Chocolate-Orange Brownies

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These chocolate orange brownies are a twist on everyone’s favorite chocolate-y dessert. These brownies are thick, gooey, made with fresh orange juice and zest, and packed with chocolate chips.

Stack of four chocolate orange brownies with orange slices in the background.

Easy Chocolate Brownies with Fresh Orange

I’m a huge fan of chocolate desserts. I am also a huge fan of citrus desserts…particularly orange. If you’re like me, you’re always looking for a way to enjoy two of your favorite things at once. I’ve made chocolate orange cake, orange hot chocolate, and candied orange white chocolate bars. With those in mind, I thought it was about time I made another chocolate and orange dessert.

Enter chocolate orange brownies! These brownies have the classic rich, fudgy interior and crackly, shiny top of a regular brownie but the addition of freshly squeezed orange juice and freshly grated orange zest adds a vibrant citrus flavor that takes these brownies to another level.

🧾 What You’ll Need

Ingredients

The good news: you probably already have most, if not all, of the ingredients you’ll need to make this dish! Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you make this recipe. (Links are affiliate links and I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.)

  • Dark Chocolate: I use an 8 ounce bar of dark chocolate that I chop into smaller pieces to melt. This makes for a richer, more chocolate-y flavor in the brownies.
  • Unsalted Butter: be sure that the butter you use is unsalted so you can control the amount of salt that goes into your brownies.
  • Orange Juice:use freshly squeezed orange juice for the best flavor!
  • Orange Zest: when you’re zesting the orange, be sure you are just grating off the bright orange exterior, not the white pith underneath. The pith adds a bitter flavor you probably don’t want in your brownies. 
  • Mini Chocolate Chips: I use semi-sweet chocolate chips but you could also use milk chocolate, white chocolate, or even chopped chocolate oranges for even more citrus flavor.
Pile of five chocolate orange brownies on a white plate.

Equipment

You won’t need much in the way of specialty equipment to make these brownies–just a few baking basics! (Links are affiliate links and I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.)

  • Microplane: the microplane is used to easily zest the orange. If you don’t have a microplane, try using a cheese grater instead.
  • Juicer:I highly recommend using a juicer to juice the orange. It’s much easier than trying to squeeze by hand.
  • 8×8 Baking Pan:the 8×8 baking pan is the perfect size for thick, gooey brownies. 

📋 Instructions

Here’s an overview of how to make these Chocolate Orange Brownies! Full instructions are included in the recipe card down below.

Photo collage showing how to zest a lemon and how to juice lemon.
  • Begin by zesting one orange.
  • Next, juice half of the orange and measure out 1 TBSP of the freshly squeezed juice. Set aside.
Photo collage showing adding butter to chocolate shavings and whisking the mixture.
  • Combine the chopped chocolate and cubed butter in a large microwave-safe bowl. Heat for 30 seconds, stir, then heat for another 30 seconds. Continue in these intervals until the chocolate and butter are melted and smooth. Set aside to cool. 
Photo collage adding two eggs to a bowl of brown sugar and then pouring the sugar and egg mixture to the chocolate butter mixture.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the brown sugar and eggs.
  • Pour about half of the egg/brown sugar mixture into the chocolate/butter mixture and whisk well. Add in the remaining egg mixture, and continue to whisk.
A photo of whisking chocolate orange brownie batter.
  • Keep whisking until the texture changes and thickens. It will transform from a thinner chocolate mixture to a noticeably thicker pudding-like mixture that’s shiny and smooth, like above. If it seems thin and grainy, it is not ready to go on to the next step.
  • Add the vanilla extract, orange zest, and orange juice, and mix them in.
Photo collage showing sifting and pouring chocolate orange brownie batter.
  • Sift the cocoa powder, flour, and salt over the chocolate bowl, then stir with a rubber spatula until well combined.
  • Add in the chocolate chips, stir again, then transfer the batter to an 8×8 baking dish lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper and lightly sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. 
  • Bake at 350ºF (176ºC) for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached.
Close-up of chocolate orange brownies with orange slice in the background.

💭 Variations

  • Make chocolate lemon brownies by swapping the orange out for lemon zest and lemon juice.
  • Add nuts: mix in a handful of chopped walnuts, pecans, or almonds to add texture and give your brownies a nuttier flavor.
  • Use different chocolate chips. Feel free to use milk chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, or even chopped chocolate oranges.
  • Frost them: slather on chocolate frosting or buttercream frosting. Be sure you do this after the brownies are completely cooled so the frosting doesn’t get runny.

💡 Tips and FAQs  

  • Use good quality chocolate and cocoa powder for the best flavor. (I linked to the ones that always get me great results).
  • Sift the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients to prevent clumps from forming in the batter.
  • Whisk, whisk, whisk! To get that shiny, crackly brownie crust and fudgy interior, the eggs and sugar need to be very well mixed into the chocolate. Don’t rush this step!
  • Cool the brownies before removing them from the pan or slicing them. This makes it easier to remove them from the pan and makes for a cleaner cut when you slice into them.

Make-Ahead and Storage Instructions

  • Leftover brownies will last in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days or in the fridge for up to 1 week. 
  • When you’re ready to enjoy, serve cold, at room temperature, or warm in the microwave.
Stack of four chocolate orange brownies with a bite taken out of the top one.

❤️ More Chocolate Desserts You’ll Love

If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating on the recipe below and leave a comment, take a photo and tag me on Instagram @elabau, or use #sugarhero on IG!

Stack of three chocolate orange brownies.

Chocolate Orange Brownies

5 from 1 vote
These chocolate orange brownies are a twist on everyone’s favorite chocolate-y dessert. These brownies are thick, gooey, made with fresh orange juice and zest, and packed with chocolate chips.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Servings 16 brownies
Calories 219 kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 8 oz dark chocolate, chopped
  • 4 oz unsalted butter, (1/2 cup), cubed
  • 5.6 oz brown sugar, (3/4 cup, packed)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 TBSP orange juice
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 2 eggs, cold
  • 0.75 oz unsweetened cocoa powder, (1/4 cup)
  • 1.12 oz all-purpose flour, (1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 oz mini chocolate chips, (1/2 cup)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350° F (176° C). Line an 8-inch-square baking dish with aluminum foil or parchment, and lightly spray the bottom and sides with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Combine the chopped chocolate and cubed butter in a large microwave-safe bowl. Heat the chocolate in the microwave for 30 seconds, then stir well. Heat for an additional 30 seconds, and stir again. Continue heating in short intervals until the chocolate and butter are melted and smooth. Let the mixture cool until it is barely warm to the touch.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the brown sugar and eggs.
  • Pour about half of the egg/brown sugar mixture into the chocolate bowl, and whisk well. Then add the remaining eggs and whisk again. At first, the mixture might seem grainy or thin. Keep whisking until the texture changes and thickens, with the appearance and texture of chocolate pudding. This might take a minute or more. It’s very important to whisk until you see this change, otherwise your brownies won’t have a crackly, shiny top and fudgy texture.
  • Add the vanilla extract, orange zest, and orange juice, and mix them in.
  • Sift the cocoa powder, flour, and salt over the top of the chocolate bowl, then stir everything together with a rubber spatula.
  • Finally, add the mini chocolate chips and stir until everything is combined.
  • Scrape the brownie batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top. Bake for about 35 minutes, until puffed and a toothpick inserted in the center emerges with a few moist crumbs. Do not overbake.
  • Let the brownies cool completely, then remove from the pan and cut into squares. For the cleanest cuts, chill the brownies a bit before slicing. Yields 16 brownies. The brownies can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for about 4 days, or in the refrigerator for a week.

MEASURING TIPS

Our recipes are developed using weight measurements, and we highly recommend using a kitchen scale for baking whenever possible. However, if you prefer to use cups, volume measurements are provided as well. PLEASE NOTE: the adage “8 oz = 1 cup” is NOT true when speaking about weight, so don’t be concerned if the measurements don’t fit this formula.

Click here to learn more about baking measurements and conversion.

Nutrition

Calories: 219 kcal | Carbohydrates: 22 g | Protein: 3 g | Fat: 14 g | Saturated Fat: 8 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4 g | Trans Fat: 1 g | Cholesterol: 37 mg | Sodium: 55 mg | Potassium: 149 mg | Fiber: 2 g | Sugar: 17 g | Vitamin A: 226 IU | Vitamin C: 1 mg | Calcium: 32 mg | Iron: 2 mg
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Photo collage of plated chocolate orange brownies.
Elizabeth LaBau

About Elizabeth LaBau

I’m Elizabeth, but you can call me SugarHero! I’m a former pastry chef turned blogger, cookbook author, and baking instructor, and I consider myself sugar’s #1 fan. Learn more from my About page, or connect with me on social media:

What You'll Need
Editor's Note

This post may contain Amazon affiliate links. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, which is an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.  For more information, see my Disclaimer and Disclosure Policy.

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