The Great South African Bake Off recipe

Chocolate orange cake

Recipe by Shawn from The Great South African Bake Off


The Great South African Bake Off - Past series

BBC Lifestyle



  • 5 large eggs, separated
  • 1tbsp caster sugar
  • ½ cup oil
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 orange, zest of
  • 1¾ cups flour
  • 1½ cups caster sugar
  • 4tsp baking powder
  • ¼tsp salt
  • ¼ cup dark cocoa
  • 1tsp vanilla/orange essence

Orange curd:

  • 1 whole egg
  • 3 egg yolks
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 1tbsp orange zest
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2tsp gelatin powder
  • 4tbsp butter, cubed

Swiss buttercream:

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 150g chocolate (70%), melted and cooled
  • 1 pinch salt

Chocolate gel:

  • 8g gelatin
  • 210g sugar
  • 75g water
  • 145g liquid cream
  • 70g bitter cocoa

Preparation method


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Whisk egg whites with 1tbsp of castor sugar until stiff.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the eggs yolks, oil, orange juice, orange zest and essence.
  4. Sift the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, caster sugar, salt and cocoa), and mix into the wet ingredients to form a batter.
  5. Fold the egg whites into the batter in thirds until the mixture is incorporated. Be sure not to overwork as you will release the air.
  6. Quickly measure the batter out into three lined and greased 20cm cake pans.
  7. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Check the cake after 25 minutes (it will start to come away from the sides when it is ready).

Orange curd:

  1. Mix the egg and yolks, juice, zest and sugar and heat until it boils.
  2. Melt the gelatin in the microwave for 20 seconds (until dissolved). Do not boil. Add to boiled mixture.
  3. Remove from the heat and whisk in butter until well blended.
  4. Cover with cling film, ensuring that the cling film touches the curd, and cool.

Swiss buttercream:

  1. Mix the sugar and egg whites in a heatproof bowl.
  2. Place over simmering water and mix until thick and glossy.
  3. Remove from the heat, add vanilla and beat until cool.
  4. Once cool, whip in the butter until combined and fluffy. You can cream the butter before mixing in to ensure that there are no lumps. Sprinkle with salt. If the mixture splits, just keep beating until it is smooth and velvety.
  5. Fold in cooled chocolate, and mix until combined.

Chocolate gel:

  1. Soak the gelatin in cold water.
  2. Boil the sugar and water in saucepan for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Heat the cream in the microwave (but do not boil).
  4. Heat the gelatin in the microwave for 15 seconds (until melted).
  5. When the sugar syrup reaches 103°C, remove from the heat and stir in the cocoa until smooth.
  6. Mix in the cream and liquid gelatin. Leave overnight to cool.
  7. When you are ready, heat to 28-30°C to use.


  1. Cut the centre out of one of the layers, leaving roughly a 5cm rim of cake. This will be used as the middle layer, and the orange curd will be poured into this.
  2. Place a solid layer of cake at the bottom, and the using the Swiss buttercream, sandwich and crumb-coat the cake.
  3. Pour the orange curd into the centre to just below the top of the cake. If you have enough time, you could put this into the fridge to set for about an hour.
  4. Put on a layer of Swiss buttercream (use a piping bag for this as the orange curd could seep through if it’s not set yet.)
  5. Place the final layer of cake on top, and crumb-coat the entire cake. Ensure that it’s completely smooth. Refrigerate the cake until it’s completely cool.
  6. Heat the chocolate gel and keep it ready. Remove the cake from the fridge and start pouring the glaze over in a spiral motion until the entire cake is covered. Place back in the fridge to set.

This recipe was created and written by the accredited contestant of The Great South African Bake Off. BBC Worldwide accepts no responsibility for the accuracy of ingredients, method or content.