Saturday, 9 July 2011

Orange chocolate chunk cake/ Birthday Cake

My blog turned 1 month old on July 6th and i got invited to my nephew's birthday party who turned 8 on the same day. I couldn't have been happier to get this wonderful opportunity to bake a birthday cake! I wanted a cake that could hold its own without icing and was rich enough for a birthday kid. This was one cake where i wasn't going to substitute the usual low fat vegetable oil in place of butter. No, it was going to be rich, creamy butter all the way.
The finished cake is brushed with orange syrup that keeps the cake moist without drying out. And it also gives a shiny finish to the top of the cake if you are not going to add frosting. The chocolate chunks in the cake are enough to satisfy the chocoholics in the party, even though the cake itself is an orange cake. I have adapted the cake recipe quite wildly from the source. I was calling this an orange cake, still i omitted the 1/4 cup of grated orange rind called for by the original recipe. (Unfortunately, i have had bitter results, literally, from using rind of citrus fruits in cooking. Maybe i just don't know how to, yet. In any case, i am staying away for now). 
However, I did know from the experience of baking Orange bread that 100% orange juice from a carton will still give a definitive orange flavour. I halved the original recipe because i don't have big enough baking pans, yet. And substituted the buttermilk for yogurt. Oh, and i almost forgot to tell you how i successfully used foil to line the baking dish, it was so easy to get the cake out of the baking dish in a single piece. The reviews for the final product were all positive. Everyone seemed to like it and there was also a suggestion that i might be given the order for next year's birthday cake. Now if that's not a compliment, what is? Not only do i get to keep my cake forever in this blog, i got to eat it too :-) 

Recipe adapted quite wildly from here to make it much simpler
  • 100 grams unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 small eggs at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt - skip if using salted butter
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons yogurt at room temperature (almost 100 grams)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 cup good semisweet chocolate chunks
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/6 cup orange juice
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 7x7 square (or 8 inch circle) baking dish with parchment or foil. Then grease and flour it.
Cream the butter and sugar using a hand mixer until fluffy for about 4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and mix after each addition. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt (if using) in a separate bowl. Add a third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and combine. To this add the orange juice and vanilla and mix. Add another third of the flour mixture and combine. Now add the yogurt and the remaining flour and mix until the batter is evenly combined, less than a minute. Pour the batter into the baking dish. Toss the chocolate chunks in a tablespoon of flour and spread evenly on the batter. Smooth the top of the batter.
Bake in the preheated oven for 40-50 minutes until a tooth pick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool on a wire rack and make the syrup. Cook the sugar with the orange juice in a saucepan on low-medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Spoon this syrup evenly on the cake (i poked random holes in the cake with a toothpick so the syrup would be absorbed better, it didnt hurt the look of the cake even without icing).
Allow the cake to cool completely and carry it over to the birthday boy. Enjoy a slice when he cuts it out for you :-)
Oh, by the way, if you insist on drizzling the top of the cake with icing, you can look at the original recipe here and toil some more. But this cake will have a wow effect without the extra work too. You decide.

Photo Credit: The first three pics in this post were clicked by my cousin, it was his kid's birthday party. Don't they look much better than mine?


  1. La, I wondered seeing blog. So nice. We are enjoying while eating orange chocolate chunk cake. This is the first blog which i visited and unable to express in words for the tasty delights which were posted. Blog focused on much nutritious food. Orange Chocolate cake perfect to kids.
    Sudha-Sridhar & pushkal

  2. Thank you so much for the kind words. I am super happy you guys liked the cake. I wish i had brought some cookies too.. maybe next time.

  3. I m surely going to try this out !! looks yummmm

  4. Hey Lahari, Loved your blog. Loved the receipes & photography. I am gonna try the Lemon and herb grilled chicken soon. Loads of Love, Shalaka

  5. Thanks a ton Shalaka. It seemed like forever waiting for your feedback. And so happy you like it :-) Waiting to know how the chicken turns out.

  6. re: the rind.
    The most bitter part is the white part of the rind. Recipes usually call for using the zest (colored portion) only.

    I find a microplane grater indispensable for this (and so much else):

    1/4 cup is a heck of a lot, though


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