Orange and Chocolate Cake

My love for Nigella is no secret- her recipes always produce great tasting food with not much fuss. But it’s more than that. Her shows are almost addictive, and her over-the-top, almost sexual attitude towards food makes them more fun. I doubt she actually does get up at 3 in the morning, makes some french toast and strawberry coulis and then, leaving the kitchen in a mess, goes back to sleep. I don’t believe it, but I like it. It would be fun if you could do it, not get fat and not wake up to find a filthy kitchen.

I’ve only got one of her books, Feast, although I’m coming to believe that Nigella Express is one of the must-have cookery books. I love reading Feast. I haven’t cooked much from it yet, but I’ve probably read it cover to cover. The way she talks about food would make anyone fall in love with it.

Last year I discovered her Guinness Chocolate Cake and loved it. So dark, with a great texture and the Guinness influence, although not strong, adds an earthy flavour to it. It’s become a favourite and everyone who has tried it has loved it.

A year later, I found myself looking for a recipe for another chocolate cake, for the same friend’s birthday. In Feast, I found the recipe for an Orange and Chocolate cake, a combination that I really like. It looks so simple, it’s almost worrying.

You see, what you have to do is boil some oranges, then pop them in the food processor, and then add all other ingredients in there too. Oh, and bake it. Gregg would stuff it in his mouth and then proclaim that “cooking doesn’t get easier than this”.

Orange and Chocolate Cake (from Nigella)


2 oranges, weighing approximately 350 gr
6 eggs
1 heaped tsp baking powder
50g cocoa
200g ground almonds
250g caster sugar
Half tsp bicarbonate of soda

optional: orange peel to decorate

Boil the oranges (whole) for about 2 hours or until soft. Cut them in pieces, get rid of any seeds or hard bits and pop them in the food processor. Meanwhile, line and butter a round cake tin (23 cm) and preheat the oven to 170 degrees.

Pulp them until smooth. Let cool for a bit (I left it in the fridge for a few minutes) and add all other ingredients. Mix until you have a smooth batter.

Place in the tin and bake in the oven for 50 minutes to an hour. When it’s ready, place it on a cooling rack and let it cool completely.

Have you noticed that it has no butter and no flour? Perfect for the gluten intolerant and, although I’m not going to pretend this is healthy, it’s certainly not as bad for you as other chocolate cakes. The oranges make it so moist you won’t able to tell there’s no butter in there and the taste is quite strong, unlike other orange cakes that only use juice or zest. You can make a ganache for it if you like but I don’t think it needs it. Some ice cream would be nice with it, although we had it plain and it was gorgeous.


  1. Catherine · March 16, 2010

    Looks delicious! I've been planning to make that cake ever since I first heard about it just because of the wierdness of using blended up whole oranges.
    I'm a big Nigella fan too but I think her older series are better, because she'd do hugely greedy things that you could actuallly believe in! Feast is a gorgeous book though (and I think the only Nigella book I don't own!) and I can highly recommend the chocolate gungerbread in it- amazing!


  2. lindentea · March 16, 2010

    I love Nigella too and this cake has been on my list for a while now. Looks great. 🙂


  3. Memória · March 16, 2010

    Oh, I have the biggest crush on Nigella but still haven't tried any of her recipes. This one may just be the first one!


  4. Patty · March 17, 2010

    Oh so good! I used to always have orange filled chocolates as a kid, this cake brings back memories, thanks for posting the recipe!


  5. Ino · March 17, 2010

    @Catherine I've been eyeing up the gingerbread for a while because it looks so great. I'm not a huge gingerbread fan but something tells me the addition of chocolate will make it yummy!

    @lindentea You should go ahead and make it, it's so easy!

    @Memória I can also recommend her Nutella cake, delicious!

    @Patty I have recently been converted to the chocolate orange combo, and I love it! This cake smells like Jaffa cakes. Yum.


  6. Anonymous · March 17, 2010

    Love to try this, I just recently experimented boiling a lemon/orange it was quite bitter, but only boiled for a half hour. could that be why?
    Also do you have the measurements in cups/ounces and is it only baked on 170 degrees??


  7. Anonymous · March 18, 2010

    hi, this looks great. is 350g the combined weight of the oranges? Thanks so much 🙂


  8. Ino · March 18, 2010

    @Anonymous1 I think it takes a bit of cooking to get rid of the bitterness, or at least that's what I discovered when I did some internet research on making candied peel. I cooked mine for at least an hour and a half. I hope it works for you!
    I don't usually work with cups but this is a very handy website and you can use it for both cups and ounces: Hope that helps!
    About the baking temp, I checked the recipe again and it does say 180. I baked it at 170 but I have got a fan assisted oven so it doesn't need to be as hot.

    @Anonymous2 Thank you! Yes, 350gr is the two oranges together, before they are boiled. They are basically two medium sized oranges.


  9. Anonymous · May 11, 2010

    smelly on the looks a bit like shit but could taste alright


  10. Ann · July 8, 2011

    This cake is so good! I have made it many times over the past few years and it is not only very easy to make but it is a a favorite of my family and friends. The cake also freezes well.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s