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This chocolate orange cake is the perfect decadent dessert topped with delicious marshmallow frosting. It’s the perfect combination of chocolate and citrus!
With simple ingredients and only 45 minutes, you can make this chocolate cake recipe. Take one bite of this orange dessert and you’ll be hooked! It’s that dangerous.
I chose to make this chocolate orange cake because of its nostalgic holiday flavors. I loved getting a chocolate orange in my stocking every year on Christmas. I figured if it was a nostalgic holiday flavor for me, it had to be for others as well!
I chose to make this cake gluten-free but honestly, you can’t tell. I make cakes like our drip cake or this gluten-free poppyseed cake, Dr Pepper cake, bento cake and gluten free apple cake plus these cakesicles all the time and nobody knows they’re gluten-free!
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This recipe has to be one of my favorite cake recipes because the orange flavor comes from orange extract. No need for fresh orange slices but feel free to drizzle with orange simple syrup or serve with orange juice for more flavor. If you are more of a banana flavor fan, you will love this black bottom pie with banana cream filling.
Do orange and chocolate go together?
Yes! The fresh orange flavor blends perfectly with the rich, intense, and lush chocolate flavor. The combination creates nostalgic holiday flavors that will leave you wanting seconds! It’s one of my favorite guilt-free healthy desserts.
What’s chocolate orange cake made of?
For this yummy chocolate orange cake you need basic ingredients that you might already have in your pantry. There aren’t ingredients like almond flour, apple cider vinegar, or almond meal that you’d typically find in some unique cakes.
I use gluten-free oats for this recipe but any oats will work so well in this recipe. They are full of fiber and replace much of the flour you traditionally use in cake. We also love using oatmeal for other recipes like our oat flour pancakes, gluten-free meatloaf, gluten-free oatmeal cream pies and gluten-free rhubarb crisp.
There’s something about the brown sugar and orange combination that hits the spot! This recipe calls for slightly more brown sugar than white sugar which gives it a smoother taste and texture.
If you’re not gluten-free feel free to swap for all purpose flour. Honestly, nobody can even tell that this cake is gluten-free so swapping the flour makes little difference.
I like to add chocolate to the cake batter as well as on top of the cake before baking. I personally love Guittard milk chocolate and think it is the best for this recipe, but normal chocolate chips will also work.
How do you make chocolate orange cake?
Step 1: With an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar.
Step 2: Add eggs to the wet ingredients and continuing mixing on low speed
Step 3: Add dry ingredients to a large bowl until just mixed
Step 4: Combine oats, orange extract, vanilla extract and water in a separate bowl and let them sit 2 minutes then add them to the mixture
Step 5: Gently stir in one chopped chocolate bar or chocolate chips.
Step 6: Pour cake mix into 9×13 cake pans greased with olive oil, coconut oil or vegetable oil
Step 7: Add two more chocolate bars to the top of the cake before baking
Step 8: Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cake cool on a cooling rack.
Step 9: When the cake has cooled, prepare the frosting by combining butter, sugar, heavy cream, milk and orange extract in a pot.
Pro Tip: Make sure the cake is cooled before making the frosting so it doesn’t harden.
Step 10: Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and add mini marshmallows and remaining chocolate.
Step 11: Stir until smooth then pour immediately over the room temperature cake.
Pro Tip: Add orange zest or a fresh orange peel to the top of the cake for a beautiful garnish!
Expert tips and FAQs
Oranges are said to represent a gift of gold from Saint Nicholas which is why they’re so popular around Christmas! It’s common for people to receive chocolate oranges in their Christmas stocking. I also love the book Christmas oranges.
You can store this delicious cake in an airtight container or in plastic wrap at room temperature for 4-6 days. You can also freeze this cake for up to 3 months if you’re looking to preserve it for longer.
Yes! You can divide batter or double this recipe and make layered cake. If you’re dividing the batter, it’s a good idea to use a smaller prepared pan instead of a 9×13. Bake as directed and frost the middle and top layer!
More Christmas dishes
Figuring out what to bring to Christmas can be stressful! My go-to recipes are this candy cane Christmas mocktail and this gluten-free Christmas crack! My family and I love making creative Christmas recipes that everyone can enjoy!
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Chocolate Orange Cake with Marshmallow Frosting
- 1 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup butter melted
- 2 eggs
- 1 3/4 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour (or regular flour if you prefer)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup gluten-free oats (or just regular oats)
- 1 3/4 cup boiling water
- 1 teaspoon orange extract
- 12 ounces milk chocolate chips
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons whole cream
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 1 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon orange extract
- 3/4 cup mini marshmallows
- 6 ounces milk chocolate chips
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
- In a stand mixer, cream together butter and 1 1/4 C brown sugar with 3/4 C white sugar
- Add eggs one at a time and continuing mixing
- Add gluten-free flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and cacao powder in another bowl then to the wet ingredients until just mixed
- Combine oats, orange extract, vanilla extract and water in a bowl and let them sit 2 minutes then add it to the other cake mix ingredients
- Gently stir in 6 ounces milk chocolate chips
- Pour batter into a greased 9×13 cake pan
- Sprinkle 6 more ounces milk chocolate chips to the top of the cake before baking
- Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or just crumby but not wet
- Meanwhile, prepare the frosting by combining 6 T melted butter, 1 1/3 C sugar, cream, milk and 1/4 tsp. orange extract in a pot and cook over low to medium heat
- Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and add mini marshmallows and 6 ounces milk chocolate chips
- Stir until smooth then pour immediately over the cooled cake, do not allow the frosting to cool first
How to store chocolate orange cakeYou can store this delicious cake in an airtight container or in plastic wrap at room temperature for 4-6 days. You can also freeze this cake for up to 3 months if you’re looking to preserve it for longer.
Pro Tip:Add orange zest or a fresh orange peel to the top of the cake for a beautiful garnish! Pro Tip: Wait until cake has cooled to make the frosting so it doesn’t harden.
*This post was originally December 17, 2017 but it has since been updated with more information and better instructions.
I’m confused. You have vanilla extract in the instructions above the recipe but no amount in the recipe below. You also have baking powder in the recipe and nowhere in the recipe instructions on where to add it. I added it to the dry mix. However, I completely missed the vanilla and am hoping my cake isn’t ruined. Something else that would be helpful. Don’t make the frosting until the cake has cooled to room temperature. I had to stop midway so it didn’t harden before the cake cooled.
Thanks Kelly, I made those changes. You are right, they were all in the body of the post but left out in the recipe card. It has been updated. I also made the note about the frosting. I have found that the cake usually cools enough in the time it takes to make the frosting but I added the note nonetheless.
Yum! Love this, and love that it is gluten free.
I love Terry’s chocolate oranges at Christmas, so we LOVED this recipe! It also looks really similar to a cake my husband’s grandma makes for special occasions and everyone always raves about the icing. They loved this variation!
I tried this recipe today and oh my goodness. I was surprised with how much I loved it. When you first hear “orange chocolate cake,” it’s a little confusing, but I think it’s my new favorite cake!
It’s our favorite too! 🙂
Erin Lane says
seven layer bars are what some people call magic bars
Karen D says
My grandmother’s donuts are my favorite childhood recipe
Missy M. says
No bake cookies with oatmeal, chocolate and peanut butter! I still love them!
Brianna Wolin says
I love my mom’s famous cheesecake!
Amanda Wood says
My grandmother made amazing popcorn balls 🙂 I still make them every Christmas
Paula Decaria says
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies
My moms’ classic Peanut Butter Thumbprint Cookies.
My grandma used to make us zucchini bread and it was my favorite!
Dana Coughlin says
My dad made the best bread pudding.
I always enjoyed gooey rice kridpie treats with lots of marshmallows.