this-cake-has-a-hole-in-it Recipes

orange chocolate chunk cake

I’ve been feeling kind of bewildered this week. It started when I asked my husband if he still thought the third year of marriage was an ideal time to try to make one of those little tiny things with roly thighs and he shocked me by saying yes, and it continued when I saw him, more than once, researching two bedroom apartments in the city. “How about Roosevelt Island?” he asked and I went to go rock in the corner for a while. Nooo Roosevelt Island, nooo.

We brought in the Jewish new year with our combined families and our mothers delighting in telling us what difficult, exhausting, impossible-to-please babies we both were (our siblings were apparent delights, or nya-nya, as they put it), weeks overdue and really, it was all very funny and ha-ha until I learned that this one came out, this one I married, at over nine pounds. NINE AND A HALF POUNDS. Good god. I don’t even like lugging 5 pound bags of flour home. How could this work?

orange-chocolate chunk cake

But, enough about all this. Let’s talk about a nine-pound cake! (Awesome segues like this are what keep you coming back, right?) Remember when I told you if there were ever a cookie versus cake contest, cakes would never win because you’re always fighting an uphill battle with their basic desire to be dry? Well, Ina Garten gets this. (Yes, her again. Can you tell I’m a little obsessed?) Not only does she favor pound-like cakes, whose butter-packed crumb holds moisture like a pro, she bastes them with related juices while they’re still warm, trapping in humidity that keeps the cakes fresh for days. (Something I wish our wedding cake baker had thought of, but that little box in the freezer awaiting its day in the sun, a story for another day.)

If you like orange/chocolate combinations or even if you think you don’t, I would encourage you to try your hand at this. This cake is One of the Greats, I think, and although it is on the labor-intensive side — zesting and juicing and straining and syrup-simmering and ganache-making, etc. — sometimes well-spent hours in the kitchen for an infinitely rewarding purpose is just the involved calm you need. Besides, how cute would it be in one of these?

messy

Orange Chocolate Chunk Cake
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa Parties!

1/2 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1/4 cup grated orange zest (from 4 large oranges)
3 cups all-purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
3/4 cup buttermilk at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups good semisweet chocolate chunks

Syrup:
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

Ganache:
8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan.

2. Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for about 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, then the orange zest.

3. Sift together 3 cups flour, the baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, combine the orange juice, buttermilk, and vanilla. Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the creamed butter, beginning and ending with the flour. Toss the chocolate chunks with 2 tablespoons flour and add to the batter. Pour into the pan, smooth the top, and bake 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.

4. Meanwhile, make the syrup. 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, set it on a rack over a tray, and spoon the orange syrup over the cake. Allow the cake to cool completely.

5. For 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.

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164 comments on orange chocolate chunk cake

  1. Oh. My. God.

    That looks so delicious.

    Possibly because I’ve been having a lot of chocolate cravings lately? Stress induced, no doubt, but still.

    I think you need to start sending free samples of all this delicious food to your dear readers.

  2. Looks delicious! All that chocolate! I am a huge fan of the Bundt cake. Why? You don’t have to frost a Bundt cake. I have one of those mini Bundt cake pans. I have a minor obsession with it that usually surfaces during the holidays.

  3. ashley

    Oh my gosh all of your pictures of food are so amazing. I saw Ina make this one day on her foodtv show…..I think I might have to try it now bc of this picture!!!

  4. Jessica

    The cake looks amazing – the baby comments hilarious. I also do not like hauling around bags of flour, but bags of flour do not have arms and legs that wrap around you and feel lighter than their approximate 10 pounds or so. Then again, a bag of flour doesn’t have to be pushed out of your va-jay-jay, so it has its perks…

  5. deb

    Browneyedgirlie – If only it were so easy! I so wish I could send out samples but the one time I mailed baked goods, it was $XX! per package. For five-day delivery. Who knew?

    Jennifer – I wholly agree. Love the bundt. Iced cakes let bakers get away with so much dryness because they plop on all this fat to compensate. These cakes either work or they don’t. Next, I want to try this.

    Ashley – That’s where I first saw it. It’s almost exactly like her lemon cake, which is FOR REAL one of the best cakes I’ve ever made or eaten, um, except it’s with orange and also chocolate. The technique, however, is the same.

    Jessica – The pushing, yes, that part. Back to my Safe Place now!

  6. SantaDad

    The cake was absolutely outstanding! I took some home, and it’s rapidly disappearing. You are more than welcome to bring another one next week.

  7. RA

    Ooh, this looks amazing! I love that line from My Big Fat Greek Wedding (right?), and the poor mother-in-law can’t get them to say the word correctly – “BUNDT! BUNDT!!” And then they put the flower in the hole…

    On an unrelated note, is your site design based on your love for the artichoke? I just realized that this chartreuse/purplish scheme was kind of artichokey… but maybe I’m just reading into things. Mm, love it anyway.

  8. Always Ace

    Followed you over here from your original smitten website, and I’ve got a hell of a lot to learn in the kitchen — which basically means I think it would take years for me to catch up for you; I started late, as in cooking at 30!! — but I just have to say that this cake does sound AMAZING…!! I saw your lemon cake recipe originally, too — still haven’t had a chance to make it — but I’m obsessed with lemon cakes in general. Over here in France I make a basic lemon pound cake, which is what they call a “quatre-quarts au citron” — and I actually just made one again yesterday! I’ve gotten so spoiled by easy recipes like that, though, that undertaking this beauty of yours is a bit intimidating…

    How oh HOW do you get the ganache/chocolate glazing on the cake SO PERFECTLY?! May I ask? The pics are so perfect…

    (As an aside, the first cake I ever baked, and ever tried baking again and again for years, is a cinnamon chocolate-chip cake recipe my mom gave me, and I always bake it in a Bundt pan — as a matter of fact, I specifically brought a Bundt pan with me here to France so I could bake it!)

  9. Always Ace

    BTW, I meant “to catch up WITH you” of course! You’re millions of miles and years ahead of me in the cooking department. But I’m just starting to get real pleasure out of cooking, and the results, so I hope I will continue!

  10. deb

    SantaDad – How bummed you’ll be when I just make the lemon version for Yom Kippur.

    Hilary – You should, you should! I can’t wait to hear how it goes. (Btw, I always find it makes too much ganache – really – it just ends up rolling off so if you run short on ingredients, don’t worry.) Happy new year.

    Susie – Thank you.

    Zarah Maria – The roly thigh versions are definitely superior, IMHO.

    Julie – Hee hee. I admitted the cuteness of baby bundts didn’t I?

    RA – My in-laws love love love that movie, and I expected them to say that all night as both my mother and I brought bundts. They are kind of a funny word, right? Also, what a good call on the artichoke-theme! Originally, I was using this image behind the Smitten Kitchen logo, but became frustrated because it was too busy and did scale down well. I kept the colors, though!

    Always Ace – Ganache is just a perfect-looking (and tasting) substance; it can do no wrong and frankly, I think most things should be coated in it. (Though I took the picture before it hardened and looked slighly less shiny.)

  11. deb

    It just happens to be our luck* that she’s got it on her website right now. She suggests making two pound cakes loaves with it, but since it’s the same butter/sugar/flour/egg etc. amounts as the orange, I trust it will bake up well in the bundt pan, too. And look even more festive. For a visual, I made it once before.

    * I feel oddly guilty reprinting recipes (though I do it sometimes) without baking them myself, as the latter adds something new to the dialogue and the former just seems like copying.

  12. Lisa

    I have a Canon Digital Rebel and need a good lens for close-ups! What kind do you
    use? I know good lighting has SO much to do with good photos — I am an “anti-flash” person and love natural light but need a good lens. What do you recommend?

    You’re food looks awesome! Very inspiring.

  13. Christine

    Deb, I found the lemon cake recipe on the food network website. Ina’s site has guacamole up right now…it does look fantastic!

    I totally get not wanting to “double post” it’s one of the reasons we love you!

  14. Hey Deb…what do you think about making the cake a few days ahead and freezing it. Then on erev Yom Kippur, defrost the cake and make the ganache? It would have to sit frosting for a day. Bad idea?

  15. deb

    Lisa – I’ve been swinging back and forth between this 50mm (don’t know why there is an adorable infant with punk rock hair where the lens should be pictured – I guess Amazon is not-so-subtly onto the theme of this post) and the Canon Rebel’s kit lens. This was taken with the latter because it gets in a little closer. We have a skylight in our kitchen which makes daylight pictures a cinch. When there is little available light, I use a tripod and a remote clicker, one of the better $25 investments we’ve made this year. All this said, better photographers than I always say don’t worry about the equipment, just get the basic techniques down and your photography will show.

    The low-light pictures, by the way, are very much a work in progress.

    Christine – Guac sounds very good right now! I’m incapable of following recipes for it, though, I always just make it lime-ier than called for.

    Hilary – We’re like *this*. I was just telling Alex how I want to make these cupcakes this week on Wednesday and freeze them until I need them Saturday because cakes always freeze well, not icing. (Yet another reference to our nasty, frost-bitten wedding cake top in the fridge.) Ganache, however, keeps fine in the fridge, or at least for a day or two. So, your idea would work. Make sure you 1) wrap it twice for the freezer, first wrapping in plastic seems to do the trick and 2) defrost it in the refrigerator for a day and not at room temperature.

    And yes, Live Comment Preview. Soon.

  16. Funny that your husband is thinking along those lines–mine blew me away last night by asking if maybe we should move our “date” up a little. And by date, I mean the time when we start making our own roly thing. Wow, talk about being bewildered! So I know how you feel!

  17. Hurricane M

    yarrrmmmmmmmmm
    My mouth is WATERING. I love orange and chocolate together. So much better than the overrated raspberry-chocolate combo.

    Make cakes not babies!! At least for now.

  18. smallstatic

    This looks FABULOUS!! Omg – love the Ina. Just out of curiosity, do you and Alex eat all of the food that you make? Or would you say that some (most?) of it goes to entertaining needs? I really would like to start cooking more but have the sense that if I made what I like, my fiance and I would be in serious trouble. I love the new site!! :) thanks, ss

  19. deb

    Kelli – No news! Really! Long way off. So he can stop looking those two-bedroom apartments “for research purposes” – OKAY?

    Lauren – Also, we went to a bris (!) tonight and Alex has lint from my angora sweater all over his suit now because I am not cut out for this stuff and hid the whole time, um no pun intended. Then we went out to dinner with one couple with two kids and others who want kids soon and you’ll never believe what we talked about. Yup, babies. Aaaaack.

    Hurricane – I remember that you like that combo and you are absolutely right. Raspberry goes well with lemon, I think. Cake not babies! I’m totally getting that on a tshirt.

    Marce – Lovely! I’m glad you loved them.

    Smallstatic – Hells no. 90% of the time I am baking for a specific occasion – party, bbq, holiday – and a location that is not our apartment. The rest of the time I’ll set aside a piece or two for us, and dump the rest on my coworkers. Don’t you pity them? The trick is to get them to eat it all before my late-afternoon snackiness hits. Quite often, it doesn’t work.

  20. Marce

    sorry for the triple commenting, but I came across this at flickr, and if this doesn´t make you swoon and want to start procreating, i don´t know what will hahaha enjoy!
    two.feet

  21. lauren

    If you are interested, the Loaves and Fishes Party Cookbook has a version of this cake that I have made for years that is phenomenal.
    No ganache, and has sour cream instead of the buttermilk. It needs a day to come into itself, but when it does it is sublime!

  22. Oh man, that looks amazing. I am SO fearful of baking, though, I haven’t tried to make many desserts because I just get so nervous about them. I need to get over it and just go for it!

    And a skylight in your kitchen? I am totally jealous.

  23. Lord! My blood sugar went up just looking at the photos. Man alive!

    Hey, I tried the white batter bread from ICE and it knocked my socks off. You doll, you. Keep it up.

  24. deb

    Marce – Ooh, those look like they’d be good with ketchup. But, no, they will not make me want to procreate, not when MY last pair of shoes (albeit Keds) were less than $46!

    Lauren – That sounds delicious. I’ve always wanted to figure out what the buttermilk to sour cream ratio is because I suspect you can go one for one with your preference, but who wants to risk ruining a cake if you get it wrong. ALL baked goods are improved by sour, tangy tangs.

    Ombra – Don’t be fearful! Baking’s the easy stuff – just follow the recipe. Start with one bowl stuff. Don’t overbeat your flour. See? You’re all set. Oh, and the skylight? D’lovely. But you gotta walk up four flights of high-ceiling flights to get to it.

    Brooke – I’m so glad you liked it. You’re the second blogger who told me she’d tried it! Of course, being me, I wonder if it would be good in muffin tins, like a mini-bread? Imagine showing up with those at a dinner or brunch!

  25. Jessi

    I love Ina. I trust her, Alton and America’s Test Kitchen. I tried this for a dinner party and it was yummy. I have to say I don’t love it as much as the coconut cupcakes from her first book but I got rave reviews. I think it’s personal preference though.

    I’m a new fan and can’t wait to see what else is posted….

  26. Nabilah

    Hi, was just wondering, if I make the cake on a Wednesday and chill it in the fridge, will it still taste good if I plan to serve it on Saturday?

  27. deb

    Hi Nabilah — I think it would. I might make the cake, wrap it three times in plastic and even freeze it (freezing keeps things much better) until Friday night, when I would place in the fridge overnight to defrost. However, you’d have to make the ganache on the last day. If you can do this, I think it is your best option to keep the cake both moist and fresh in appearance. If this is not an option, the cake will definitely keep three days in the fridge.

  28. great recipe, wonderful pictures. Thank you for sharing. I thought I was going to have to throw out a bunch of blood oranges because I just couldn’t find something to make with them (pathetic I know) and then I found this recipe. Salvation! :)

  29. My favourite game is to go to Smitten Kitchen and choose a month at random to find something fun and exciting. Today I found this and boy am I glad. I have to bake a special cake in 2 days and I really think that this is going to hit the nail on the head! Yay for me, thank you for exsiting Deb!!!!
    http://www.peaandpear.com

  30. jill

    i spent a lovely evening last night cooking four of your dessert recipes for a charity morning tea i hosted at work this morning. of the four (this, brownies, chocolate biscotti, flower cupcakes) this delicious cake was my absolute favourite, both to bake and to eat, so moist and orangey and gooood. i just wanted to pass on my unending gratitude to you for this wonderful website which is always my first stop for inspration when stepping into the kitchen. i hope you have a wonderful time over the holidays and please never ever stop sharing the love.
    xjill
    ps. i forgot to mention – all four recipes were massive hits, leaving clean platters for me to take home and a lovey amount of money for some worthy charities.

  31. Magdalene

    i just baked this today and the cake turned out great. can’t wait to bring it into the office tomorrow. i am just a little disappointed that the cake did not rise evenly. the next time i will set my oven at 160°C to see if it would turn out better. thanks for the inspiration!

  32. Lisette

    I love this cake. Love, love, love it! Orange and chocolate are my two favourite ingredients in cakes, and I could not help but try it when I saw this recipe some time last year. The first time I made it the way the recipe reccomends, and since then I’ve also made it without the chocolate; as the cake part of a ten-layer cake (without chocolate); as cupcakes (they were awesome) with chocolate buttercream icing. It is delicious in all forms, and I find it really suits a mild orange glaze, as an alternative to the syrup. I have never had anything but rave reviews about this cake, even from people who aren’t chocolate, or orange fans (I know, heretics)!

  33. I’ve wanted to make this cake since the moment I laid eyes on it. Over a year later, I magically had all the ingredients on hand and actually remembered my plan to make and so I whipped it up. And it is DELICIOUS but very ugly–nothing like your beautiful first bundt!! I have made lots of bundt cakes, but yours puts mine to shame. I stirred the flour into the chocolate, but it still sank and then stuck to the pan (there was a lot of loose flour in the bowl, so maybe I should have stirred it more?) and I was so mad that I ate the chunks stuck to the pan instead of trying to patch them into place like I usually would. So I guess I’m glad I didn’t make it for any special occassion and in any case, it was wonderful and I will be making it again…but with extra grease and flour lining the pan this time! Oh, can I use your gorgeous picture on my myspace blog to compare it to what I turned out? :)

  34. I made this for Mother’s Day, and it was a sensation! Unfortunately, I had the same problem as Veronica did, with the chocolate chunks sinking to the bottom of the pan, but this turned out to be a stroke of luck, because the orange syrup soaked into the cracks & crevices beautifully, and then the ganache covered up the mess. I posted some photos here:
    Out of the pan

  35. Elza Bystrom

    I baked this cake last night for a potluck lunch at the office. I couldn’t contain myself when the cake was on the cooling rack so I ate a piece. It was wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!! This recipe is “out of this world.” I can smell the orange from a mile away. The orange taste just bursts in my mouth after that first bite. I modified the syrup and used less sugar because I love the taste of fresh orange juice and just drenched the cake with it. I didn’t have a problem with the chocolate chunks at all. They are all over the cake. Next time I would definitely buy good quality chocolates. I think it worths every penny!!! Thank you again for sharing this recipe.

  36. THIS WAS SOOOOO GOOD! Seriously to die for. I made it yesterday for my husband’s birthday party. If it was just him and me I would’ve kept on eating pieces of cake because it was that delicious. Whew. Definitely making this one again… and again!

  37. Susan S

    looking forward to serving this as a guest at a christmas eve gathering. my only question is should i refrigerate it overnight or is it ok under a beautiful cut glass cake holder?

    i made one addition to the orange syrup – i added some cointreau to the sugar and orange juice – we’ll see how that is tomorrow.

    i even floured my chocolate chunks and with the batter being so thick I’m thinking that my chocolate chips didn’t sink – i feel like they are all through the cake evenly – will take a pic tomorrow night…if it comes out good!

    merry christmas, happy hanukkah and happy new year everyone…and INA!

  38. Suzanne

    I made this cake for a holiday party- minus the syrup and ganache- and it was fantastic. I don’t like a lot of frosting and it surely didn’t need it! I used choc chips instead of “chunks” and avoided the problem of removal from Bundt and sinking to bottom.

  39. Jessica

    Hey dear!I am from Singapore! :)
    I am so mesmerised by your website as i am a really big fan of baking things! :)
    For this cake recipe could i actually do it in cupcake style? :)

  40. Mihaela

    The cake is delicious – moist and fragrant, but the ganache was overkill. I also made the chocolate stout cake and then I skipped the ganache, because it was already wonderfully chocolate-y. It just needed a little bit of powdered sugar. With this one I feel I should have also skipped the ganache. So…much…chocolate! Delicious cakes, both of them- thank you for the recipes!

  41. Kay

    You can make this into cupcakes. They are awesome and easier for picnics.

    i doubled the recipe and made one bundt cake and 16 cupcakes and baked them all at the same time. Bundt on top rack, cupcakes on middle and lower racks. At the 20 minute mark, I rotated the muffins and swapped their positions. I then baked them for about 10 minutes more. My timings will not be completely accurate as my oven is “fan forced” and I had to lower the temperature. You’ll just have to watch.

    I followed the rest of the recipe with one substitution. I cannot find semisweet or bitter-sweet chocolate in my supermarkets or speciality shops. I used organic dark chocolate that is about 70% cocoa liquor. It is the ALDI organic kind and is pretty reasonable in price.It is a bit intense, so I didn’t use so much.

  42. Lauri Battista

    This is seriously one of the BEST cakes I have ever eaten! A London friend made this cake for a family dinner and when we finished the last piece several days later, I could not stop thinking about it! Wow – great with a wonderful scoop of rich vanilla ice cream to balance the richness and texture of this melt-in-your-mouth cake! Wonderful! Thank you for sharing this terrific recipee!

  43. Deb,

    I made a version of the cake with key limes. It is so awesome! (I also left out the chocolate chips) It is wonderfully tart and buttery. It took about 20 limes to get enough zest, but sooooo worth it! I made it in three disposable bread pans, about 2 cups of batter each.

  44. Meg

    Such a fantastic recipe! We ate half of the cake last night, and plan to demolish the other half tonight. I particularly loved the beauty of the cake: absolutely gorgeous in appearance, yet very easy to make. :)

  45. Heidi

    I have been planning on making this cake for months now and I finally have an excuse to make it- a dinner party. One question- do you have to add the instant coffee granules?

    I can’t wait to eat it!

  46. Joanne

    Made this tonight sans ganache. How do I say this…I liked it but didn’t love it. I found it too sweet and orangey. Wished I hadn’t put the syrup on the outside. Moist and fragrant, yes. But do I want another piece? Sadly, no.

    Oh-and Ina’s lemon cake is one of my favorites of all time. Guess I’m just not an orange person.

  47. Christyna

    I made this today, except I used blood oranges instead and I skipped the ganache. It’s so good! The blood oranges that I got from my farmers market were gorgeous, and they seem to go with the chocolate even better than a regular orange. Thanks for the recipe! As always, you’re the best.

  48. kookie in London

    Made this today for family, lightened the ganache with some milk so it was more of a sauce and served on the side. The cake itself was excellent, but really does need all that zest and the syrup! I think the syrup needs to be tangier myself so I added the juice of half a lime which perked things up a bit. I loved the syrup this way and would probably make more syrup next time and leave the ganache altogether. I used american chocolate chips and they stayed perfectly suspended which I was very pleased about. I have given away 2 massive chunks of this cake and have nibbled 3 pieces already today but it is STILL calling me. Thanks so much for posting this recipe deb. Oh and I second the addition of grand marnier or cointreau to the batter and the syrup and the frosting. Just adds a bit more YUM.

  49. Stacey

    Delicious. I love the texture of the outside of the cake. If I made it again, I might make the ganache a little more liquidy. My supper guests don’t agree with me though, they thought the chocolate was perfect. I loved the the orange chocolate combo though, its one of my favs! Thanks for another yummy recipe Ina and Deb!

  50. Elle

    How do you think this cake would hold up as a layer cake? I think that this recipe would be great for my cousin’s groom’s cake (I’ve made it in the bundt pan before, and it was fantastic!) but I’m worried about presentation with the chocolate chunks and such.

  51. deb

    Hi Elle — I haven’t tried it but looks like Lisette (#48) has successfully. Sounds like she leaves the chunks out. Honestly, if you’re using a ganache or dark, fudgy chocolate frosting, you may not miss the chunks. You’ll certainly have the same flavor profile. I think this should convert to 2 9-inch rounds.

  52. Erica

    This cake is REALLY good… when it was warm I was afraid the orange would be overpowered by the chocolate, but after it cooled it evened out.

    I used chocolate chips instead of big chunks, and they sank a bit but not TOO bad (the distribution is quite uneven, but whatever). I also didn’t want to add more white sugar as I thought the cake would be sweet enough, so for the syrup I just reduced 1/2 cup of orange juice with a bit of lime juice (great idea #71!) and it worked out great.

    I also only made HALF the ganache and found that I still had way more than I wanted for the cake. I’d considered leaving it out entirely due to the aforementioned balance of orange and chocolate, but it just looked so pretty!

    Love this cake, it was a big hit with my coworkers. I will definitely make it again sometime

  53. cara

    Deb,
    Thanks for the great recipe. Mine got stuck in the pan though and broke in 1/2. Also maybe I cooked it too long b/c it was dry but I left it in for over 60 min but the tester kept coming out wet. Any recommendations? Thank you, I love your website.
    -Cara

  54. Baker from New Zealand

    I baked this cake, and LOVED it, it was a great hit. The orange / choc combo is amazing. My ganache did something funny though and was REALLY liquidy and didn’t stay on the cake, do you usually have to wait for the ganche to cool before drizzling? Thanks, and i love your website :)

  55. Emily

    Made this for my Dad’s birthday lunch on Saturday – big hit.
    Cara – make sure the skewer isn’t put into the ‘crack’ (technical term) of the cake. I checked my cake at the 45 min mark and it was quite wet but I just put it in for another 5-10 mins. The edges were getting quite brown by then. My cake broke in two as well but I think it was because I left it cool in the pan too long. The ganache covered it up and noone knew.
    Baker from NZ – I let the ganache cool before drizzling. It thickens up a little and stayed on the cake well.
    Deb – thanks so much for the recipe and your amazing website. I sent leftovers home with my family. My brother has texted me twice since – “Far our this cake is good”. Thanks!

  56. Mary Jane Wolfram

    One of my favorite cakes is the lemon cake from your website, which is also a Barefoot Contessa cake. This cake is so similar. I would like to make it without the chocolate chunks and with a drizzled confectioners sugar/orange juice icing. Any thoughts on this? Thanks!
    PS: Love your website!

  57. Hi Deb,
    I just perused the previous responses to see if someone else had asked a similar question, so it’s kinda similar but I’ll ask anyway to see if you have any update!
    As we were eating this delicious cake, I commented, “you know, I really like this, but I actually kinda like the Chocolate stout cake even better because it’s more MOIST” (i.e. because of the sour cream, I’m thinkin’…) I noticed someone mentioning the buttermilk vs. sour cream above… To date, have you or anyone else you know ever tried substituting sour cream (or even greek yogurt?) for the buttermilk? From your vast baking experience, do you think it would make the cake as moist as the chocolate stout cake? Both, by the way, are to DIE for–thanks for all the amazing recipes!

    1. deb

      I swap buttermilk and sour cream all of the time, but I might whisk in a tablespoon or two of milk to get its consistency closer to that of buttermilk. Measure after thinning it a bit.

  58. Martha

    I’m baking this cake right now. I made a lemon-lime loaf very similar to this recipe earlier this year, and holy cows eating pancakes, it is by far the most amazing cake I have ever experienced in my life. I have the same expectations for this cake. Heaven = this recipe. No joke. I was vegan for a week, but this cake found my weakness.

    If you love jumping into fields of citrus and sunshine, you will love this cake.
    If you love life, liberty, and all things delicious, you will love this cake.
    Let this cake convert you. Do it.

  59. Kelly

    Hello

    This was a huge hit tonight. I was asked to make a cake for “adults” (as opposed to the under-four-foot-set) and I chose this one. Fabulous. People asked for seconds. I’m inclined to reduce either the chocolate chunks or the ganache next time as I think it dwarfs the orange flavor, but it was amazing.

    My question is ..in your photos, how did you get your ganache to drip so nicely and evenly down the sides? What’s the trick? I can bake, but my finished products never look quite so good! So, any tips would be helpful.

    I cook a lot off of your site -and have for years. Thanks, as always.

    Kelly

  60. Lynna Stewart

    Made this cake yesterday… it turned out great. It was even better this morning for breakfast. But I woke up this morning wondering how it would turn out if one were to use lime zest & juice instead of orange, blackberries instead of chocolate chunks, and serve it with a blackberry sauce instead of ganache. I hope to try it someday.

  61. January

    Hey there. This looks absolutely amazing! And as we all know you had the baby! How wonderful! I am trying to make my mom (possibly this cake) for her Surprise birthday party in May. I was curious if you had any suggestions on how to make this work as more of a layer cake that could serve (40ish) people, maybe more…?

  62. Kathy

    Do you and Alex have siblings? I saw the word “siblings” in the article, and somehow I had deduced that you were only children. Maybe some of the people I had assumed were friends sometimes mentioned, are actually relatives?

  63. Sonia

    I made this cake tonight and it turned out wonderful. The ganache was great. After I put on the first “coat” of ganache; I added more cream to what I had left to lighten up the color and did a 2nd thin drizzle and the contrasting colors look great. This is the 2nd recipe I’ve tried from your site. I previously made your wonderful big crumb coffee cake and substituted blueberries for the rhubarb and WOW. I’m very thankful that I found your website. I wish you Happy baking!!

  64. Kelly

    This turned out beautifully. I haven’t tasted it yet, but if it could get by on looks alone… :)
    I think next time (and there will be a next time) the only change I will make is to spoon the syrup onto the cake while it’s still in the pan, because that’s where all of my cracks were – on the underside. When I spooned the orange syrup onto the cake when it was right-side up, most of it just slid off without soaking into the cake. I poked a few holes in it to help, but I think most of it is still on the outside.
    Thanks for the recipe! I’m sure my boss will love this for her birthday.

  65. Jenn

    Wish I could say this cake was moist but it wasnt. Spent all afternoon cooking just right and it was just ok. Sorry. Usually like Ina barrens stuff

  66. Rubi

    I just finished baking this recipe as cupcakes (without the chocolate chips) and they’re sinfully delicious!! I’m new at baking and am still getting used to my oven so one tray came out with slightly burnt edges and yet 2 of them have mysteriously disappeared ;) Elisa, I baked them for 20 minutes but it can depend on your oven. I checked after 15 mins and noticed that the edges were getting burnt but it was still raw in the middle so I turned my oven down to 300. Hope that helps. I ran out of sugar so I used brown sugar in the syrup and added a teaspoon of dark rum … spoon-licking good! I’m planning on cooling and whipping the ganache as a frosting. Deb, thank you for the scrumptious recipes. This is my second recipe from this site this week .. ‘our favourite chocolate chip cookies’ are almost gone after only 3 days :( And I was just beginning to lose the baby weight .. I guess I’ll just have to bike and swim some more ;)

  67. Mary

    It just occurred to me to me (seven months after the fact) that you might get a kick out of knowing that I made this cake when I was in early labor with my daughter. I was looking for something decadent and somewhat complicated–something that would be a great treat at the end of labor and that would keep me somewhat distracted at the beginning of labor. This recipe looked just right–and the fact that it was connected to your family’s discussion about having a baby made it feel meant-to-be. We loved passing out slices to our friends and family who came to visit after our babe was born–and we’re already looking forward to making another one on her first birthday!

  68. Gustavo Puerta

    Hello,
    I’ve made this cake for my daughter that is allergic to both milk and soya, so I did the following:

    – change buttermilk for 1/2 cup of oatmilk and 1/4 orange juice (plus the 1/4 on the recipie)
    – change the butter for olive oil (it ussually goes well with oranges)
    – scape the baking powder and put a teaspoon of baking soda. The acidity of the olive oil, I assumed, would do the rest.

    The result: amazing! Not only my daughter, but my husband and friends were fighting over it. It was delicate and delicious, lots of flavour and great texture. You could not taste at all the olive oil, only oranges and chocolate.

  69. Jissa

    Thanks so much for posting this–I just made it for a chrismahanukwanzakkah party and it turned out delicious! Prefectly moist, orange-y, and beauteous! The only change I made was to remove the instant coffee from the ganache (since I never have any coffee around) and add a bit of cloves, which combined very nicely with oranges. Next time I think I’ll try adding a bit of Grand Marnier and it should be perfect. ;)

  70. Anna

    Loved the idea of this cake, but it was a complete disaster. It wouldn’t come out of the Bundt tin, the chocolate chunks sank and stuck (and I did toss with the flour), and it’s kinda greasy and way too rich even without the icing. I’m so disappointed I could cry – I wanted to take it to a party. Love the website, though.

  71. Kaarin

    Yummaliscious!! Heavenly aromatic as it bakes, and savory on the taste buds. With or without the chocolate ganache … The chocolate gives an extra boost if you’re craving it! Otherwise, double the syrup recipe and enjoy its citrusy sweetness. My new fave — thank you!

  72. Courtney

    This cake was so so delicious!!! I ended up being able to get 1/4 cup zest with just 3 oranges (thank god because that was all I bought!!). I cut up bar chocolate for the cake and it was perfect (didn’t fall to the bottom). I cooked mine for about 55 minutes and it was moist and delicious. The ganache is fabulous! This would make fabulous muffins with chocolate icing as well. Thanks for another great recipe!!

  73. kookie in London

    I have that fancy heritage bundt pan from Williams sonoma. Do you think this cake would work in that pan or should I just use my standard (same as Deb’s) pan??

    1. deb

      Hi Kookie — I’d have to see it to know for sure (many of their pans have tiny ridges that work best with smooth, tightly-crumbed cakes) but if it holds the same volume, no reason not to give it a spin.

  74. Mspickle

    My 9 year old son wanted to cook something with me today. He got on punchfork and searched for cakes and this is what he chose. He said it’s the best cake he’s ever had! And it was lots of fun to make it with him and his little sister. Even if she did drop an egg on the counter. :)

  75. Amanda

    I made this for Christmas and although it was delicious I was kinda disappointed. I wanted the orange to come through a LOT more then it does. I like the lemon version of this cake much better.

  76. Laila

    I made this into a 2 layer cake for father’s day with a whipped ganache frosting. It was sooo delicious. I loved the idea of the chunks because they melt a little but still stay fairly firm and substantial. Thanks for this amazing recipe!

  77. It look delicious and yummy! especially the combination with orange syrup sounds really amazing. Can i put choclate chips in it? When i tried and tasted it was delicious honestly. Thanks to share.

  78. Amy

    Hi Deb. I have only just seen this today, a few years on from the post! It sounds really good and I think it would be even better using Lindt Excellence Orange Intense, a dark chocolate which contains crunchy orange bits. Do you have this in NYC? It is so good and I think it would be perfect in this cake.

    1. deb

      Hi Amy — We do, and while I’m sure it would be delicious, I don’t usually bother with flavored chocolates. I theorize that you get better flavor from straight chocolate and the fresh orange zest/juice/syrup combination used here. Gosh, I really am no fun at all.

  79. Amy

    Hi again Deb. ln general I agree with you. In fact I always did…until I discovered this one and used finely chopped it in an Angel food cake! It has become my exception to the rule! :-D

  80. Joy

    Hi Deb!
    I’m planning to make this for my dad’s birthday this weekend- was thinking of doing it as a layer cake (w. out the chocolate chunks) and with a chocolate frosting. Would you recommend your “best birthday cake” chocolate frosting for this or the fudge frosting from your espresso chiffon? Would love to hear your thoughts! Thanks so much!

  81. Gretchen

    This is delicious! I doubled the recipe & it made 72 cupcakes – cooked for 20m at 350 degrees, rotated the pans halfway through.

  82. Vee

    This cake looks absolutely delicious! I’m salivating just looking at it and I’m eager to try it out, but I confess I find one part of the instructions confusing:

    “Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately in thirds to the creamed butter, beginning and ending with the flour …”

    How do I alternately add thirds of these mixtures and both start and end with the flour? If I start with the flour, I’ll end with the buttermilk (and vice-versa). Should it actually be quarters of the flour and thirds of the buttermilk?

  83. Sarah

    If I bake and freeze this cake monday night for use on thanksgiving will taking it out of the freezer on thurs morning (730 am-ish) be long enough for it to defrost? We probably won’t eat it until after 8 pm but will need to add the ganache around 6 pm. Thanks!!

  84. jv

    Orange Chocolate Chunk Cake / Adapted from Barefoot Contessa
    clarification please: when spooning the orange syrup over the cake. Is this done when the cake is hot or completely cooled? Also, does this recipe require a larger bundt pan? Many thanks Deb and continued success.

  85. Megan

    I made this for Christmas (made on the 22, froze, defrosted in fridge night before then frosted). Sooooooo gooood! Thank you for this!

  86. leticia

    Hi Deb,

    I am looking forward to trying this tonight for a friend’s birthday celebration. I don’t have buttermilk, but have nonfat plain greek yogurt. Can I substitute for the buttermilk and just add some milk or should I purchase buttermilk?

  87. Taylor

    Happy New Year Deb! I am making this cake for our NYE party this evening, but only have large eggs! Would using 5 regular large eggs be a proper substitute for the 4 extra large? Thanks!

  88. Susan

    make the orange choc chunk cake. awesome. everyone loved it, even my “don’t like fruit flavorings in my cake” friends.
    My question, I have never used a recipe before that had me mix the chunks in flour before adding in. Why do you do that? Second question, all my chucks sunk to the bottom of the cake. How can I get the chunks to stay more evenly distributed?

    1. deb

      The flouring is supposed to keep the chunks from sinking. Clearly, it didn’t work for you! Your chunks may have been a little bigger? Try chopping them smaller if you can next time.

  89. Marty

    Yesterday I made this and took it to our friends house for dinner. My friend Agnes, who is French and eats like a bird, had THIRDS of this cake. It is so, so good. Amazing. Not really that labor intensive if you put on some tunes and follow the easy directions. Thanks, Deb, this is a keeper. I used a Trader Joe’s dark chocolate bar and cut it into chunks. I had some stickage issues but the ganache, like a good concealer, helped hide the flaws… cue evil laughter. THANK YOU!

  90. Gale

    I made this earlier today. Was looking for a cake to serve at a ladies club meeting to be held at my house tomorrow. I beefed up the orange flavor with about a 1/4 tsp of Boyajian Pure Orange Oil which I think really gave the recipe some orange depth. I also added 1/2 tsp of Loriann’s Buttery Dough Emulsion. Not sure if the emulsion added much, if anything, but didn’t hurt.

    After tasting cake, I have decided not to drizzle the ganache (too much chocolate for my taste and am worried this will overpower the wonderful orange flavor since even a few bites with the choc chunks tend to do this at times) but have made a glaze with powdered sugar, fresh orange juice, a bit of the orange oil, and some of the buttery dough emulsion (which really rounded out the flavor of the glaze nicely!)
    Next time, I will leave out choc chips and utilize the ganache but may even put a bit of the orange oil in that! (can you tell Orange oil is my new obsession?)
    Are you familiar with the Buttery Dough Emulsion? I stumbled across it in another recipe, and after reading rave reviews about it online, ordered some. I will continue to experiment with it in baked goods, etc. I had never heard of it before and have been baking a looooooong time (feeling old today!).

  91. Cathy

    Hi Deb – love love love your work! :) made this yesterday for my mom’s bday cake and it was yummy. But a few things I may want to do better next time. Cake was quite dense – did I overmix maybe? I think I left the cake in too long – the full hour because it seemed undercooked until then. Maybe that’s why part of the cake broke when I turned it upside down? Also my choc chunks mostly fell to the bottom of the bundt even though I tossed them in the flour – maybe they were too big? I definitely want to make it again as the flavors were lovely. Thanks so much!

  92. Melissa

    Deb, the orange chocolate chunk cake has been on the “to-make” list for a while, and I finally got around to making one for a co-worker’s birthday. I baked it last night and when I picked it up to take to work this morning, I immediately thought “whoa, it might really weight nine pounds”. Really, it seems to weigh more than the ingredients did – did I create matter in my oven while baking it?

    When I baked it, I saved enough batter to make my husband two cup cakes (he doesn’t like it that the desserts that I make often go to my office). He shared one with me, and it was fabulous. Thanks again for another great recipe.

  93. Vanessa

    Hi Deb,

    I made this cake last week for a dinner with friends. This one seemed to be a hit just like the similar lemon cake recipe. Like Cathy, mine was also dense; is this a result of over mixing? The cake was still very good. Also, I used chocolate chips (but didn’t realize they were supposed to be tossed with flour) and they sunk to the bottom. Would this have caused the issue I had with sticking? A large portion of the top of the cake stuck to the pan and I had to piece it back together. Luckily it was hidden by ganache but I’d like to avoid this in the future if possible!

    1. deb

      Vanessa — This cake is technically a pound cake, hence the denser texture. But it should be moist, especially with the brushed syrup. They may have sunk because they weren’t tossed in the flour. Sticking is a common problem in bundt pans; I have the best luck with the newest ones, which are heavy, dark and nonstick.

  94. Jane

    Hi Deb! I’ve been eager to try this and have a dinner party this weekend. However, despite all my past cooking and baking adventures, I don’t have a bundt pan to my name… :-( I tried to scroll through previous comments to see if anyone made this in a loaf pan instead. Seems like it would work. Do you have a recommendation (1 vs 2 pans, cooking time) before I get started? Thanks!

  95. Gautami

    hello Deb,
    Can I use marmalade instead of zest and orange juice? warm the marmalade with some water.
    please let me know…
    Thank you

    1. deb

      It’s not exactly the same. That said, it might add a nice flavor. I might warm it and then whisk it into the buttermilk and use that for the liquid portion.

  96. Sandi

    I use an orange syrup on a quick bead I make at Christmas. I love to spike it with a bit of Gran Marnier. The alcohol cooks off of course as you’re melting the sugar, but it does add a lovely something to the syrup.

  97. Laura

    Amazing tasty cake! I believe however that a bit of lemon would be a nice addition to the batter to give it that something. Thanks for the recipe!

  98. Maria Corona

    I want to make this cake but dont have buttermilk, is there anything I can substitute it with?? I have also heard of mixing vinegar with milk or heavy cream, will this work?? Thanks can’t wait to make this cake!!

  99. Cristina

    Hi Deb,
    I want to bake this one today but i onle have large eggs. Any tips in how can match the amount of eggs I need ?

    Thanks
    love your book :)

  100. Anjali

    Hi Deb

    Would it be okay if I wanted to halve the recipe and still bake it in my 10″ bundt pan? if so, would I require to halve the baking time as well? Love your recipes!

  101. Anjali

    Hi Deb, true, it didn’t take the shape that it should have but it turned out fantastic and all the gals in my office devoured it! Thanks!

  102. Poonam

    Hi Deb,
    Thanks for the recipe, have followed all the steps as mentioned, my cake took almost 1 hour 20 min to cook and had used chocolate chips, which sank at the bottom. I did cover them with flour
    Want to try it once again,would appreciate if u could help me solve the problem
    Poonam

  103. Lisbet

    This. Is. SO. GOOD! We used good quality dark chocolate chunks and it was delicious. Mind you, I have yet to make anything from your site that didn’t turn out well and taste great. My friends and I joke when we’re trying to find a recipe for something, that we should just “ask Deb” :)

  104. Tiernan

    SO GOOD. I made as cupcakes without the ganache and it was perfect. My only regret is not putting them into tupperware earlier. I’ve been baking a fair amount lately and this is at the top of my list for remakes.

  105. Jacqui

    Made this yesterday – amazing! It took just about an hour to bake (63 min) and it domed a bit on top so it would have to be bottom-sliced to lie flat like a real bundt cake. I added some rum to the syrup and cooked it a little longer so it wouldn’t taste like alcohol. Also poked holes all over the cake to help the syrup soak in. As a topping, I had a bit of leftover ganache so instead of making more I just whipped up an icing with 2 tbsp orange juice and 1c confectioners sugar, then drizzled the ganache on top of that. The cake is moist and just the right amount of chocolatey. I also made my own buttermilk with almond milk+vinegar to avoid a separate purchase, and it worked fine as far as I can tell. Big payoff for a relatively simple recipe. And it’s beautiful.

  106. Stacey

    I made your monkey cakes for my son’s first birthday (his favorite fruit was bananas!) and we all LOVED it. Now I have twins who love oranges and I’m thinking about making this cake for their first birthday next weekend. Wondering though…suggestions for adapting this recipe to make two smash cakes and then a regular cake (for all the grandparents!), kind of like the monkey cake recipe but with two smash cakes instead of one? I’m thinking that instead of the syrup and ganache, I’ll make it into a layer cake with chocolate frosting, but I’m just not sure how much batter I’ll need… Double the recipe? Thoughts?

    1. deb

      Stacey — I haven’t made this cake in other vessels but in general, bundt = 2 loaves and each loaf could be roughly 1 9-inch round or 8-inch square cake layer. Each 9-inch round/8-inch square is equal to TWO 6-inch rounds, and that’s a good smash cake size. Hope that gets you started.

  107. Twinkle Lady

    This cake has been a favorite of my family for years — now you say 10 years. Wow
    It is the BEST.
    If you have not made this cake — you must. Thank you Deb for all your excellent recipes.
    Happy Healthy New Year to you and your family.