This cake is peng and also dairy free. This is the best chocolate cake you will ever eat and the only chocolate cake I will ever make. Mmm bold. A dark, moist chocolate cake flecked with orange zest, sandwiched together with an orange cream cheese buttercream and slathered in a chocolate mousse like fudge icing. You can’t always have your cake and eat it. But sometimes you can haha. So when the opportunity comes along you have to jump on it.
I’ve actually been drafting this post for about 6 weeks, I’ve gone through 29 different versions of this intro. Not because the cake is hard to write about (it’s actually very easy to write about how good this cake is) but because of the reason that I made the cake. That was harder to write about. I’ve realised there are some things that I don’t want to write about on here, and that day is one of them. Joe, you know why, and that’s good enough for me. So… cake.
Me and Sue spent a day making this. It deffo didn’t have to take that long but we really drew out the process. We adapted the cake from thetasteofkosher.com and the fudge frosting from loveandoliveoil.com. The actual cake part of this is honestly the best chocolate cake in the world, so moist and dark and deep, lots of layers to the flavour. You could eat the chocolate fudge buttercream straight out of the bowl with a large spoon, the trick is cream cheese. It does great things.
This is turning into a bit of a confessional post. The white buttercream in the centre is a tub of Betty Crocker’s ‘Cream Cheese Style Icing’, mixed with some orange zest and salt. We needed it to be dairy free and we didn’t want to make a liquid, yellowy icing that you get when you use df butter and cream cheese. Cheers Betty, you’re a legend.
Note on Cake Tins. This recipe will give you a 3-layer chocolate cake, using 3 7inch round cake tins. You can also bake this in 2 9inch round tins, just increase the baking time by about 10 mins. If you only have one tin, like we did, you can bake the cake in batches. As one cake comes out, remove from the tin straight away, wipe the tin, grease it again and pour the next round of batter in. Honestly, with this batter there is no difference at all in the finished cakes if it has waited out for a bit before being baked.
For the Chocolate Cake
- 255g / 2 cups plain flour
- 395g / 2 cups caster sugar
- 75g / 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 2 tsp cornflour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 470ml / 2 cups hot black coffee – just use cheap instant coffee here
- 120ml / 1/2 cup vegetable or sunflower oil
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Zest of 2 oranges
For the Orange Cream Cheese Buttercream
- 400g/1 tub Betty Crocker Cream Cheese Style Icing – achieved by walking to your local supermarket
- Zest of 1 orange
- 1/2 tsp salt
For the Chocolate Fudge Buttercream. This icing sets in about 20 mins so you can’t make it in advance. Only start this once you have sandwiched the cake layers together.
- 450g / 2 cups dairy free butter, softened – or regular butter
- 300g / 2 cups + 1 tbsp icing sugar
- 150g / 1 1/4 cups + 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 100g / 1/4 cup + 3 tbsp dairy free cream cheese – or regular cream cheese
- 100g / 1/4 cup + 3 tbsp hot water
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp salt
- 285g dark chocolate
Pre heat the oven to 180 / 160 fan oven. Grease cake tins and sprinkle lightly with flour, banging the sides of the tin to remove any excess.
In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients; flour, sugar, cocoa powder, cornflour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Set this aside.
Make the coffee. To 470mls water you want about 3 teaspoons instant coffee.
Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add in all the wet ingredients; coffee, oil, eggs, vanilla extract and orange zest.
Pour the batter into the prepared tins and bake for 25 mins or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. If you want even layers, weigh out the cake batter, you want roughly 450g in each tin. Once out of the oven allow cakes to cool completely before icing.
Prepared the orange cream cheese buttercream by mixing all ingredients in a bowl.
Place the first cake layer on the place/board/cake stand you want to serve the final cake on. Spread an even layer of the orange buttercream over the top of the cake making sure it reaches the edges of the cake. Place the next cake layer on top and repeat. If you want to, fill in any holes and smooth out any bumps in the sides of the cake with any extra buttercream. Place the cake in the fridge to firm up while you make the fudge buttercream.
For the chocolate fudge buttercream, use an electric whisk to cream the butter for 4 mins. You want a really fluffy consistency, I promise the time is worth it. If you don’t have an electric whisk, go at it with a wooden spoon.
Sift in the icing sugar and coco powder. Add in the cream cheese, hot water, vanilla extract and salt. Mix everything to combine.
Chop up the chocolate and melt it. I give the chocolate 15 second bursts in the microwave, stirring in between so it doesn’t burn. When this happens, the chocolate goes lumpy 😦 .
Pour the melted chocolate into the butter cream and beat everything together for another 2/3 mins. This whips air into the buttercream, giving it the chocolate mousse like melt in the mouth ting.
Remove the cake from the fridge and cover the whole thing in buttercream.
Now, eat the cake.