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

A slice of orange chocolate chunk cake on a brown plate with a fork on the side and an orange napkin under the plate.
A partially cut orange chocolate chunk cake on a round wire rack.

Orange Chocolate Chunk Cake

4.76 / 33 votes
This orange chocolate chunk cake turns out a beautiful Bundt cake that's studded with chocolate chunks and topped, if desired, with ganache.
David Leite
CourseDessert
CuisineAmerican
Servings16 servings
Calories563 kcal
Prep Time35 minutes
Cook Time55 minutes
Total Time1 hour 30 minutes

Equipment

  • 10-inch (25-cm) Bundt pan

Ingredients 

For the orange chocolate cake

  • 2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup finely grated orange zest, (4 large oranges), preferably organic
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons, plus more for the pan
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, (either low-fat or full-fat), at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups good semisweet chocolate chunks

For the orange syrup

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

For the ganache (optional)

  • 8 ounces good semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules

Instructions 

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 or brush 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 sliceCalories: 563 kcalCarbohydrates: 67 gProtein: 7 gFat: 30 gSaturated Fat: 18 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 96 mgSodium: 158 mgFiber: 4 gSugar: 43 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2001 Ina Garten. Photos © 2020 Cenk Sönmezsoy. All rights reserved.

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.

Select a Tester

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.




About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.


Hungry For More?

Seared Skirt Steak with Salsa

Hungry for something flavorful and good-for-you? This seared skirt steak is jam-packed with everything you need.

50 mins

Flourless Chocolate Cloud Cake

This lofty cake is so crammed full of chocolate and butter and air, there’s no room for flour–although we made sure to leave space for ample swoops of softly whipped cream.

1 hr 15 mins

Homemade Yellow Mustard

Why make your own mustard? Because you can, dammit! And if that’s not reason enough, there’s no comparison between this and the store-bought stuff. Enough said.

1 hr 45 mins


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




57 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This cake is fantastic! I absolutely love chocolate and orange together and I wanted a chocolate orange cake for my birthday. I thought I wanted a chocolate cake that was flavored with orange and then ran across this cake and it sounded really good. I made it (yes, I made my own birthday cake, lol) and when we had it at my birthday party, everyone loved it. I was so pleased and will be making this again and again. The orange flavor really shines through which is what I wanted. The only things I may do differently next time is to add a little orange to the ganache topping as well. It is plenty orange-y but I’ll always take more! And instead of spooning the orange syrup over the top, I will brush it on. Spooning over the cake, much of it dripped down off the cake and I want it all on the cake!

    1. Joanna, well, that’s a boffo review! I’m so happy you enjoyed it. And I like your idea of brushing on the syrup. I’ll add it to the recipe. Thanks for that.