Consuming cocoa is an Easter imperative. Philippa Davis' chocolate and orange Easter chiffon cake makes an excellent alternative to another gaudily wrapped egg

Chocolate is essential for the long Easter weekend, but it doesn’t have to come in egg form. Philippa Davis’ chocolate and orange Easter chiffon cake requires extra time and care to a standard chocolate cake – but the result is tender, moist, light and not overwhemlingly sweet.

At least one of your puds over the Easter weekend should be chocolate, but there’s no need to resort to a gaudily wrapped egg. Our chocolate, ginger and orange cake will provide the essential chocolate fix.


This can be baked in a traditional chiffon tin or a deep aluminium round one. Do not grease or line the tin as the batter needs to cling on when cooking and cooling. Once cooked, suspend the cake upside down so it doesn’t collapse in on itself.

Serves 8

  • 40g cocoa powder
  • 130ml milk
  • 2 tbsp crème fraîche
  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 90ml rapeseed oil (or sunflower)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 170g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 120g caster sugar
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  • 2 oranges, zest only
  • 1 tsp orange blossom water


  • 100g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp orange blossom water
  • 4-6 tbsp double cream

To decorate

  • Chocolates – mini eggs, flakes, chocolate orange segments, etc – and whipped cream

Preheat the oven to 170°C/ 325°F/Gas Mark 3. In a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa, milk and crème fraîche. In a jug, mix the egg yolks, oil and vanilla. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, bicarb and 100g sugar together. Whisk the cocoa and egg yolk mix into the flour until well combined. In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites with the remaining 20g sugar and the tartar until stiff peak stage. In three stages gently fold into the cocoa mix.

Slowly pour into an ungreased not lined cake tin then give the mixture a gentle swirl with a thin skewer (this will help get rid of air pockets). Bake on the lower shelf for 1 hour. Leave to cool suspended upside down in the tin (you can prop the edge of the cake tin up with small ramekins).

Once cool, run a knife around the outside of the cake and push the cake out. Run a knife across bottom to release cake then place bottom up on your serving platter.

Whisk icing ingredients together using enough cream to create a slightly runny paste then pour over cake. Pile chocolates on top and serve with whipped cream.