The ultimate dark chocolate blood orange cake entails a super moist and rich chocolate cake infused with blood orange juice and frosted with blood orange buttercream. Top with dark chocolate ganache and candied orange slices.
Soooo this was my first time baking with blood oranges and oh my goodness, are they beautiful or what?! Not only are they easy on the eyes but I got pretty lucky with those dark ones, they are so flavorful.
The easiest chocolate cake recipe ever
Going to be totally transparent here, I adopted this recipe from Tasty’s Blood Orange Chocolate Olive Oil Cake. When an idea pops into my head I always google it to see what others have done and when I saw how MOIST this cake looked, I had to try it. Let me just tell you, this cake crumb is phenomenal!
Oh, and did I mention the chocolate cake is also vegan?! So if you want to use a vegan butter for the frosting, you totally can. Ingredients for this cake are super simple:
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- Granulated Sugar
- Baking Soda
- Blood Oranges
- Olive Oil
Better yet, there’s basically four steps to this recipe:
- Zest and juice all the blood oranges.
- Whisk together all the dry ingredients plus the sugar.
- Combine all the wet ingredients plus the zest.
- Fold the wet and dry ingredients together.
How to make blood orange American buttercream
Flavoring American buttercream isn’t as easy as it sounds. The steps are simple but you have to get the ratio right because you don’t want it to taste too buttery or too sweet. The consistency has to be just right for frosting. Then when you add flavorings like blood orange juice, you can’t add too much because it will change the consistency and texture.
You can boil the juice until to evaporate some water but honestly…I’m too lazy for that. I’ll take the easy way out and just not do that, LOL. So If you add too much juice, the frosting will either split or just be an odd consistency. If you add too little, you won’t taste it. Sooooooo I made up for it by add more blood orange zest and only adding a 1/4 cup of juice.
How to make candied oranges?
I thought this would be so much harder than it was but oh my goodness, it’s so easy. You literally just simmer them in water with sugar for 15 minutes and then flip and simmer for another 15 minutes.
You can choose to dip them in granulated sugar for a little sparkle action or just leave them plain and silky. If you dip them in sugar, make sure to do it as soon as you remove them from the hot water because they dry rather quickly. Place them on a drying rack to cool completely before decorating.
How to store dark chocolate blood orange cake?
A fully frosted cake, like this blood orange chocolate cake, does not need to be covered unless it’s sliced and an unfrosted area is exposed to air. The cake can stay at room temperature for a couple days but for longer than that, refrigerate. If you’ve sliced it, store slices in an airtight container. If the cake is still whole with slices cut out, cover the exposed area with plastic wrap to keep it moist.
I hope you all enjoyed this post. I was never an orange chocolate fan but this cake has fully converted me! & isn’t it just so beautiful too?! ugh, I’m obsessed. If you make this dark chocolate blood orange cake, make sure to tag me @baranbakery on instagram. As always, have a blessed day and happy baking lovebugs!
- 1 medium orange
- 1 1/2 (355mL) cups water
- 1 1/2 cups (300g) granulated sugar
Dark Chocolate Cake
- 2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cup (300g) granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup (60g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Zest from 2 oranges
- 3/4 cup (177mL) olive oil
- 3/4 cup (177mL) blood orange juice (about 4 large oranges - reserve the zest for frosting)
- 1 1/4 cup (296mL) water
Blood Orange Buttercream
- 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 6 cups (720g) powdered sugar*
- 1/4 cup (59mL) blood orange juice
- zest from 3 blood oranges
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (3 oz) dark chocolate
- 1/2 cup (118mL) half and half (or 1/4 cup cream with 1/4 cup milk)
- Begin with making candied oranges to give them time to set. In a large shallow saucepan, bring water to a simmer.
- Add sugar and simmer until sugar is dissolved in water.
- Place sliced oranges in water (not overlapping them) and simmer on medium heat for 15 minutes.
- Flip and simmer on low heat for another 15 minutes.
- Remove and place on a drying rack to cool OR remove and roll in granulated sugar and then place on a drying rack to cool.
- Preheat oven to 350F and grease four 6 inch cake pans (or two 8 inch pans).
- Use a small grater to zest 5 blood oranges.
- Place the zest of 2 blood oranges in a large measuring cup with the olive oil. Set aside zest of 3 blood oranges for the buttercream.
- Use a citrus juicer to juice all 5 blood oranges. Reserve 1/4 cup of juice for the buttercream and add 3/4 cup or blood orange juice to the olive oil mixture.
- Combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda in a large bowl and whisk together.
- Add olive oil mixture and water to the dry ingredients and fold until smooth.
- Distribute evenly between pans and bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Blood Orange Buttercream
- Use stand mixer to beat butter with blood orange zest until it's pale and fluffy.
- Add half of powdered sugar and beat until it's incorporated.
- Add second half of powdered sugar and beat for 5-10 minutes, until sugar is fully dissolved and buttercream feels smooth.
- With mixer on low-medium speed, SLOWLY pour in vanilla and blood orange juice. Beat until fully combined.
- Place chocolate in a medium bowl.
- In a small sauce pan (or in the microwave), bring half and half to a simmer.
- Remove from heat and pour over chocolate, let it sit for one minutes.
- Stir until completely smooth.
- Let chocolate ganache cool for 5-10 minutes before pouring it on top of cake to get nice drips. If it cools too much, microwave for 10 seconds and stir.
- Place the first layer of cake on a flat surface and spread about 1/4 of the buttercream on top. Repeat with the next three layers and use the rest of buttercream to frost the outside of the cake.
- If at any point the cake feels unsteady, refrigerate it for 15-30 minutes. Once the cake is fully frosted, refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes and then pour the chocolate ganache on top.
- Let it set in the refrigerator for another 15 minutes and then top with orange slices.
- *You can always add a little more powdered sugar or a little less, make it to your taste and make sure it's firm enough to keep the cake standing.