Chocolate Orange Cupcakes and a Gorgeous Ganache

I came across this recipe a while ago, and it sits in my ‘fancy cakes’ category. It’s really not that fancy though. I set the bar pretty low. Light and airy, these are simple and utterly divine. If you’re planning a party, these definitely have to be on the baking list. The ganache frosting is a particular favourite, worth a little extra effort and super tempting to eat straight out of the bowl.* But the cakes are  equally delicious naked if you’re baking in a hurry.

*I may have done this. Maybe. Probably…

Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

You’ll need a muffin tin and paper or silicone cases

Makes 8 – double it up if you want!


50g soft baking spread (or butter/margarine)
120g caster sugar
1tsp orange extract
1 egg
100ml milk
100g plain flour
20g cocoa powder
1 ½ tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt

Ganache Frosting

100g dark chocolate
120ml double cream
½ tsp orange extract


  1. Preheat your oven to 200°C/ 180°C fan/Gas Mark 6.
  2. Pop 8 cupcake cases into a muffin tin. You can line them up on a baking sheet, but using a muffin or cupcake tin ensures the cakes keep a good shape. I use reusable silicone cases, but you might want to use paper cases (the cakes do come out easier from paper cases and are more appropriate if baking for an event.)
  3. Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy using an electric hand or stand mixer.
  4. Add the orange extract and then the egg, mixing well.
  5. Mix the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt in the scale pan or in a separate bowl.
  6. Alternately add the milk and flour mixture and mix well together.
  7. Divide the mix between your cases using an ice cream scoop to ensure equal portions and a nice even bake.
  8. Bake for 18-20 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
  9. Leave to cool in the tin for five minutes and then place onto a cooling rack.

Now… I know I don’t usually add a frosting to cakes, but this one is so easy and super delicious, so give it a go if you have time!

  1. Gently heat the cream in a saucepan.
  2. While that’s warming up, break the dark chocolate into pieces and put into a heatproof bowl.
  3. Once the cream’s heated, pour it over the chocolate and stir until melted.
  4. Add the orange extract and stir well.
  5. Set aside to cool.
  6. I then pop it into the fridge to help speed up the thickening process.
  7. Now you can either pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes, or spread on with a pallet knife. I find piping bags a bit of a faff, so prefer to just spread it onto each cake.
  8. Feel free to add any chocolate treats to embellish – especially if you’re making them for a special occasion. Maltesers, chocolate buttons, slices of chocolate orange all work perfectly!

These are so light you could easily eat a few, so the richness of the frosting is an excellent addition to help you to share them with your friends!


Adapted from a Hummingbird Bakery recipe


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