Terry’s Chocolate Orange Cake

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With layers of fudgy orange chocolate cake, filled with chocolate orange ganache, a decadent whipped cream with a dash of orange liqueur, and not forgetting the lightest chocolate orange buttercream, this easy to make Terry’s Chocolate Orange Cake is bound to be a show-stopping dessert that you’ll want to make over and over again. Whether it’s for a birthday celebration or just an excuse for cake, I guarantee everyone will want a slice or two!

Chocolate orange cake layered with chocolate sponge and whipped cream, on top are chocolate orange segments and orange mini chocolate eggs.
Lou's Recipe Overview

Lou’s recipe overview

SKILL: Intermediate

TASTE: Unmistakably that classic chocolate orange flavour

PROS: No fancy decorating, just layer and go.

CONS: You have to share…everyone wants a slice!

I’ll be honest orange isn’t one of my favourite flavours when it comes to baking, but add in chocolate and I’m there! Whether it’s my chocolate and orange Bundt cake, Jaffa cake cupcakes or brownies, the chunkiest of NYC style orange chocolate cookies or a no bake Terry’s chocolate orange cheesecake, so long as there’s chocolate with the orange, I’m a happy baker!

It’s been a while since I’ve tackled a layer cake. You know the kind – the ones that promise impressive visuals but can leave you feeling like you’ve spent all day in the kitchen. However this time, I craved a showstopper that wouldn’t steal the entire afternoon.

Then the fabulous people at Terry’s Chocolate Orange sent me a bundle of treats to try out for Easter! Who says Chocolate Oranges are just for Christmas? So with an Easter haul of delicious chocolate orange treats I was craving creating something truly decadent.

Luckily, my trusty chocolate fudge cake recipe (it’s ridiculously delicious, trust me) proved the perfect base for this flavour explosion. Add-in my no-fail chocolate buttercream with an orange touch, and a light, airy whipped cream, this cake has “easy elegance” written all over it.

Why you should make Terry’s chocolate orange cake

If you’re looking for something that tastes as good as it looks, then I know you will love this chocolate orange cake, especially if you can’t get enough of Terry’s Chocolate Oranges all year. But let me also tell you about how it is…

  • A British Classic: It’s not just the taste! This cake channels a true British icon – Terry’s Chocolate Orange, giving a nostalgic twist on a classic flavour combo, that’s sure to be a hit.
  • The Easy Wow Factor: Don’t let the stunning looks fool you! The three layers of chocolate orange flavour come together in a surprisingly simple cake that’ll have everyone asking for the recipe.
  • Your Way, Every Day: Whether your making this as a birthday showstopper or an afternoon tea treat? This delicious cake adapts for any occasion. Swap the liqueur for a child-friendly option or add a drizzle of melted chocolate orange for an extra decadent touch.
Adding the last segment of Terry chocolate orange to the top of the chocolate layer cake

Ingredients

Check out my shopping list for ingredients and equipment

I’ve based this Terry’s chocolate orange cake, on my chocolate fudge cake; which is absolute heaven but also uses simple ingredients that are easy to bring together and bake. Here’s everything you’ll need to make it…

  • Terry’s Chocolate Orange – I used the classic chocolate orange and also the chocolate orange bars; but if you can’t get hold of Terry’s then you can swap for a regular orange flavoured chocolate instead.
  • Self-Raising Flour – I prefer to use self-raising flour as it’s easily available in the UK and already has the raising agents added, and this means I can reduce the amount of extra baking powder I add into the recipe. If you can’t get self-raising flour, you can swap for plain flour or all-purpose flour, and increase the baking powder quantity. A general rule is 1 teaspoon of baking powder to 100g plain flour.
  • Salted Butter – I prefer to use a slightly salted butter; but you can also use unsalted butter and add ¼ teaspoon of fine sea salt. The salt helps to bring out the creaminess of the butter, brining extra richness to your cake.
  • Eggs – Remember if you keep your eggs in the fridge, let them come up to room temperature before using them. Take them out of the fridge about 15-30 minutes before you’re ready to start baking
  • Caster Sugar or Superfine Sugar 
  • Baking Powder
  • Cocoa Powder – You can use either a regular unsweetened cocoa powder which is lighter in colour, or if you want a really deep, dark flavour like in my Mint Oreo cake then switch for an intense cocoa powder.
  • Double Cream or Heavy Cream
  • Cointreau – I like to add a little orangey flavour to the whipped double cream filling. You could use another orange liqueur such as Grand Marnier, an orange extract or leave it out completely
  • Icing Sugar
  • Fine Sea Salt
  • Hot Water – This is to make a paste with the cocoa powder and melt the butter. I find that just boiled water works best
  • Full-fat Milk or Semi-skimmed Milk

CONVERT TO CUPS: There is a cup conversion option in the recipe card to convert the ingredients. This is automatic and I can’t guarantee the accuracy. For best baking results, I recommend using digital scales and weighing the ingredients.

Equipment you will need

Not only are the ingredients simple, so is the equipment. These are the tools that I use in my kitchen…

Sprinkling orange sprinkles of the top of a Terry's chocolate orange layer cake

How to make Terrys chocolate orange cake

Full measurements and instructions can be found on the recipe card

I loved the rich fudgy texture of my chocolate fudge cake so much I thought it would be the ideal base recipe for this cake; as well as balancing perfectly with the chocolate orange ganache and whipped cream filling. So when you’re ready, here’s everything you need to do…

The chocolate cake layers

  • Mix together the cocoa powder and hot water in a large mixing bowl until it forms a thick paste.
  • Melt together the chocolate orange and butter in the microwave, in 30 second blasts.
  • Add the melted chocolate mix and all the other ingredients to the cocoa paste – flour, baking powder, sugar and eggs – and mix everything together with a hand held mixer until the mixture is well combined, smooth and glossy
  • Pour the cake batter into a lined cake pan or split across two sandwich pans
  • Bake the cake for 40-45 minutes until springy on top and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean, then turn out onto a wire rack to completely cool before frosting

TOP TIP: Make sure your butter is soft before using otherwise you’ll get butter lumps in your batter. Use the finger test to make sure it’s soft enough – your finger should leave an indent in the surface.

The chocolate orange ganache

While the cake layers are baking, now’s the time to make the ganache. You then have enough time to let it chill and start to firm up as the cake layers cool. Here’s what to do…

  • Break the chocolate orange segments into chunks and piece in a heatproof bowl.
  • Gently heat the double cream and butter in a small saucepan, over a low to medium heat until the cream starts to gently boil. You will see little bubbles forming at the edges
  • Pour the mixture over the chocolate and leave for 1 minute, before stirring until all the chocolate has melted

Let the ganache cool down before using, otherwise it is too thin and will run off the cake layers when assembling the cake. I leave mine to thicken up until it is spreadable at room temperature but you can chill in the fridge. Just check every now and then, as if it chills too much it won’t spread as easily.

The orange whipped cream

I’ve chosen to use a fresh whipped cream filling as it’s nice and light with the chocolate cake layers and the ganche. You could use a buttercream if you prefer.

  • Whisk the double cream, icing sugar and Cointreau or orange extract together into a large mixing bowl, until thick and spreadable.
  • Fill a piping bag with the whipped cream when you’re ready to assemble the cake. Snip off the end of the piping bag or use a piping bag with a round piping nozzle fitted.

The chocolate orange buttercream

I always use my no-fail chocolate buttercream recipe for chocolate cakes; it’s so light and fluffy and is really easy to make. It takes less than 5 minutes to make and is easily adapted version for a chocolate orange version.

You can find all the details and the in depth techinque in the step-by-step recipe, but here I’m sharing my top tips to adapt it for this cake.

  • Switch out the cocoa powder for Terry’s chocolate orange – to adapt the recipe, the easiest way is to leave out the cocoa powder and add 150g of melted chocolate orange.
  • Alternative buttercream adaption – if you don’t want to use melted chocolate, you can keep the recipe as is with the cocoa powder and add 1 teaspoon of orange extract instead.
  • Always start with softened or room temperature butter – this is the key for a light and airy buttercream that’s easily to pipe and spread. Just like the butter for the cake, you can check it is soft enough by leaving an indentation in the butter with your fingers. It shouldn’t be too hard that you have to push down, nor too soft that your fingers go straight through.

Assembling the cake

The thing I love most about this cake, is that the decoration is so simple – you don’t have to faff around with getting everything level – yet it looks utterly amazing!

If you want to, you can just slather the cream and ganache over the top of each cake layer and spread a lovely thick layer of buttercream over the top. Then finish off with sprinkle over some crushed chocolate orange segments.

Or, you can add a little finesse, but it’s still really easy, by piping the whipped cream in blobs around the edge of each layer before adding in the ganache. Then spreading a thick layer of buttercream over the top with an angled palette knife.

Either way, it looks just as good as it tastes, and your guests are going to love it… simple!

A person smoothing the buttercream icing on top of a chocolate orange cake with a palette knife.

FAQs about Terrys chocolate orange cake

What size baking pan do I need to use?

The cake is best made in a 8-inch sandwich tins or an 8-inch cake pan. If you want deeper cake layers, you can swap for a 7-inch version. I prefer to bake the layers individually, but if you only have a single cake pan, you can bake as one cake and split into three layers; just remember that you will need to adjust your bake times

Can I bake the cake as one layer and split into three?

I prefer to bake the layers individually, but if you only have a single cake pan, you can bake as one cake and split into three layers; just remember that you will need to adjust your bake times. You can find out more in my chocolate fudge cake recipe.

How should I store the chocolate orange cake?

As the cake is layered with fresh whipped cream, once decorated the cake should be kept chilled in the fridge. I recommend covering the cake with foil or cling film when storing in the fridge to prevent it drying out or absorbing any smells from anything else you are storing in the fridge.

How long will the cake keep for?

Due to the fresh cream, the chocolate orange cake will keep for up to 3 days when stored correctly, and is best eaten within 2 days.

You can also freeze the cake, either with or without the ganache and cream fillings, for up to 2 months. Make sure it is well wrapped and in an air-tight containers to avoid freezer burn. Remember to fully defrost the cake at room temperature before serving.

Can I use buttercream instead of whipped cream?

You certainly can do! I love the lightness of the cream with the cake and ganache. But if you want to use buttercream instead, just double the buttercream recipe ingredients.

A slice of chocolate orange layer cake on a plate with a sprig of cherry blossom

More chocolate orange recipes to try

If you liked this Terrys chocolate orange cake recipe here are some other recipes that I think you’d enjoy…

Terrys Chocolate Orange Cake - Featured Image

Terry’s Chocolate Orange Cake

Serves : 12
Layers of orange chocolate cake, filled with chocolate orange ganache and whipped cream topped with a chocolate orange buttercream, this easy to make Terry’s Chocolate Orange Cake is bound to be a show-stopper.
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients
 

For the Cake Layers

For the Chocolate Orange Buttercream

For the Whipped Cream

  • 200 ml Double Cream or Heavy Cream
  • 50 g Icing Sugar or Powdered Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Conitreau or Orange Extract, Optional

For the Chocolate Orange Ganache

Instructions
 

  • To make the cake layers: Preheat oven to 180C/350F and line 8-inch round sandwich tins with baking parchment. Alternatively, coat the pan with homemade cake release.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the cocoa powder and hot water. Mix together until they form a thick chocolate paste.
    50g Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, 75 ml Hot Water
  • Add the butter and chocolate orange to a small heatproof bowl, place over a saucepan of simmering water. Make sure that the bowl does not touch the water. Heat until the butter and chocolate have melted together. Alternatively, melt in the microwave in 30 second blasts.
    150 g Terry’s Chocolate Orange, 100 g Unsalted Butter
  • Add the remaining ingredients – caster sugar, eggs, milk, plain flour and baking powder, and the melted orange and butter mixture, to the chocolate paste. Mix everything together with a hand held mixer until well combined and the mixture is thick and glossy. Alternatively use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.
    3 Eggs, 50 ml Full Fat Milk, 2.5 tsp Baking Powder, 275 g Caster Sugar, 175 g Self-Raising Flour
  • Pour the cake batter into the lined sandwich tins, making sure the cake batter is evenly distributed. Level off with an angled palette knife.
  • Bake the cake layers for 20-25 minutes until springy to touch and a skewer inserted comes out clean. Allow the cake layers to cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Make the chocolate ganache: While the cake layers are baking, break the chocolate orange into pieces and place in a heatproof bowl.
    200 g Terry’s Chocolate Orange
  • In a heavy bottomed saucepan, gently heat the double cream over a low to medium heat. When the cream starts to gently boil, pour over the chocolate orange and allow it to melt for 1 minute.
    80 ml Double Cream
  • Gently stir together the chocolate orange and cream, then leave to cool for at least 30 minutes or it is thick and spreadable.
  • To make the whipped cream filling: Add the double cream, icing sugar and Cointreau or orange extract, if using, into a large bowl. Whisk until the cream starts to thicken up but is still smooth enough to spread. Be careful not to over-whip as the cream will become grainy.
    200 ml Double Cream, 50 g Icing Sugar, 1 tbsp Conitreau
  • To make the buttercream: Add the chocolate orange to a small heatproof bowl, place over a saucepan of simmering water. Make sure that the bowl does not touch the water. Heat until all the chocolate has melted. Alternatively, melt in the microwave. Set aside to cool.
    100 g Terry’s Chocolate Orange
  • In a large bowl or stand mixer with the balloon attachment, whip the butter until pale and creamy. Start on low speed for 2-3 minutes, increasing to medium/high for 4-5 minutes. Alternatively use a hand held mixer.
    150 g Butter
  • Add the icing sugar a 2-3 tablespoons at a time, and gently beat in. Continue until all the icing sugar is combined and the butercream is light, airy and smooth.
    300 g Icing Sugar
  • Add the melted chocolate orange to the buttercream and mix through the batter until fully combined.
  • To assemble the cake: If you want to level your cake layers, use a large serrated knife, and level the top of each layer. Take the first cake layer and place on a serving plate or cake board.
  • Add your whipped cream into a piping bag fitted with a round piping nozzle or snip off the end of the piping bag, if not using a nozzle. Pipe a series of cream blobs around the outer edge of the cake layer.
  • Pour a layer of chocolate orange ganache inside the ring of piped whipped cream. Spread the ganache using an angled palette knife, if required.
  • Place the next cake layer on top of the decorated bottom layer, gently pressing down to fix the layers together. Do not press too far otherwise you will squeeze the cream out the slides of the cake.
  • Repeat the decoration using the whipped cream and chocolate orange ganache, then place the final cake layer on top.
  • Spoon the buttercream on top of the top cake cake, then using a palette knife, spread the buttercream evenly across the cake. You can add swirls with the palette knife for texture if you prefer.
  • Sprinkle all over crushed chocolate orange pieces, or chocolate orange mini eggs and finish with a drizzle of chocolate orange ganache.

Notes

What size baking pan do I need to use?
The cake is best made in a 8-inch sandwich tins or an 8-inch cake pan. If you want deeper cake layers, you can swap for a 7-inch version. I prefer to bake the layers individually, but if you only have a single cake pan, you can bake as one cake and split into three layers; just remember that you will need to adjust your bake times
Can I bake the cake as one layer and split into three?
I prefer to bake the layers individually, but if you only have a single cake pan, you can bake as one cake and split into three layers; just remember that you will need to adjust your bake times. You can find out more in my chocolate fudge cake recipe.
How should I store the chocolate orange cake?
As the cake is layered with fresh whipped cream, once decorated the cake should be kept chilled in the fridge. I recommend covering the cake with foil or cling film when storing in the fridge to prevent it drying out or absorbing any smells from anything else you are storing in the fridge.
How long will the cake keep for?
Due to the fresh cream, the chocolate orange cake will keep for up to 3 days when stored correctly, and is best eaten within 2 days. You can also freeze the cake, either with or without the ganache and cream fillings, for up to 2 months. Make sure it is well wrapped and in an air-tight containers to avoid freezer burn. Remember to fully defrost the cake at room temperature before serving.
Can I use buttercream instead of whipped cream?
You certainly can do! I love the lightness of the cream with the cake and ganache. But if you want to use buttercream instead, just double the buttercream recipe ingredients.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 693kcalCarbohydrates: 87gProtein: 6gFat: 40gSaturated Fat: 24gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 113mgSodium: 113mgPotassium: 259mgFiber: 2gSugar: 72gVitamin A: 932IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 80mgIron: 1mg

DISCLAIMER

The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.

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Hi I’m Lou

… Dessert obsessed baker, busy 9-to-5er, and the recipe developer and photographer behind Crumbs and Corkscrews. Based in the UK, I live in the beautiful Cotswolds. I’m so glad to have you here with me and I can’t wait for you to start trying some of my recipes.

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