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for when you only have an hour to spend in the kitchen.
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Chocolate Orange Layer Cake

A really rich and decadent bake with a chocolate fudge icing – perfect for any celebration but works particularly well as a substitution, or lighter alternative, to the classic Christmas cake.

Preparation method

Preparation Time: 25 minutes + 2 hours cooling

Cooking Time: 20 minutes


  1. Heat the oven to 180C, 160C fan/gas 4. Grease and line the base and sides of 2 x 20cm loose-bottomed sandwich tins with parchment.

  2. For the cake, put the butter and sugars in a bowl, and whisk with an electric whisk until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one a time, beating well in between each addition.

  3. Add the orange zest and juice, flour and cocoa with a pinch of salt. Beat again briefly to make a smooth batter.

  4. Scrape into the two tins and smooth over the top with the back of a spoon or spatula. Transfer to the oven (side by side if you can) and bake for 20-25 minutes until risen and springs back when pressed lightly. A skewer inserted into the middle of the cakes should come back clean.

  5. Leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

  6. To make the icing, beat the icing sugar and butter together in a bowl, slowly at first to prevent covering your kitchen in a cloud of icing sugar, and once combined, turn up the speed and beat until light and fluffy.

  7. Add the melted and cooled chocolate, and the orange zest, and whisk again until well combined. Chill your icing, if you need to firm it up slightly, before icing your cakes.

  8. To serve, put one of the sponges upside-down on a serving plate or stand and spoon over half of the frosting. Smooth evenly with a knife. Add the other cake (upside down again so they look neater), and add the remaining icing, Smoothing over making a few peaks here and there. Scatter with orange zest to serve

what you will need


200g (plus more for the tins) unsalted butter (soft and cubed)

100g soft light brown sugar

100g golden caster sugar

4 eggs (medium)

1 zest,1/2 juice orange

150g Marriage’s Organic Self Raising Flour

50g cocoa powder (sieved)

Pinch fine sea salt

Chocolate icing

200g unsalted butter (soft)

200g icing sugar

200g dark chocolate (melted and cooled)

1 (plus more to serve) zest of orange

You’ll also need

Electric whisk

Mixing bowls

2 x 20cm sandwich cake tins

Baking parchment

Cooling rack