A cup of coffee along with a generous slice of a chocolate orange cake, and one’s worries tend to slip away.
Chocolate, and orange are two flavors that live well together creating a third taste to delight your taste buds.
A mixture of two primal extracts that make us sit up and pay attention.
A combination so perfect for a sweet dessert.
Orange extract and dark chocolate are a common pairing popular in many parts of the world.
Why Chocolate Orange Cake?
It was the Ancient Egyptians who were the first to develop advanced baking skills.
They were a far cry from the refined sugar in the cakes we are used to eating now.
However, they were building the foundation for cake as we know it today.
Just goes to show how long the cake has been evolving.
From a bunch of basic ingredients to the delicate dessert of today.
These two legendary flavors have been paired for a long time given their amazing compatibility.
Going back to the confectionery first developed in 1927, orange and chocolate was an instant hit.
When these two flavors are made into a cake you get a velvety, smooth, sweet chocolate dessert.
History Of The Orange
Interestingly enough the orange does not exist in nature, being a hybrid of two other fruits.
The orange is in fact the coming together of the pomelo fruit and the mandarin resulting in a third fruit.
The word orange comes from Sanskrit meaning orange tree (naranga).
And in a fascinating development the color orange was named after the fruit, presumably because such colors did not exist!
First grown in China and India, the orange was quickly introduced around the world.
The Moors first introduced oranges to Europe, and Spain in particular in the 10th century.
Complex irrigation techniques were invented specifically for orange orchards.
By 1650 sweet oranges had become commonplace throughout Europe.
While the orange had been introduced to the Americas through Christopher Colombus.
It was the Spanish Missionaries, and the Franciscans who began planting orange orchards in Arizona and California.
Florida eventually became a big grower due to the favorable conditions in that part of the country.
History Of Chocolate
It all started about 4000 years ago in what is present day Mexico, where chocolate was first cultivated.
Known by the Mayans as the drink of the gods, chocolate was first made into a beverage.
Enjoyed as an invigorating beverage, it was also known for its aphrodisiac properties, and for providing courage.
Eventually the cocoa plant found its way to Spain.
Here sugar and honey were added to counter the bitter taste.
The Spaniards kept this special chocolate drink to themselves for almost a thousand years.
But once the secret was out it became very popular all across Europe in its beautiful sweetened form.
It was mainly the aristocracy and upper classes that consumed the cocoa drink.
Very few people of the lower classes were even familiar with this exquisite drink of the rich.
In 1828 a new invention, the chocolate press, changed chocolate consumption forever.
Eventually, the chocolate bar became commonplace all around the world
And shortly after that chocolate was being used in baking, and the making of confectionery.
How To Make Chocolate Orange Cake
As usual first preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well with each addition, then add orange zest, and set aside.
Add the unsweetened cocoa powder to the sugar mixture and stir in well.
I add orange blossom water instead of vanilla extract for a stronger orange flavor.
Add the dry ingredients to the sugar and chocolate mixture, alternating with the buttermilk.
Pour the batter into prepared eight inch pans to create two cake layers.
Bake in the preheated oven until done; about 35 to 40 minutes.
Place the orange cake onto cooling racks, run a knife around the edge of the cake, and allow to cool to room temperature.
Remove cake from pans and wrap in plastic wrap until ready to frost.
Chocolate Orange Cake Recipe
For the Cake
- 1¾ cup Flour
- 2 cups Sugar
- ¾ cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 1½ tsp Baking Powder
- 1½ tsp Baking Soda
- 1 tsp Salt
- 2 Eggs
- 1 cup Buttermilk
- ½ cup Canola
- 2 tsp Orange Blossom Water
- 1 cup Orange Juice
- Orange Zest
For the Frosting
- 12 oz Cream Cheese
- ¾ cup Butter
- 3½ cups Powdered Sugar
- ⅔ cups Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 1 tsp Orange Blossom Water
- 2 tbsp Milk
- Pinch of Salt
For the Cake
- Mix the sugar and orange juice in a bowl of a stand mixer.
- Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition.
- Add the vegetable oil, orange zest and orange blossom water
- Add the cocoa powder.
- In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.
- Alternating the dry mixture and the buttermilk add to the sugar and cocoa mixture.
- Divide batter between two prepared 8 inch cake pans.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
- Cool cake to room temperature before removing from the pan.
For the Frosting
- Cream the butter and cream cheese together in the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Add the cocoa powder and powdered sugar.
- Add the orange blossom water, milk, and pinch of salt
- Mix until well incorporated.