Chocolate Orange Loaf Cake

Chocolate Orange Loaf Cake is a super tasty treat. It’s moist, sweet and filled with gorgeous orange flavour. It’s also really easy, so perfect for baking with kids this Christmas. 

Chocolate orange is one of those classic flavour combinations that always tastes amazing. 

It’s also, largely thanks to the popularity of Terry’s Chocolate Orange as a stocking filler, something that we all associate with Christmas, despite not being remotely festive. See also mint chocolate and After Eight Loaf Cake.

This Easy Chocolate Orange Cake is so simple. I use my basic loaf cake recipe and add some orange juice and chocolate orange. 

It’s absolutely one of my favourites, and because it’s so simple, this Chocolate and Orange Loaf Cake recipe is perfect for baking with the kids which is always a favourite rainy-day activity in our house. 

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Choc orange cake on wire rack.

Ingredients for Chocolate Orange Loaf Cake 

As I say, I stick to my basic 170g sugar, butter and flour recipe. 170g is around the weight of 3 medium eggs. If your eggs are significantly bigger or smaller than standard, weigh them and adjust the other ingredients to match. 

ingredients for cake - orange, butter, chocolate orange, flour, cocoa, eggs and sugar.

For my Terry’s Chocolate Orange Loaf Cake, I use:

  • Terry’s Chocolate Orange. I put half in the cake mixture and keep half to decorate. Alternatively, you can just use milk or dark chocolate. You’ll still get the orange flavour. You can also, of course, use unbranded orange chocolate, most of the supermarkets do their own version of the segments in pouches or blocks. 
  • Margarine. I use margarine for most of my cakes. It’s cheaper, and we tend to have a big tub in the fridge. You can swap for butter if you prefer, just make sure it’s at room temp. 
  • Caster Sugar.
  • Eggs. Medium will do. 
  • Large Orange. I use the juice and zest for more flavour. 
  • Self-Raising Flour.
  • Cocoa Powder. 
3/4 shot of cake with buttercream on wire rack.

Can you Use Orange Extract in Chocolate Orange Cake?

Yes, you can use orange extract in this Choc Orange Loaf Cake.

I personally prefer to use the juice and zest of one large orange. 

If you do use extract, you’ll only need a teaspoon, as it’s a more concentrated flavour. This will also mean that your Choc Orange Cake batter is thinner, so reduce the flour by 30g. It may also bake faster, so be sure to check after 40 minutes. 

Ingredients for Chocolate Orange Buttercream

Chocolate Orange Icing is the perfect topping for a chocolate orange loaf cake. However, you can just make chocolate buttercream, or even orange buttercream if you prefer. 

ingredients for chocolate orange buttercream - chocolate, cocoa, orange, icing sugar, butter.

Again, this is just my basic buttercream recipe, with added bits to make Chocolate Orange Frosting. I use:

  • Butter. For the cake, I use margarine. For the buttercream, I use butter, at room temperature. If you use margarine, which is oil-based, you’ll need a lot more icing sugar, and the flavour won’t be the same. 
  • Icing Sugar.
  • Milk Chocolate. I basically use milk chocolate because then you can use half the chocolate orange in the cake and half on the top. If you want to use it in the buttercream too, you need another one.
  • Cocoa.
  • Orange Juice or Extract.
slice of cake served on white plate with fork. Segments of chocolate orange to the sides.

Can You Use Orange Extract in Chocolate Orange Buttercream?

Yes. Actually, I recommend it. 

Fresh orange juice is great, perfect for the cake. But when it comes to buttercream the consistency is super important and really easy to get wrong. 

A little too much liquid, and it won’t pipe well. Not enough and it’s too stiff. Chocolate Orange Buttercream with Orange Juice can be hard to get right. 

If you like quite a mild orange flavour, then the juice of half an orange in your chocolate orange buttercream might be perfect. But I’d still add it a little at a time, stirring it in before adding more, to maintain a good consistency. 

If you prefer a stronger orange flavour, a teaspoon of orange extract is a better choice. It’s a stronger flavour, but you are adding less liquid, so you don’t need to worry as much about a sloppy buttercream. 

In the recipe below, I use orange extract. But feel free to use fresh orange juice if you prefer, just adding a bit at a time. 

Making Chocolate Orange Loaf Cake

Process shots for chocolate orange loaf cake.

Decorating a Chocolate Orange Loaf Cake 

I decorate my orange loaf cake by piping on the buttercream and adding some orange segments before sprinkling over some orange-coloured sprinkles. 

You can absolutely just spread on the buttercream though, or even use the chocolate orange to make a ganache for the top.

3/4 shot of cake with buttercream and chocolate.

How Long Will This Cake Last?

I store my chocolate orange loaf cake in a glass cake stand on my kitchen worktop, it stays fresh for around 3 days.

I know some people prefer to store a cake with buttercream in the fridge. But I’ve never had a problem. The sugar kills any bacteria and using butter instead of margarine means that it stays stiff. 

However, if you feel safer storing it in the fridge, it won’t hurt and can be a good idea if your kitchen is particularly warm or if you don’t plan to eat it within 3 days.

Cake topped with buttercream and chocolate orange segments cooling on rack.

Other Chocolate Orange Recipes

If you love chocolate orange as much as we do you might also like:

Yield: 12 Slices

Chocolate Orange Loaf Cake

Chocolate Orange Loaf Cake on glass cake stand. Slice of cake, oranges and chocolate orange segments around the stand.

Chocolate Orange Loaf Cake is a super tasty treat. It’s moist, sweet and filled with gorgeous orange flavour. It’s also really easy, so perfect for baking with kids this Christmas. 

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients

For the Chocolate Orange Loaf Cake:

  • 75g Chocolate Orange – Broken into small chunks
  • 170g Margarine – Or Butter, at room temperature
  • 170g Caster Sugar
  • 3 Medium Eggs
  • 1 Large Orange – Juice and Zest
  • 170g Self-Raising Flour
  • 30g Cocoa

For the Chocolate Orange Buttercream

  • 75g Milk Chocolate – Broken into small squares
  • 150g Butter – at room temperature
  • 280g Icing Sugar
  • 20g Cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon Orange Extract

To Decorate:

  • Orange Sprinkles
  • 75g Chocolate Orange Segments

Instructions

For the Cake:

  1. Carefully melt the chocolate orange in the microwave in 10-second bursts, or over a bain-marie and leave to cool
  2. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (fan-assisted) and grease or line a loaf tin
  3. Whisk together the butter and sugar (this takes around 1 minute with an electric whisk)
  4. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time
  5. Whisk in the flour and cocoa until the mixture is smooth (2 minutes with an electric whisk)
  6. Add the juice and zest of a large orange and whisk until even
  7. Pour in the melted chocolate and fold through carefully
  8. Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and bake in the oven for 50minutes (check after 40 minutes), checking with a skewer to see if the middle is cooked
  9. Leave to cool fully in the tin, before tipping out onto a wire rack

To Make the Buttercream:

  1. Melt the milk chocolate carefully in the microwave or over a bain-marie and leave to cool
  2. Beat the butter until it has softened
  3. Add the icing sugar and cocoa and beat until the mixture is smooth
  4. Stir through the chocolate and orange extract until even
  5. If the buttercream is too stiff, add a little orange juice or milk. If it’s too runny, add a little more icing sugar, or leave to stiffen in the fridge for 1 hour
  6. When the cake is cooled, spread or pipe on the buttercream and decorate with orange segments and sprinkles if desired

Notes

  • I check my cake after 40 minutes, and lightly cover with foil if the top is starting to darken, to avoid burning.
  • I use a 2lb loaf tin lined with reusable baking paper.
  • You can swap the orange juice and zest in the cake for 1 teaspoon of orange extract, just make sure you reduce the flour by 30g too and check the bake earlier.
  • You can also swap the orange chocolate or either milk or dark or the milk chocolate in the icing for dark or orange, depending on how strong you want the flavours to be.
  • Use butter, not margarine for the icing.
  • You can swap the orange extract in the buttercream for orange juice, but only use half an orange, and stir in a bit at a time so that you don’t get runny buttercream. Add extra icing sugar if you need to stiffen the mixture.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1 Slice

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 505Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 3gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 73mgSodium: 284mgCarbohydrates: 60gFiber: 2gSugar: 45gProtein: 5g

The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors.

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