Chocolate and Orange Cake

Choc orange cakeThe Bald One turned 30 this week and despite a 10 minute lecture on why we shouldn’t be celebrating his birthday (something along the lines of ‘Clauds, I’m one step closer to death, why would I would want to celebrate that’ and other cheerful thoughts) I decided to ignore all this and host a surprise birthday party as well as bake a chocolate cake – both of which he expressed deep dislike to. What I didn’t bank on was the weather. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m loving these tropical temperatures but not when making a cake, especially a chocolate one. As my kitchen counters and myself became covered in melted chocolate and butter, I was beginning to question my sanity. Whilst in my heat induced baking coma I forgot to put the timer on, and for a good 30 minutes I was thinking ‘blimey this 20 minutes is a long one,’ thankfully rescuing the cake before it was burnt to a cinder. Then came the transportation of it to the restaurant. My taxi never arrived and so, realising I was horribly late for work, I ran down Putney High Street, hurtling into the shade whenever I could. The bus was a sweaty, sticky affair but miraculously the cake and myself made it in one piece.  The verdict – well I’m never listening to The Bald One again. He lapped up the attention and even ate some cake. Hooray!


  • 8oz/225g margarine/butter (I used Stork… just as good as butter)Choc orange batter
  • 8oz/225g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 8oz/225g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2oz/55g cocoa powder
  • zest of a large orange

For the Icing:

  • Juice of half an orange 
  • 6oz/170g icing sugar 
  • 1 oz/30g cocoa powder
  • 4oz/125g softened butter


  1. Turn the oven on to 180 degrees. Butter and line with greaseproof paper 2 20cm sandwich tins.topping
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs. Gradually add the eggs into the butter/sugar mixture until fully incorporated.
  4. Sieve the raising flour, cocoa, baking powder and fold into the batter.
  5. Carefully divide the mixture into your prepared tins.
  6. Bake for aprox. 20 minutes until the cake has risen and springs back to touch (try not to open the oven too often, otherwise it will sink)
  7. Cool on a wire rack. 
  8. To make the icing beat together the icing sugar and butter. Add the orange juice and cocoa and beat thoroughly until well mixed. I usually do this by taste and texture. You might want to add more orange/more icing sugar.
  9. Fill the middle and top of cake with icing. Decorate as you wish! I chopped Terry’s Chocolate Orange and Flake, scattered on top along with freeze dried raspberry for colour and bronze sugar balls.  

Directions for use: If you can bake in 35 degrees you can achieve anything! 


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