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Dark Chocolate-Orange Cake with Salted Caramel Drizzle

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  • Cooking Spray
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, natural or Dutch process
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt, I like Kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup orange marmalade


  • Preheat oven to 350ºF. Coat two 9-inch round pans with cooking spray and line bottoms with parchment paper.
  • Whisk cocoa with 1-1/2 cups boiling water in a medium bowl until smooth, set aside.
  • Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, soda and salt in a large bowl of a until well combined.
  • Add eggs, canola oil, sour cream and vanilla. Beat with a mixer on medium speed for about 1 minutes until smooth.
  • Reduce mixer speed to low and add cocoa mixture in a slow stream until just combined. Scrap down sides and give a few turns with a spatula. Batter will be thin.
  • Divide batter between the pans, tapping on counter to release any bubbles. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Cool on racks.
  • TO ASSEMBLE: Slice each layer in half to make 4 layers. Place 1 layer on a cake plate and spread with 2 TBSP orange marmalade. Repeat with other layers. Cover the whole cake with Chocolate Whipped Cream Frosting (to follow) and drizzle with Salted Caramel (to follow).


CHOCOLATE WHIPPED CREAM ICING: In a small mixer bowl, combine 2 cups 35% whipping cream, 1/2 cup sugar and 1/3 cup sifted cocoa. Chill 15 minutes. Beat until stiff peaks form.
SALTED CARAMEL: Bring 1/2 cup sugar and 1 Tbsp corn syrup to a simmer over medium heat in a small saucepan. Cook swirling the pan, not stirring, until the mixture becomes amber, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and carefully whisk in 1/2 cup 35% whipping cream and 1 Tbsp unsalted butter until smooth. Add a pinch to 1/2 tsp flaked sea salt or kosher salt to taste. Cool a bit for 10-15 minutes. NOTE: if you don't want to go to the trouble of making your own caramel, store-bought works great. Just warm in the microwave for 20 seconds and add the salt.