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.
If you love orange infused cakes, you’ll also want to check out this vegan orange spice cake and this gluten-free almond flour orange cake.
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 ingredients
Extra Virgin Olive Oil – It’s no secret that I enjoy baking with olive oil. 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.
How to make 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!
Storage and freezing
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.
If unfrosted, this cake will last 4-5 days at room temperature. With frosting, it will last 2-3 days in the fridge.
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 fridge 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.
More dairy-free cakes
- Chai Spice Cake with Orange Cardamom Frosting
- Sweet Potato Cake with Chocolate Coconut Frosting
- Dairy-Free Buttermilk Plum Cake
- Mini Chocolate Bundt Cakes
- Air Fryer Chocolate Cake
If you make this blood orange chocolate cake, I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below!
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Blood Orange Chocolate Cake (Dairy-Free)
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 3 hours
- Yield: 12 slices
- Category: Desserts
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: 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!
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
Ben | Havocinthekitchen says
Leanne, thanks to your post, I’ve realized one thing – I’ve missed the season of blood oranges! Seriously, I bought them only once this winter, and they were never turned into a recipe. Upsetting news… I think you should send me a slice of this cake ASAP to cheer me up!;) By the way, it looks and sounds stunning!
Thanks Ben! Sorry you missed the season, and I really wish I could get a piece of this cake to you!
I don’t have enough blood orange recipes either, and that needs to change. I’ve also never tried it with chocolate either, so trying this cake will solve that problem too! I need to put this on my list to make during this quarantine…we need something to brighten our day! Hope you are doing ok!
Thanks Marcie! Blood orange and chocolate is definitely a combo worth trying! Hope you’re doing ok too!
Tasia ~ two sugar bugs says
I haven’t even arrived at the party Leanne! I’ve used blood oranges in cocktails, but that is about it. This cake is gorgeous and the flavor have to be so divine together!! Loving that it’s dairy free!
Blood orange cocktails are a good choice! 😉 Thanks Tasia!
Katerina | Once a Foodie says
I must admit I don’t cook or bake with blood oranges much either but the orange chocolate flavour combo definitely speaks to me! We call that combined flavour “jaffa” here in Australia – it’s so addictive! Thanks for sharing, this looks and sounds like an amazing cake.
I’ve never heard that before so thanks for sharing Katerina. Jaffa is much easier to say than orange chocolate!
What a delicious idea and the cake is just beautiful!!! I love the combination of flavours here Leanne.
Thank you Christie!
Your cake looks truly stunning! We’ve been watching Dexter on Netflix all over again (feels like watching a brand new series, cannot believe how much we’ve forgotten) and every time I watch the beginning where he makes blood orange juice I keep thinking that I need to make something with blood oranges. Thank you for handing me a glorious recipe! Pinned.
I’ve never watched Dexter, but I’m happy to provide a blood orange recipe for you to try! Thanks Milena. Take care!
Dawn - Girl Heart Food says
Those Terry’s orange chocolate are such a favourite, especially around Christmas! And I’m always in the mood for something sweet! This would make for such a lovely weekend baking project, Leanne! I know hubby would love it too. I bet it pairs beautifully with a glass of red wine 😉 Hope you are doing well!
Oh yes, with a glass of red wine would be lovely! And yes, those terry oranges are always a nice treat around Christmas. Hope you’re doing well too Dawn!
Katherine | Love In My Oven says
I LOVED those Terry’s chocolate oranges during the holidays. If this cake tastes like that, I would be really into this! It looks so soft and flavourful! So amazing that it’s dairy-free too! I want a big piece. Happy weekend!
It’s a super soft cake, and with the fluffy frosting, it’s a good one for sure! Happy weekend to you too Katherine!
Alexandra @ It's Not Complicated Recipes says
This cake looks incredible, Leanne. Chocolate and orange are definitely a match made in heaven, but I am especially excited by the use of blood oranges. Beautiful!
Thanks so much Alex!
What a gorgeous cake! Blood oranges are such a fun citrus variety and how delicious does this cake sound!? So intrigued by that fluffy coconut frosting!
Thanks Marissa! Coconut frosting is my go-to frosting. Take care!
Wow this looks amazing! I love those terry’s chocolate oranges so I will be trying this for sure.
Love that it is dairy free as well.
Yay! Thanks Terry. I hope you like it!
Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen says
This is such a beautiful cake, Leanne! And I’m so into that frosting–I’m thinking it would be delicious on oatmeal too! (Can you tell I have breakfast on my mind?) I totally have to try this!
Ooh! On oatmeal sounds like a great idea! Thanks Kelsie. Take care!