This orange chocolate cake combines the lovely flavors of orange and chocolate before being topped with a luscious chocolate ganache frosting! It’s egg-free and easy to make vegan.
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What’s better than chocolate cake? Orange chocolate cake!
Chocolate cake is great and all, but chocolate and orange are a classic combination. If you haven’t tried it before, this easy cake recipe is the perfect way to give it a try.
We’re making a moist bundt cake with ganache frosting. My kids raved about it. In fact, they’re still talking about it weeks later!
This is a very dense cake, making it rich and fudge-like. It’s perfect for serving to a crowd because a little slice goes a long way.
Orange chocolate cake ingredients
- All-purpose flour
- Whole wheat flour
- Granulated sugar
- Baking soda
- Unsweetened cocoa powder
- Vanilla extract
- Balsamic vinegar
- Orange juice
- Orange zest
How to make orange chocolate cake
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Spray a bundt pan with cooking spray and dust lightly with unsweetened cocoa powder.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking soda, salt, cocoa, and cinnamon.
- Add the yogurt, vanilla, balsamic vinegar, water, orange juice, and zest. Beat with a hand mixer on low speed just until well combined, about 1-2 minutes. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
- Hold the bundt pan about 2 inches above the countertop and allow it to drop a few times to remove air bubbles.
- Bake 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before carefully inverting onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
Ganache frosting ingredients
- Semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate
- Powdered sugar
- Heavy cream
- How to make ganache frosting
How to make ganache frosting
- Place chocolate, butter, and sugar in a heatproof bowl.
- In a medium saucepan, bring cream to a boil, then immediately pour it over the chocolate. Let sit for 1 minute, then whisk slowly until chocolate and butter are melted and the ganache is smooth.
- Pour ganache over the cooled cake, allowing it to drop down the sides and pool in the middle. Alternatively, you could allow it to set up in the refrigerator for 30 minutes and spread over the cake with a knife.
How to measure flour
To get the best cake texture, you’ll want to measure your flour carefully. This means not dipping your measuring cup into the flour and scooping it out.
Instead, whisk the flour lightly with a whisk or fork, then spoon it into the measuring cup and level it off with a knife, being sure not to pack it into the cup.
The best way to keep a bundt cake from sticking
Turning a bundt cake out of the pan can be stressful. You’ve worked so hard, don’t let it fall apart now! To make your cake easy to get out of the pan, start by spraying the pan with cooking spray.
For a chocolate cake, I like to dust with cocoa powder so your cake stays nice and brown. To dust, add a few spoonfuls of cocoa powder to the sprayed pan, hold it over the sink or trash, and tap it around until all the nooks and crannies have a light coating.
You could also try something like my friend Lynn’s homemade cake release!
How to tell if your cake is done
You’ll want to make sure your cake is baked all the way through without becoming overcooked for the best texture. To test for doneness, insert a wooden skewer into the thickest part of the cake, making sure it reaches almost all the way to the bottom.
Normally I would use a toothpick for this, but they aren’t quite long enough to reach the bottom of a bundt pan. Your skewer should come out clean and the cake should feel firm when it is done.
How to store
Chocolate orange cake with ganache can be kept covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. You can also freeze it (I’d recommend individual portions) for up to 3 months. To thaw, place it in the refrigerator overnight, or at room temperature for 1-2 hours.
Tips for customizing chocolate orange cake with ganache
- Make it vegan by using dairy free yogurt and skipping the ganache
- Add even more orange flavor by adding a splash of orange extract to the batter or add the peel of one orange to the ganache cream as it is warming, removing before moving on to the next step
- Swap the ganache for powdered sugar or this vanilla glaze, using orange juice instead of milk
- Add chocolate chips to the cake batter
Two oranges should be plenty to get enough zest and juice, though you may want to get three just to be safe (depending on the size of your oranges). Make sure you zest the oranges first because it’s too difficult once you’ve cut and squeezed the oranges.
While store-bought orange juice would work in this recipe, I recommend squeezing your own oranges in order to get the best orange flavor. It really doesn’t take much time, and you need oranges for the zest anyways.
If you don’t like squeezing by hand, try a reamer, squeezer, or juicer.
I love my Deiss microplane for zesting citrus fruits, including oranges. I like to zest an orange by placing the tip of the microplane on a cutting board or plate at an angle, then rubbing the orange against it firmly with the other hand.
Continue to rotate your orange until most of the outer layer has been removed. Don’t be afraid of getting a little bit of the white pith in there, as long as you aren’t getting a ton it’ll taste fine.
Ganache is a combination of chocolate and cream. It is usually liquid when warm but will firm up in the refrigerator. This ganache frosting has a soft but firm texture when chilled.
When I originally wrote this recipe in 2013, I suggested letting the ganache firm up in the refrigerator before spreading on the cake like frosting. I have since found that pouring it over the top works even better, and saves on time.
More chocolate recipes
- Dark Chocolate Brownies
- The Best Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Frosting
- Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Cups
- Edible Brownie Batter
- Chocolate Revel Bars
- Refrigerator Bakery Brownies
- Whole Wheat Chocolate Fudge Cookies
- Double Chocolate Banana Bread
- Single Serve Vegan Chocolate Brownie Cookie
- Vegan Chocolate Mug Cake
- Sweet Potato Brownies
If you make this recipe, be sure to rate it, leave a comment, or tag #theliveinkitchen on Instagram!
Orange Chocolate Cake
- 1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¾ cup plain yogurt, (I used whole milk yogurt)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 ½ cups water
- ½ cup fresh orange juice
- Zest of one orange
- 9 ounces chocolate chips or chopped chocolate, (I used a combination of semisweet and bittersweet, adjust according to how sweet you like your chocolate)
- 4 tablespoons butter, cut into chunks
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- ¾ cup heavy cream
Orange Chocolate Cake
- Spray a bundt cake pan with cooking spray and dust lightly with unsweetened cocoa powder. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- In a large bowl, combine the flours, sugar, baking soda, salt, cocoa, and cinnamon.
- Add the yogurt, vanilla, balsamic vinegar, water, orange juice, and zest. Beat with a mixer on low speed just until well-combined, about 1-2 minutes. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan 10 minutes before carefully inverting onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Place the chocolate, butter, and sugar in a heatproof bowl.
- In a medium saucepan, bring cream to a boil and immediately pour it over the chocolate. Let sit for 1 minute, then whisk slowly until chocolate and butter are melted and the ganache is smooth.
- Place the cooled cake on a cake stand or other serving plate and pour ganache over the top, allowing it to drop down the sides and into the middle. You may want to do this over a baking sheet in case extra ganache drips too far over the sides. Refrigerate until the ganache is firm, then cover with plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.