Vegan Chocolate Orange Cake

Vegan Chocolate Orange Cake

♫ Listening to: Sleeping In by Phil Good ♫

This chocolate orange cake recipe is perfect for the winter when oranges are one of the only fruits in season. Since it’s eggless and dairy-free, you can even leave it sitting on the counter without having to worry about getting sick. If you like this cake, you might also like my grasshopper cake.

This recipe makes a two-layer 8” or 9” round cake.

Vegan Orange Cake Layer Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups unbleached white flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 cup raw sugar
  • 1 tablespoon organic cornstarch or tapioca flour*
  • 2 organic oranges
  • ¼ cup sunflower oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar

Vegan Orange Cake Layer Directions

Blend a cup of raw sugar in the blender until it turns into powdered sugar. Transfer to a mixing bowl.

Wash and zest 2 organic oranges. Save the zest for the frosting.

making orange zest

Cut the remaining peel off both oranges, chop each into quarters, and toss the orange pieces into the blender.

Blend oranges on high until no chunks remain. Measure out 1 cup of this. (Toss or drink the rest.)

Preheat the oven to 350°.

Oil one of your 9” or 8" round cake pans and dust with flour (or line with parchment paper and lightly oil again).

Sift the flour, soda, powder, starch, sugar, and salt.

Add the oil, blended orange, vinegar, and vanilla to the dry ingredients and stir until there are no dry spots.

Pour the batter into the cake pan.

Bake for 35 minutes, until when you insert a toothpick into the center, it comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and leave the cake on a cooling rack until it’s completely cooled throughout.

Vegan Chocolate Cake Layer Ingredients

  • 1 cup nondairy milk
  • ½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar (or substitute white vinegar)
  • 1 ¼ cups unbleached white flour
  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅓ cup sunflower oil
  • ¾ cup organic or raw sugar*
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Vegan Chocolate Cake Layer Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°.

Coat one of your 8" round cake pans with any vegetable oil (or vegan nonstick spray).

Combine vinegar and nondairy milk and let sit.

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder , baking soda, and baking powder into another bowl.

Add the oil, sugar, and vanilla to the nondairy milk mixture and stir well.

Add the dry ingredients slowly to the wet, mixing continuously. Stop mixing when you can no longer see any dry ingredients.

Pour the batter into the cake pan.

Bake for 35 minutes, until when you insert a toothpick into the center of one, it comes out clean. Set cake pan on cooling rack to cool in pan.

Vegan Orange Frosting Ingredients

  • ¾ cup vegan butter or margarine (I like the organic whipped earth balance)*
  • ¾ cup organic palm shortening*
  • zest from 2 oranges
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups organic powdered sugar*
  • 1 tablespoon nondairy milk (if needed, for consistency)
  • orange vegan food coloring

Vegan Orange Frosting Directions

Leave the ingredients sitting out before using them. Best results come from using room temperature ingredients.

Whisk the spectrum sustainable organic palm shortening , margarine, and vanilla for a minimum of 1 minute using a stand mixer or a handheld electric mixer.

Sift in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing for at least minute between each addition.

Add orange zest and continue mixing for at least a minute.

Transfer half of the frosting to another bowl.

Add orange vegan food coloring to the frosting that’s left, and continue to mix for 2 more minutes. I used wilton orange gel color

Fill one piping bag with white frosting and another with orange frosting.

Vegan Chocolate Ganache Ingredients

  • 6 ounces vegan chocolate chips
  • 4 ounces nondairy milk

Vegan Chocolate Ganache Directions

Heat the nondairy milk on the stove until it starts to simmer.

Add the vegan chocolate chips and remove from heat, cover the pot, and swirl it around.

Wait for 5 minutes before uncovering and whisking the chocolate ganache until smooth and melted.

Cool the ganache for around 15 minutes before decorating cake.

Decorating the Vegan Chocolate Orange Cake

Cut the tops of the round cakes to make them flat (if needed).

Fill the 2 cake layers with orange frosting.

Assembling the vegan chocolate orange cake

Use either color frosting to complete a thin crumb layer of frosting.

Chill the crumb layer to harden to the touch.

vegan chocolate orange cake crumb layer of frosting

Spread the white and orange frosting around the cake in any design you prefer. The top doesn’t have to be perfect since it will be covered with ganache.

Spin the cake while smoothing out the icing with an offset spatula.

Chill the cake while you make the ganache.

Spoon ganache around the perimeter of the cake at one-inch intervals to get the perfect size drips to start falling down the sides of your cake. To see pictures of how I do this, check out my grasshopper cake post.

Fill the top of the cake once you have all the drips on the sides. Use an offset spatula to smooth out the ganache on the top. You can also tap the entire cake on the counter to get the spatula lines to settle.

Chill the cake while you gather your decorations.

Remove the cake from the fridge.

Pipe remaining frosting on top of the cake and around the perimeter of the cake as you choose.

Decorate with whatever you have. Here is a list of my vegan sprinkles.

Chill again before transporting to ensure the frosting doesn’t smear.

Vegan chocolate orange cake

Vegan chocolate orange cake sliced

You can also skip the ganache and use the buttercream to decorate your cake like a cute kitty cat.

Vegan chocolate orange cat cake

Or you can do what my friend Josipa did and decorate it to look like a fox!

Vegan chocolate orange fox cake


* I use mostly organic ingredients when I cook, but I realize that not everyone has the disposable income to purchase all organic ingredients. Therefore, I only specify organic on the ingredients that really matter - when buying the organic version is the only way to ensure that the item is vegan.

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