Dark Chocolate Cake with Blood Orange Sauce


This post has been a long time coming! With every blog post, I typically do a bit of recipe testing, finalize my recipe, make a few batches of recipe, pick the prettiest one, style, shoot, edit, write out the final post, and publish. The whole process takes about a week, if I’m focused. By the time that’s all over though, I’ve exhausted myself and end up taking 2 weeks off. Not very efficient, is it? So I’ve given a go at batch working content, something I’ve never attempted before.

Those who know me well know that I have a few medical problems that can, at any given time, put me on the couch for a few days. It can be incredibly frustrating to be stuck, immobile with nothing productive to do, especially when I’m mentally motivated and ready to go. One thing I can do though? Edit photos. So, I’ve taken a few weeks to do some major recipe developing and shooting. I want to create an immense amount of content that I can refine and put out for you over the period of the next few months… especially because these next few months are going to be kind of crazy for me. Moving apartments this week, traveling around Alaska in May, and running away to Ireland in June! All of this is extremely exciting, but I don’t want to leave the blog behind. I hope to mix in some travel posts for you, but expect some recipes as well.

So, while I get used to my new “system”, be patient with my delays and bumps-in-the-road. This post was supposed to be published some time ago, but hopefully things will become more predictable over the next few weeks. I’d also like to say thanks to the people who’ve subscribed to my blog! It means the world to me when I see people enjoying what I create.


dark chocolate layer cake

2 c. all purpose flour
1 c. cocoa powder
1 t bakingsoda
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 1/4 c. sugar*
3 eggs
1/2 c. sour cream
1/2 c. oil or melted butter**
1/2 c. brewed coffee, cooled
1 c. buttermilk
2 t. vanilla

Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl, then form a well by pressing dry ingredient mixture to the sides of the bowl. Add all wet ingredients and then whisk until fairly smooth (don’t worry about small lumps).

Preheat oven to 325.

Prepare three 6 in cake pans by greasing the sides and bottom with butter, and then coating with a thin layer of flour. Pour batter into pans and tap them on the counter to release bubbles and level the batter.

Bake 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Let cool completely, remove from pans, level and frost as desired. (Chocolate buttercream recipe below).

Recipe notes: * This cake is a “dark” chocolate, meaning it isn’t as sweet as a typical box mix. If you want it sweeter, increase sugar to 1 1/2 c. or 1 3/4 c.

** I use melted butter ONLY if the cake is going to be eaten that day. Cakes baked with butter tend to become much more dry over time as the fats solidify. So if you’re going to be eating the cake throughout the week, I suggest using liquid vegetable oil.

creamy chocolate buttercream

1 c. room temperature butter, salted*
4 c. confectioner’s sugar
1/4 c. + 2 T  heavy cream
1 t. vanilla or other flavoring (orange essence for this recipe)
1/2 c. good quality dark chocolate, melted over a double boiler

Using a stand or hand mixer, beat butter, sugar, and melted chocolate together until smooth and thick. Add cream a tablespoon at a time with mixing on high speed until you obtain a texture that is light, but holds its shape. Add flavoring and mix well. Frost on cooled cakes.

blood orange sauce

3 blood oranges
1/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. water
2 T triple sec (if desired)

Peel and cut all oranges. Place a fine mesh strainer above a small saucepan and mash orange pieces through, thoroughly, so that all juice, some pulp but no seeds ends up in the pan. Add sugar, water and triple sec and cook on medium heat until simmering. Once mixture begins to simmer, stir constantly and cook until syrup has noticeably thickened. Dip a cold spoon into the syrup, and when the liquid gels slightly on the back of the spoon, it’s ready. Be very careful with the liquid as it can burn very easily if left unattended. Cool completely before spooning onto the top of the frosted cake.

Leave a Comment