This easy-to-bake chocolate orange sponge is filled with chocolate orange buttercream. Start by greasing two 8‐9-inch round cake pans and lining them with parchment paper rounds; grease the parchment and lightly dust with cocoa powder. Whisk all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl until everything is well incorporated. Then, add the eggs, milk, oil, and extracts and beat them with a mixer until everything is well incorporated for approximately 2 minutes.

In a small saucepan or the microwave, heat the orange juice until just boiled and then pour it into the batter very slowly while you fold and stir the batter by hand. Do this until it’s very well blended. It will be very liquid. Divide batter evenly between cake pans and bake for approximately 40‐50 minutes until the centre is set and a toothpick tester comes out clean.

Remove the cakes from the oven and allow them to cool on cooling racks for 10‐15 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the cakes and invert onto cooking racks to cool completely. Peel off the parchment paper when cooled. While the cakes cool, make the frosting. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together with a mixer.

Then add the cocoa powder, hot orange juice, and the extract, if using, and beat until well blended, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the cream cheese until smooth and whipped. Refrigerate until firm so that it’s easier to spread. To assemble, place one layer on a serving plate and then frost the top of the first layer. Stack the second cake on top of the frosting gently, and then frost the top layer as well.

You can leave it rustic like that with two thicker layers of frosting between layers and on top, or you can spread the top layer of frosting, bringing down the sides to evenly coat the sides. Either way is delicious. Refrigerate the cake until ready to serve. Frosting gets very soft and gooey at room temperature but is fabulously delicious. Decorate with candied orange slices and sprinkle the cake with shaved dark chocolate. Both of these are optional.



  • 125g/ 4Oz (½ cup)softened butter
  • 96 g/ 3.4Oz (3⁄4 cup) caster sugar
  • 64 g/ 2.2O (1⁄2 cup) icing sugar
  • 170g / 6Oz (1 1⁄4/ cup) self-raising flour
  • 68 g/ 2.4Oz (1⁄2 cup) cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup/ 250 ml milk
  • 1 1⁄2 tbsp orange zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

Chocolate orange ganache;

  • 300ml thickened cream
  • 1 1⁄2 oranges, zested
  • 350g/ 12.3Oz dark chocolate (54 %), melted


  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line a 22cm-diameter round baking pan with baking paper and set aside.
  2. For the chocolate mud cake, place the butter, caster, and icing sugar in a stand mixer and beat on medium to high speed until pale and fluffy.
  3. Add in the eggs one at a time and beat until well incorporated.
  4. Combine the flour, cocoa powder, bicarb soda, and salt in a separate bowl. Pass through a sieve and gradually add into the cream mixture, alternating with the milk.
  5. Mix at low speed and increase the speed for 1 minute, then add the orange zest and vanilla.
  6. Scrape the sides and base of the bowl and mix once more.
  7. Pour the mixture into the lined tin and bake for 40-50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Then, allow it to cool completely.
  8. Place the cream and orange zest into a saucepan over medium to low heat to make the ganache.
  9. Bring to a gentle simmer and remove from the heat. Allow infusing to be covered for 10 minutes.
  10. Bring the mixture back to a boil and strain. Gradually pour the hot cream mixture into the melted chocolate, whisking after each addition until fully incorporated.
  11. Allow to cool down slightly until a spreadable consistency.
  12. Place the cooled cake on a cake stand or serving plate to assemble. Spread a generous amount of chocolate orange ganache over the cake and decorate as you wish.