Death by Chocolate – Seriously Chocolatey Orange & Vanilla Cake

[recipe adapted from The Golden Book of Chocolate]

This is seriously chocolatey cake recipe using 775 g dark chocolate spread between cake dough, frosting and the ganache.

It is very rich but delicious, moist, have texture similar to marcepan thanks to the almond flour and is filled with scent of orange liqueur and vanilla.

I have adapted this recipe from mentioned above book but I have changed proportions of the dough, filling to the frosting to suit my needs.

I have also added vanilla sugar to make it more fragrant.

death by chocolate cake recipe


for the chocolate cake

  • 375 g quality bittersweet / dark chocolate (broken into pieces)
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp / pinch of salt
  • ½ cup ground almonds / almond flour
  • 185 g / about ¾ bar unsalted butter
  • 1 tbs unsalted butter for greasing the tin
  • 1 cup of golden caster sugar
  • 3 tbs vanilla sugar, best homemade
  • 4 large / 6 smaller eggs (separated)
  • 4 tbs orange liqueur (I used Grand Marnier)

for the filling

  • ½ cup quality orange marmalade (I used fine cut but clear would be the best)
  •  4 tbs orange liqueur (I used Grand Marnier)

for the chocolate frosting

  • 250 g quality bittersweet / dark chocolate (broken into pieces)
  • 125 g / half a bar unsalted butter

for the chocolate ganache 

  • 150 ml extra thick double cream
  • 150 g quality bittersweet / dark chocolate (grated)


  • 9” (22,8 cm) round non stick cake tin with removable trays (lined with baking paper)
  • spatula
  • food processor with bowl
  • egg whisk and bowl for the egg whites
  • another bowl for dry ingredients
  • small pot and metal bowl for the double boiler
  • saucepan for the ganache and then orange marmalade
  • cake stand or disposable cake base
  • piping syringe
  • grater
  • strong thread

death by chocolate cake from scratch


  1. Preheated oven to 180°C (356°F).
  2. Grease the baking tray.
  3. Melt the chocolate in the double boiler and leave aside.
  4. Combine dry ingredients: flour, almonds, baking powder and salt.
  5. In a food processor beat butter, sugars and egg yolks.
  6. In meantime beat also egg whites using the whisk.
  7. Once content of the food processor and mixed well, slowly fold in also egg whites and dry ingredients.
  8. Add also the liquor and transfer whole mixture to the baking tray.
  9. Place in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes.
  10. In meantime prepare ganache heating cream in a small saucepan and adding grated chocolate, continuously stirring. Once the ganache is ready put it in the fridge until needed.
  11. Once the cake is done and cooled down cut it in half using the thread to create two layers.
  12. In a small saucepan heat the marmalade until all runny, stir in also the orange liqueur.
  13. To assemble the cake, place one layer of the cake on the cake stand, spread over the orange marmalade, cover with second layer.
  14. In a double boiler melt chocolate and butter for the frosting.  Spoon mixture over the cake, let until the whole cake is covered.
  15. Once the frosting is set, use piping syringe and ganache to decorate the cake.
  16. Leave in the fridge for at least one hour to set.

This recipe makes 12 – 16 portions of cake.

death by chocolate cake recipe UK


Looking for more recipes calling for orange liqueur?  Then take a look at this Ice Cream Dessert with Madeira Cake & Grand Marnier and Poppy Seed Crêpes Suzette I made a while ago or Orange syllabub recipe with speculoos biscuit base by Sarah of Maison Cupcake and Chocolate orange trifle in a glass by Jeanne of Cook Sister.

DISCLOSURE: This post contain some affiliated links.

Your thoughts…

  1. Oh my goodness this looks amazing! Oh how I miss chocolate…. (on a diet!)

  2. That looks totally tempting! Chocolate orange has always been one of my favourite flavours.

  3. That looks DIVINE! Why did I stop eating chocolate today?!

  4. Wow! That is one serious chocolate cake! *drools at the screen*

  5. Chocolate and booze in a cake. Girl, you’re speaking my language! How amazing!

  6. When can I come over to have some of this brilliant chocolate cake? ;-) Congrats on the new blog design. It’s offbeat and looks very original compared to the boring-laid-out rest.

    (Just one thing, you left hand column needs some breathing space.)

    Happy New Year!

  7. Yikes, you need some social media sharing buttons too so that I can spread the word!

  8. Thank you for all the lovely comments. We loved this cake as well, it did not survive for a very long time…

    Hey Michelle, Thanks!! And you are welcome to come and visit any time, I will make the cake for you ;)
    I know, we are still working on the design… hopefully everything will be fully functional, including the social sharing buttons, before the end of the year :)

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