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Orange cake with dark chocolate and cream cheese frosting

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I’ve never made an orange cake before, and couldn’t find any good-looking recipes online, so I adapted a lemon cupcake recipe and it worked shockingly well. So here’s the cake strata breakdown: orange cake, dark chocolate ganache, cream cheese frosting, orange cake, cream cheese frosting.

I chose this cake recipe based on ease and what ingredients I had – you could probably adapt any good lemon cake recipe. The ganache layer is key here, it really makes the orange-y-ness stand out. If you don’t like cream cheese frosting, you could do a butter cream frosting instead.

Orange Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache and Cream Cheese Frosting

Cake ingredients:
1-3/4 cups sugar

3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

zest of two large oranges (about 2 tablespoons)

3 extra-large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1/4 cup fresh orange juice

3 cups cake flour (I only had 2 cups cake flour and therefore had to use one cup regular flour… it was OK, but the cake would probably be lighter if you had the right amount of cake flour.)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

Ganache ingredients:
1/2 cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup heavy cream

Frosting ingredients:
4 ounces (1/2 block) cream cheese at room temperature

1/4 cup butter at room temperature

2 cups powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla 

1-3 tablespoons milk or buttermilk as needed

1. Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. 

2. Beat sugar, butter, orange zest, vanilla and almond extract in large bowl 2-3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in orange juice.

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