbs orange zest
  • ½ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups orange marmalade

Candied Orange Slices

  • 1 orange sliced very thin
  • Large bowl of ice water
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar

Dark Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  • 3 sticks of softened salted butter
  • 2/3 cup dark chocolate unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • Water


For the Cake

  1. Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 8 round cake pans with parchment and spray with no-stick spray.
  2. Whip the eggs and sugar together until thick ribbons form. Set aside.
  3. In a second bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and coriander.
  4. Mix the orange juice, orange zest, and olive oil together and then add to the egg mixture. Beat until combined. Working in small batches, incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Divide the batter between the two cake pans.
  5. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the toothpick in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes then turn out the layers on to wire racks and cool completely before building the cake.

Candied Orange Slices

  1. Slice the whole orange into very thin rounds. Bring 1 ¼ cup of water to a boil in a large skillet. Boil the orange rounds for 1 minute remove from water and put in the bowl of ice water.
  2. Add 1 cup of sugar to the boiling water, stir until dissolved. Turn down the heat and add the orange rounds to the pan. Let water evaporate occasionally flipping the rounds over until the skins are semitransparent. About 30 minutes.
  3. Remove rounds from pan place on baking rack to dry, at least a few hours or overnight. Reserve the orange simple syrup for other uses.

Buttercream Frosting

  1. Put the softened butter in a large bowl add in cocoa powder, vanilla, salt and one cup of sugar. Mix on high until fluffy. Keep adding sugar one cup at a time along with a tablespoon of water to the frosting to help the sugar to incorporate. Keep whipping the frosting for a light as airy consistency.

Build the Cake

  1. Place bottom round on cake pan. Pipe a small ring of frosting around the outside edge of the top of the first layer. Top the layer with the orange marmalade, filling in the frosting ring.
  2. Place second layer on top. Frost the cake as you like and garnish with the candied orange rounds.

Recipe Notes

Using water in place of milk and salted butter in the buttercream frosting makes the frosting less perishable, so no need to rush the cake into the fridge. Cold frosting and cake have less flavor so unless you are have leftovers that you want to keep around for a long time, just cover the cake and leave it on the counter.

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