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Elegant Cakes – Orange-Chocolate Chip Snack Cake
Life Should Be Cake

Orange-Chocolate Chip Snack Cake

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This Orange-Chocolate Chip Cake is a wonderfully moist buttermilk cake spiked with tons of orange flavor and loads of mini chocolate chips.

I had this cake on the menu for Sunday dinner dessert for weeks and kept running into roadblocks that prevented me from getting it into the oven. From missing orange extract to a toddler who kept me up from midnight until 4am cutting a molar, I was convinced I just wasn’t meant to make this cake. Luckily the stars aligned last weekend and I finally got it done!

Full disclosure here: I generally do not like citrus-flavored desserts, but for some reason I was totally drawn to this cake when flipping through Baked Occasions. It’s a buttermilk cake with orange zest, orange juice AND orange extract and it’s full of mini chocolate chips. Believe it or not, the orange is not overpowering like I thought it might be; it’s just the right amount of flavor to balance the chocolate.

This cake reminded me quite a bit of an Italian cake that a friend’s grandmother used to make around the holidays. It was a dense, moist cake shaped like a biscotti log – it was flavored with lemon and had chocolate chips. Again, I really don’t care for lemon-flavored desserts, but I could have eaten that cake for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I’m convinced that the chocolate gives just enough of a sweet balance to the citrus to satisfy my sweet tooth.

Once this orange-chocolate chip cake comes out of the oven, you poke holes all over with a toothpick or skewer and brush on a syrup made from orange juice and sugar. It keeps the cake nice and moist on top, but if I’m being honest, I’m not completely convinced that the cake even needs it! It certainly doesn’t hurt, of course, but I suspect this cake would be just as amazing without it.

I love the texture – you can eat it with a fork or easily pick it up and eat it while walking around. In the cookbook, it’s described as a picnic cake – one you can slice up, pack, and then eat while leisurely lounging on a big blanket on the grass.

I could go for a nice, long nap in a hammock right about now (toddler teething again!), I’ll just grab a slice or two to devour when I wake up

P.S. Does anyone have a hammock I can take a nap in?

One year ago: Salted Dark Chocolate Pretzel Truffle Cake
Five years ago: Root Beer Float Cake
Six years ago: Classic Lemonade
Seven years ago: Chocolate Chip Cookie-Topped Brownies
Eight years ago: Instant Pancake Mix

Orange-Chocolate Chip Snack Cake

Yield: 8 to 12 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 32 to 37 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

This Orange-Chocolate Chip Cake is a wonderfully moist buttermilk cake spiked with tons of orange flavor and loads of mini chocolate chips.


For the Cake:
½ cup (70 grams) all-purpose flour
¾ cup (85 grams) cake flour
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ cup (60 ml) orange juice
½ cup (120 ml) buttermilk
6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup + 1 tablespoon (165 grams) light brown sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
¾ teaspoon pure orange extract
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of 1 orange
¾ cup (128 grams) mini chocolate chips
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour

For the Orange Syrup:
3 tablespoons orange juice
3 tablespoons granulated sugar

To Finish:
2 tablespoons powdered sugar


1. Make the Cake: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, then grease the parchment, dust the inside with flour and tap out any excess.

2. In a small bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, cake flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder; set aside.

3. In a measuring cup, whisk together the orange juice and buttermilk; set aside.

4. Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and egg yolk and beat well, then add the orange extract, vanilla extract and orange zest and beat until incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, and mix again for 15 minutes. Add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.

5. In a small bowl, toss together the chocolate chips and 1 teaspoon of flour until evenly coated. Fold the chocolate chips into the batter, then transfer the batter to the prepared pan and spread into an even layer. Bake, rotating the pan halfway through, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out completely clean with no crumbs attached, 32 to 37 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool for 15 minutes.

6. For the Orange Syrup: Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over very low heat, whisk together the orange juice and sugar until combined. Once the sugar has dissolved, increase the heat to medium-low and simmer until the syrup is slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.

7. Turn the cake out of the pan onto a wire rack, remove the parchment paper, and flip the cake right side up. Using a toothpick or wooden skewer, poke holes evenly all over the cake. Brush the cake with the orange syrup and allow it to sink in and set, about 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Dust with powdered sugar immediately before serving. The cake will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

(Recipe adapted from Baked Occasions)

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