This orange chocolate fudge loaf cake is so rich yet bright! With moist chocolate cake infused with orange and rich chocolate ganache, this loaf cake recipe is perfect for chocolate lovers. The fresh orange added in the ganache and cake batter really takes this easy chocolate cake over the top! Definitely a keeper for a simple yet beautiful dessert for any holiday.
What is better than a chocolate loaf cake? It has all the components of a rich chocolate cake but in formed into a huge loaf! Such an easy recipe for the most moist, fudgy cake. The chocolate fudge cake calls for sour cream for the perfect texture and richness.
Chocolate and orange is one of my favorite flavor combinations! Intense, fatty, and lush chocolate flavor balanced by fresh, fruity, and bright citrus is so elegant and delicious! This particular recipe has fresh orange in both the chocolate ganache and cake.
This rich chocolate fudge loaf cake is perfect for the holidays! Christmas morning, Thanksgiving, even New Years, its screams celebration and decadence! It is always a big hit in my house.
This is the best cake for when you want something so delicious without all the hassle! Whether you have this decadent dessert to celebrate or just as an afternoon snack, it is sure to be your new favorite chocolate cake recipe.
orange chocolate fudge cake
Butter: You will need ½ cup of unsalted butter for this recipe. Make sure it is high quality and softened. My favorite butter is Kerrygold.
Sugar: Just ¾ cup of white granulated sugar gives this chocolate cake the perfect sweetness without being too sweet!
Eggs: You will need 2 eggs for this cake. Make sure they are at room temperature or you could risk ingredients separating in the batter. The egg yolk makes the cake extra rich!
Vanilla: 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract balances out the chocolate. Don't use the fake stuff, it will really affect the flavor of this cake.
Espresso powder: Only 1 tablespoon of espresso powder makes this orange chocolate fudge loaf cake so decadent.
Sour cream: Sour cream is what makes this chocolate cake so moist! It also adds to the cake's richness.
Milk: ¼ cup of whole milk is needed in the cake batter.
Orange juice: We are not talking about juice from a jug here people! Fresh orange juice only! Just 1 tablespoon of fresh squeezed orange juice adds so much flavor to this cake!
Flour: 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour is added in the cake batter.
Cocoa powder: It is important you use unsweetened cocoa powder for this chocolate cake. It adds an intense, deep chocolate flavor without adding sweetness.
Salt: Pinch of sea salt, ½ teaspoon to be exact.
Baking powder: Baking powder is the leavening agent of this cake, making it rise. You will need ½ teaspoon.
orange chocolate ganache
Heavy cream: ½ cup of heavy cream is the base of this decadent chocolate ganache. To prevent the chocolate ganache from separating, make sure the cream is warm and not hot, about 90F.
Chocolate: Chocolate (I said that in the Spongebob Squarepants maniac voice if anyone knows what I'm talking about)!! The star of this show is chocolate, of course. You will need 4 ounces of chopped chocolate. I use semisweet because that is my favorite, but you can also use dark chocolate or milk chocolate.
Orange zest: Just for that extra orange oomph, we add ½ teaspoon of fresh orange zest in the ganache. Not only does it give it such a flavor blast, but it also looks so gorgeous with flakes of bright orange on top of the cake.
variations & substitutions
You can also make this chocolate loaf cake as a bundt cake. Simply pour the batter into a small bundt cake pan instead and bake as instructed, using the toothpick test to check the doneness of the cake. You can smear or drizzle the chocolate ganache on top to get into all those beautiful bundt grooves.
If you don't have espresso powder, you can use instant coffee powder. Espresso powder is most concentrated so substituting for coffee powder won't give the same end results, but it will still impart a rich depth of flavor in the cake. It can be substituted 1:1.
Sour cream can be substituted for greek yogurt. Ensure the greek yogurt isn't full fat. Both will keep the cake moist and fluffy. It can be substituted 1:1.
tips & tricks
Make a "parchment paper sling" so the loaf cake can be easily removed. A parchment paper sling is a long strip of parchment paper lining the bottom and sides of the loaf pan that overhang on the sides to allow the cake to easily lift out. Not only does this save on time and mess, but it produces the best, most perfect chocolate loaf cake.
Let the ganache set before slicing. If you slice the cake too soon after adding the ganache, you will have a melty chocolately mess. Allow the ganache to set for 10 minutes in the fridge of 3 hours on the counter before cutting.
Don't over cream the butter and sugar. If you cream together the sugar and butter for too long, you will be left with a very dense cake. Perfectly creamed butter & sugar should take about 1-2 minutes on medium-high speed and should be light and fluffy. You can tell it is over creamed when it begins to separate and clump.
step by step instructions
1. Prepare oven & loaf pan. Start by preheating the oven to 325F and lining your 9x5 loaf pan. Line your loaf pan using parchment paper having paper overhang the long sides of the pan. This way you can simply lift the cake out when done.
2. Cream the butter and sugar. In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. This should take about 1-2 minutes on medium speed. Be careful not to over cream the butter during this step.
3. Add in the eggs, vanilla, and espresso powder. In the bowl with the creamed butter, beat in the eggs one a time. Then add the vanilla extract and espresso powder and completely combine.
4. Combine the wet ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream, milk, and fresh orange juice.
5. Sift the dry ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda.
6. Prepare the batter. Combine the butter mixture with the wet ingredient mixture. Then in the large bowl with the wet ingredients mixture, working in batches, slowly add in the dry ingredients. With each addition of dry ingredients, make sure to blend only until mixed and not to over beat.
7. Bake! Pour the chocolate cake batter into the prepared loaf pan and place in the preheated oven to bake for about 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the cake.
8. Ganache time. While the loaf cake bakes, make the chocolate ganache. In a heatproof bowl, add your chopped chocolate and orange zest. Then carefully pour your warm cream over the chocolate in the bowl. Let it sit for a minute to slowly melt the chocolate and then stir until completely melted and glossy. The cream should just be warm and not hot to prevent separating in the ganache.
9. Final touches! Let the cake cool for 10-30 minutes on a wire rack before continuing to this next step. Once the cake is cooled, pour the chocolate ganache on top. Then carefully pull the cake out of the loaf pan using the parchment paper sling. Top with extra orange zest and enjoy!
Serve this orange chocolate fudge loaf cake cut into individual slices. It is great alone or served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!
If you love this dessert, you should also try almond oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, bittersweet chocolate creme brulee, and upside down orange cake.
storage & reheating
I like to store this chocolate bread on a cutting board or plate covered in aluminum foil or plastic wrap on the counter. You can also place it in an airtight container if you have one large enough. Make sure it is completely cooled before covering.
I don't recommend freezing this cake. The chocolate ganache will become grainy if frozen.
How long does it take for ganache to set on a cake?
- It should take about 5-10 minutes for the chocolate ganache to set in the fridge, and 3-4 hours for it to set at room temperature.
Is it better to bake the cake in a metal or glass pan?
- Metal. Metal more evenly distributes heat than glass making the cake perfectly moist and cooked through.
Why is my chocolate ganache separating?
- Chocolate ganache separates when the cream is heated too hot. This causes the fat to separate in the chocolate. Your cream should be about 90 degrees to avoid the ganache from separating. It should be warm to the touch but not scorching hot.
how to video
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