It’s hard to believe, but this will be my last recipe post for the year! I’m still a little in denial that we’re a week away from Christmas…how did that happen so quickly?? It only seems fitting to end on a sweet and dark chocolate note. 😉 Hopefully you’re not totally sick of desserts yet, because this vegan orange chocolate cake is so easy (10 basic ingredients! one mixing bowl!) that it’s basically fool-proof, plus it’s frosted with a fluffy, orange-scented buttercream frosting.
The original chocolate cake recipe came from my Vegan Oreo Chocolate Cake, which is one of my most popular and frequently made recipes. I love that recipe because in addition to tasting decadent and being very no-fuss, it’s made with slightly better-for-you ingredients like plant milk, coconut sugar, non-dairy yogurt, and coconut oil. This time around I swapped the coconut oil for avocado oil (neutral-tasting, a good source of healthy fats, and the best part—no melting required!), replaced the plant milk with orange juice, and added in a generous amount of organic orange zest. The cake is sweet, but not too sweet, and the chocolate and orange flavors both shine through. The frosting, though, is definitely straight-up sweet, although I didn’t pile it as high as I might have in the past. #balance
I want to wish you a very happy holiday and a hopefully not-too-busy and restorative next couple of weeks. I’ll see you back here in 2019! xo
- 1¼ cups orange juice
- zest of 1 organic orange
- 6 ounces plain unsweetened non-dairy yogurt
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
- 5½ tablespoons avocado oil, plus additional for greasing the pan
- ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1 cup raw cacao powder (or cocoa powder), sifted
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ cup vegan butter
- 1 cup organic powdered sugar, sifted
- zest of 1 organic orange
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch fine sea salt (omit if using salted butter)
- organic orange slices and zest
- Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8-inch cake pan with avocado oil and set it aside. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the orange juice, orange zest, yogurt, coconut sugar, avocado oil, and vanilla. Using a wooden spoon or the paddle attachment on a stand mixer, slowly stir in the flour, cacao powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix until just combined—be careful not to over-mix. The batter will be thick. Using a spatula, transfer the batter to the prepared cake pan and smooth out the top into an even layer. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, remove the cake from the pan: put a large plate over the top of the pan, flip it upside down, and tap the pan to release the cake onto the plate. Place the cake in the fridge to chill for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large mixing bowl), cream the butter until it's light and fluffy (about 20 seconds). Slowly mix in the powdered sugar on low speed. Once all of the sugar has been added, turn the mixer to medium-high speed and continue to mix for 1 minute. Stop the mixer and add in the orange zest, vanilla, and salt (if using). Mix on medium-high speed for 10 more seconds, until the frosting is fluffy.
- Spread a layer of frosting on the top of the cake (and all around the sides, if you'd like). Decorate with orange slices and orange zest.
If you find that the frosting is too soft after you mix it, pop it in the fridge for 5 minutes to firm up.
The cake can be frosted in advance and stored in the fridge. Leftover cake should be covered and refrigerated.
Cake adapted from my Vegan Oreo Chocolate Cake recipe.