Chocolate Orange Cake

remember that age...

...that age as a kid when you’re convinced your dad can do *everything?*

I remember feeling SO awed when I watched my dad whack a chocolate orange for the first time. And I remember the same wave of awe when he took the wrapper off and the entire thing was in chocolate orange wedges.

He made it look soo easy! And it was SO cool!

Well….honestly, I felt a little bit like that when I finished this cake. Super cool-looking AND super easy!

I’ve talked to *so* many people who are intimidated by baking, or who sound convinced they could never bake something that they love or are proud of.

And I remember reading scratch cake recipes when I first started out baking cakes – paging through the recipes feeling intimidated by the number of ingredients and the sheer volume of steps it would take me to even finish *just* the cake layers!

So…I made this one *super* easy. Literally. You could use a scratch recipe if you really wanted to – subbing in orange and white chocolate liqueurs – but you could make your life *super* easy and just use what I used – two white cake mixes!

Now you too can feel like a wizard. Recipe below!



- 2 boxed white cake mixes
- 1 c butter (or oil)
- 1/2 c water
- 1 c White Chocolate liqueur (I used Godiva)
- ¾ c Triple Sec or other orange-flavored liqueur
- 8 eggs

Preheat oven to 325 F. Grease three 8- or 9-inch cake pans with baking spray with flour and/or line pans with parchment paper. 
Combine butter or oil, water, liqueurs, and eggs in a bowl, and blend in packaged cake mixes. (Essentially you're making a boxed mix but replacing most of the water with flavored liqueurs. Feel free to tweak the recipe to the box's recipe if it doesn't match mine.) Beat for about 2 minutes, until well blended. Divide batter evenly between the prepared cake pans (I find a kitchen scale helpful for this part). This guarantees your layers will bake to be the same height.

Bake for 32-35 minutes if using 8-inch pans, or 28-33 minutes for 9-inch cake pans (or until a skewer comes out clean). Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then run an offset spatula around perimeter of the pan to separate the cake from the pan. Allow the cakes to cool until barely warm to touch – this can be accomplished more quickly by placing the cake layers into the fridge to accelerate the cooling process.

This is a great time to make your frosting!

Chocolate Orange  Frosting:
8 oz (one package) cream cheese, softened
16 Tablespoons (two sticks) butter, softened
6 c powdered sugar
1 c cocoa powder
3-4 Tablespoons Triple Sec or other orange liqueur
1/4 t. salt
Beat together softened cream cheese and butter; slowly add in powdered sugar alternating with the cocoa powder and liqueur until frosting reaches desired consistency. Add and salt and beat until well combined.

Additional Supplies/Equipment:
- 1 8- or 9-inch cardboard cake circle
- large piping bag & large star tip
- 2 small tangerines/oranges – technically optional, but I added a bit of an extra orange kick to my cake layers with fresh orange juice after they were baked
- 2 chocolate oranges – I bought mine at a local grocery store, but you can find them online as well! The filled orange slices in the link were actually the inspiration for this cake!
- 2 small squares of chocolate if desired – I added a small amount of shaved chocolate between my cake layers
- Cake leveler, cake turntable, offset spatula, and bench scraper - not all 100% necessary but incredibly helpful! 
- I also used a Wilton icing comb on the sides of this cake – optional, but I really liked the decorative effect that it added!

Once the layers have fully cooled, they can be leveled, and you can trim any crumbly or caramelized edges with a serrated knife if you’d like. Leveling can be done with a cake leveler or a large serrated knife and a ruler. Be sure the layers are completely cooled or chilled before trimming. If you try to trim the layers while they’re still warm, they will crumble apart.

Now you’re ready to start assembling!

Place a smear of frosting on your cake circle (to keep the cake from sliding while you decorate it) and center your first cake layer in the center of the circle. Cut one of your small oranges in half, and squeeze each of the halves over the cake layer to infuse it with fresh orange juice. Spread the layer with frosting. This part is optional, but I took a square of my favorite chocolate and shaved some of it onto the frosting between the layers. Place the next layer on top, and repeat the above process with your remaining cake layers.

Now you're ready to crumb-coat . If you're unfamiliar with crumb-coating, it's just what it sounds like – spreading a thin layer of frosting over the entire outside of the cake to keep crumbs out of your final layer.
Once your crumb coat has set (this takes about 5-10 minutes in the fridge), add your final layer of frosting and smooth. I like to use an offset spatula and bench scraper for this part. Once your cake is covered, place the icing comb on the cake circle against your cake and run the comb around the cake to texture the frosting. Getting the textured I like required multiple passes around the cake with the icing comb, so be patient! Once you’re happy with the frosting, place the cake into the freezer for about 10 minutes to set the frosting.

Un-box and break apart your chocolate oranges – I ended up using about 1 ½ of them in total to decorate the entire cake. Full disclosure though, I broke several of them accidently, so I probably could’ve gotten away with 1 if I were a bit less clumsy.

Transfer your remaining frosting to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip, and Alternate chocolate orange slices with frosting swirls to make a decorative edge around the upper rim of the cake.

Halve several orange wedges and press the halves into the frosting around the base of the cake. Chop or shave another 2-3 slices and sprinkle the chocolate pieces around the base of the cake, pressing them into the frosting with a small offset spatula.

Make this recipe? Let me know  how it went - or find me on Instagram and tag @IntensiveCakeUnit in your photo!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *