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Chocolate Orange Cake (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

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


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.


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


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

Keywords: chocolate orange cake, gluten-free chocolate orange cake, vegan chocolate orange cake, orange chocolate cake, chocolate orange cake recipe, dairy-free chocolate orange cake, chocolate orange layer cake recipe