Mandarin Chocolate Cakes

cake baked in an mandarin
A bag of mandarins is a traditional gift for Chinese New Year, which is widely celebrated in our neighborhood. They’re so pretty and delicious, I thought it might be fun to bake small cakes in them. Chocolate of course, because chocolate and orange are one of my favorite flavor combinations.

cake baked in a mandarin

It’s actually pretty amazing how moist the cake becomes baked in a juicy mandarin. These are super delicious and a perfect little treat for company, or a special after school snack. Keep reading to see how we made them…

These chocolate cakes baked in mandarines were much more moist compared to ones baked in a cupcake pan. We made both and the mandarin cakes were by far most moist and tasty, with a hint of that mandarin orange flavor. Just delicious! I always have a hard time getting chocolate cake to not be crumbly and dry, and I think I’ve learned the trick now!

cake baked in an mandarin

Step 1: Cut the tops of your mandarins and scoop out the insides with a small pairing knife and/or a serrated spoon. Mandarins lay flat on their own so you don’t have to shave off the bottom and risk cutting a hole, which makes them that much easier to work with!

Step 2: Prepare your favorite chocolate cake batter (we used my favorite boxed chocolate cake mix from Whole Foods) and preheat the oven.

Step 3: Fill the mandarins 2/3rds of the way full with batter. Place them on a tray in the oven and cook for around 20 minutes at 350 degrees until a toothpick comes crumbly through the center.

Photography by Liz Stanley. Assisted by Sara Albers


How do you eat them? Do you peel the cup away, or use a spoon to scoop out the cake?

This is genius! I can’t wait to try this out with mandarins or other fruits in a thick skin.

We did this with oranges when I was a camp counselor. You put the top back on and wrap the orange in foil then put it in the coals of the fire to bake. So yummy!

I just made these today with my kids and they were a hit! Ours weren’t nearly so beautiful, but they were delicious and the kids loved them! Thanks for another super fun idea.

This is such a great idea! My partner is from China, so I’m always looking for new yummy ways to celebrate new years. In Germany, we also celebrate Christmas with citrus and chocolate 🙂

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