Grand marnier chocolate torte

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60 min


12 wedges

* PLUS Cooking time: 5 minutes, Refrigeration Time: 240 minutes, Baking Time: 30 minutes


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter , at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 355-mL can frozen orange juice concentrate , about 3/4 cup
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 envelope powdered gelatin , about 1 tbsp
  • shredded or grated orange zest , of 2 oranges
  • 1/2 cup orange liqueur , such as Grand Marnier
  • 4 cups 35% cream
  • 3/4 cup sifted icing sugar


  • Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Grease two 9-inch (23-cm) round cake pans with shortening or coat with cooking spray. Line bottoms with waxed paper and grease again. Measure flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a medium-size bowl. Stir with a fork until well blended and no lumps of cocoa remain.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat butter using an electric mixer on medium-high speed until very creamy. Gradually add 1 cup (250 mL) granulated sugar and 3/4 cup (175 mL) brown sugar, beating until light and fluffy, at least 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Add vanilla until blended.
  • Turn mixer to low and beat in one-third of flour mixture, then half of buttermilk, beating only until mixed after each addition. Beat in another third of flour mixture, then remaining buttermilk, ending with remaining flour mixture. Beat only until evenly blended. Overbeating at this point will toughen cake.
  • Divide batter evenly between pans, then bang pans on counter several times to remove air bubbles. Bake in centre of 350F (180C) oven until centre of cake springs back when lightly touched and sides of cake start to pull away from pan, from 30 to 35 minutes. Let cakes cool in pans set on a rack for 10 minutes, then turn out. Remove waxed paper, then cool cakes thoroughly on racks. When ready to assemble cake, slice each half horizontally to make 4 layers.
  • To make filling, combine frozen concentrate, 3/4 cup (175 mL) sugar and gelatin in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar and gelatin are dissolved, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in orange peel and 1/4 cup (50 mL) liqueur. Press a sheet of waxed paper into surface of orange mixture and refrigerate just until it no longer feels warm to the touch, about 20 minutes.
  • Whip cream in a large mixing bowl until soft peaks will form. Gradually beat in icing sugar until combined. Fold in liqueur mixture until evenly blended and no white streaks of whipping cream remain.
  • To assemble, place a layer of cake, cut-side up, on a serving plate. Brush with about 1 tablespoon (15 mL) liqueur. Spoon a scant fifth of filling onto middle of layer, then gently spread almost to edge. Top with a cake layer, brush with 1 tablespoon (15 mL) liqueur, then spread with a fifth of filling. Repeat until all layers have been added. Use remaining filling to frost top and sides of cake. Refrigerate immediately for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight, so flavours blend. For best flavour, bring cake to room temperature before serving. Leftover cake will keep well, loosely covered, in the refrigerator for about 2 days.

Nutrition (per serving)

  • Calories
  • 809,
  • Protein
  • 10 g,
  • Carbohydrates
  • 90.6 g,
  • Fat
  • 46.6 g,
  • Fibre
  • 4.3 g,
  • Sodium
  • 458 mg.

Since we first published this ultimate chocolate cake recipe in 1978, its light-tasting filling has made it one of our top-requested favourites. Our Test Kitchen staff love it for birthday parties–using a cake mix when pressed for time.

Whipping cream

To maximize volume of whipping cream, make sure cream as well as bowl and beaters are well chilled by placing them in the refrigerator.