Full Moon Recipe for May: Chocolate Orange Cake

It’s time for another recipe! First, the recipe. Then, me blathering onward about my occasionally questionable culinary capabilities and the memories this particular treat holds for me.

  • The Ingredients
    • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
    • 1 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
    • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (natural, not dutch processed)
    • 2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup vegetable oil, olive oil, or applesauce
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 tablespoon orange extract
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 cup buttermilk
    • 1/2 cup no-sugar added orange juice
    • 1/2 cup water
    • Frosting of choice, and candied oranges or mandarin slices
  • The Way of Preparing
    1. Preheat oven to 350°F, 177°C, gas mark 4.
    2. Prepare two 9-inch round cake pans with butter and line with parchment paper to avoid sticking.
    3. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda.
    4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil (or applesauce), eggs, extracts, buttermilk, orange juice, and water until well-combined.
    5. Whisk in the dry ingredients into the wet and beat until well combined and no streaks of flour mixture remain.
    6. Divide batter between the two prepared cake pans.
    7. Bake on the center rack for 22-26 minutes or until the cake passes the toothpick test.
    8. Place cake, still in pan, on a cooling rack and allow it to come to room temperature before de-panning the cakes.
    9. Level and frost with frosting of choice. Enjoy!
  • Notes
    • Store bought frosting totally works, but a good dark chocolate Swiss buttercream or chocolate cream cheese frosting is awesome, too.
    • Freeze the cake after baking for ease of storage and frosting.
    • I prefer using applesauce rather than oil, but that’s just a personal preference.


This recipe comes directly from Aubrey’s Kitchen. It’s one of the few that I recommend springing for a small thing of buttermilk to help make this rich cake.

Orange in this case is for prosperity and luck, good for bringing in positive energy. So this particular cake is a good pick me up after a long ritual or after a good meal.

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