Chocolate Orange Cupcakes with Chocolate Orange Buttercream

Chocolate orange sponge topped with smooth chocolate orange buttercream and topped with a slice of Chocolate Orange – Chocolate Orange Heaven!

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Chocolate orange cupcakes topped with chocolate orange buttercream, a slice of Chocolate Orange and orange sprinkles. There's a box of Chocolate Orange in the background.A couple of weeks ago I decided to experiment with some new buttercream flavours. I thought it would be fun to create some along a Christmas theme and as it turned out I found not one, not two, but five new flavours. So this week is now officially Festive Buttercream Week 🙂 A week of different flavours, perfect for adding a festive twist to your cakes.

My first new flavour is chocolate orange. The reason these are first is that my parents were visiting last week when I was testing the recipe and my mum enjoyed it so much she’s been nagging me to share it so she can make some more.

Seeing as chocolate orange is such an amazing flavour, I thought that I’d go all out and make the sponge chocolate orange flavour too, and I topped each one with a slice of chocolate orange just to finish them off.

Chocolate orange cupcakes on a cooling rack with a box of chocolate orange at the side.Rather than melting down actual Chocolate Oranges into my cupcakes and buttercream, I decided to add the orangey flavour using orange extract. The main reasons I did this is because Chocolate Oranges don’t like heat. The chocolate goes grainy and unusable far more easily than the chocolate you’d find in the baking aisle. This isn’t great to eat, and let’s face it, no one wants to waste Chocolate Orange. It would spoil the whole baking experience.

Chocolate orange cupcakes topped with chocolate orange buttercream, a slice of Chocolate Orange and orange sprinkles on a cooling rack.

chocolate orange cupcakes buttercream-3
5 from 2 votes

Chocolate Orange Cupcakes with Chocolate Orange Buttercream

Chocolate orange sponge topped with smooth chocolate orange buttercream and topped with a slice of Chocolate Orange – Chocolate Orange Heaven!

Active Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 12 cupcakes
Calories 601 kcal



  • 150 g self-raising flour
  • 30 g cocoa powder
  • 175 g caster sugar
  • 175 g soft margarine or softened butter
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp orange extract
  • 75 g milk chocolate choose something from the baking aisle in the supermarket as it will cope well with the heat in the oven without going grainy
  • ½ tbsp milk
  • 12 cupcake cases


  • 250 g unsalted butter soft at room temperature
  • 250 g icing sugar
  • 150 g milk chocolate choose a chocolate from the baking aisle as this won’t go grainy when it’s melted
  • 40 g cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp orange extract
  • A little milk

To finish

  • 12 pieces of Chocolate Orange
  • Orange sprinkles


For the cupcakes

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 160ºC/140ºC fan.
  2. Put your cupcake cases into a muffin tin.
  3. Grate the milk chocolate (75g).
  4. Put all of the ingredients into a large bowl (150g self-raising flour, 30g cocoa powder, 175g caster sugar, 3 large eggs, 175g soft margarine, 1 tsp orange extract, ½ tbsp milk and the grated chocolate) mix on a low speed until fully combined.
  5. Divide the mixture evenly between the 12 cupcake cases (I use a cupcake scoop to help split it evenly).
  6. Put the tin into the oven and cook the cupcakes for 20-25 minutes. After 20 minutes put a skewer in the middle and check if it comes out clean. If it does they’re done, if not pop them back in for a couple more minutes and check again.
  7. Once cooked, remove the cupcakes from the oven and leave them to cool in the tins for a few minutes.
  8. Remove the cupcakes from their tin and pop them onto a wire rack to cool completely.

For the buttercream

  1. Break the chocolate (150g) into pieces and melt it (either using short bursts in the microwave – stirring regularly, over the lowest possible heat in a saucepan – stirring constantly, or in a bain marie – stirring constantly).
  2. Once melted remove from the heat and pour into another bowl (this will help it to cool as it needs to be back to room temperature before mixing with the buttercream).
  3. Beat the butter (250g) until soft then add the orange extract (½ tsp), cocoa powder (40g) and icing sugar (250g) and beat until fully combined (it’s easier to avoid the cocoa powder and sugar flying everywhere if you add it a spoonful at a time).
  4. Once the chocolate has cooled to room temperature (DO NOT add the chocolate when it’s still warm as it’ll melt the butter and your buttercream will end up too runny) pour it into the buttercream and beat until fully combined. You should find that the buttercream is soft and spreadable. If it is a little stiff then add milk a tsp at a time until it is the right consistency.

Build your cupcakes

  1. Pipe your buttercream onto the cupcakes. Top each one with a slice of chocolate orange and some orange sprinkles.

Recipe Notes

Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a comment and rating at the bottom of the page to let others know what you thought.

Nutrition Facts
Chocolate Orange Cupcakes with Chocolate Orange Buttercream
Amount Per Serving
Calories 601 Calories from Fat 351
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 39g 60%
Saturated Fat 19g 95%
Cholesterol 85mg 28%
Sodium 161mg 7%
Potassium 205mg 6%
Total Carbohydrates 64g 21%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Sugars 48g
Protein 5g 10%
Vitamin A 22%
Calcium 3.1%
Iron 10.3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Chocolate orane cupcakes topped with buttercream, chocolate orange and orange sprinkles with a Chocolate Orange in the background.

Free From/Suitable For…

The ingredients I used to make this recipe are all free from the following allergens. However, please check any labels carefully for allergens you need to avoid as brands can vary and product recipes can change over time.

  • Suitable for Vegetarians
  • Tree Nut-Free (Chocolate Orange may contain nuts)
  • Peanut-Free
  • Sesame-Free
  • Sulphur Dioxide & Sulphite-Free
  • Fish-Free
  • Crustacean-Free
  • Mollusc-Free
  • Celery-Free
  • Mustard-Free
  • Lupin-Free

Chocolate orange sponge topped with smooth chocolate orange buttercream and topped with a slice of Chocolate Orange - Chocolate Orange Heaven!

I’m sharing this recipe with the following challenges… #WeShouldCocoa with Tin & Thyme, #BakingCrumbs with Only Crumbs Remain and #TreatPetite with The Baking Explorer

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  1. Gorgeous recipe!

  2. I made the chocolate orange cupcakes for a bake off at our RFC ladies day lunch, they are the easiest cakes I have ever made and tasted delicious, not only that I won the bake off with them.

  3. Hey! Can I use orange essence instead of orange extract?

    • That should be fine. However essences can have difference concentration of flavour so the amount you need will depend on which one you use. There may be some information on the packing do give you an indication.

  4. Katie (or should I say Cakey)

    I haven’t tried these but I look forward to. Interested to see you use orange essence, I make very yummy (so I have been told) gluten free chocolate orange brownies. I used to use dark chocolate and grate orange in for the flavour. However I have discovered an orange chocolate that melts well and that is Lidls 70% dark chocolate with orange. I look forward to trying them with this recipe. Lids’ dark chocolate with rasberry also works well with baking.

    • I’ve found other Lidl chocolate is brilliant for baking so I’m not surprised the chocolate orange works well too. Thanks for the recommendation.

  5. Hello. Can I use orange zest instead of orange extract?

    • I tried it and I don’t think it works as well. The orange favour is much more muted and the flavour changes as it’s cooked. You get a much more orange-y flavour if you use the extract.

  6. Chocolate and orange is one of my favourite combinations. Your cupcakes look superb as always and one day I’m going to come to you for icing lessons. Thanks for sharing with #WeShouldCocoa.

    • I learnt it from a quick video from This Mama. If you have a look at my vanilla buttercream post there’s a link to her video.

  7. I love chocolate-orange…. but have they changed the shape of the segments??? x

  8. I’m a huge fan of chocolate orange combo Charlotte so I can totally see why your Mum pestered you to share the recipe. They look so good, and that buttercream is definitely one I’m going to try. Thankyou so much for linking up with #BakingCrumbs
    Angela x

  9. They look amazing and I adore chocolate orange! Thanks for linking up to #TreatPetite

  10. These look delicious. I’m looking forward to seeing what other flavours you created

    • I’m busy writing another one up at the moment. Are there any flavours you’d particularly like to see?

      • Well for Christmas chocolate i’d go retro and say After Eight. Maybe a Christmas pud inspired one. Rich,fruity and nutty, maybe a challenge for buttercream!

        • I published peppermint buttercream yesterday on chocolate cupcakes so quite After Eightish (I love those by the way). I love the idea of Christmas Pudding, although I think it would need to be cupcake with buttercream to get all of the fruit and nuts in. I’ve got brandy buttercream coming up which I think would be perfect for the top 🙂

          • I’ve just eaten tea and thisthis has made me hungry again. I don’t normally make buttercream but I might need to give some of these a go

          • Definitely give it a try. My mum doesn’t usually like buttercream and tends to leave most of it as she finds it too sweet but she polished it all off on these cupcakes. I hope you enjoy it if you give it a try x

      • Hi Charlotte made my little boys first birthday cake with your all in one vanilla sponge last year and this year was thinking about doing a chocolate orange round sandwich tins X 2 for his 2nd birthday cake. How do I adjust the ingredients for this from your cup cake one here?


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