That truffle was still on my mind as I considered my baking options last weekend. Orange cake? Hmmmm. Dark chocolate ganache? Yummmmm. Together? It could work!
I’ve never made an orange cake before, and couldn’t find any good-looking recipes online, so I adapted a lemon cupcake recipe and it worked shockingly well.
So here’s the cake strata breakdown: orange cake, dark chocolate ganache, cream cheese frosting, orange cake, cream cheese frosting.
I chose this cake recipe based on ease and what ingredients I had – you could probably adapt any good lemon cake recipe.
The ganache layer is key here, it really makes the orange-y-ness stand out. If you don’t like cream cheese frosting (are you human?), you could do a buttercream instead.
Orange Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache and Cream Cheese FrostingPrintable recipe.
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- Zest of two large oranges (about 2 tablespoons) 3 extra-large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
- 3 cups cake flour (ok so I only had 2 cups cake flour and therefore had to use one cup regular flour…it was ok but the cake would probably be lighter if you had the right amount of cake flour.)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- ½ cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 4 oz (1/2 block) cream cheese at room temperature
- ¼ cup butter at room temperature
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 1-3 tablespoons milk or buttermilk as needed
- Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Grease and flour 2 9-inch round cake pans.
- Beat sugar, butter, orange zest, vanilla and almond extract in large bowl 2-3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in orange juice.
- Sift or mix (I never sift…mostly because I’m lazy and don’t own a sifter.) flour, baking soda, and salt into medium bowl. Mix dry ingredients into butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.
- Divide batter among prepared pans. Bake about 25 minutes, until cakes start to pull away from the edges.
- Let them cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then to get the cakes out, invert the pans and tap the bottom. Cool completely on wire racks until ganache-ing and frosting.
- Stovetop: Bring the cream to a simmer in a medium saucepan.
- OR Microwave: Bring cream to a simmer in a microwave safe bowl (it took about 1 minute for me).
- Place the chocolate in a medium bowl.
- Once the cream reaches a simmer, pour the cream over the chocolate and let stand 1-2 minutes. Whisk in small circles until a smooth ganache has formed.
- Let the ganache cool for about 10 minutes so it’s not too runny when you spread it on the cake. If it gets too firm, you can microwave it briefly.
- Beat all frosting ingredients together until smooth and spreadable. Add more milk if necessary.
- Put one layer of the cake upside down on a plate so the flattest side is up. Spread ganache evenly over the layer, trying not to go all the way to the edges (otherwise you might have a chocolatey smear in your white frosting).
- Spread a thin layer of frosting on the bottom-side of the next cake layer and place it on top of the ganache.
- Frost the outside of the cake with the rest of the frosting. I garnished with shaved dark chocolate.
- Bring the cake to a party and make new friends!