Chocolate Orange Cake

Happy Mother’s Day, everyone! I hope you are celebrating those special women in your life. Today, I’m sharing this Chocolate Orange cake that almost any mom would enjoy.

Chocolate Orange Cake | Bakers Royale

I know many of you are thinking citrus belongs with something light and bright, like these recipes here and here. Well, this cake is here to tell you citrus is classic—it goes either way – light and bright, or deep and dark. By deep and dark, I mean deep with flavor and dark with chocolate.

Chocolate Orange Cake_Bakers Royale

In fact, chocolate paired with oranges go together like strawberries and cream. It’s one of my favorite flavor profiles, so I had to pair that with my favorite type of dessert – cake. Think of the recipe as the cake version of those addicting chocolate covered candied orange peels you get in specialty chocolate stores.

The cake is rippled with Cara Cara zest and punched up with some fresh squeezed Cara Cara juice. If you’ve never had Sunkist’s Cara Cara Oranges, that needs to change! It’s one of my new favorite varieties. It’s dark orange on the outside and pinkish-red on the inside. It’s super sweet with a slight cranberry –like zing—which made it perfect for this cake.

Cara Cara Oranges | Bakers Royale


To finish the cake, the frosting is a simple chocolate buttercream infused with some orange oil. If you can use orange oil vs. orange extract, then pay the few extra dollars for the oil.  The flavoring is so much deeper and more authentic tasting than extract.

As for the Sunkist Cara Cara Oranges, they will be resurfacing very soon in another dessert, so stay tuned.

Chocolate Orange Cake via Bakers Royale

Chocolate Orange Cake Bakers Royale 400x400

this recipe

Chocolate Orange Cake

Yield: Serves 8-10


Orange Cake

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Cara Cara orange zest
  • ½ cup fresh squeezed Cara Cara orange juice
  • ½ cup sourcream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  • 3 sticks butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 4-5 tablespoons milk
  • ½ teaspoon orange oil


To make cake:

Preparation: Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line bottom of two 8x2 inch round cake pans with parchment paper. Lightly cover each pan with bake spray; set aside.

In a stand mixer bowl, fitted with the whisk attachment add in eggs and sugar, beat for about 5 minutes or until mixture is pale and thick and ribbons forms on itself when whisk attachment is lifted.

In another large bowl add in flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; mix to combine. In a medium bowl add in the olive oil, lemon peel, lemon juice, and buttermilk; mix to combine.

Add the vanilla to the beaten egg mixture on low speed until just combined. With the mixer still on low add the dry and wet ingredients in three additions, starting with dry and ending with wet. Evenly divide batter between the two prepared pans.

Bake until a toothpick inserted near the centers comes out free of wet batter, about 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cakes cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes before removing cake from pans. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make frosting:

In stand mixer bowl beat butter and cocoa powder on low with the paddle attachment until just combined, then turn mixer to high and beat for about a minute.  Add in one cup of sugar at time, alternating with the 1 tablespoon of milk. After each addition beat on low until just combined, then turn mixer to high and beat for 30 seconds. Add in orange oil and beat until fully incorporated.


*This is a sponsored post in partnership with Sunkist. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help make running Bakers Royale possible.

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  1. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonMedeja says

    Chocolate and orange is definitely a great combination! Cake looks fantastic!

  2. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonRenee says

    The recipe looks easy enough but you left out the amount of sugar in the cake? Would like to try this.

    • Avatar for Naomi Robinson

      Naomi Robinson replied: — May 11th, 2015 @ 6:14 am

      Hi Renee – It’s in there now. Sorry about that – cut and paste mishap!

  3. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonBertha says

    Sugar? Eggs? Egg yolks? The cake looks good, but the ingredients… Please update!

    • Avatar for Naomi Robinson

      Naomi Robinson replied: — May 11th, 2015 @ 6:15 am

      Hi Bertha – It’s in there now. Sorry about that – cut and paste mishap!

  4. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonNorma says

    Yeah, you’re teasing us! Listing ingredients in the directions that aren’t listed in the ingredients list! Please fill us in on the missing ingredients! I’d also like to know how this would convert to cupcakes. I’ll be making cupcakes for my son’s wedding and these would be so good for the cupcakes he’s requested!

    • Avatar for Naomi Robinson

      Naomi Robinson replied: — May 11th, 2015 @ 6:16 am

      Hi Norma – It’s in there now. Sorry about that – cut and paste mishap!

  5. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonJoanna says

    Looks absolutely beautiful! Both, the cake and the styliing! (I love food and photos! :)

  6. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonKaitlin says

    You are KILLING me with those swirls of frosting. So lovely. The swooshes on top are so fab too!

  7. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonMary+Ann+|+the+beach+house+kitchen says

    Naomi these cake sounds and looks beautiful! I love a fruit flavoring in my cakes so this will be on my list of cakes to make!

  8. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonAmy @ Amy's Healthy Baking says

    I hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day and didn’t have to do any dishes! (It’s all about the little things in life, especially for food bloggers with lots of measuring cups and cake pans to wash, right? :) ) My mom would’ve loved the chocolate frosting and asked for an extra bowl of it alongside her slice. She’s always been a chocoholic, and I’m so glad she passed that down to me!

  9. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonThalia @ butter and brioche says

    Chocolate and orange is such a classic combination that I can just imagine how delicious this cake must have been. Craving a slice now! Xx

  10. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonErin @ Miss Scrambled Egg says

    My first experience with chocolate and orange was smashing those solid chocolate oranges on my kitchen counter as a child. This cake seems like the perfect (and less messy) way to enjoy chocolate and orange together. Beautiful.

  11. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonKatalina+@+Peas+and+Peonies says

    I one for sure would enjoy it, just need to find someone to bake it for me next year for Mother’s Day :) oh maybe I can just bake it and eat it now!

  12. Avatar for Naomi Robinsonmarla says

    Oh girl…..this cake is spectacular!! Agreed, orange & chocolate is soon amazing!