September 25, 2021
Chocolate Orange Traybake Cake!
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An easy and delicious chocolate orange traybake cake with a chocolate orange fudge cake, and chocolate orange buttercream frosting!
So we all know just how obsessed I am with anything chocolate orange… I just can’t help myself. I just love the combination of milk or dark chocolate with an orange twist. My favourite of course is to have a terry’s chocolate orange, but just the flavour, in general, is delicious.
I have been so obsessed with this flavour combination that I have about 25 other chocolate orange recipes on my blog which is slightly mad if you honestly think about it… how can there be so many ways to bake with the flavour?! Don’t worry though, I have many more ideas.
When I do my recipe request posts on social media, I get so many people to ask for traybake sponge cakes as they are so easy to do. No faffy decorating, nothing too difficult at all – and it’s always so delicious. I have a few already such as my chocolate fudge traybake cake, or my G&T traybake cake, but this one is probably my new favourite.
When I thought about doing this chocolate orange traybake cake I couldn’t work out whether to do just a regular basic chocolate sponge or go a little more indulgent… but because I love my chocolate fudge cake style sponge so much I thought I would stick to it, just add a little orange flare.
The sponge is a bit more effort, but it’s so easy in reality. The ingredients list can look a little daunting, but trust me when I say that it is 100% worth following the idea and using the ingredients mentioned!
Chocolate and coffee
When making this chocolate orange traybake cake sponge, it really is so important to stick to using dark chocolate. When baking, it is always best to use 70%+ cocoa content chocolate as well, to get the best results. I know a lot of people don’t like the bitterness of dark chocolate, but by the time you add in the rest of the ingredients, it’s delicious.
For this cake you also use coffee. Again, THIS IS SO IMPORTANT TO USE. PLEASE trust me when I say that using the coffee is worth it, even if you hate coffee! You can NOT taste it, it just enhances the flavour of the chocolate and you will regret it if you do not use it.
It may surprise people to use plain flour in a cake, but the raising agent comes from the other ingredients. You don’t want to use self-raising flour as the cake is already so delicate!
The buttermilk with the bicarbonate of soda creates a rise in the sponge with the plain flour along with a little baking powder. You can create your own buttermilk by whole milk with 2tbsp of lemon juice, then let the mixture sit for 5 minutes – it will look curdled but trust me its fine.
Because it is so important to use dark chocolate in the sponge, I don’t use Terry’s chocolate orange in the cake itself. I find using orange extract is so good as it brings the same flavour, but is so much easier!
You can also use orange zest to flavour the sponge if you would prefer it over extract. Some people like zest and not extract whilst others prefer zest – so the choice is yours! I saved my zest for the top of my traybake this time.
For the bake, the chocolate orange traybake cake mixture will be quite liquid, but it’s meant to be! You do NOT need to use a cake mixer to make the mixture, this may over mix it. Just a large bowl and a spoon will do. When you pour it into the lined tin, let it bake for the specified time, and then check.
If you check a cake too soon, it may sink. If you use the wrong ingredients, it may sink. If you over measure on the raising agents, it may sink. Baking is like chemistry, and it has to be done correctly! Use a cake skewer to test the middle of the cake, but also listen to the cake. If it’s making a bubbling/crackling sound, it needs longer baking!
Once baked, make the frosting. This is an orange version of my best ever chocolate frosting, and it is just SO GOOD I CANNOT COPE. It’s luscious and so moreish, and I would happily just eat it with a spoon. I flavour this with orange extract – you wouldn’t want to use orange juice as it would be too much liquid.
I slather the frosting onto the cake, add some grated orange zest as it’s pretty, some sprinkles, and then some slices of terry’s chocolate orange! It really is the best chocolate orange traybake cake you will find and I am sure you will all love it! x
Chocolate Orange Traybake Cake!
- 250 g dark chocolate (70%+)
- 250 g unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp instant coffee
- 125 ml boiling water
- 200 g plain flour
- 50 g cocoa powder
- 1.5 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 250 g caster sugar
- 250 g light brown sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 100 ml buttermilk
- 1 tsp orange extract (or zest of 1 orange)
- 250 g unsalted butter (room temp) (not stork)
- 500 g icing sugar
- 50 g cocoa powder
- 100-125 ml evaporated milk
- 1 tsp orange extract
- Orange zest
- Terry's chocolate orange
For the Cake
- Preheat your oven to 160ºC/140ºC Fan, and line a 9x13" tin with parchment paper.
- In a heatproof bowl, microwave the dark chocolate and butter until melted – mine takes two minutes!
- Pour the coffee granules into 125ml boiling water and mix – add the coffee to the chocolate/butter mix and stir well until smooth!
- In a separate large bowl add the plain flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, caster sugar, and light brown sugar and mix well so the ingredients are all mixed with each other well!
- Mix the eggs with the buttermilk and orange extract – add the chocolate mix and the egg mix to the dry ingredients and stir together, try not to over mix it – you don't need to use an electric mixer, just use a bowl and a spatula.
- Pour the mixture into the tin and bake in the oven for 50-60 minutes (can take a little longer in some ovens) once baked leave to cool in the tin and remove afterwards, or leave for 10-15 minutes and cool on a wire rack for a softer cake.
For the Frosting
- With an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until its very smooth and supple (couple of minutes)
- Gradually add the icing sugar & cocoa powder alternatively with the evaporated milk until all is incorporated and add the orange extract – beat for a couple of minutes so its extra smooth & creamy.
- The more evaporated milk you add the more runny it’ll be, and I have found about 100ml-125ml is perfect for me!
- Decorate your cake how you like - I used sprinkles, orange zest and terry's chocolate orange!
- This cake will last for 3 days at room temperature.
- This is the cake tin I used
- I 100% would stick with using the coffee in the cake, you can't taste it, but it helps the chocolate flavour so is important.
- The cake can take longer to bake if its over mixed - be as gentle as possible with it.
- If you can't access buttermilk, you can make your own by using 100ml of FULL FAT milk, mixed with 2tbsp of lemon juice! It will look curdled but this is fine.
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Hi Jane, do you think there would be much of a flavour difference if I used double cream instead of evaporated milk in the frosting? I’m guessing it would be less sweet? x
Hiya! There will be a slight flavour difference, though it wont be that much less sweet. Hope this helps! x
Is it really 500g of sugar in the cakr. That seems way too much!
Hiya! Yes, this is definitely correct, its a pretty large cake! Hope this helps x
Hi I’m not a fan of butter icing, any suggestions on what I can replace it with , thank you 😊
Hiya! Anything you like, ganache, water icing, even a Swiss meringue frosting! Hope this helps! x
Hi, I can’t get evaporated milk here, I’d it ok to leave it out?
Hiya! Depending on what you have, replacing with something such as double cream should work! Hope this helps! x
Hello Jane love the second book 😀 if I half this recipe in a 7” x 11.5” tin HOW LONG WOULD I BAKE for please? I was thinking 35 mins on 140c fan 🤔x
To make buttermilk how much milk to lemon juice do. I use. Thankyou
Hiya! I would use 1 tbsp, whisked in and sat for 5 minutes before mixing in! Hope this helps! x
If I was to make chocolate ganache instead of using buttercream how much double cream and chocolate would I need to use for this size cake?
Made this and it is absolutely delicious. Will definitely make it again😃
Hi there, is it really 1 tbsp of coffee rather than 1 tsp? Going to try this tomorrow but that sounded like a lot 🙂
Hiya! Yes this is correct! Hope this helps, enjoy! x
Thanks, the cake was lovely!
Just wondering if this traybake can be frozen as I want to eat some, freeze some. Many thanks.
Yes absolutely – you can freeze this for up to 3 months! x
My son got his first “gold” at school last week and this is what he has requested for his treat 🥰
wow – this look great Jane.
may I ask though, how many does it serve?
The recipe says 20 servings.
Absolute stunner of a recipe! Choc cake is so hard to get right and this one is rich and moist (perfection!). I used Lidls J.D.Gross 70% & 85% chocolate (1 bar = 125g) and whole milk with lemon instead of buttermilk. I also used a 20cm baking tray – this mix was a bit too much, could have reduced it to 3 eggs and it still would have been plenty (probably could have halved it). Thank you Jane, you’re a legend!
Does this recipe work if made with gluten free flour or do I need to add baking powder?
Can I substitute condensed milk for evaporated?
Nooo, definitely not! They do not swap out unfortuantely x
This is a real cracker! Yummm
Can this tray bake be frozen
Hiya! Yes of course! Hope this helps, Team Jane x
Would this amount of recipe work in two 8×8 tins with adjusted baking time?
Can you use the tray bake tray you recommended for the school cake? X
Hiya! Yes absolutely you can! Enjoy! Team Jane x
This looks amazing! I want to give it a go this morning! I have all the ingredients here apart from buttermilk and evaporated milk and no lemons – can I replace both with normal milk or should I just wait until I have the special milks? Thanks!
I can’t get orange extract locally,can I use anything instead?