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.

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

A partially cut orange chocolate chunk cake on a round wire rack.
This orange chocolate chunk cake turns out a beautiful Bundt cake that's studded with chocolate chunks and topped, if desired, with ganache.
Ina Garten

Prep 35 mins
Cook 55 mins
Total 1 hr 30 mins
Dessert
American
16 servings
563 kcal
4.87 / 15 votes
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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

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.
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Show Nutrition

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 563kcal (28%)Carbohydrates: 67g (22%)Protein: 7g (14%)Fat: 30g (46%)Saturated Fat: 18g (113%)Trans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 96mg (32%)Sodium: 158mg (7%)Potassium: 295mg (8%)Fiber: 4g (17%)Sugar: 43g (48%)Vitamin A: 598IU (12%)Vitamin C: 6mg (7%)Calcium: 66mg (7%)Iron: 4mg (22%)

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.

Originally published January 24, 2021

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Comments

  1. 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. 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.

    2. 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. 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.

  3. 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

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

  5. 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?

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