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 45 mins
Total 1 hr 30 mins
Dessert
American
16 servings
563 kcal
4.86 / 14 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.


Originally published May 25, 2003

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    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.

  2. 5 stars
    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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