Chocolate Orange Cake

I have a folder in the kitchen where I keep recipes which I have come across over the years in magazines, newspapers and the like.  This recipe is from Nigella Lawson and I have had it in this folder since 2004!

I tend to make it whenever I have a lot of either oranges or eggs in the house which I want to use up but I think I really just use this as an excuse.  There are many reasons why this cake is a winner – it has chocolate and orange in it and who doesn’t enjoy this flavour combo, it is all made in your food processor in one easy step (apart from cooking the oranges but I’ll get to that in the method below), it will stay fresh for ages and finally, it is made using ground almonds instead of flour.  It has quite a moist texture and the smell of orange from it is just wonderful!


(Recipe Credit – Nigella Lawson)


375g Total Weight Thin Skinned Oranges (see Tips below)
6 Eggs
1 heaped teasp Baking Powder
½ teasp Bicarbonate of Soda (Bread Soda)
200g Ground Almonds
250g Caster Sugar
50g Cocoa
Orange Peel and Icing Sugar for Decoration, if wished


  1. Place whole oranges in a saucepan and cover with cold water, bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer for 2 hours or until the oranges are soft to the touch
  2. Drain and then leave to cool completely
  3. Preheat your oven to 180ºC, (160ºC Fan), 350ºC or Gas Mark 4 and butter and line a 20cm springform tin.
  4. Cut each orange in half across the middle and remove any pips and the little piece at the top of the orange where it was attached to the tree (whatever its called!)
  5. Place the halved oranges in your food processor (pith, peel and all) and pulp.  Add all remaining ingredients to the orange in the food processor and run motor until you have a cohesive cake mixture but still slightly knobbly with flecks of pureed orange.
  6. Pour and scrape into the tin and bake for an hour when a cake tester should come out clean.  I usually check mine after 40 mins and if its still not cooked will cover the cake with tin foil (to prevent burning) and return to the oven until cooked.
  7. Leave to cool in the tin on a cooling rack.  When cold, remove from tin.  Decorate with a dusting of icing sugar and some strips of orange peel or coarsely grated zest.
  8. I like to serve mine with whipped cream but really it is just as nice on its own.


  • I use the oranges which you can buy in the supermarket sold in a net but not clementines or mandarins.  Larger oranges which are sold individually tend to have quite a thick pith which might add bitterness to the cake
  • Instead of buttering the tin which I would always have done, I am now using a Belbake Non-stick Baking Spray which I bought in Lidl – comes in a yellow tin.  Not sure if they had it as part of one of their Baking Week promotions but most likely the other supermarkets will have their own versions