Orange Chocolate Chunk Cupcakes

Sometimes two unlikely flavors can come together to make something really good…


Orange and chocolate have never been better together!

Orange Chocolate Chunk Cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes

1/4 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
Zest from 2 large oranges
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus 1 tablespoon
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
Scant 1/3 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chunks, roughly chopped

Orange syrup:
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

  • Prepare standard size muffin pan with liners.
  • Combine orange zest and sugar and rub together until well incorporated.  In bowl of electric mixer, cream the butter and zested sugar for 5-7 minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  • Add eggs one at a time and mix until well incorporated.
  • Whisk together the 1 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl.  In another bowl whisk together the orange juice, buttermilk, and vanilla.
  • To the butter mixture, alternate adding the wet and dry ingredient, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
  • Toss the chocolate chunks with the 1 tablespoon of flour and add them to the batter.  Lightly mix in the chips, be careful to not over mix.
  • Add the batter to prepared muffin pans, filling about 2/3 full.  Bake for about 18-20 minutes, start checking at 15 minutes, cook until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Remove from pan and allow to cool on wire rack for 10 minutes.
  • To prepare the orange syrup, add the orange juice and sugar to a small sauce pan.  Cook until the sugar dissolves.
  • Poke several holes in the cupcakes with a cake tester or toothpick.  Spoon the syrup over the cupcakes.  Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

6 ounces semi sweet chocolate, melted and cooled
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 cups confectioner sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • In mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix butter until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes
  • Add vanilla and mix another 3 minutes
  • Add confectioner sugar and cocoa powder and mix until well combined, about 2 minutes.
  • Add melted chocolate and mix another 3 minutes.


  • Chocolate and orange are two flavors that I wouldn’t normally think to pair together, but I was intrigued by the idea. These cupcakes are inspired by Ina Garten’s recipe.  The original recipe makes 6 mini cakes that are topped with chocolate ganache.
  • Don’t skimp on the orange syrup, it really amps up the orange flavor and makes for a very moist cake.
  • These would be nice topped with a chocolate dipped candied orange peel… perhaps next time I’ll make this addition.
  • I used a 1M tip to pipe the frosting.

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