Orange and almond cake with chocolate ganache

When the feeling takes over, there’s nothing else I can do but BAKE. I love cake. It’s an addiction that is almost laughed about at work. Our onsite cafe always has at least three different vegan cakes on offer so I have to turn away when I walk past them or else they end up jumping into my hand. No idea how that happens but it seems to be a regular occurrence.


Cake fiend

At the weekend, I really wanted to try and bake something a bit different to the norm. Emmeline and I had been looking at drip icing cakes on Pinterest (as you do) as this style of decoration is something I’ve wanted to try for a while. This cake, originally created by Domestic Gothess, isn’t particularly difficult to make – grating the oranges is probably the fiddliest part of the process. But what accompanies the minor effort in baking this cake, is the most glorious smell of orange and almond. It’s magnificent, totally worth the time it takes.


orange and almond cake with chocolate butter icing


So how do you do it?


Here’s what you need:

For the sponge:

  • 320ml unsweetened almond milk
  • finely grated zest of three oranges
  • 100ml orange juice
  • 100ml olive oil (preferably light)
  • 160g caster sugar
  • 2t vanilla extract
  • 1t almond extract
  • 185g almond meal
  • 225g plain flour
  • 2 1/4 t baking powder
  • 3/4 t bicarb of soda

For the butter icing:

  • 150g dark chocolate
  • 150g dairy free margarine (Stork is best – or any other solid marg)
  • 150g shortening
  • 50g sifted cocoa powder
  • 300g icing sugar
  • 1t vanilla extract
  • 1/2 t orange extract

Chocolate drip:

  • 50g dark chocolate
  • 10g coconut oil


To make the sponge:

  • Preheat the oven at 180C. Grease 3 15cms circular baking tins.
  • In a large bowl, whist the milk, orange juice and zest, olive oil, sugar and both almond/vanilla extract. Whisk in the almond meal.
  • In another bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and bicarb.
  • Add the wet to the dry and mix well until combined. Don’t over beat it though, just mix thoroughly.
  • Pour mixture evenly between the three tins and bake for 25-30 minutes. Skewer test it or press gently and see if the sponge springs back up.
  • Leave the sponges to cool on a wire rack.


To make the chocolate ganache buttercream:

  • Melt the chocolate and leave to one side.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the margarine and shortening until smooth (I highly recommend using a handheld mixer here!)
  • Add the cocoa powder and mix again.
  • Add icing sugar and combine well.
  • Whisk in the extracts.


  • Layer up – sponge/chocolate buttercream, alternately.
  • Place the last sponge upside down so it is perfectly flat.
  • Spread a thin layer of butter icing over the top and around the sides. Place cake in the fridge for 15 or so minutes to firm it up.


To make the chocolate drip icing:

  • Melt the chocolate and stir in the coconut oil oil smooth and melty. mmmmmmmm
  • Leave to one side until it has cooled.


  • Use a spoon to drizzle the chocolate drip around the edge of the cake. Use the spoon to push it down the sides every so often so it creates a drip effect.
  • Once you’ve gone all around the edge of the cake, fill the rest of the top of the cake until it is fully covered on the top.
  • Place back in the fridge to fully set the cake.


orange and almond sponge cake


There should be some left over butter icing which you can use to decorate the cake. Or if like us you can’t help yourself…grab a spoon each and have a taste.


If you fancy trying some of my other favourite recipes then take a look at my foody section HERE. I’d love to hear your favourite recipes <3

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