Serves 6


7 oranges

110g unsalted butter, soft

110g caster sugar plus quite a lot extra for the syrup (quantity explained in the recipe)

2 eggs

90g self raising flour

20g cocoa powder

50g plain chocolate

lightly whipped double cream to serve



  1. Pre-heat the oven to 190C.
  2. Work out on which end the orange will stand up the best then slice about an inch off the other end of the orange.
  3. Using a reamer carefully squeeze out as much juice as possible from the orange. You need to go carefully so as not to damage the orange peel. Keep the juice on one side for later.
  4. Use a spoon to remove most of the flesh and then gently pull it away from the white pith. You may find it easier to use your fingers at this stage to get it all out without damaging the orange.
  5. Set your orange shell to one side on a baking tray and repeat with another 5.
  6. In a large bowl cream the sugar and butter together. You can do this in a mixer or with a hand mixer, or if you fancy a bit of exercise you can do it by hand with a wooden spoon.
  7. Beat in the eggs one at a time then add the flour and cocoa powder. Mix well to combine and create a cake batter.
  8. Grate the zest of the remaining orange and add to the batter.
  9. Break up the chocolate into small chunks and add that to the batter also.
  10. Stir the zest and the chocolate into the batter.
  11. Spoon the batter into the orange cases. You only need to half fill the oranges as the mixture will rise and fill the rest of the orange. If you put too much cake batter into the oranges it will overflow into the baking tray.
  12. Bake the oranges for 25 minutes.
  13. Whilst the oranges are cooking, make the orange syrup. Strain the juice from the oranges and take a note of how much juice you have before pouring it into a heavy bottom saucepan.
  14. Add an equal amount of sugar to the pan (e.g. if you have one glass of juice you need one glass of sugar).
  15. On a low heat and stirring regularly, dissolve the sugar in the juice.
  16. Once the sugar has dissolved, bring the liquid to the boil. When it has come up to the boil, leave to boil for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally and watching that it doesn’t boil over.
  17. Set on one side and allow to cool.
  18.  Test if they are cooked by gently  pressing the sponge with your finger. If the sponge bounces back up it is cooked. If it doesn’t, cook for a few more minutes.
  19. When cooked, remove from the oven and prick the cake in each orange with a fork several times.
  20. Carefully and slowly pour some of the orange syrup over the cake. The syrup will soak into the cake.
  21. Serve each orange in a bowl with a little extra syrup and some lightly whipped double cream.