Looking for a fun twist on a chocolatey bundt cake? This Chocolate Orange Cake fuses sweet citrus with dark chocolate for a classic pairing that will make all your crumbly cake dreams come true!
With a beautiful chocolate and orange bundt as the base, this gorgeous cake is only made better by topping it with sweet orange glaze. Easy to make and with simple ingredients, this chocolate cake recipe is sure to impress.
As an environmental scientist, I am always looking for ways to avoid food waste. And as a Floridian, I constantly find myself with a surplus of fresh oranges!
Green tip: Of the billions of pounds of food wasted annually, it is estimated that 50% of it happens in our homes. Don’t let your fresh oranges go bad—add them to this chocolate orange cake or extend their shelf-life by a month by making this super easy Orange Marmalade!
Adding oranges to a chocolate bundt was a natural move while staring down a plethora of oranges, just days away from turning bad, wondering how to use them up in the midst of one of my weekly chocolate cravings.
Chocolate Orange Cake Tips and Tricks
Gather Your Goodies
You can opt to use either store-bought orange juice or squeeze juice from fresh oranges (highly recommend!). Either way, you will need fresh oranges for the zest.
If you plan to obtain all of your orange juice and zest from fresh oranges, you’ll need 4-5 oranges between the zest and juice for the cake and the juice for the glaze. If you’re buying already-squeezed juice, you will only need 2 oranges, for the zest.
Usually, you can squeeze about 1/4 cup juice out of 1 fresh orange, and get about 2 tablespoons of zest per orange.
In addition to oranges, you’ll need some other pantry and fridge items. Here’s everything you’ll need:
Zest and Juice Your Oranges First
First, use a cheese grater or zester to remove the peel from two oranges. You should be leaving the pith (white, spongy stuff) behind. Two oranges should give you anywhere from 4-5 tablespoons of orange zest.
Then, use a juicer or citrus squeezer to juice the two peeled oranges + 2-3 more oranges, until you have 1 & 1/4 cup orange juice total. You will use 1 cup for the cake and 1/4 cup for the glaze.
Adding Extra Orange Flavor
The recipe calls for the zest of two oranges, and I find the balance of chocolate and orange to be perfect with this amount. That being said, if you really want this cake to be super orange-forward, you can easily add more zest!
Green tip: Consider organic oranges for this recipe! Organic farms rely on biodiversity to generate rich soil, avoiding the use of pesticides and fertilizers, which means no toxic runoff.
Choosing Your Oranges
Any type of juicy orange will work in this recipe. From navel to caracara, valencia, blood, and even mandarins! (Check out this Mandarin Juice recipe that will work perfectly in this cake)!
Best practice is use the oranges that are local to you.
Green tip: Local foods have less associated transportation costs and fuel emissions.
Bundt Pans vs Cake Pans
This recipe is designed for a 10-inch diameter bundt pan. I use this gorgeous Nordicware Bundt Pan to get this beautiful shape!
If you don’t have a bundt pan, you can opt to use two 9-inch round cake pans, but cooking time will vary.
Regardless of the pan you are using, you will know your cake is ready when you stick a toothpick into your baked cake and it comes out clean.
Use A Hand Mixer
A hand mixer is the best tool to cream the sugar and butter together for the base of your cake. It’s also the easiest way to combine the rest of the ingredients.
Additionally, you will get the best consistency for your glaze while using a hand mixer on high. It’s a baking must-have! I use this Cuisinart Hand Mixer (affiliate link) for almost all of my baking and love it!
Should You Have Leftovers
This bundt will yield 12 generously-portioned slices of cake, so brace yourself for leftovers if this is not for a party!
The cake should be stored in an airtight container either on the counter for up to 5 days or in the fridge for a week.
Why You Should Make This Chocolate Orange Cake
- It’s fruity! The fresh orange flavor really shines through.
- It’s chocolatey! Chocolate and orange is one of those classic pairings that never gets old.
- It’s simple, yet impressive! Easy to make, but still looks and tastes spectacular!
If you’re loving this Chocolate Orange Cake and need more chocolatey goodness, check out this Chocolate Cookie Dough Cake and Chocolate Oreo Mug Cake!
Chocolate Orange Cake with Orange GlazePRINT PIN RATE
Chocolate Orange Cake
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened (½ cup usually = 1 stick)
- 4 to 5 tablespoons orange zest (4 to 5 tbsp usually = zest of 2 oranges)
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup cocoa powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup orange juice (1 cup usually = juice of 4 large oranges)
- ¼ cup orange juice (¼ cup usually = juice of ½ orange)
- 1 to 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
Chocolate Orange Cake
- Preheat your oven to 350°F and line or grease 10-inch bundt pan.
- Add sugar and softened butter to a large mixing bowl. Use a hand mixer on high to combine until smooth.
- Add zest, eggs, and vanilla and combine with hand mixer on low.
- With mixer still on low, add flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and orange juice. Mix until smooth.
- Transfer batter to your greased bundt pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Add 1/4 cup of orange juice to a large mixing bowl with 1 cup of powdered sugar. Use a hand mixer on high to integrate.
- Continue to add powdered sugar, about 1-2 tablespoons at a time, until you get a thick and smooth consistency. It should drip off of a spoon slowly. You may not need the full 1 & 1/2 cups of powdered sugar.
- Wait for the cake to cool completely to glaze.
- You will need 5 large oranges total for this recipe if you’re using fresh oranges for both the zest and the juice, or just 2 large oranges for the zest if you’re using store-bought orange juice.
- This recipe is designed for a 10-inch Bundt Pan. If you don’t have a bundt pan, you can use two 9-inch cake pans, but the cooking time may vary.
- Whether you’re hosting a party, it’s someone’s birthday—or it’s just a rainy Tuesday!—this selection of my best cake recipes has a great cake for every occasion.