Chocolate Orange Tray Bake

Deliciously rich chocolate cake smothered in silky buttercream and flavoured with orange. This Chocolate Orange Tray Bake is a simple cake to whip up for any occasion. 

Who doesn’t like Chocolate Orange?

I know there will obviously be a few people out there that aren’t fans, but chocolate orange is such a well loved and popular flavour combination. I’ve already got recipes for Gluten Free & Vegan Chocolate Orange Cupcakes, Chocolate Orange Rocky Road & Chocolate Orange Cookie Bars. So you can tell I am definitely a fan! But I wanted a cake that was absolutely delicious but simple too.  

Not a new concept, but a tasty one! 

I think most bloggers that bake will have a chocolate orange cake recipe. Like I said it is a well known, delicious combination and we all have our go-to recipes. What makes this Chocolate Orange Tray Bake my favourite is just how rich and flavoursome it is. I have really packed in the orange flavour which I think is essential. If something is meant to be orange flavoured then it really needs to taste like orange!

I have also made sure that the buttercream is rich and delicious. Personally, I am very fussy when it comes to buttercream and would usually choose a different frosting – like my Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting. But I do like chocolate buttercream when it is rich and creamy. To make this even more creamy, I have used whole milk. You can go the extra mile and use cream, or you could be slightly more reserved and use semi skimmed milk. Whichever you choose will still be delicious but will slightly change the creaminess. 

Quick, easy and delicious 

Aside from the deliciousness of this cake, the other thing I love about it is how quick and easy it is to make. Tray bakes are great because you don’t have to worry about dividing the cake batter into multiple tins or spooning it into cupcake cases. You just tip the whole lot into your prepared tin and you’re ready to go. 

It also makes decorating even easier! Instead of messing around with piping bags all you need to do is pile the buttercream on and spread it out – easy! I do like decorating cupcakes and making pretty patterns with my buttercream. However, there are occasions when you don’t have time; Christmas being one of them! This Chocolate Orange Tray Bake is ideal because it requires minimal effort but still looks and tastes great. 

Get creative with your decorating

When I decorated this Chocolate Orange Tray Bake I went for a quite reserved colour scheme. I was trying to be classy with my gold sprinkles and chocolate orange segments. If I was making this for my friends and family (and not to be photographed on my blog!), I would might have added some Christmas sprinkles to make it more festive. Obviously this cake can be made all year so use whichever sprinkles take your fancy. 

For the chocolate orange segments I used the other half of the chocolate orange that hadn’t gone in the cake batter. If you want every slice of cake to have an orange segment on it to avoid arguments (amongst children or adults!) you might want to buy a packet of the smaller segments. 

Uses for orange juice 

This Chocolate Orange Tray Bake uses quite a bit of orange zest. When you’ve zested an orange it tends to become hard and unappealing in a day or two. If you don’t want to just juice the orange and drink it like I did, here is some inspiration below of delicious ways to use it. 

Gluten Free Almond Orange Cake from A Baking Journey 
Homemade Orange Curd from Foodle Club
Orange Panna Cotta from Cooking Journey
Two Ingredient Fruit Juice Jelly from Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen
Beetroot Juice with Orange and Ginger from Tin & Thyme

5 from 7 votes

Chocolate Orange Tray Bake

Deliciously rich chocolate cake smothered in silky buttercream and flavoured with orange. This Chocolate Orange Tray Bake is a simple cake to whip up for any occasion. 

Course Cake
Cuisine British
Keyword Cake, Tray Bake, Chocolate Orange
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 16
Calories 302 kcal
Author Curly


For the cake

  • 40 g cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp instant coffee
  • 4 tbsp boiled water
  • 3 eggs
  • 175 g margarine
  • 165 g caster sugar
  • 115 g self raising flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 orange zested (one large or two small oranges)
  • 80 g chocolate orange (½ chocolate orange), roughly chopped

For the buttercream

  • 100 g unsalted butter
  • 150 g icing sugar
  • 50 g cocoa powder
  • 4 tbsp whole milk
  • pinch salt
  • 80 g chocolate orange (½ chocolate orange)
  • sprinkles


  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C (fan assisted, 180°C non fan) and line a 20x26cm tin with baking paper

  2. In the bowl of your mixer, add the cocoa powder, instant coffee and boiled water. Mix until they form a thick paste

  3. Add the rest of the cake ingredients apart from the chocolate orange and zest and mix until combined

  4. Scrape the bottom of the bowl with a spatula and add the chopped chocolate orange and orange zest. Mix briefly

  5. Pour into the prepared tin and smooth out

  6. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until a cocktail stick comes out clean

  7. Leave to cool in the tin for 30 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely

  8. When the cake is completely cooled, make the buttercream. Add the butter to the bowl of your mixer and beat until softened

  9. Add the icing sugar, cocoa powder and salt and mix thoroughly. Add enough milk until you get a thick but spreadable consistency

  10. Bet the buttercream until all of the ingredients are completely combined. Spread the buttercream evenly over the cake and finish with sprinkles and the chocolate orange segments

Recipe Notes

Keep in an airtight container for 2-3 days. 

Nutritional information is given as a guide only and my vary.

Nutrition Facts
Chocolate Orange Tray Bake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 302 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Cholesterol 45mg15%
Sodium 155mg7%
Potassium 145mg4%
Carbohydrates 29g10%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 20g22%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 598IU12%
Calcium 35mg4%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Pin for later

Pin for later

Cook Blog Share

17 thoughts on “Chocolate Orange Tray Bake

  1. Veronica

    Oh this looks so yummy. And you are so right, at this time of year you don’t want to be fussing around with fancy decorations. Thanks for adding my orange curd recipe – I’m going to try out your recipe and see how it turns out with orange curd icing

  2. Sylvie

    I love the combination of chocolate and orange so this recipe is so perfect for me! What a perfect dessert for a large gathering and party – one everyone will love for sure!

  3. Liam rogers

    Great bake with my nearly 3 year old daughter. Very messy but well worth it for a delicious cake.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.