Make Ahead

Orange Whisper Chocolate Cake

January 29, 2010
0 Ratings
  • Serves 1 2-layer cake
Author Notes

I like my chocolate cake light and springy, very chocolaty, and with just a faint whisper of orange. The cake is an adaptation of Ina Garten's fabulous "Beatty's Chocolate Cake." The sour cream frosting is easy to make and echos the tartness and levity of the cake itself. —Rivka

What You'll Need
  • Orange Whisper Chocolate Cake
  • butter and flour for greasing
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup good quality cocoa (regular or dutch-processed is fine)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 cup freshly brewed coffee
  • Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting
  • 1/2 pound high-quality bittersweet chocolate, finaly chopped
  • 1/2 pound high-quality milk chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 1/3 cups sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or, for orange flavored frosting, Grand Marnier (I prefer vanilla)
  1. Orange Whisper Chocolate Cake
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and 2 8-inch round cake pans (I use springform but any will do). Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour pans.
  3. Sift the dry ingredients into the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix on low speed for a couple minutes to incorporate. In a medium bowl, combine all buttermilk, oil, eggs, vanilla, zest, and Grand Marnier. Whisk to combine. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add wet ingredients. Once flour starts to disappear, add coffee, and continue mixing on low until batter is uniform.
  4. Split batter evenly between two prepared pans, and bake about 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle of one of the cakes comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans for 30 minutes, then carefully transfer them to cooling racks.
  5. Place one layer on serving platter or cake stand. Using a long serrated knife, trim rounded part of top so top of cake is (relatively) flat. Flip upside down. Use about a third of frosting to frost what is now the top of that layer (using recipe below), then stack the second layer on top, right-side up. Use the rest of the frosting to coat the top of the second layer and the sides of the cake. Decorate as desired.
  1. Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting
  2. Melt chocolates in double boiler. Remove from heat, let cool about 5 minutes, and whisk in sour cream and vanilla. Continue whisking to cool frosting to room temperature, and spread over cakes immediately. If making in advance, be sure to set frosting out on countertop at least an hour before spreading it, as it will turn hard in the refrigerator. If need be, frosting can be very gently reheated in double boiler over barely-simmering water just until spreadable, but be careful! Don't let frosting get too hot.
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