Chocolate orange marble cake

Chocolate orange marble cake

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(37 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 55 mins


Cuts into 10 slices
For a deliciously nostalgic cake, combine a classic flavour combination of orange and chocolate in this retro two-tone bake

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal397
  • fat23.1g
  • saturates13.7g
  • carbs41.5g
  • sugars26.1g
  • fibre1.6g
  • protein5.6g
  • salt0.7g
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  • 225g very soft butter, plus extra for greasing



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 225g caster sugar
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 tbsp milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…

  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 large orange, zest and 1 tbsp orange juice



    One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…

  • a few drops orange food colouring (optional)
  • 50g orange chocolate (we used Green & Black's Maya Gold), broken into pieces



    Chocolate as we know it in pressed


  1. Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Grease and line the base of a loaf tin (8 x 21cm/ 2lb) with baking parchment. Beat the butter, sugar, eggs and flour together in a large bowl with an electric whisk or in a food processor until lump free.

  2. Split the mixture into two bowls, beat the milk, followed by the cocoa powder into one. Beat the orange juice, zest and orange food colouring, if using, into the other.

  3. Spoon alternate dollops of the mixture into the cake tin, then use a skewer to create a marble pattern by dragging it through the mixture in swirls. Make sure you don’t overmix or you won’t see the pattern. Smooth the surface if necessary.

  4. Bake the cake for 45 - 55 mins until golden and risen, and a skewer poked in comes out clean.

  5. Leave the cake in the tin to cool, then turn out. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over barely simmering water or gently in the microwave. Use a spoon to drizzle the chocolate over the cake.

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Comments, questions and tips

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7th Oct, 2019
Like others I had to put foil over the top at 45 mins and bake for an additional 20 mins. I then melted a milk terry's chocolate orange for the topping and when slightly set, laid dark terry's chocolate orange segments on top. Love this cake!
15th Mar, 2019
Easy to make and good result
JcDc's picture
30th May, 2018
I used Green & Blacks cocoa powder which worked well. Made this in a Bundt tin and the timings and bake worked perfectly; didn't need to increase timing as those using loaf tins have described here. Slight modifications were the addition of vanilla extract (1/2 tsp) and to increase the orange juice to the whole orange. I added this to the base mixture, before dividing and adding chocolate to one half. This made the cake more orangey overall. Also used a blood orange which was a little stronger and more tart. I would agree with the comment that it has more chocolate than plain once you've added chocolate powder to half of the mix so would modify that slightly next time. I made it late at night so didn't have a chocolate bar to glaze but will definitely do that next time as it sounds great!
VanillaSpice81's picture
28th Sep, 2017
I used Terry's chocolate orange which was nice. Cake was easy to make and tastes nice but I'd add more orange zest next time to be more orangey. Needed little longer in oven. Cake looks good so would make an impressive gift!
9th Mar, 2016
Very nice and moist. Cooked it a little longer as the comments suggested. I also added a little bit of orange essence. Very tasty!
8th Jun, 2015
Very nice. Sometimes marble cakes can be very dry, but this one isn't!!! :)
12th Apr, 2015
Made this for the first time yesterday and it was brilliant! The only thing I had to change was the cooking time as it took an extra 20ish minutes in my fan oven at 160 degrees. Like a few other people mentioned, the top started to get a bit too brown so foil over the top worked perfectly.
1st Mar, 2015
I made this cake this evening and it turned out lovely. Like other people my cake needed a little longer in the oven - another 20 mins or so at 160 fan. My orange sponge was also a little wetter than the chocolate sponge due to the added juice from the orange, so I added a little more flour. It's brilliant sponge and really tasty! Will definitely bake again.
27th Jan, 2015
Like so many people, I found that this cake needed a bit more time in the oven. Another 15-20 mins. I reduced the heat to 150 at 45 mins and covered it in foil when I noticed it getting too brown on top. This seems to have worked really well. I have made it 4 or 5 times now (admittedly without the chocolate topping) and it is delicious. I recommend serving it warm with some Greek yoghurt!
24th May, 2014
I loved this recipe. I did adapt it slightly as I wanted to make a cake. I divided the mixture into two cake tins and baked for 20 minutes at 160fan and it came out perfect. A tip would be when dividing the mixture into two before adding the cocoa, put more mixture into the bowl which is to have no cocoa. This is because when you add cocoa, milk and orange juice into the other bowl, you increase the amount of mixture in that bowl and so you don't really have half and half of each mixture, and the resultant cake is predominantly chocolate. When dolloping into the tins and spreading around, make sure the mixture goes all the way to the edge of the tin. I also made a chocolate orange buttercream for my cake for between the two layers. The ingredients where 100g softened butter, 300g icing sugar, 40g cocoa, and 40ml orange juice (add the orange juice bit at a time and check the taste is to your liking as you go along). Whisk the ingredients together and spread on when the cake is completely cool (I chill them in the fridge beforehand). I didn't add any chocolate to the top as the buttercream was enough and didn't want to hide the marble effect! The cake is scrumptious and lovely and moist! Makes an interesting change from my usual Victoria sponges!


Jamie-Louise Lucas's picture
Jamie-Louise Lucas
6th Mar, 2019
Can I use stork rather than butter in this recipe?
goodfoodteam's picture
11th Mar, 2019
Thanks for your question. Butter arguably will offer a better flavour but you can use Stork if you prefer. Stork can enhance the rise.
20th Sep, 2016
I baked this yesterday and it is delicious and looks fab. I didn't have a big enough tin so cooked two and reduced the cooking time to 25-30 minutes. I did find my chocolate sponge was a bit dry, does anyone have any tips on how to keep it moist?
20th Dec, 2014
I made this cake for colleagues and it went down a treat. I'd like to make it again as a gift but can I freeze it??? Help?
goodfoodteam's picture
23rd Dec, 2014
Hi Nainaicoolai thanks for your question. This cake should be fine to freeze once baked, but without the chocolate topping (you can add this once defrosted). However, we haven't tested freezing it in our kitchen so cannot guarantee perfect results. 
16th Mar, 2014
hello! l want to bake this for amfriends wedding so am curious to know how long it lasts with and without refrigeration?
goodfoodteam's picture
24th Mar, 2014
Hi there. The cake will keep in an airtight contianer for up to 3 days.
6th Nov, 2013
Hi, I tried making this cake last night, but split the batter across two 20cm sandwich tins. In the oven it seemed to be rising well but shortly before taking out the cakes went flat, so I got two very thin cakes! Does anyone know why they fell flat? Did the orange juice affect the chemistry of the cakes?
goodfoodteam's picture
29th Jan, 2014
Hi there, thanks for getting in touch and sorry that the cakes didn't work out this time. It does sound like your oven may not be at the correct temperature - try testing the temperature with an oven thermometer. Let us know how you get on. Thanks, BBC Good Food web team
15th Jan, 2014
I use orange, lemon, apple and other juices all the time so if your orange juice was fresh it shouldn't have had such an effect unless you put too much. The same used to happen to me and it was one of two things: either a problem mixing the ingredients, meaning they weren't mixed thoroughly, or the temperature in the oven wasn't constant throughout baking. The only other thing that used to affect my cakes was if the oven wasn't pre-heated well enough. I rarely get failures nowadays. If none of these apply in your situation, then I'm also very curious if anyone else has an idea or suggestion of what could have gone wrong.
Sarah C's picture
Sarah C
8th Sep, 2018
Lovely cake but it did need some adjustments. I used the zest of two oranges instead of one. It needed an extra 20 minutes in the oven. The extra baking time left it a bit dry. So to fix this I made a orange drizzle by mixing 25g of caster sugar with the juice of one orange. Poke the cake with a toothpick while it's still hot in its tin and spoon over the drizzle. Skipped the cocoalte drizzle, didn't need it.
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