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Chocolate Orange Chiffon Cake - Food Gypsy

Chocolate Orange Chiffon Cake

An overwhelming desire for the taste of orange and chocolate led me down the slippery slope of recipe development, creating a deep, dark and delicious Chocolate Orange Chiffon Cake that thrilled neighbours and crushed that craving.

The neighbours love it when I bake. I then scurry around and distribute goodies lest they cling to my thighs.  (Judging by how my underwear fits, I may have left this cake in the Gypsy Kitchen a little too long.)

My hunger for citrus has been at a fever pitch; last week I found myself surrounded by oranges, kumquats, pomelo, Meyer lemons, and several limes.  (I think I may have scurvy!)  The holiday season denied me one of my favourite candy treats (Terry’s Chocolate Orange) so I had to bake now, didn’t I?

Oh sure, I could have just eaten an orange and a piece of chocolate… but where’s the fun in THAT?!

Flavour is GOOD

Keep the cake moistened with kumquat syrup and topped with colourful bits of candied kumquat.  I often use a simple syrup on a cake before icing, it helps keep it moist longer.  In this case, the juicy orange flavour of kumquats helped intensify the citrus undertones, but this cake is so moist and rich it hardly needs help.

Finished it with a chocolate ganache and that’s when this Chocolate Orange Chiffon Cake took on a life of its own.  The planned ‘thin drizzle’ of ganache became great, goopy globs of rich chocolate.  Instead of a refined, delicate effect, it became one big, chocolate meltdown.

Cake, ganache, candied kumquats - Food Gypsy

Try New Recipes, It’s FUN

Sometimes you just have to roll with it… let the chocolate flow and learn something new.  What I learned was this:  finishing with a warm ganache in front of an open window, in temperatures of -18°C is not a good idea.  Noted.

Didn’t affect the taste one little bit… tangy, citrus-backed flavour, grounded in rich, semi-sweet chocolate; a feel-good combination.  

It must be, because now I feel GREAT, shame about my waist though.  Here one day, gone the next.  Meh, it’ll be back.

Mix zest with dry ingredients - Food Gypsy Dissolve cocoa in the hot orange juice - Food Gypsy

Separate eggs - Food Gypsy Beat to soft peaks, then add sugar and beat to stiff - Food Gypsy

Add vanilla & oil to egg yokes, lightly mix - Food Gypsy Add egg mixture to coca mixture - Food Gypsy

Fold in egg whites - Food Gypsy Pour bubbly batter into un-greased tube pan - Food Gypsy


This Chocolate Orange Chiffon Cake freezes well and keeps for up to a month.  Wrap well in plastic wrap, and do not add ganache until ready to serve.

Thaw, pour warm ganache over the cake and serve.  May the drizzle be with you!

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Chocolate Orange Chiffon Cake, Food Gypsy

Chocolate Orange Chiffon Cake

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  • Author: Cori Horton
  • Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Yield: Eight Servings


A deep, dark and delicious Chocolate Orange Chiffon Cake that thrilled the neighbours and crushed a craving.


Units Scale

For the Chocolate Orange Chiffon Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups orange juice, heated
  • 3/4 cups cocoa powder
  • 1 3/4 cups cake or pastry flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • zest of two medium oranges (about a 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 7 large eggs, separated
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For the Chocolate Ganauche

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 ounces good-quality milk chocolate, chopped
  • 5 ounces good-quality dark chocolate, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Chocolate Orange Chiffon Cake

  1. In a small saucepan, heat orange juice to a low simmer.  Mix cocoa powder and hot orange juice together in a medium bowl, dissolving cocoa completely.  Stir well, and allow to cool to room temperature (about 10 minutes).
  2. In a large bowl combine flour, 1 1/4 cups sugar, baking soda, and salt, add orange zest, and toss to mix.  Add cocoa orange juice mixture to dry ingredients and mix until just blended. Do not beat.
  3. In a large bowl beat egg whites together with the cream of tartar to form soft peaks.  Add remaining 1/4 cup of sugar to egg whites and beat until stiff.
  4. In a medium bowl add vanilla and oil to egg yolks, lightly beat with a fork or whisk.  Add egg mixture to cocoa mixture, blend until just smooth, beating this batter will make it tough, so just mix until blended.   Add egg whites to the cocoa batter, one quarter at a time, using a spatula, and fold gently into the whites until everything is blended and bubbly.
  5. Pour into an ungreased tube pan and bake at 350ºf for 60-70 minutes.  (Ungreased! This cake has enough oil that it should not stick, and it needs the ungreased sides so that it can ‘grip’ and rise.)

Chocolate Ganauche

  1. In a heavy saucepan heat cream until just bubbling. Make sure you stay with it so it does not scorch or boil over, it only takes a couple of minutes.
  2. Remove from heat, stir in chocolate until completely melted.  Add extract.
  3. Cool slightly until ganache begins to thicken, stirring occasionally. Drizzle immediately.


Optional:  Once cooled lightly, coat cake with simple syrup or kumquat syrup (from our candied kumquat recipe), to help the cake retain moisture.  Finish with chocolate ganache and decorate to please.

  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Cook Time: 65 minutes
  • Category: Cakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Cori Horton

Fearlessly cooking in her home kitchen just outside Ottawa, Canada; Cori Horton is a food photographer, food marketing consultant, recipe developer and sustainability advocate. A Cordon Bleu trained chef, Cori spent five years as the owner of Nova Scotia's Dragonfly Inn and now shares all things delicious - right here.

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. I love chiffon cakes. They are so light in both texture and flavour and just one little piece turns into just one more little slice that turns into… well, you get the picture! The kumquats and bitter oranges are at their peak in my garden right now so I’m going to use them for zest in your recipe. I’ll let you know how it goes!

    1. “The kumquats and bitter oranges are at their peak in my garden right now…” SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO JEALOUS!

      Chiffon cakes are deadly aren’t they?! I confess I consumed much more of this cake than is good for me, hazards of the profession. Look forward to your thoughts Jennifer.

  2. Amen sister! The chiffon cake has ruined many a diet. I just think of over indulging as, ahem, “product research!” My favourite chiffon cake is matcha. A few months ago, my Japanese friend and I made one together after she brought back a tin of matcha from Tokyo. The cake was so good that we wolfed half of it down with whipped cream and cup after cup of sencha and we didn’t sleep a wink! We were up until dawn but it was worth it.

  3. Chiffon cakes are a very old recipe, it seems to be everlasting.And you can change certain things you put in it ,like you have done with your recipe.Very nice classic cake .
    Kind Regards
    David Head

  4. Another recipe of yours I am going to make today g’friend!! Daughters birthday party today so I was in need of another chocolate cake. After all, I can’t make the same one I did last year with the Raspberry Coulee and chocolate flourless cake, remember? On to the next I say!! Can’t wait to get this one done and see what everyone thinks .. yikes .. under pressure here!! Will let you know how it goes and looks!! Thanks again my friend!! 8)

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