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
4.88 from 8 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


  1. Hi there! I’m making a chocolate cake for my boyfriends birthday and would love to use the orange frosting from your recipe to fill and top it, do you know if the quantities for the cupcakes would be enough for a cake or should I double? Chocolate orange is our favourite combo and this looks delicious!

  2. I’ve made these twice as they are so delicious, they don’t last long at home! I could try get orange sprinkles so used white pearls and mini chocolate orange slices, won’t be the last time I get asked to make these!

    • Charlotte Oates

      I cheated with my orange sprinkles. I put white ones in a small tub with some orange gel colouring and gave it a good shake. They looked good but the colour wasn’t set so marked anything it fell onto. I’m going to stock up at Halloween this year as that’s the best time to find orange.

  3. Hi I have just made this recipe and I just wondered if they are suppose to have a crisp coating on top they are not burned lol my husband likes it I just wondered if I did something wrong they do taste delicious

    • Charlotte Oates

      They shouldn’t be crispy, I’m not sure what would have caused that. I’m glad to enjoyed them anyway though 🙂

  4. A friend and I made these for a charity event at work – they are delicious!

    • Charlotte Oates

      That’s fantastic. I’m glad you enjoyed them and I hope they helped you raise lots for your charity 🙂

  5. Hi, I’m going to make these Tommorow and I was wondering were you get your cupcake cases from,thanks! Xx

    • Charlotte Oates

      I bought them from Tesco. They’re either Dr Oetker or Tesco own brand (sorry I cannot remember which).

  6. These cupcakes are amazing. I’ve never baked a cake since school (I’m almost 30) so I didn’t have a clue, I followed the recipe exactly and they turned out perfect – thank you.

  7. Wow, these are gorgeous. I’m an atrocious piper so made them into butterfly cakes instead on the plus side makes them less messy for the kids to eat! I used orange essence in the same quantity and it’s worked fine.
    Thanks for the great recipe!

    • I love the idea of making them into butterfly cakes. That might be a project for me and my boys to try over the Easter holidays.

  8. These were delicious! Everyone wants the recipe! I added chopped up choc orange segments instead of grated chocolate and then coated in flour before gently mixing into the cake batter. Yum!

    • Charlotte Oates

      Thanks Kate, I’m glad you enjoyed them. I’ll have to give the chopped up Chocolate Orange a try next time.

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