Chocolate and Orange Matchmakers Cake



Preparation and decorating time:

1 hour plus cooling and drying time


  • For the chocolate leaves
  • 75g dark chocolate, 70% cocoa, broken into chunks
  • 40-50 varying sized rose leaves, washed and dried
  • For the cake batter
  • 150g dark chocolate, 70% cocoa, broken into chunks
  • 75g cocoa powder, sifted
  • 150g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 250g plain flour, sifted, plus extra for dusting the tins
  • 225g golden caster sugar
  • 125g soft light brown sugar
  • 4 medium free range eggs, lightly beaten
  • 150ml crème fraiche
  • 2 tsp baking powder, sifted
  • For the butter icing
  • 175g unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
  • 100g Philadelphia full-fat soft cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 350g icing sugar, sifted
  • zest of 1 orange, plus 1 tsp orange juice
  • orange food gel
  • To decorate
  • 2 x 130g boxes of orange matchmakers
  • chocolate leaves, as made above
  • ribbon



  1. 1. For the chocolate leaves, line 2 large trays with cling film. Melt the chocolate in a mixing bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, do not allow the water to touch the base of the saucepan. Remove from the saucepan. With a paint brush, paint the chocolate on the underside of each leaf. Place the leaves chocolate side up on the tray. Leave to dry. Repeat with another layer of chocolate and leave to dry.

  2. Place the oven rack on the middle shelf. Preheat the oven to 180C/Fan160C/Gas Mark 4. Grease and base line 3 round 20cm sandwich cake tins with baking parchment and grease again. Dust the base and sides with flour. Remove any excess flour.

  3. To make the cake batter, melt the chocolate in a mixing bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, do not allow the water to touch the base of the saucepan. Remove from the saucepan and set aside to cool.

  4. Mix the cocoa with 250ml boiling water and whisk until smooth. Set aside.

  5. Beat the butter and sugars with a hand held electric whisk until light and fluffy. Slowly whisk in the eggs. Beat in the melted chocolate.

  6. Whisk the crème fraiche into the cocoa and water mixture, until combined add to the cake batter. Add the flour and mix well then add the baking powder and give a good stir.

  7. Divide the cake batter between the tins and bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes until just cooked – insert a skewer into the centre of the cake, if it comes out clean the cake is ready, if not, return to the oven for 5 minutes. Cool in the tins then turn out on to a wire rack.

  8. For the butter icing, place the butter and cream cheese in a large mixing bowl and add half the icing sugar. Beat until smooth, then beat in the remaining icing sugar. Mix in the orange zest and juice. Add enough orange food gel to your colour liking.

  9. Place one of the sponges on a serving plate, divide the icing into 4 in the bowl. Use a palette knife to spread ¼ of the icing over the sponge. Top with a second cake and spread another ¼ over the top, then finish with the last sponge and another ¼ of icing. Spread the remaining icing around the outside of the cake so it’s covered very lightly – just enough that you can stick the matchmakers to it.

  10. To decorate, place the matchmakers around the outside of the cake. Peel off the leaves from the chocolate and use to decorate the top of the cake and tie a ribbon around the cake.

Made With