This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.
Orange Chocolate Chip Buckle has a moist orange-infused chocolate chip cake underneath a sweet, crumbly sugar topping.
Whether you’re looking for a sweet and simple addition to your brunch menu, or just want to bake up a delicious dessert – our delicious Orange Chocolate Chip Buckle is just the thing!
I’ve always loved the flavor pairing of orange and chocolate. There’s just something about a little touch of orange added to chocolate that really enhances the flavor of the chocolate!
So, after seeing an Orange and Chocolate Chip Buckle offered as a special on the brunch menu of a local breakfast spot – I knew we had to try making it at home.
What is a Buckle?
Buckles are a single-layer cake with a streusel-like topping, which bakes up tall, then “buckles” as it cools and sinks. It’s traditionally made with berries in the batter – in fact, we have a blueberry and mixed berry recipes on our site as well.
For this orange chocolate chip version, we swapped in mini chocolate chips for the berries, and we added orange zest to both the batter and the topping.
Why You’ll Love Orange Chocolate Chip Buckle
- The chocolate and orange flavor combination throughout this cake is so good!
- It’s super easy to prepare
- It bakes up super moist and tender.
Key Ingredients and Substitutions
- Mini chocolate chips – Use the smaller, mini semi-sweet chocolate chips so the chocolate stays dispersed throughout your buckle. While you could swap in the regular-size chocolate chips, they will sink somewhat to the bottom of your cake as they bake.
- Orange – We used a combination of orange juice, orange extract and orange zest in the batter. Orange zest is also added to the topping.
- Vegetable shortening – The buckle cake is made with vegetable shortening. Shortening in baked goods like this recipe will bake up higher and lighter with a more tender texture than if you use butter. You can swap in butter, but the cake will be more dense.
- Cinnamon – The buckle topping has a sprinkle of cinnamon as well – another flavor that nicely complements the chocolate and orange.
Special supplies needed
- 9X9 baking dish
- Pastry cutter or two knives
- Stand or hand mixer
How do I make it?
- Mix cake batter – Combine vegetable shortening, granulated sugar, orange and vanilla extract, an egg, orange juice and whole milk until a smooth batter forms. Then fold in all-purpose flour, baking powder, orange zest and salt – mixing just until combined. Finally, fold in the chocolate chips. Spread batter in a greased and floured pan.
- Make buckle topping – Combine sugar, flour, cinnamon, more orange zest, and cold butter – mixing with a fork or pastry cutter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle this over the top of the batter in the baking pan.
- Bake at 375 degrees F until the buckle is firm.
- Serve warm out of the oven or at room temperature. It’s delicious with a dollop of whipped cream on the side and (optional) additional orange zest for garnish.
Chef’s Tip –
We recommend using shortening to grease the baking pan rather than butter. The butter may scorch the bottom as it bakes.
Frequently asked Questions
- Can I use butter in the cake batter instead of shortening? Technically yes, although note that cakes made with shortening rise higher and have a lighter texture. Using butter instead will give you a more dense cake texture because the water in the butter will cook off, leaving behind the milk solids/butter fat.
- Can I leave the orange out? Yes you can. Feel free to increase the vanilla extract in the batter to one teaspoon.
- Can I make this ahead of time? This is one of those recipes that is best freshly baked – it tends to get stale within a day or so, even properly stored. To save time, we sometimes measure out and mix the wet batter ingredients in one bowl, the dry batter ingredients in a second bowl, and the topping ingredients in a third bowl – the night before baking. (Refrigerate the wet ingredients and topping.) Then, when you’re ready to bake, remove the ingredients from the refrigerator while the oven heats up. Mix the wet and dry batter ingredients together. Then add the topping and bake.
- How do I store leftovers? Store any leftover Orange Chocolate Chip Buckle tightly wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature.
- Can I freeze this? Yes, but as mentioned above, freshly-baked will be best.
You may like these other coffee cake recipes:
Shortening and flour to prepare the baking dish, or baker’s spray such as this.
¾ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup vegetable shortening
1 large egg
½ cup whole milk
¼ cup orange juice
½ teaspoon orange extract
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 10-ounce package mini chocolate chips
½ cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon orange zest
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ cup cold butter cut into small pieces
Whipped cream and orange zest can be served as optional garnishes
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Grease and flour a 9×9-inch baking dish
In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the sugar and shortening for two minutes.
Add the egg and then cream for one minute.
Add the milk, orange juice, and both extracts and cream to combine.
In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt and zest.
Add the dry to the wet and turn on mixer just for a few seconds to mix. Scrape the bowl and again, mix just for a few seconds to mix.
Remove the bowl and fold in the chocolate chips.
Scrape the cake batter into the prepared baking dish and smooth the top.
In a medium bowl, place sugar, flour, zest and cinnamon and mix.
Add the cold butter pieces and with a pastry cutter or two knives, mix the butter in the mixture to about peas sized pieces.
Crumble this mixture over the top of the cake batter and bake for 40-45 minutes. The cake should feel firm when pressed. Inserting a toothpick into the center to test may not be the most accurate since the melted chocolate will mask doneness. Ours was baked in 43 minutes,
Serve warm or room temperature. Cut 3X3 rows for a total of nine pieces.
Last Step! Please leave a review and rating letting us know how you liked this recipe! This helps our business thrive & continue providing free recipes.