I still love this layer cake, wouldn’t it make a great alternative to a traditional Christmas cake? Because I made this recipe again for a friend’s birthday cake recently, I thought I’d take some new photos and post it again as hopefully I’ve improved my blog photography a little in the last couple of years. (Natural light, who knew?)
This layer cake is surprisingly simple to make, a basic chocolate orange sponge cake and chocolate orange buttercream, a bit of tweaking and some pretty decoration and taa daa! Festive chocolate heaven right there.
  • 350g Unsalted butter
  • 350g Caster sugar
  • 6 Free range eggs
  • 80g Good quality cocoa
  • 270g Self raising flour
  • 90g Melted dark chocolate
  • 3 Teaspoons of Orange Extract (Waitrose sell a good one and it’s only £1.50 which is cheap as chips compared to some good quality extracts: Waitrose Cooks’ Homebaking orange extract)
For the icing:
  • 300g Unsalted butter
  • 600g Icing sugar
  • 150g Dark chocolate
  • 3 Teaspoons of Orange Extract
To decorate (if you fancy):
  • Sugarflair Tangerine Gel Food Colour
  • Your precious last Terry’s Chocolate Orange

  1. Grease 3 x 7″ round sandwich tins (or 2 x 8″).
  2. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  3. Cream your room temperature butter with your sugar until it’s pale, light and fluffy.
  4. Next, mix in the eggs, one at a time, beating really well after each egg. Don’t worry if it starts to look a bit curdled, it’ll all come good.
  5. After this, mix in your flour and cocoa. If you’ve been using a mixer, do this bit by hand. It helps to keep the sponge light.
  6. Stir in the melted and slightly cooled chocolate and the orange extract.
  7. Spoon into a your tins, smooth out with the back of a spoon. Make a bit of a dip in the middle to account for rising.
  8. Bake for about 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. You might need to adjust the time by 5 minutes either way depending on your oven.
  9. Meanwhile make your icing. Beat your butter until it’s pale, light and fluffy.
  10. Beat in your icing sugar and orange extract.
  11. Now split your icing into two bowls, weigh out 675g into one and there should be about 225g left in the other.
  12. Add 150g melted and cooled dark chocolate to the 675g bowl of buttercream. Mix in completely.
  13. Colour the other bowl of 225g of buttercream orange using Sugarflair Tangerine Gel Colour. Use a very very small amount at a time, just a tip of a knife or so, until you get the colour you fancy.
  14. If either batch of buttercream is too stiff, beat in a teaspoon or two of boiling water to soften and lighten the texture of the icing.
  15. When your cakes are completely cold, use a carving knife to level them. Just trim the top crust off. Remember, this is important, it’s not a waste of cake. If you don’t do this, with a cake this size it will be wonky.
  16. Top each layer with a spread of your chocolate buttercream. Then snip the top off of two disposable piping bags, fill one with the rest of your chocolate buttercream and the other with the orange buttercream.
  17. Pipe a circle around the outside of two of the layers, sit each on the one before.
  18. On the top layer, pipe small dollops all over and top with your segments of chocolate orange.