In honour of cake week on GBBO, I thought I’d share the recipe for one of my new favourite Victoria sponges. Now, chocolate and orange isn’t exactly a groundbreaking flavour combination, but you have to admit, they go together like strawberries and rhubarb: both are perfectly delicious on their own, but put them together and you’ve got some serious yum. Jazz it up for a dinner party with some candied orange peel, or, if you’re in a hurry or can’t find any, finish the cake off with a dusting of icing sugar.
Chocolate Orange Victoria Sponge
For the Cake
3 cups plain/all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda/baking soda
½ tsp salt
Zest of 1 orange
2 cups sugar
2 cups buttermilk
1 1/3 cups vegetable or canola oil
4 eggs at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
For the filling and topping
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2T icing/powdered sugar
1/3 cup marmalade
Candied orange peel (optional)
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/350 degrees F. Grease two 9” cake pans and set aside.
Sift dry ingredients and set aside
Whip the wet cake ingredients and zest in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment on medium speed until all the ingredients have been blended, about 30 seconds (you can also whisk by hand for about 1 minute)
Add about half the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix on low until combined, about 30 seconds. Repeat with the remaining flour mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure everything’s incorporated.
Pour the batter evenly into the two pans and bake for 40-45 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through.
Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick or tester into the centre of the cakes and checking to make sure it comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 5-10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack and cooling completely.
Once the cakes are cool, trim the top of the bottom layer so it’s even (you can also trim the top if you want, but it’s not necessary).
If your marmalade is quite stiff, warm it briefly in a saucepan over low heat until it’s spreadable.
Whip the cream and sugar until it holds stiff peaks.
Spread a layer of marmalade over the top of the cake’s bottom layer, and then add a layer of whipped cream. Carefully place the top layer on the whipped cream, and top with more cream and candied peel, if desired.
Try not to eat the whole thing in one sitting.