Chocolate Orange Brownies are fudgy, moist, and packed with intense chocolate flavor highlighted by bright orange zest.
These chocolate orange brownies with homemade glaze are the perfect dessert for winter. Chocolate and oranges are a fantastic flavor pairing. And swirled into dense, fudge-like brownies, you truly can't go wrong.
Serve these citrus-spiked treats to guests after dinner or snack on one for an afternoon pick me up. However you slice it, they're guaranteed to hit the spot.
Why this recipe works
- The butter works to tenderize the gluten in these brownies. As a result, the texture is closer to fudge than airy cake.
- There are no chemical leaveners (baking powder or soda) in these brownies. So instead of having a lot of rise, they're dense with flavor and texture.
- Real dark chocolate, not cocoa powder, is the key to the most flavor in these brownies.
Chocolate orange brownies recipe
This orange brownie recipe goes way beyond your typical chocolate brownie. It's densely fudgy, thanks to tenderizing butter and egg yolks. And it has an intense chocolate flavor from real melted chocolate (not cocoa powder).
But the real over-the-top touch comes from flecks of bright, fragrant orange zest that make every bite pop.
The steps to make these decadent brownies, however, are simple and straightforward. You'll mix up a quick brownie batter. Then, while the treats cool, make a fast chocolate ganache over a double boiler. Frost your brownies and dig in!
For extra presentation, garnish the top with candied orange slices.
- Butter: Butter is the key to fudgy and gooey brownies. It coats the flour for a super tender, cake-like texture. Use unsalted butter for this recipe.
- Chocolate: Use high-quality dark chocolate for the most intense brownie flavor. You'll need it for the brownie batter and the chocolate ganache frosting.
- Sugar: Whipping the sugar into the eggs to make the brownie batter is the only leavening in this recipe. Use regular granulated sugar for this job.
- Eggs: Eggs add leavening and tenderness to your brownies. The liquid in egg whites releases steam pockets during baking to help your brownies rise.
- Orange zest: Fresh orange zest adds a pop of bright, acidic flavor to cut through some of the richness in these fudgy brownies. Be careful when zesting. You don't want any of the pith, it can make the brownies bitter.
- Salt: A dash of salt helps enhance the orange and chocolate flavors.
- Vanilla: There's no better pairing in desserts than rich, dark chocolate and a splash of warm vanilla.
- Flour: You'll use regular all-purpose flour. Cake flour can also be used!
Can I use oil in place of butter?
While I've not tested this myself, it is typically okay to use about three-quarters of the amount of butter that is called for in the recipe. For this recipe, use 127 grams of oil to replace the 170 grams of butter.
- Baking pan: This recipe makes enough batter to fill an 8-inch square baking pan.
- Mixer: The best way to aerate your eggs is with an electric mixer. Use a hand-held or standing mixer with a whisk attachment.
- Spatula: Use a rubber spatula to get every last drop of brownie batter out of the mixing bowl and into your baking dish. Also, it comes in handy to spread the batter flat. An offset spatula is my go-to tool for frosting everything from brownies to cakes.
- Zester: A microplane is what I prefer to use for zesting citrus.
How to make chocolate orange brownies
This is a classic fudge brownie recipe with a few simple steps to fudgy decadence. You'll melt the butter and chocolate for a truly rich and bold chocolate flavor then quickly make a batter speckled with orange zest. To finish off your masterpiece, whip up a quick chocolate ganache topping.
Step 1: Melt the chocolate
First, melt the chocolate and butter for your brownies The best way to do this is by setting up a simple double boiler. Place a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Make sure the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl. You just want to warm the chocolate until melted, not cook it.
Step 2: Make the brownie batter
While the chocolate cools, mix up the brownie batter. Start by beating the sugar and eggs at medium speed until light and fluffy. This aerates the eggs and in turn, will leaven the brownies.
Add the orange zest, vanilla extract and salt. Mix in the melted chocolate until well combined.
Then fold in the flour until you have a uniform dark brown batter. Take care not to over mix. As this will toughen the brownies. Mix just until there are no visible streaks of dry flour.
Step 3: Bake the brownies
Pour your batter into a prepared baking dish and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. The brownies are done when the top is dry and the edges are pulling away from the sides of the pan.
Cool the brownies fully before adding the glaze.
Step 4: Make the ganache
While the brownies cool, you can make the ganache topping. To do so, you'll need your double boiler again. In the heatproof bowl, melt the chocolate, cream, and corn syrup until it's a soft, glossy texture.
Pour the ganache over the cooled brownies and use an offset spatula to spread it evenly to the edges.
Chill the glazed brownies for at least 1 hour before slicing. This ensures the glaze is set and will allow for neat slices.
Notes & Tips
- Make sure to whip a good amount of air into the eggs and sugar mixture. This is the only leavening used.
- The high percentage of butter, chocolate, and eggs to flour is what produces a dense, fudgy brownie. The fat coats the flour which prevents the proteins from developing into gluten.
- These brownies are rich and decadent, especially with the ganache on top. You may prefer them without the ganache or slightly less ganache.
- Try topping the brownies with candied orange slices for extra flair.
Storing & Freezing
To Store: Brownies can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
To Freeze: Chocolate orange brownies can be frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and bring to room temperature before serving.