There's only one thing I love more than blood orange season and that just happens to be baking with olive oil! I figured nothing could be better than combining the two into the ultimate vegan chocolate cake with a citrus twist. This super moist Vegan Blood Orange Chocolate Olive Oil Cake should officially be on the baking "to-do" list before citrus season ends!
The Best Vegan Blood Orange Chocolate Cake
So...I think it's time to tell a confession. Before I started baking vegan, I never actually LOVED store-bought cake.
Here's the thing. I find a lot of cake, even from the best of bakeries, can go one of two unideal ways; super dry and not at all flavorful or too sweet where all I can taste is sugar. Now, there are exceptions to this rule, but the moral of the story is that store-bought cake led to more duds then I like to admit.
I'm not trying to complain, but all of this is to get to WHY I love vegan olive oil cakes so much. It really comes down to the dreaded "m" word....moist!
Olive Oil Makes this Cake SO Moist!
Plus, olive oil makes this orange chocolate cake incredibly light and tender too. Using olive oil instead of butter lets the flavor of the blood orange and chocolate truly shine through. Regardless of your thoughts on the word moist, I am here to tell you that this Chocolate Olive Oil Cake will not disappoint. Actually, scratch that.
I am here to tell you that any recipe made with olive oil on this site will NOT disappoint! I've made quite a few olive oil cakes including this Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake & Orange Fig Olive Oil Cake are also recipes you have to check out!
Tips for the best chocolate olive oil cake
- The Quality of Olive Oil you use in olive oil cakes DOES matter. High-quality olive oil will lead to a better crumb, texture, and more moist orange chocolate cake.
- The cocoa powder you use is super important too. Use high-quality cocoa powder and don't use dutch processed as it's not a 1:1 substitution.
- Make sure to sift together your dry ingredients. I know a lot of recipes call for this and you're probably like, BUT WHY. I usually skip it, this time I'm telling you not to. The cocoa powder easily clumps together if it is not sifted and no one wants clumps of bitter cocoa throughout their cake.
- To get the most out of your blood oranges, use a citrus juicer. I've found that I can usually get away with squeezing lemons with my hand, but that's not the case with oranges. A juicer is really necessary to get the most out of blood oranges!
Blood orange frosting:
The most fun part of baking a cake is decorating it!
I included the recipe for vegan blood orange frosting below so go check it out if you choose this option! If you do go this route, definitely make sure you have both shortening and vegan butter on hand for the best texture. If you don't have shortening on hand, it is a 1:1 substitute with vegan butter.
To make the vegan frosting, you will also need an electric mixer or standing mixer for the whipped texture you see in the pictures.
How to make candied blood orange slices
Here's a recipe you can follow for Easy Candied Blood Oranges. To be honest, I usually don't follow a recipe when I make candied blood oranges.
To make the perfect candied blood oranges I make follow these simple steps:
- Add equal parts sugar and water to a Pan & Simmer until Sugar Dissolved.
- Place the Blood Oranges in the Pan and make sure I don't overcrowd the pan.
- Cook the Oranges Until They are Translucent, but not until they are stiff.
- Dry the Blood Oranges for 1 Hour, Roll in Additional Sugar, Then Place in the Fridge to Dry Overnight
I have found that 40 minutes is usually more than enough time for the citrus to simmer in the pan. Make sure to flip the blood oranges half-way through so both sides book evenly as the sugar water evaporates! These oranges will work as a topping on any blood orange dessert recipe
I hope you are as excited as I am to bake this Vegan Blood Orange Chocolate Olive Oil Cake. If anything, I hope that the recipes on this site give you a deeper appreciation for the magic of olive oil in cakes. Enjoy!
In case you're looking for a few more Vegan Dessert Recipes featuring citrus, don't miss out on these recipes:
Vegan Blood Orange Chocolate Cake
- 1.5 cups cake/pastry flour
- ½ cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp espresso (optional, but enhances the chocolate flavor)
- ¾ cup almond milk
- ½ cup olive oil
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed blood orange juice
- 2 tsp vanilla bean paste/extract
- 2 tsp orange zest
Blood Orange Frosting
- ½ cup vegan butter
- ⅓ cup shortening
- 2-3 Tbsp freshly squeezed blood orange juice
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste/extract
- ½ Tbsp coconut cream (optional but highly recommended for fluffy frosting)
- 1 cup organic powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease an 8 or 9-inch spring-form pan and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl sift together your dry ingredients including your cake/pastry flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and espresso. Set the bowl aside.
- Next, whisk together your almond milk, olive oil, sugar, blood orange juice, vanilla bean paste/extract, and orange zest in a separate mixing bowl. Once evenly mixed, slowly incorporate the bowl of sifted dry ingredients until a smooth cake batter has formed.
- Add the batter to the greased spring-form pan. Before putting the pan into the oven, tap the cake pan on the counter to release any large bubbles. Add to the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle. If you are using a larger pan, check the cake at the 25 minute mark as it will cook faster.
- Remove the cake from the oven and let cool to room temperature.
- While the cake is cooling, make the frosting. Start by whipping together your vegan butter and shortening until smooth. Then add in the vanilla bean paste/extract, blood orange juice, and coconut cream and whip for another 30 seconds. Finally, begin to gradually add the powdered sugar until no clumps remain and the frosting is smooth.
- Top your cooled cake with the blood orange frosting and use a spatula to smooth. Slice into 8 even pieces and enjoy!
- If you aren't a fan of vegan buttercream, you can also top this cake with a blood orange glaze (I've tried it and it's just as good!). Simply whisk together 1 cup powdered sugar with 2 Tbsp blood orange juice and 1 tsp orange zest for a thick and delicious glaze
- I don't recommend refrigerating cake as it dries it out, however this cake can be stored in a closed container in the freezer for 1 month. I would recommend slicing before freezing.
- If you need to make the cake ahead of time, bake it and cover it in plastic wrap. It will keep at room temperature for 2-3 days. Do not frost the cake until you are ready to eat it.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 slice (⅛ cake)
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 426 caloriesTotal Fat: 24.4 gramsgCarbohydrates: 32 gramsgSugar: 22.1 gramsgProtein: 2.4 gramsg