When you’re in need of a crowd-pleasing dessert that you can prepare ahead, this chocolate and orange number is more than up to the job.

Recipe by Jess Liemantara

Makes 1 large 22cm-diameter round cake



125g softened butter
3⁄4 cup caster sugar
1⁄2 cup icing sugar
1 1⁄4 cup self-raising flour
1⁄2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp bicarb soda
Pinch of salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 1⁄2 tbsp orange zest
1 tsp vanilla essence

Chocolate orange ganache

300g thickened cream
1 1⁄2 oranges, zested
350g dark chocolate (54 %), melted


Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line a 22cm-diameter round baking pan with baking paper and set aside.

For the chocolate mud cake place the butter, caster sugar and icing sugar in a stand mixer and beat on medium to high speed until pale and fluffy.

Add in the eggs one at a time and beat until well incorporated.

In a separate bowl combine the flour, cocoa powder, bicarb soda and salt. Pass through a sieve and gradually add into the cream mixture, alternating with the milk.

Mix on low speed and increase the speed for 1 minute.

Add in the orange zest and vanilla.

Scrape the sides and base of the bowl and mix once more.

Pour out the mixture into the lined tin and bake for 40-50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

Allow to cool down completely.

To make the ganache, place the cream and orange zest into a saucepan over medium to low heat.

Bring to a gentle simmer and remove from the heat. Allow to infuse covered for 10 minutes.

Bring mixture back to a boil and strain. Gradually pour the hot cream mixture into the melted chocolate, whisking after each addition until it is fully incorporated.

Allow to cool down slightly until a spreadable consistency.

To assemble, place the cooled cake on a cake stand or serving plate. Spread a generous amount of chocolate orange ganache over the cake and decorate as you wish.

Recipe provided by Peter Rowland