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Chocolate Orange Cake (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

Three rich moist layers of dark chocolate cake filled with decadent dreamy dark chocolate orange ganache and covered in the smoothest whipped orange chocolate cookie crumb buttercream frosting. Wow, that’s a mouthful in all aspects, saying and eating. But let me tell you it was chocolate orange cake heaven! This flavor combination is fun, bold, and totally festive. If you’re a chocolate orange lover, this one is for you!


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A chocolate orange cake covered in a decadent dark chocolate drip and topped with bright orange slices and pieces of chocolate. There is a childs hands reaching for a piece of chocolate from the top of the cake.

Chocolate Orange Cake Inspiration

With a show of hands, who got a Christmas orange at the bottom of their stocking every year? I sure did! Without fail, after the little gifts of nail polish, hair elastics, toothbrushes, and socks, there at the toe of my stocking would sit a Christmas orange. Honestly, I rarely ate it but it always brought a smile to my face.

It’s a tradition that I’ve carried on with my children. Nostalgic and such a special memory for me every Christmas morning as I watch my girls open their stockings and make their way to that bottom orange.

A chocolate orange cake covered in a decadent dark chocolate drip and topped with bright orange slices and pieces of chocolate. There is a slice taken out of the cake.

Vegan Chocolate Orange Cake Recipe

This dark chocolate cake uses my go-to chocolate cake layers with a splash of orange extract added in and dark cocoa powder in place of regular cocoa. Next, the super decadent ganache filling was made with almond milk and a vegan dark chocolate orange bar. It came together beautifully and gave this cake flavor a bold and unique depth.

A slice of dark chocolate cake with chocolate ganache filling and white frosting sitting on a plate.

Orange Chocolate Cookie Crumb Buttercream

Instead of the regular chocolate or orange buttercream, I added chocolate cookie crumbs with orange extract to give it an orange Oreo cookie-type taste. Plus, who doesn’t love a speckled buttercream-slathered cake?! I hope you love this gluten-free and vegan chocolate orange cake as much as I did!

A chocolate orange cake covered in a decadent dark chocolate drip and topped with bright orange slices and pieces of chocolate.

Decadent Chocolate Recipes

One can never have enough chocolate! Here are a few decadent chocolate recipes that I think you wi’ll love.

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Chocolate Orange Cake (Vegan & Gluten-Free)


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5 from 5 reviews

  • Author: Katie
  • Total Time: 2 Hours 35 Minutes
  • Yield: 10 Slices
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

So very decadent and delicious, this gluten-free and vegan chocolate orange layer cake is the perfect combination of rich and bright. Dark chocolate orange cake layers, ganache filling, and the yummiest whipped chocolate cookie crumb buttercream frosting.


Ingredients

Dark Chocolate Cake

  • 3 cups gluten-free flour 1:1 baking blend *can sub all-purpose flour

  • 2 cups granulated sugar

  • 2/3 cup dark cocoa powder

  • 2 teaspoons baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt

  • 2 cups coffee, hot

  • 1 cup vegetable oil

  • 1 tablespoon orange extract

  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar

Dark Chocolate Orange Ganache

Orange Chocolate Cookie Crumb Buttercream

Dark Chocolate Drip

  • 1/2 cup vegan dark chocolate chips

  • 3 1/2 tablespoons vegan milk


Instructions

Dark Chocolate Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare three 6-inch round cake pans with non-stick spray and parchment paper.

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer add in all the dry ingredients and give a quick whisk together.

  2. Add in the coffee, vegetable oil, and orange extract and mix until fully incorporated.

  3. Add in the vinegar and mix until fully incorporated. Be careful to not over-mix the batter at this stage.

  4. Divide the cake batter between the prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs.

  5. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes and then invert on a cooling rack to fully cool.

Dark Chocolate Orange Ganache

  1. In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the dark chocolate and milk in 30-second intervals until fully melted and smooth. Stir between each interval.

  2. Allow the ganache to cool to room temperature before filling the cake.

Orange Chocolate Cookie Crumb Buttercream

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer beat the butter on high speed with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. This should take approximately 5 minutes.

  2. Add in the icing sugar, salt, and orange extract and mix on low until combined.

  3. Add the chocolate cookie crumbs and mix on low until fully combined.

  4. Turn the mixer up to high and let mix for 5 minutes until smooth and creamy. Scrape the sides of the bowl when necessary.

Dark Chocolate Drip

  1. In a microwave-safe bowl heat the dark chocolate chips and milk in 30-second intervals until fully melted and smooth. Stir between each interval.

  2. Depending on the kind of milk, the drip may require a touch more milk to thin or a bit more dark chocolate chips to thicken. *I always test my ganache drips over the edge of the kitchen sink before applying to a cake to check the consistency.

Cake Assembly

  1. Place one leveled layer of dark chocolate cake on a cake board or plate. Top with approximately 1 cup of buttercream.

  2. Pipe a buttercream border around the edge and fill with approximately half the dark chocolate orange ganache filling.

  3. Repeat with the remaining layers and apply a thin coat of buttercream all over the cake. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

  4. Cover the cake with another layer of buttercream and smooth the sides using the Wilton Cake Smoother. Refrigerate while the dark chocolate ganache drip is prepared.

  5. On a well-chilled cake, with a spoon or a piping bag, drip the warm dark chocolate ganache over the edges of the cake and put it back in the refrigerator to chill.

  6. Decorate as you please. I piped some simple buttercream dollops with the Wilton 8B around the top border and decorated it with a leftover orange chocolate bar and Christmas orange segments. Enjoy!

  • Prep Time: 2 Hours
  • Cook Time: 35 Minutes
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

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18 Comments

  1. This is my favourite flavour combo of all time so when I saw this recipe I knew I needed to try it! It did not disappoint and was a total show stopper!!!! Absolutely loved it and is a regular of mine now






  2. This was the recipe I picked for my birthday cake this year and it was so tasty! I look forward to trying other recipes!






  3. Hi there! Would I be able to substitute the non-dairy items with dairy items without any issues?

    1. Hi Minde, you absolutely can! You’ll need a splash of more milk or heavy cream (whatever you choose) in the ganache filling and drip.

      1. I love your recipes! This one tasted just like a Terry’s chocolate orange. Thank you for creating and posting as many recipes as you do, they have been so fun to try






  4. Chocolate and orange is my favorite combo and this cake did not disappoint. I’m making it again next weekend for a family birthday.






  5. Hi Katie, this recipe looks lovely and I’m gonna give it a try this Christmas. To help me succeed with it, would you mind telling me the measurements (in g or ml) of one cup? Also, does “3 cups gluten-free flour 1:1 baking blend” means simply 3 cups of either regular or gluten free flour? Cheers.

    1. Hi Aleksandra, what ingredient is it that you would like the measurement for in grams? Google will often be able to do the direct conversion for you as well. And yes, 3 cups of flour.

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