Indulge in the marriage of rich chocolate and citrus with our Chocolate Orange Cake. This delectable dessert is a true delight, combining the velvety goodness of chocolate with the refreshing zest of oranges. With its moist and tender crumb, every bite is a symphony of flavors that everyone will love.
Whether you're seeking a show-stopping treat for a special occasion or simply craving a slice of chocolate cake, our Orange Chocolate Cake recipe is full of sweetness and tang in each slice.
How fun is an orange chocolate cake?! While you can enjoy this fun treat any time of the year, this one reminds me of Christmas time. My best friend always got chocolate oranges from her mom for Christmas. She shared one with me and I was sold!
And like blueberries, we always have oranges in some form or another in our house. Navel oranges, clementines, and even blood oranges. If you make this for Halloween or during the fall time, use blood oranges for garnish.
Important Ingredients with Substitutions
- All purpose flour - Make sure to measure your flour. Cakes with too much flour will not be moist, but crumbly and dry. To measure your flour, I like to use the fluff, scoop, and level method. Fluff your flour with a fork, scoop the flour with a spoon into your measuring cup, then level it off with a butter knife. Without using a kitchen scale, this is the most accurate way to get the right amount.
- White granulated sugar - Sift the white sugar before using it to break up any clumps that may have formed.
- Unsweetened cocoa powder - The higher quality cocoa powder you use, you'll have the best chocolate flavor. However, you can use whichever you have on hand. I prefer Ghiradelli Dutch Process Cocoa Powder.
- Baking powder & Baking soda - Both of these ingredients will help to provide lift and a light texture.
- Salt - No baked good is complete without a touch of salt. Helps to balance and enhance the sweetness and other flavors.
- Eggs - Room temperature eggs are ideal for this recipe. Simply remove them from the fridge about 30 minutes before preparing your recipe.
- Buttermilk - Room temperature buttermilk is best. I never end up using a whole container or buttermilk. Instead of letting it go to waste, put the leftover buttermilk in Souper Cubes, and freeze it!
- Avocado oil - Olive oil, vegetable oil, or canola oil will all work just fine.
- Orange zest - Orange zest really enhances and brightens the orange flavor in this cake. I highly recommend using fresh oranges for the zest.
- Orange juice - Freshly squeezed orange juice will yield the best orange flavor.
- Vanilla extract - For extra orange, swap half of the vanilla extract with orange extract.
How To Make Buttermilk
You can easily make your own buttermilk if you don’t have any on hand.
For this recipe: Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to a measuring up, then fill with milk to the 1 cup line. Let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes.
Sour cream or Greek yogurt would be a great buttermilk replacement.
Chocolate Orange Glaze Ingredients
- Semisweet chocolate chips - The chocolate chips are a preference, you can use milk chocolate, white chocolate, or even dark chocolate if you'd like. All really work well with Orange.
- Heavy cream
- Orange zest
See the recipe below for the full list of ingredients and quantities.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Generously spray your bundt pan with nonstick baking spray.
Step 1: In a large bowl, sift and whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Step 2: To the same bowl add the eggs, buttermilk, avocado oil, orange zest, orange juice, and vanilla.
Step 3: Mix until all ingredients are combined.
Step 4: Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan and bake in the center of your oven for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Step 5: Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely.
Step 6: In a small saucepan, heat the heavy cream over medium heat until it begins to simmer. remove from the heat and add the chocolate chips and orange zest. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth.
Step 7: Drizzle the glaze over the cooled cake, letting it drip down the sides. Slice and serve the cake, garnish with additional orange zest or orange slices if desired.
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Hint: Allowing the cake to rest for 10-15 minutes before removing it from the pan will greatly reduce the chances of the cake sticking inside. Alternatively, if left cooling for too long, you’ll end up with the cake sticking to the pan.
- Zesty Orange Glaze: Prepare a tangy orange glaze by combining powdered sugar, fresh orange juice, and orange zest. Drizzle it over the cooled cake to add a bright citrus flavor.
- Chocolate Ganache: Instead of a traditional glaze, pour a smooth and glossy chocolate ganache over the bundt cake. You can use a dark, milk, or white chocolate ganache depending on your preference.
- Orange Liqueur: For a moist chocolate orange cake with an adult twist, add a splash of orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier or Cointreau, to the cake batter or the glaze. It adds a lovely boozy note and enhances the orange flavor.
- Nutty Crunch: Sprinkle some chopped toasted almonds, hazelnuts, or pecans on top of the glaze. The nuttiness provides a pleasant contrast in texture and flavor.
- Orange Cream Cheese Frosting: Create a luscious frosting by combining cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, orange zest, and a touch of orange juice. Spread it generously over the cooled cake for a creamy and tangy finish.
- Chocolate Orange Buttercream: Prepare a homemade buttercream frosting with chocolate and orange extract. This homemade buttercream recipe should treat you well!
- Chocolate Chips: Fold in some chocolate chips into the batter to create delightful melted chocolate pockets throughout the cake. Use either dark, milk, or even white chocolate chips, depending on your taste preferences.
- Spices: Add warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or cloves to the batter for an aromatic twist. These spices complement the chocolate and orange flavors, creating a more complex taste profile.
- Candied Orange Peel: Decorate the cake with candied orange peel for an attractive and tasty garnish. You can make your own by simmering thin strips of orange peel in a sugar syrup until they become tender and translucent.
- Individual Servings: Instead of baking a large bundt cake, you can portion the batter into individual mini bundt cake pans or muffin tins. Adjust the baking time accordingly.
Store your bundt cake covered and at room temperature for up to 3 days and refrigerated for 5 days. Storing it in the fridge will draw out some of the moisture, so make sure to wrap it tightly and eat it quickly. For a moist cake, store it covered at room temperature.
- Can I freeze my bundt cake? Let your cake completely cool on a cooling rack. Whether frosted or not, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap then freeze. Freezing a frosted cake isn't ideal, but it can be done. To thaw, place your frozen cake on the counter overnight or for 6-8 hours. Keep it wrapped in the plastic wrap until thawed.
- Can I reheat my bundt cake? Once your cake has thawed, place it on a parchment lined baking sheet then in an oven preheated to 350 F. Heat for 10-15 minutes until heated through.
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For the best result, use room-temperature ingredients. This will allow the ingredients to incorporate more evenly throughout the batter, this way we don’t have to mix any more than we need to, creating a moist cake.
This recipe can be made using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or a good old-fashioned whisk and elbow grease.
Generously spray your Bundt pan with non stick baking spray.
Glaze your cake on a wire rack, so you can catch any drippings. Use a large spatula to move the cake to a cake stand.
To save on dishes, you can prepare the chocolate orange glaze in a large glass measuring cup in the microwave.
Ensure that you properly grease the bundt pan with non stick baking spray before pouring in the batter. The baking spray contains oil and flour, which is perfect for dessert baking. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 10-15 minutes before gently inverting it onto a cooling rack.
To thicken the glaze, add more melted chocolate until you reach the desired consistency. If the glaze is too thick, add a little orange juice or cream, a teaspoon at a time, and whisk until smooth.
Orange extract can be used as a substitute for orange zest, but the flavor may be slightly different. Start with a small amount (½ teaspoon) of orange extract and adjust according to your taste preference.
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
- 2 cups All purpose flour
- 1 ⅓ cups White granulated sugar
- ¾ cup Unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons Baking powder
- 1 teaspoon Baking soda
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 3 large Eggs at room temperature
- 1 cup Buttermilk at room temperature
- ½ cup Avocado oil
- 1 tablespoon Orange zest
- ½ cup Orange juice freshly squeezed
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- ½ cup Semisweet chocolate chips
- ½ cup Heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Generously spray your bundt pan with nonstick baking spray.
- In a large bowl, sift and whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- To the same bowl add the eggs, buttermilk, avocado oil, orange zest, orange juice, and vanilla.
- Mix until all ingredients are combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan and bake in the center of your oven for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove the cake form the oven and let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely.
- While the cake is cooling, prepare the glaze.
- In a small saucepan, heat the heavy cream over medium heat until it begins to simmer. remove from the heat and add the chocolate chips and orange zest. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth.
- Drizzle the glaze over the cooled cake, letting it drip down the sides.
- Slice and serve the cake, garnish with additional orange zest or orange slices if desired.