Chocolate Orange Marble Cake Recipe

Step by step instructions for making a beautiful Chocolate Orange Marble Cake that tastes amazing.

Step by step instructions for making a beautiful Chocolate Orange Marble Cake that tastes amazing.

Hang on a minute – I said Chocolate Orange Marble Cake…and some of the glaze is pink? The reason is blood oranges. Their red pigment is anthocyanin, an antioxidant.

Chocolate Orange Marble Cake
Although the red pigment has not affected the colour of the cake, it definitely affected the icing.

Blood oranges

I adore the incredible colour of blood oranges as well as their fabulous full on orange flavour and fragrance. This makes my Chocolate Orange Marble Cake smell extra delicious while it is baking, as well as giving a more intense orange flavour. Blood oranges have a limited season, and it depends on where you are when they are available. Here in the UK, we get them from Europe as early as November and the season continues on until about the end of March. Of course, you can use ordinary oranges if blood oranges are not available. The recipe will still taste delicious!

Instructions for Chocolate Orange Marble Cake

Making a marble cake can be tricky, but it’s easy if you follow my tips. (There’s a printable recipe further down the post.)

Chocolate Orange Marble Cake

Alternate spoonfuls of the batter in the pan. Start with three spoonfuls in the bottom, two of the plain batter with the chocolate batter in the middle. Then put a spoonful of plain batter on top of each of the spoonfuls of chocolate and vice versa. Repeat until all the batter is gone.

Chocolate Orange Marble Cake

Holding a plain table knife with the back of the knife facing you and the sharper edge pointing away from you (the blade is sideways), run it through the batter, working from left to right in a fairly small up and down ‘wave’ fashion. You can also use a skewer to do this. Only move through the cake once; if you swirl the batter too much the pattern will disappear. Carefully smooth the top of the cake, without disturbing the marbling.

To make the multi-colour glaze effect be sure to cool the cake completely on a rack. Then place the rack on top of a piece of greaseproof or waxed paper to protect your table or counter top.

Chocolate Orange Marble Cake

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler and then drizzle over the cake.

Chocolate Orange Marble Cake

Allow the glaze to harden completely. Mix confectioner’s sugar with orange juice to make a drizzle-able glaze. Drizzle the 0range – or in this case pink – glaze over the cake. Again, allow the glaze to harden before serving.

Chocolate Orange Marble Cake

Ta dah!

finished Chocolate Orange Marble Cake

This cake is wonderful served with fruit or good vanilla ice cream.

Chocolate Orange Marble Cake

Chocolate Orange Marble Cake
Serves: 12 slices
  • 225 grams unsalted butter, softened
  • 225 grams sugar
  • 225 grams all purpose (plain) flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • the zest of a large orange
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice plus extra for the glaze
  • ¾ cup icing sugar (confectioner's sugar)
  • 50 grams dark chocolate chips or semi sweet chocolate
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C or 170°C for a fan oven).
  2. Grease and flour or line a 9 x 5 x 2½ inch (2 lb) loaf pan.
  3. Cream the butter in an electric mixer.
  4. Add the sugar and cream until light and fluffy.
  5. Beat in the eggs.
  6. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together and stir into the batter.
  7. Divide the batter in half, placing each half in a separate bowl.
  8. Beat the milk into the first bowl of batter. Then sift in the cocoa powder and beat that in too.
  9. To the second bowl, add the orange juice and zest. Beat thoroughly.
  10. Alternate spoonfuls of the mixture in the loaf pan.
  11. Drag a knife or skewer through the mixture in swirls to create a marble effect. Carefully smooth the top of the batter, without disturbing the marbling.
  12. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  13. Cool the cake in the tin for ten minutes and then turn out and cool on a rack until completely cool.
  14. Melt the dark chocolate in a double boiler and drizzle over the cake. Allow the chocolate glaze to set.
  15. Put the icing sugar in a bowl and gradually add orange juice until a thick but drizzle-able consistency is reached. (You will need about 1 to 2 tablespoons of juice.)
  16. Drizzle the orange glaze over the cake. Allow the glaze to set.
  17. Cut the cake in slices to serve.
Adapted from BBC Good Food

More Loaf Cake Recipes

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Banana Gingerbread

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Article by April Harris

April has written 1291 great articles for us.
April is a writer, recipe developer, frequent traveller and blogger sharing travel, food, and style. Based in the south of England, April is a British Canadian who is passionate about family, hearth and home, healthy living (with treats!) and the transformative power of travel.
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  1. Your chocolate orange marble cake is gorgeous! I bet it tastes amazing! I have never cooked with blood oranges, but I really want to experiment with them now.

  2. That is a gorgeous marble cake. I love that you used blood oranges. Thanks for sharing on Foodie Friday.

  3. April I love how you put this together. Blood orange and chocolate… I’m trying to image the combination. I may have to make the cake to find out.

  4. Pinned! Thanks for linking up to Saturday Dishes! Have a great week!

  5. This looks fantastic! I love marble cake and those sweet blood oranges look awesome but I haven’t seen any up here!

    Wish I was travelling to Canada 🙁 Hope you have a wonderful time!

  6. Hi April,
    Chocolate and Orange are a favorite combination and your cake sure looks good. Wish I had a nice slice to go with my morning coffee. Hope you are having a great weekend and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  7. I’ve never tried making a marble cake. I love cooking, but baking scares me especially when it’s supposed to be pretty! lol I think I could make this though yea! 🙂 Thanks for the tips!

  8. What a beautiful marble cake! I love the addition of the orange with the chocolate. So good!

  9. This looks wonderful, April! We do not have Blood Oranges in SA, but I am pinning this and will use regular oranges. {Orange & Chocolate are always great together!} Thanks for sharing your recipe at ALL MY BLOGGY FRIENDS !

  10. Thanks for sharing on Saturday Dishes. I am featuring you this week and hope you’ll return and link up some of your favorite Easter dishes.

  11. It’s so beautiful! I wouldn’t want to eat it after making it! 🙂

  12. That looks so delicious, not to mention beautiful! Thank you for sharing with Make Bake Create!

  13. April, this looks amazing! I greatly appreciate the tutorial on making a marble cake ~ I am not a great baker and would have had no idea. You make it look and sound so simple 🙂 Thank you for sharing this with Delicious Dish Tuesday.

  14. I love blood oranges, and what a great idea to use them in a marble cake. Lovely cake, and great to visit you!

  15. Wow, this looks awesome! Thanks for sharing over at my recipe link party Good Tastes Tuesday!

  16. Beautiful cake! I’ve never baked with blood oranges before….definitely trying this! Thanks so much for sharing on #cakefriday bloghop!!!

  17. Wow! That looks amazing! I’m going to ask my dh to see if our local produce stand carries blood oranges. I’m not sure when they’re in season for us. I love how the blood oranges change the color of the icing, too.

    • Thank you, Barb 🙂 Blood oranges are grown in the US too and they are apparently in season from December to April but I don’t know how easy they are to find. If you can’t get hold of them ordinary oranges work well too, although they don’t have the same effect on the icing. They taste lovely though!

  18. My mum used to make a cake like this when I was a child. Brings back lovely memories. I bet this is so yummy with a cup of tea

  19. This cake is gorgeous and the flavors sound incredible! I love the pink blood orange glaze. I’ve always wanted to try making a marble/swirl cake, but I’m always afraid I’ll botch it and it will just turn out one ugly beige color, haha! Your tips make it look so easy. Now I’ll definitely have to try it!

    • Thank you so much, Willow. Honestly, it really is easy if you follow the instructions. I always worry about stuff like that too (especially cake decorating, not my strong point!) but with these instructions you can’t fail. Please let me know how you get on 🙂

  20. I think I’m in love! This has to be my favorite!

  21. I was so confused by how you got a pink glaze out of oranges. Somehow I skipped right past the “blood orange” part. I love working with blood oranges and they are a great way to naturally color icing! This cake looks beautiful.

  22. I love the orange and chocolate combo. Such a delicious bread!

  23. Soooooo appreciate the very clear instructions and photos on marbling! How wonderful that blood oranges produce a natural pink…Looks like another April Harris must make cake!

  24. Beautiful cake April, love the marbling!

  25. What a gorgeous cake April! And the combination of chocolate and orange is a match made in heaven. My “must-make” list of your wonderful recipes is growing rapidly! Have a wonderful week my friend… xo

  26. Yum! I’ve never thought of using blood oranges for a baking recipe. I like them more than navel oranges, so I’ll definitely try this soon. 🙂

  27. This looks SO scrumptious April!

    Congrats April – you are our Friend Of The Week at Friendship Friday at Create With Joy, Week 260!

    When I think about blogging friends who I’ve known since the very beginning, you are one of the first people who comes to mind. Over the years, you’ve been a constant source of inspiration and support to me. Thanks for being so steadfast in all that you do.

    I think you are amazing and I know my readers will too! 🙂

    • Thank you so much for your lovely compliments, Ramona, and also for the feature at Friendship Friday. You wrote such a beautiful piece about me, it really is kind of you. I always enjoy Friendship Friday, and I love how it promotes a sense of community. I am honoured to be featured, thank you again!

  28. This cake looks wonderful! I’ve just pinned it 🙂

  29. Hello April, our cake looks and sounds so good. 🙂
    Hope you have a wonderful weekend.
    Julie xo

  30. This sounds fabulous! 🙂

    I would love for you to share this with my Facebook Group for recipes, crafts, tips, and tricks:

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

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