Blood Orange Chocolate Cake is ultra chocolatey with a light and tender texture and an orange-infused coconut cream topping! It’s an easy, dairy-free cake with simple ingredients that’s perfect to whip up when you’re craving a little something sweet.
I am so late to the blood orange party. Seriously. I don’t have many blood orange recipes on the blog, and the ones I do have just use the oranges as a salad ingredient. So a recipe solely dedicated to this beautiful citrus fruit was long overdue.
And what better way to enjoy the sweet taste of orange than paired with dark chocolate?!
Are you familiar with a Terry’s chocolate orange? Well, the flavour of this blood orange cake totally reminds me of one of those chocolate treats. Except with this treat, you can enjoy it as a soft and fluffy slice of cake with a light and airy coconut milk frosting.
Details on a few of the ingredients for this blood orange chocolate cake
- Blood Oranges: The flesh of blood oranges can range from pink to dark red, and even a purplish colour. And while dessert recipes usually call for blood oranges because the vibrant coloured flesh adds a lovely pink hue to cakes and frostings, I opted for blood oranges in this cake because of their sweet taste. And for that sweet orange flavour, I used 4 blood oranges in this recipe (the juice and some of the zest). If you can’t find blood oranges (the season runs from December to April), you can definitely use naval oranges. Just keep in mind the cake may not be as sweet.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil: It’s no secret that I enjoy baking with evoo. Some people find it has an intense flavour in baked goods, but I enjoy the flavour, especially when paired with chocolate. More importantly, it’s a healthier fat compared to butter, and does a great job at keeping baked goods moist. Just make sure you’re using a good quality extra virgin olive oil or olive oil.
- Natural Cocoa: Both natural cocoa and dutch-processed cocoa come from cocoa beans. Natural cocoa powder, however, is naturally acidic with a strong chocolate flavour, while dutch-processed has the acid neutralized. Natural cocoa is often used in conjunction with baking soda, which needs acid to react and create leavening in a recipe. I’ve only made this recipe with natural cocoa. It hasn’t been tested with dutch-processed.
Making this blood orange olive oil cake
- In a large bowl, whisk together your sugar, orange juice and zest until the sugar is almost dissolved. Whisk in the oil, milk and then eggs one at a time.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. (Sift if your cocoa is lumpy).
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture a little bit at a time, stirring well after each addition.
- Pour the batter into your greased pan and bake on 325F for about 30 minutes.
- Once baked and cooled completely, whip together your coconut frosting with some more orange juice and zest and spread it over the cake. Refrigerate until the frosting is set.
- Top with chocolate shavings, slice and serve!
Frequently asked questions
- How do you store this cake? Since coconut milk frosting requires refrigeration, this cake needs to be covered and refrigerated. If it’s unfrosted, you can store it covered at room temperature.
- How long will it last? If unfrosted, this cake will last 4-5 days at room temperature. With frosting, it will last 2-3 days in the refrigerator.
- Can you freeze this cake? You can freeze this cake without the frosting. Just let it cool completely, wrap in plastic wrap and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost the cake in the refrigerator or at room temperature before frosting. I don’t recommend freezing this cake with the frosting.
Recipe tips and substitutions
- Orange zest: It’s easier to zest an orange when it’s cold and firm. So, if you don’t already store your oranges in the refrigerator, I suggest placing a few in there before you zest them for this recipe. Also, zest the oranges before you juice them. Otherwise, the oranges are soft and difficult to handle.
- Batter: Once you pour the batter into your pan, you will notice some air bubbles rising to the surface. Gently tap the bottom of the pan off your countertop to allow more bubbles to rise up and pop. If you’re using a springform pan, be careful not to tap too aggressively as the batter may start to come out of the bottom of the pan.
- Size of pan: If you don’t have a 9-inch springform pan, you can use a regular 9-inch round cake pan. If you go smaller, the cake will be thicker and require additional baking time.
- Frosting: Once you add orange juice to the coconut whip, it will seem a little runny. Don’t worry. You will still be able to spread it out on the cake and it will firm up in the refrigerator. And while the small amount of blood orange juice and zest doesn’t turn the frosting pink, it adds just enough orange flavour to the coconut whip to disguise the coconut flavour.
Other dairy-free cakes you might enjoy
- Chai Spice Cake with Orange Cardamom Frosting: If you like chai spice as much as I do, you’ll love this super easy, single layer cake.
- Sweet Potato Cake with Chocolate Coconut Frosting: Leftover mashed sweet potato? No problem. Add it to this cinnamon spiced cake for the ultimate tender snack cake.
- Dairy-Free Buttermilk Plum Cake: This one-bowl, simple recipe uses an easy hack to turn almond milk into dairy-free buttermilk!
If you make this blood orange chocolate cake, I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below!Print
Blood Orange Chocolate Cake (Dairy-Free)
Blood Orange Chocolate Cake is ultra chocolatey with a light and tender texture and an orange infused coconut cream topping. It’s an easy, dairy-free cake with simple ingredients that’s perfect to whip up when you’re craving a little something sweet!
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 3 hours
- Yield: 12 slices 1x
- Category: Desserts
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: Dairy-Free
For the cake:
- 1/4 cup blood orange juice (about 3 oranges)
- 2 tablespoons blood orange zest (about 1 orange)
- 3/4 cup coconut sugar
- 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup unsweetened nut milk
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup natural cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
For the frosting:
- 2 cans (400 ml) full fat coconut milk, refrigerated for 24 hours
- 1 blood orange, juiced
- 2 teaspoons blood orange zest
- Pre-heat oven to 325F and grease a 9-inch springform pan.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the orange juice, zest and sugar until the sugar is almost dissolved.
- Whisk in the oil, milk and then eggs one at a time.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. (Sift together if cocoa is lumpy).
- Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, stirring well after each addition.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Gently tap the bottom and sides of the pan to release any air bubbles.
- Bake for 29-32 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.
- In a large mixing bowl, scoop out the solidified coconut milk and using an electric mixer, beat on high speed. Add the juice and whip until smooth and creamy. Stir in the zest.
- Leaving the cake in the springform pan, spread the frosting onto the top of the cooled cake. Refrigerate until the frosting is set.
- Top with chocolate shavings (if desired), slice and serve.
- Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator and enjoy within 2-3 days.
- If you don’t have a 9-inch springform pan, you can use a regular 9-inch round cake pan or a 9-inch square pan. If you go smaller, the cake will be thicker and will require additional baking time.
- The coconut milk frosting will seem a little runny, but it will firm up in the refrigerator.
- Be sure to check out the FAQ as well as the tips and substitutions section above the recipe for more detailed advice and suggestions for making this recipe.
Keywords: blood orange cake, chocolate olive oil cake