Chewy, Fudgy Dark Chocolate Brownies with Orange Juice & Zest
These delectable chocolate orange brownies are perfectly fudgy and full of elegant flavor! Rich chocolaty goodness, an irresistible chewiness, and with a sweet, subtle hint of orange. Just a bit of orange juice and zest is all you need to add that orange flavor. Plus, some homemade prune puree for natural sweetness and added fudginess. I’ll show you how to make dark chocolate brownies with a fun, citrus twist!
I designed these chocolate orange brownies for my partner, Christian, who’s a huge fan of chocolate and orange. Personally, I’ve never gotten all that excited about the flavor combination, but in these dark chocolate brownies it just WORKED for me. The hint of citrus adds such a refreshing, tangy complement to the richness of the dark chocolate in these treats!
Most importantly, Christian loves a truly FUDGY brownie. So, I went all out to make this recipe as fudgy as possible for him. Turns out, there are 2 secrets to fudgy brownies:
(1) Add some sticky sweetness—in this case, I used prune puree.
(2) Optimize your bake time. So, if you love super fudgy brownies too, only bake this batch for 15 minutes! Or, for more cakey brownies, bake for around 19 minutes.
Finally, once your dark chocolate brownies have baked and cooled completely, finish them off with toppings. I recommend spreading on a scrumptious layer of melted chocolate, sprinkling additional orange zest, and some chocolate sprinkles for fun! Seriously, biting into these is like indulging in a gourmet treat (if I do say so myself). Give the recipe a try this holiday season and share the fudgy goodness with someone that you love!
Ingredient Substitution Notes:
Flour: I made these chocolate orange brownies with all-purpose flour, but many alternatives can work. If preferred, you can use whole wheat, oat flour, or even a 1-to-1 gluten free flour.
Orange Zest & Juice: Both are essential to infuse that subtle citrus flavor into these treats!
Butter: In both the dark chocolate brownies and the chocolate layer, REAL butter is your best option. If desired, you can try substituting with coconut oil, but it will change the texture of your brownies and the chocolate topping.
Eggs: Similarly, real eggs are best in this recipe, and I haven’t personally tried any egg substitutes in it.
Prune Puree: It only takes a few minutes to make, but this adds some serious fudginess! And, its natural sweetness cuts down on the added sugars you need. I don’t recommend omitting this, but you’re welcome to experiment by replacing it with additional sugar.
Sugar: Either brown sugar or coconut sugar will both work great in this recipe! Personally, I haven’t tried using regular granulated sugar but it will likely work—the flavor/texture may just be different.
Dark Chocolate: Typically, I’m not that interested in dark chocolate, but its rich flavor is key to pair with the orange in this recipe! So, I definitely recommend making your chocolate layer with dark chocolate chips.
Rich, chewy, fudgy dark chocolate brownies with orange juice & zest for a sweet, citrus twist.
Prep Time:20 minutes
Cook Time:15-19 minutes
Total Time:35-40 minutes
¾ cup cocoa powder ¾ cup flour (all-purpose, whole wheat, oat flour, or gluten-free all purpose) ¼ tsp baking powder ¼ tsp salt zest of 1 orange (~1-1½ Tbsp) 2 Tbsp butter, melted 2 eggs 1 tsp vanilla ¼ cup prune puree (see below) ¼ cup orange juice ½ cup brown sugar or coconut sugar
1 package Sunsweet® Amaz!n™ Prunes ½ cup water
¼ cup (115g) unsalted butter heaping ½ cup (~100g) dark chocolate chips
orange zest chocolate sprinkles
To make brownies:
To make prune puree, blend prunes and water together in a food processor for 3-5 minutes, until extremely smooth.
Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C). Line 8×8” pan with foil or parchment and spray with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and orange zest.
In a separate bowl, combine melted butter, eggs, vanilla, prune puree, orange juice, and brown sugar and whisk well to integrate.
Add dry mixture into wet mixture and mix until just incorporated.
Pour batter into a prepared baking pan and spread into an even layer.
Bake 15-19 minutes (15 for fudgy, 19 for cakey).
Allow to cool completely in the pan, sitting for 2-3 hours at room temperature
Once cooled, add chocolate layer (see below) and any desired toppings.
Cool in the fridge for an hour to set before cutting. Use a sharp knife to cut into squares.