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Packed with simple ingredients, these rich and fudgy chocolate orange brownies strikes the perfect balance of sweetness and a deep, chocolatey flavor, enhanced by the lively touch of vibrant orange zest. And they have unexpected additions that bring a nutritional boost to the mix.

Sliced orange chocolate brownies shot from above.
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Orange Chocolate Brownies

Get ready for the ultimate brownie delight where chocolate meets orange in a heavenly combo! The sweet chocolate chips blend seamlessly with the zesty citrus kick from oranges, creating a miracle dessert for chocolate orange lovers.

In addition to the chocolate chips, these brownies are sweetened with natural sugars from dates and applesauce. This sweet combination provides just the right amount of sweetness while also delivering nutritional goodness.

With minimal hands-on effort, they’re the perfect treat for holiday gatherings, school events, or tackling that sudden chocolate craving any time of the day. Plus, cleanup is a breeze.

And if you’re looking for more fudgy goodness, don’t miss out on giving my banana brownies a try!

Related: Healthy Chocolate Snacks for Babies and Toddlers

Ingredients

All the ingredients laid out on a white background.

I am highlighting just the ones that need further explanation. The complete list is in the recipe card below.

  • Flour – I used all-purpose flour in these homemade brownies. See other options for flour below. 
  • Cocoa powder – This chocolatey goodness perfectly balances the sweet ingredients. Make sure you use unsweetened cocoa powder.
  • Dates – Soften your Medjool dates in warm water before starting these brownies. This will make blending them easier.
  • Applesauce – Keeps the brownies moist. Use store-bought or homemade unsweetened applesauce for this recipe.
  • Peanut butter – A delicious way to add some healthy fats to this dessert.
  • Eggs – Use room-temperature large eggs for best results.
  • Orange zest -The fresh citrus flavor comes from orange zest. See more below in the FAQs on how to zest an orange.
  • Chocolate chips – I used semisweet chocolate chips and loved how they complemented the other ingredients! You could also use other flavors of chocolate like milk chocolate or dark chocolate.

Step-by-Step Instructions

All the ingredients in a food processor.

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350°F. Add all the ingredients minus the chocolate chips to a food processor and blend until smooth

Chocolate chips added to the batter.

Step 2: Stir in chocolate chips to the brownie batter.

Brownie batter in pan before baking.

Step 3: Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake in the preheated oven for 15-22 minutes.

brownies baked in a pan.

Step 4: Remove the brownies from the oven. Allow to cool to room temperature on a wire rack before slicing with a knife.

Tips for Success

Three brownies stacked.
  • For softer, more fudgy brownies, bake for 15-18 minutes. For firmer, cakey brownies bake for up to 22 minutes.
  • Line pan with parchment paper for easy removal and clean up.

Substitutions and Variations

  • Gluten-free – Use 1:1 gluten-free flour blend to make this delicious orange brownies recipe gluten-free. Know that changing the flour may slightly change the texture of these brownies, but they will still taste delicious. You can also use oat flour.
  • Eggs – If you are avoiding baking with eggs, try chia eggs instead.
  • Peanut butter – Trade in almond butter, cashew butter, or try tahini for a nut-free alternative.
  • Flour – White whole wheat flour, or whole wheat pastry flour would also work in place of all-purpose flour.
  • Add nuts – Chopped walnuts or pecans would be delicious in these!

Equipment

This food processor is the perfect size, powerful, and super versatile. I mainly use it to make my no-cook energy bites, like these bliss balls, apricot balls, and carrot balls, as well as chunky sauces, like pestos.

You can also make these orange brownies in a high-speed blender, although may be harder to get all the batter out. I mainly use this powerful blender to make green smoothies, smooth sauces like any of these no tomato pasta sauces, and much more!

Storage

Transfer sliced brownies into an airtight container and keep at room temperature for 2-3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Enjoy cold (which my kids do!) or warm for 10 seconds or so until warmed through.

You can also freeze for up to 3 months. I recommend using the flash freeze method that I use for freezing muffins.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you zest an orange?

You will want to use a zester to get orange zest for this recipe. Zest the orange peel of fresh oranges until you reach the white pulp, and then move to another orange area of the peel until you get the desired amount of fresh orange zest.

How will I know when my brownies are done?

Check your brownies by inserting a toothpick into the center of your brownies. When it comes out mostly clean (moist crumbs but not wet batter) your brownies are fully cooked! It’s important not to overbake brownies, as this can result in a dry texture.

More Healthy Chocolate Recipes

Did you make this recipe? Leave a rating below and let me know how you liked the recipe! Your feedback means so much to me!

5 from 2 votes

Chocolate Orange Brownies

Packed with simple ingredients, these rich and fudgy chocolate orange brownies even hide some secret nutrients, making you feel good about sharing them with your family.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 16 squares
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Ingredients 

  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 8-10 medjool dates, softened in warm water
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce (65g)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (125g)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2-3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and line an 8 inch square pan with parchment paper for easy removal and clean up.
  • Add all the ingredients minus the chocolate chips to a food processor and blend until smooth. Stir in chocolate chips.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 18-22 minutes.
  • Remove the brownies from the oven. Allow to cool to room temperature on a wire rack before slicing with a knife.

Notes

  • For softer, more fudgy brownies, bake for 15-18 minutes. For firmer, cakey brownies bake for up to 22 minutes.
  • Transfer sliced brownies into an airtight container and keep at room temperature for 2-3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Enjoy cold (which my kids do!) or warm for 10 seconds or so until warmed through.

Nutrition

Calories: 136kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 7g | Sodium: 70mg | Potassium: 203mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 55IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 1mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About Min

Thank you so much for stopping by! I am Min, a Registered Dietitian, a Christ follower, a wife, and a mom to our two miracle babies! Currently, I’m having a ton of fun feeding their tummies and sharing our baby led weaning journey! Follow me on Instagram if interested in seeing daily menu as well as tips and tricks.

5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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21 Comments

  1. Gahhh! I want to be besties with this brownie!!! Orange + Chocolate = the bestest friends ever. These gluten-free brownies look so so perfectly fudgy and crackly – I’m so glad your arm didn’t fall off in the making:)

  2. Oh, these look amazing!! I don’t need any convincing to include chocolate in my diet but these would sway even the most lukewarm chocolate lover 🙂

  3. Gluten-free Orange Zesty Brownies,where have you been all my life?!!! These look amazing Min, and the perfect fudgey consistency. And, I know you know I heart orange and chocolate too 🙂 Can’t wait to make!!!

  4. I love the combination of chocolate, orange and cinnamon – what beautiful brownies!