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Orange Cocoa Cake


3 hours 30 minutes
Skill Level
1 cake

Your guests will be so impressed by this cake! Alternating layers of cocoa and orange cake in between orange buttercream make this recipe truly special. And like good friends, the different flavors bring out the best in each other.

Ingredients & Directions

Prep Time
45 minutes
Bake Time
27 minutes
Cool Time
2 hours 10 minutes


  • 1/2 cup
    HERSHEY'S Cocoa
  • 1/2 cup
    boiling water
  • 1/4 cup
    butter or margarine (1/2 stick), softened
  • 1/4 cup
  • 2 cups
  • 1/8 tsp
  • 1 tsp
    vanilla extract
  • 2
  • 1 1/2 tsps
    baking soda plus 1/8 teaspoon, divided
  • 1 cup
    buttermilk or sour milk plus 3 tablespoons, divided*
  • Orange Buttercream Frosting
  • 2/3 cup
    butter or margarine, softened
  • 6 cups
    powdered sugar, divided
  • 2 tsps
    freshly grated orange peel
  • 1 1/2 tsps
    vanilla extract
  • 4 to 6 Tbsps

Step-By-Step Directions

Equipment Needed 
Oven Oven
Round Baking Pan 8-9-Inch Round Pans
Wax Paper Wax Paper
Mixing Bowls Mixing Bowls
Mixer Mixer
Measuring Cups Measuring Cups
Wire Rack Wire Rack
Serving Plate Serving Plate

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease three 8- or 9-inch round baking pans; line with wax paper.


Stir together cocoa and water in small bowl until smooth; set aside. Beat butter, shortening, sugar, salt and vanilla in large bowl until well blended. Add eggs; beat well. Stir 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda into 1 cup buttermilk; add to butter mixture alternately with flour.


Measure 1-2/3 cups batter into small bowl; stir in remaining 1/8 teaspoon baking soda and 3 tablespoons buttermilk, orange peel and orange extract. Pour into one prepared pan. Stir cocoa mixture into batter; divide evenly between remaining two prepared pans.


To sour milk: Use 1 tablespoon white vinegar plus milk to equal 1 cup; use 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar plus milk to equal 3 tablespoons.


Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Carefully peel off wax paper. Cool completely.


Beat butter, 1 cup powdered sugar, orange peel and vanilla in large bowl until creamy. Add remaining powdered sugar alternately with milk, beating to spreading consistency. If necessary, add additional milk, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, to get desired spreading consistency. About 3 cups frosting.

Additional questions?