Orange Chocolate Chunk Cake

This orange chocolate chunk cake from Ina Garten turns out a beautiful Bundt cake that’s studded with chocolate chunks and topped, if desired, with ganache. And it’s remarkably easy. Here’s how to create this stunner of a sweet.

A partially cut orange chocolate chunk cake on a round wire rack.

The Barefoot Contessa’s orange chocolate cake, from none other than Ina Garten, melds the texture of the perfect Bundt cake with the tartly sweet taste of citrus and chocolate.–Jenny Latreille

Orange Chocolate Chunk Cake

  • Quick Glance
  • (11)
  • 35 M
  • 1 H, 30 M
  • Serves 16
4.9/5 - 11 reviews
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Special Equipment: 10-inch (25-cm) Bundt pan

Ingredients

  • For the orange chocolate cake
  • For the orange syrup
  • For the ganache (optional)

Directions

Make the orange chocolate cake

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Butter and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Add the eggs, 1 at a time, mixing after each addition. Then stir in the orange zest.

In another bowl, sift together 3 cups flour, the baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, combine the orange juice, buttermilk, and vanilla.

Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately in thirds to the creamed butter, beginning and ending with the flour. Toss the chocolate chunks with 2 tablespoons flour and add to the batter. Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the surface.

Bake the the cake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a cake tester comes out clean.

Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

Make the orange syrup

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, cook the sugar with the orange juice until the sugar dissolves. Remove the cake from the pan and place it on a wire rack placed on a rimmed baking sheet. Spoon the orange syrup over the cake. Let the cake cool completely.

Make the ganache (optional)

If making the ganache, melt the chocolate, heavy cream, and coffee in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until smooth and warm, stirring occasionally. Drizzle over the top of the cake.

A person pouring glaze over an orange chocolate chunk cake on a round wire rack.
Serve the cake

Slice and serve the cake. Originally published May 25, 2003.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

I haven't made many recipes with an orange and chocolate combination, but I’ve tried other Ina Garten recipes that were good, and this one didn’t disappoint. This Bundt cake is easy to prepare, very moist, and the orange flavor produced by the zest and the addition of the orange sugar glaze was just right. Although the cake is good alone, the addition of the ganache makes for a nice presentation and a really decadent dessert.

The recipe calls for “good” semisweet chocolate chips. I used Nestle’s semisweet chips and think it turned out well, but I am sure “good” chocolate would be even better.

I think these would make some cute cupcakes as well, perhaps I’ll try that next time.

My family adores the combination of chocolate and orange, so of course we had to try this recipe. What we found is that this cake finally helps you decide which ingredient you want to stand out more: the chocolate or the orange. I used fresh oranges for the orange juice and zest, and they added a lovely orange flavor.

The cake is dense, and the fruity taste lightens it. The chocolate chips add just enough chocolate to every bite. Then the orange syrup provides a burst of fruitiness that also creates a tiny crunch along the outside of the cake. When I make the cake again, I'll stop there and not add the ganache, purely because our household enjoys orange with a bit of chocolate more than chocolate with a bit of orange. We may even add candied orange peel either mixed in with the chocolate chunks or sprinkled over the top.

As written, with the ganache and chocolate chips, the chocolate is the stronger flavor. While beautiful dripping over the cake, the ganache is very rich and can overwhelm the orange. I plan to save the ganache recipe to enjoy with other cakes.

I tested this cake to bring to a friends house for a girls-night dinner and it didn't disappoint! This cake got rave reviews for its moist and tender crumb, fresh orange flavor, and the hits of chocolate. The orange glaze drizzled over the top really does impart a wonderful flavor component as well as adding to the moistness of this cake. Everyone also agreed that the spattering of chocolate chips in the cake and the drizzle of ganache over the top served to accent the cake nicely, while not overpowering it with a chocolate overload. While this cake may have a number of steps to its final completion, it’s well worth the complements you will receive. We all gave this a thumbs up, and for this group of ladies, that’s true praise indeed.

All the instructions were easy to follow and the only issue I had was that the top was getting very brown at 45 minutes, but was still not done. I tented the top with foil to avoid burning until the cake tested done at 54 minutes. I also don't own a stand mixer, and don’t have a paddle attachment for my electric hand mixer, so I just used the beater attachments to cream the butter and sugar for 9 minutes until it was very light and fully, and then proceeded with the recipe instructions.

HUNGRY FOR MORE?

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Comments

  1. Wow this was amazing gluten free! I subbed the buttermilk for sour cream and added 1/2T xanthan gum. The texture is so beautiful and you get alternate chunks of ooh chocolate and then oh yum orange all in a crispy sticky orange crust. Definitely recommend.

  2. This cake is FAB! It was quite easy and came out really well. I found it very forgiving also: I only had three oranges, not four, and no buttermilk – because, you know, pandemic – and it was still great.

    I used cream and lemon juice instead of buttermilk and I did up the amount of orange juice in my syrup to compensate for the lack of zest of one of the oranges. I also cut back the sugar to about 1 1/2 c which I thought was plenty.

    Laziness prevented me from making the ganache, but frankly I didn’t think it needed it at all, just delicious, and keeping quite well also!

  3. LOVED this recipe. Love Ina, Love David Leite. What could go wrong? Nothing. And if something did it is probably because you didn’t follow the recipe or made a weird substitution like those people who cut the sugar in half and use vegan butter and then rate the recipe 2 stars and complain that it tasted weird. Anyway, done with ma tangent–this recipe was delicious and delightful. Even though I do not have a Bundt pan I used a loaf tin and worked wonderfully. 10/10 would recommend, including my multiple roommates and their significant others.

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