More divine than devilish, this rich, moist chocolate layer cake has a hint of natural orange flavor to make it sparkle. Frosted in a modern, elegant style, this cake makes any occasion feel special.
Makes one 8-inch (20 cm) layer cake.
The cake will keep refrigerated for up to 3 days.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Grease three 8-inch (20 cm) round cake pans and line the bottom of each pan with parchment paper. Dust the sides of the pans with flour, tapping out any excess.
Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the orange zest and stir in.
Whisk the hot coffee and milk together and then whisk in the oil, eggs and vanilla. Add this all at once to the flour mixture and blend on low speed using electric beaters or the mixer until no flour is visible and then increase the speed to medium-high, mixing until smooth and glossy, about 1 minute (the batter will be fluid). Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for about 25 minutes, until a tester inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cakes in their pans on a cooling rack for 20 minutes, then turn the cakes out of the pans to cool completely on the rack.
To assemble the cake, peel away the parchment from the first cake layer and place it on a cake plate. Spread an even layer of Philadelphia Cream Cheese Whipped Frosting to cover the top of the cake and set the next cake layer on top. Repeat with the frosting and final cake layer. Spread a generous amount of frosting on top of the cake, pushing the frosting just over the outside edge of the cake — this helps to create precise edges when joining the frosting from the sides to the top. Spread a sheer layer of frosting on the sides of the cake and rotate the cake to smooth it out – if you like the décor of a sheer or “naked cake,” you could stop here. For a completely covered cake, spread a second, thicker layer of frosting on the sides and smooth it out, joining the top and sides. To make a precise top edge, use your spatula to pull the frosting on top from the outside edge in towards the centre and rotate the entire circumference of the cake. For the final décor touch, use the tip of your spatula as you run it around the cake, starting at the bottom and working your way to create a lovely line. Arrange the edible flowers to the top of the cake as you wish and then chill the cake until ready to serve.