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


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


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' Tips

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.


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  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.

  4. Can you purchase a bar of semi-sweet chocolate and cut it into chunks? I have the bars also chips but want it to be the perfect first try.

  5. So upset that the cake didn’t come out of the pan cleanly. Only myself to blame I know better to really take the time to prep the pan. Still it was enjoyed by everyone and no one bothered that it wasn’t perfect ……..served to good friends! The recipe is a keeper

  6. Amazing cake. Moist n flavourful!!! Totally loved it. Thank you for an amazing recipe. Only changes I made was I reduced the sugar n tossed the chocolate chips in corn flour (cornstarch–ed).

  7. This is a great cake. It’s a bit of work with the syrup and ganache, but definitely worth it! Moist and just delicious. Keeps well at room temp for a few days (or while it lasts!). I have also halved the recipe and made in a 9-inch round pan, and it works great. Just remember not to halve the syrup and ganache.

  8. I just make 1/2 the ganache topping and drizzle it over, letting it drip down the sides. For me, that’s enough topping. The whole recipe seems too heavy on the icing for this rich cake.

    1. Anna, that makes perfect sense. That’s the entire point of recipes, the way we see them, which is to say, provide you with a starting point for you to create something of your own.

    1. Lee, we haven’t tried freezing the cake, but I suspect it will freeze perfectly fine BEFORE glazing as long as you let it cool completely before wrapping it in several layers of plastic wrap. You can probably thaw it overnight on the counter, loosely wrapped, and then glaze it just before serving.

  9. Baked this cake last week and it was amazing the only thing I reduced was the sugar from two cups to one cup and the rest was as the recipe. The cake turned out perfect and super moist delicious!!! thank you.

    Ina Garten's orange chocolate cake, which is an  orange Bundt cake, speckled with chocolate chips, and topped with a ganache drizzle

  10. My wife made this today for my birthday. She followed the recipe to the T. It was perfect! My new favorite cake! Moist, orangey, not overly sweet, nice chocolate chunks. I’m a happy man.

    1. Drishti, it’s very simple to make your own buttermilk. Use regular milk and for each cup add 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar and stir. It’s ready to use right away.

    2. You can add a teaspoon of lemon juice (or even vinegar – but not balsamic!) to a cup of milk, but I like it to have a little more body so I’ll often use lemon juice and cream instead OR use sour cream thinned with milk Or even a little water OR yogurt (thinned if it’s Greek yogurt).

  11. I made the cake this past week. I loved the flavor and the overall appearance, but my cake seemed dense. Some bakers recommend cake flour in place of regular flour. Also, how long should I beat the batter after adding the eggs one at a time. I also had to bake the cake for at least an hour but will check the size of my Bundt pan. I would love to make the cake again.

    1. Julia, the cake is dense–like a pound cake. You can use cake flour, it will make for a lighter cake, but I like the denseness. The size of your pan will definitely affect baking time, as will your oven, if it’s not calibrated. I’d suggest buying two or three cheap oven thermometers and hanging them from different places on the the rack you’re baking the cake. That will tell you if it’s running cold. AS fas as the eggs, bet them until incorporated. That’s all you need.

  12. This cake is amazing. The only problem I have is that the chocolate chips sink in the bottom even though they are coated in flour…. any tips please?

    1. miq323, Ina instructs to toss the chips with flour before adding. Did you do that? If that didn’t work, lightly wet the chips with COLD water, then toss them in flour.

    2. The way to keep your chocolate chips from sinking to the bottom of the cake: Mix cake without the chocolate chips. 1/3 cup of the batter in pan. Dust the chips with a few tablespoons of flour then add the rest of the batter. Bon appetite.

  13. This cake is heavenly. I have been a great fan of Ina Garten and her rich, amazing recipes. They take time and effort but worth every second of it. Always a winner and a crowd pleaser. You can never go wrong with Ina Garten’s recipes and if you’re not getting the desired results, chances are you’re not following the recipes as is.

  14. Hi, I came across the cake when looking for an orange-chocolate combo. Looks delicious, can’t wait to try it this week. I just wanted to check regarding the cake pan used here. When you say a 10 inch bundt pan, how deep should the pan be? I have one which is about 5-6 inches deep. Will that be fine or is it better in a shallow bundt, where the cake will rise right to the top? Thanks, Shilpa

  15. Hello, I want to try this cake tonight…..can I replace the orange juice and zest with marmalade??? please let me know. thank you.

  16. Cake was dry, and even with tossing the chocolate chips in flour they still sank to bottom. Stuck to pan and syrup didn’t soak in much.

    1. Hi Mapson, we are so sorry that you had a disappointing result especially as so many people loved this cake. Tell me, did you use the paddle attachment and cream the butter and sugar for the full 5 minutes?

  17. I agree! This is a great cake. I made it without the ganache and it still tasted wonderful. Simple cakes are really best. Thanks for sharing!

    1. I too love this recipe Ben. Should we let the world know or keep it between us? The Contessa knows her baking.

  18. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of orange chocolate, but I made this for my sister-in-law, because she does, and quickly fell in love! This cake is AMAZING!! It’s super moist and just plain wonderful. At times the ganache can be a little too much, but, all in all, the cake is fantastic. I have made this cake several times since and have yet to find anyone who did not love it.

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