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5 from 3 votes

Dark Chocolate Orange Brownie

These rich, dark orange infused brownies are just what you need to satisfy that sweet tooth!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: brownies, dark chocolate orange, dark chocolate orange brownies, whole grain desserts, whole wheat desserts
Servings: 16 brownies
Author: Amy Sandidge


  • 4 ounces semi sweet chocolate, coarse chop
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarse chop
  • ½ cup butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups brown sugar I prefer dark brown for a little more intense flavor
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup all purpose flour If you prefer, you can skip the whole wheat flour and use 1 cup of all-purpose flour instrad.
  • ½ cup whole wheat pastry flour I prefer the whole wheat pastry to a regular whole wheat here as it is lower in protein and give a softer crumb and texture. This is more desirable in baked goods like brownies.
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder I love the Hershey's special dark. The color is just so beautiful!
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest

Candied Orange Zest

  • ¼ cup orange zest
  • ½ cup water
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar divided ½ cup for the simple syrup, and ¼ cup for the dusting.


  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips or chunks
  • ¼ cup heavy cream


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
    Prep your 8x8 pan. I like to line with parchment, then spray. It is a little bit of an overkill, but I really like to know my baked goods will come out of the pan!
  • Now, add your butter, unsweetened chocolate, and half the semi-sweet chunks to a microwavable bowl. I like to reserve half the semi-sweet to add in the last so you have chunks in your brownies. If you don't care about that, add them all at once. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Mix carefully and continue to microwave in 15-second intervals until the chocolate is mostly melted. Make sure and mix for about 30 seconds after each interval. Once it is mostly melted, a few small chunks are great, set aside to cool.
  • While it is cooling add eggs and brown sugar to a medium-sized bowl. Beat on high, or use your arm muscles and whisk, for several minutes. You want them to be kind of light. Add vanilla, salt, and melted chocolate mixture. Mix again until incorporated.
  • Now, sift your cocoa powder and flour into your bowl. Fold this in. Be careful not to over-mix. This shouldn't take very long. Last is the orange zest, fold this in as well.
  • Pour into prepared pan and place in oven.
  • Mine took about 30 minutes to bake. This is a thicker brownie. You will see the top will be dried out, and slightly cracked and brownies will pull away from the edges of the pan just a bit.
  • Remove from pan and allow to cool for about 10 minutes, if you can stand it, to cool. Carefully lift brownies from the pan if you used parchment. Place on a cooling rack and allow to cool for at least another 10 minutes, then remove the parchment as well.
  • Top each brownie with a tablespoon or so of the ganache, then add some orange zest as well.

Candied Oranges

  • Add water and sugar to small sauce pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Add orange zest and boil over medium low for about 7-10 minutes.Remove zest with a fork or tongs and add to reserved sugar. Mix to coat. Set aside to cool.It's ready to use at this point.


  • Place chocolate in a small bowl. Heat butter and milk over medium heat on the cooktop in a small saucepan. You will want to bring this to just under a boil. Pour the milk mixture over the chocolate.
  • Allow this to sit for about 5 minutes. Once it has set and the chocolate is starting to melt, whisk. Get it nice and smooth. You might need to throw it in the microwave for 10-20 seconds. Get it nice and smooth. It is ready to go at this point. I let mine cool just a touch, so it was a little thicker when I spread it on.


  • I used whole wheat pastry flour. If you do not have it or prefer not to use it, just use 1 cup of all-purpose flour.
  • On the flip side, if you want to use all whole wheat flour, you can do that too. If you are using all whole wheat flour it is really important not to overbake. Wheat flour absorbs a lot of moisture and this will really affect the brownies as they bake.
  • The ganache and candied orange zest are optional but really good!
  • You can make the candied orange zest up to 3 days in advance- as long as you don't live in a humid climate.
  • With the ganache topping, these brownies should be stored in the fridge. I like to store them in an airtight container. They will hold well for up to 3 days, but just know the candied zest will soften.
  • You do not have to use parchment paper in your baking pan, but it really helps when removing the brownies from your pan.