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Emily Roux's BBQ Baked Orange and Chocolate Cakes

Chocolate and orange are natural partners. Add smoky BBQ notes and a smooth crème Anglaise and you have all the ingredients for a delectable dessert under canvas. If you are baking out in the field feel free to substitute a tub of decent ready-made custard.

Emily Roux's BBQ Baked Orange and Chocolate Cakes

Baking over a campfire is surprisingly easy and incredibly satisfying. I first made these orange-encased cakes camping in the Ardèche with my father. But they’ll taste just as good cooked over the BBQ in your back garden or even in your oven. And they make a brilliant contribution to a BBQ party. I love the chocolate-orange combo, but this cooking method works for any simple sponge mix to which you have added a little zest and juice from the oranges.

About this recipe

Preparation Time 20 Minutes
Cooking Time 15 – 20 Minutes
Makes 8 small or 4 – 5 large oranges
Emily Roux's BBQ Baked Orange and Chocolate Cakes Emily Roux's BBQ Baked Orange and Chocolate Cakes


For the cake

  • 4-8 thick skinned oranges
  • 175g softened butter
  • 175g icing sugar
  • 175g dark chocolate
  • 3 eggs
  • 50g self-raising flour
  • 30g chopped pecan nuts
  • A little of the juice from the orange

For the crème anglaise:

  • 350ml whole milk
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 vanilla pod



To note: If you are travelling to your BBQ, prepare the cake mix in advance and place in a resealable plastic bag. Get the oranges ready in advance too and store in Tupperware.


To prepare the Crème Anglaise: Place the milk and a pinch of the sugar in a saucepan over a gentle heat.


Split the vanilla pod in half and scrape out the beans. Place vanilla, egg yolks and sugar in a large mixing bowl and whisk until pale and frothy.


When the milk reaches simmering point, gently pour it over the egg mixture whisking continuously.


Return the mixture to the saucepan and continue to stir over a gentle heat. As soon as the mixture thickens pass it through a sieve (this halts the cooking process and prevents curdling).


Leave custard to cool for a couple of hours before serving. Alternatively, place in a bowl over ice.


To prepare the orange & chocolate cake: Slice the tops off the oranges to make a lid. Using a sharp knife scoop out the flesh catching the juice in a bowl. Take care not to pierce the base of the orange or the cake mix will leak.


Gently melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally. Leave to cool for 5 minutes.


Beat the butter and icing sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs, 2 tablespoons of orange juice and then the melted chocolate. Make sure the chocolate isn’t too hot otherwise the eggs will begin to cook. Lastly, sift in the flour and gently fold in the pecan nuts.


Fill the oranges ¾ full with cake batter and place the lid on top. Wrap each orange in 2 layers of aluminium foil. Place directly over the hot coals but away from the flames.


Cook for approximately 15-20 minutes (depending on the size of the oranges and the intensity of the BBQ). Move the orange parcels around occasionally as they cook.


The cakes are ready when the cake batter pushes the orange lids open. Serve warm with the crème anglaise. Adding a few segments of orange is a nice way to complete your dessert.

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