One-Bowl Chocolate & Orange Sponge Cake

January 28, 2020
4 Ratings
Photo by Rocky Luten. Food stylist: Samantha Seneviratne. Prop stylist: Brooke Deonarine.
  • Prep time 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Cook time 20 minutes
  • Makes One 8-inch cake
Author Notes

Chocolate and orange is a very classic, very delicious combination of flavors (see: everyone’s favorite holiday treat, Terry’s chocolate orange). My daughter loves the candy, so for her birthday this year, I thought: Why not put chocolate and orange together in her birthday cake, and throw in some Terry’s chocolate for good measure?

The resulting recipe that I came up with starts with a very light orange-scented sponge, using an easy all-in-one method: You simply put in all the cake ingredients together in a stand mixer and whisk them together for a couple of minutes to form a smooth and creamy batter. You’ll then pour the batter into four round cake pans—it will only amount to just a thin layer of batter in each pan—which will rise into puffy, fluffy circles of sponge.

After they cool, you’ll sandwich these layers with a rich but not-too-sweet dark chocolate ganache. All you’ll need to finish this cake are some toasted and chopped nuts (I like hazelnuts, but feel free to use what you like best) and pieces of Terry’s chocolate orange. What you’ll get is a simple yet stunning cake ready for any celebration. —Chetna Makan

What You'll Need
  • Orange sponge cake
  • 250 grams unsalted butter, very soft (I take mine out of the fridge to soften overnight)
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 250 grams golden caster sugar (plain caster sugar or light brown sugar work equally well)
  • 250 grams self-rising flour (see note for substitution)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract (if you don't have this, use orange juice)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons orange zest (the zest from one medium navel orange, approximately)
  • 5 large eggs, at room temperature
  • Chocolate ganache and garnishes
  • 400 milliliters heavy cream
  • 100 grams slices of Terry’s chocolate orange, roughly chopped
  • 200 grams high quality 70% dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 100 grams hazelnuts, roasted and chopped, for garnish
  • 5 to 10 segments Terry’s chocolate orange, for garnish
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Grease and line four 8-inch round cake pans with parchment paper.
  2. Put all the ingredients for the cake into the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk for 2 minutes until creamy and pale.
  3. Divide the batter into the prepared tins and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. The cakes should spring back slightly to the touch. Leave the cakes aside to cool while you make the ganache.
  4. In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the cream. Meanwhile, place the dark chocolate plus the chocolate orange segments in a bowl. Once the cream has come to a boil, pour it over the chocolate. Stir the mixture until all the chocolate has melted and the cream is entirely incorporated. Cover the ganache and set it aside to cool, so that it sets slightly and becomes spreadable.
  5. Once the cake layers have cooled, assemble the cake. Place one layer of cake on the serving plate and spread 1/5th of the chocolate ganache on top, sandwiching it with the next layer of cake. Add another layer of frosting on top, then another cake layer. Repeat with remaining cake layers and ganache. Finally, spread the remainder of the chocolate ganache over the top and sides of the cake, smoothing it out.
  6. To decorate, sprinkle the chopped roasted hazelnuts on top, and decorate with the remaining chocolate orange segments.
  7. NOTE: If you don't have or can't find self-rising flour, replace the amount called for here with 250g all-purpose flour, plus 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (in addition the 1 teaspoon called for above, amounting to 3 1/2 teaspoons total) and 1/2 teaspoon table salt.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • ايمان ابراهيم
    ايمان ابراهيم
  • Miss_Karen
  • Smaug
  • eakesin

16 Reviews

eakesin December 29, 2020
Thank you for sharing this recipe. I made it for my birthday and my daughter and husband decorated it. I used orange juice in the cake and a bar of dark chocolate with orange peel in the frosting. It was easy, delicious, and perfect for our low key celebration. I am excited to add this to our birthday dessert repertoire!
ايمان ا. August 7, 2020
Michele K. February 21, 2020
What's the best way to convert these measurements, since the US ones are different from, well, everywhere else?
Smaug February 21, 2020
28g./oz. is close enough for the kitchen.
sadenis October 3, 2021
28g per oz only works if you are actually weighing the ingredients. 28g rarely equals 1 fluid oz. It depends on the food item.
Smaug October 3, 2021
An ounce (weight) is 28g. (at sea level and whatever the standard temperature used, don't really remember). Of course the weight of a fluid ounce depends on what it's an ounce of, but it is 28g. for water and for butter, which can be pretty useful.
sadenis October 3, 2021
I bake everything by weight now - it gives reproducible results! - buy some newer bakers who come from a measuring cup background don’t realise the weight vs volume differences for ounces in the USA. My comment was for them.
Georgette October 3, 2021
Kitchen scales are inexpensive and accurate. I’ve like converting to metric when baking as it is more accurate.
Smaug October 3, 2021
Metric is not more accurate. In theory, a gram is a unit of mass, not weight, which would be a bit more accurate than ounces (which are weight), but in practice unless you're using a balance scale you are measuring weight. Most scale makers calibrate their products more finely in the metric measurements (an eighth of an ounce is a bit more than 3 grams) , but that's a manufacturing decision, not anything intrinsic about the measuring systems. As far as weight being more accurate, sometimes it is (assuming the scale is accurate, which isn't always the case); it's generally easier for light powdery ingredients such as flour or confectioner's sugar which don't want to pack consistently in a cup, but it's far from the panacea that advocates paint it as, and people have been producing excellent results for centuries without.
Miss_Karen February 7, 2020
Yep. I use Boyajin orange oil as well. It is usually 1/4 tsp. for every 1 tsp. of extract. King Arthur Flour carrys some Boyajin. (Boyajin has their own site w/ recipes & additional products.)
*Not for this recipe, but Boyajin garlic oil is REALLY good....
gerard G. February 6, 2020
Not wanting to "rain on anyone's parade", this might be a delicious cake, but it is not a sponge cake recipe or technique. The technique used here is an offshoot of the creamed method. Boyajian Oils are the best, and I use them frequently in my baking in addition to Vanilla extract, especially the lemon oil. I find them more potent and less bitter than the citrus extracts, with a much smoother taste.
snuffcurry February 17, 2021
Not really. There are gobs of Victoria Sponge recipes (which incorporate a fat, often don’t involve separating eggs for better aeration, and compensate for that with chemical leavening as shown here) that just call for whisking everything together, an old one bowl-method that seemed novel at the time. Does not resemble the sponge of other world cuisines but is often what Anglos in certain nations think of when somebody offers up a layer sponge cake. The photos of this one certainly don’t look like the tender, plush sponge most of us are familiar with.
Smaug February 4, 2020
Just a plug for orange oil, which is now easily available and is ideal for this sort of recipe- it's much more efficient than extracts, which are relatively low in flavor, and while not an exact substitute for zest does a good job taking it's place.
KR February 5, 2020
Smaug, I also enjoy flavoured & natural oils in baking... wondering how you would use it in this particular recipe?
Smaug February 5, 2020
I would definitely substitute for the extract; some extracts will give a percentage of oil; it's been a while, but I think a lot of them run about 15%; I'd try 1/4tsp. in this recipe. Not so sure of the sub ratio for zest, which is difficult to measure anyway and I generally eyeball it, but maybe another 1/4 tsp in this recipe; I'd taste test before baking. I like to use zest when available; the essential flavor is from orange oil, but it distributes it differently, giving tiny "hot spots" of flavor. Citrus oils, by the way, are ph neutral; they are not a source of acidity. I know that Sur la Table carries orange oil, as well as lime and lemon in small bottles (Bosjian brand, which is quite reliable). I also use orange oil as a cleaner and occasional insecticide; I paid about $25 on Amazon for a quart of food grade orange oil (that's really a lot), but I generally use the Bosjian for cooking.
Smaug February 6, 2020
Sorry, that's "Boyajian" (thank you Gerard G.).