A delightful and easy marble cake for all occasions made with chocolate and orange
This chocolate and orange marble cake is about as nostalgic as a cake can get. There is something simply vintage about a cake made of two different batters swirled together to make a random design. Fancy frosting need not apply; the only thing a classic marble cake needs is a light dusting of icing sugar…maybe.
The idea of marbling two different cake batters together in order to produce a pretty patterned cake apparently originated in Germany, and was brought over to North America as a technique by German immigrants before the Civil War.
Our parents made a traditional vanilla and chocolate marble cake for us when we were kids. Like this chocolate and orange marble cake, that one was made with olive oil instead of butter – an ingredient which gives cake batters a light texture and subtle flavour. Since the orange flavour of the chocolate and orange marble cake comes from orange juice (along with orange zest and orange blossom water), there is no milk in this recipe, making our recipe dairy free.
How to make the perfect marble cake swirls or How to marble your cake.
Your instinct might tell you that you need to purposefully swirl your two batters together in order to achieve the desired marble pattern in your cake, but you actually don’t have to. We achieve the marbling effect by simply plopping batter alternatively in the pan. This works best in a bundt pan or a jelly roll pan. If you are baking your marble cake in a shallow baking pan they swirling with a knife or souvlaki stick may be your best bet.
Can you freeze your chocolate and orange marble cake?
Yes! Like most simple, unfrosted cakes you can easily freeze an entire chocolate and orange marble cake, or pieces of it. Simply wrap your cake well in plastic wrap and then place that in a freezer safe bag for double protection or wrap it tightly in aluminum foil. When it is time to enjoy your cake allow it to defrost at room temperature and sprinkle it with icing sugar at that time if desired.
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Chocolate and orange marble cake
- 1 Standard size loaf pan 8.5 x 4.5 x 2.5 inches
- Stand mixer or hand held mixer
- 2 cups (300 grams) all purpose flour
- 1½ cups (300 grams) sugar, divided
- ½ cup (60 grams) cocoa
- ¼ cup (60 mL) hot water
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp vanilla powder or 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp salt
- 3 eggs, large
- ¾ cup (175 mL) olive oil
- ¾ cup (175 mL) orange juice
- 2 tbsp orange zest
- 1 tsp orange blossom water optional
- icing sugar to dust top of cake optional
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a medium sized bowl combine the cocoa powder, 1/2 cup (100 grams) of sugar and the hot water. Stir well to combine and set aside.½ cup (60 grams) cocoa, ¼ cup (60 mL) hot water
- In another small bowl combine the flour, baking powder, vanilla powder and salt. Whisk until well combined.2 cups (300 grams) all purpose flour, 2 tsp baking powder, ½ tsp vanilla powder, ½ tsp salt
- In the large bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the remaining sugar (1 cup or 200 grams) and the eggs until well combined. Slowly pour in the olive oil and continue to mix.3 eggs, large, ¾ cup (175 mL) olive oil
- With the speed set to low, carefully add 1/2 of the flour mixture to the oil/egg/sugar combination in the stand mixer. Beat until well combined. Pour in 1/2 cup (125 ml) of orange juice. Continue beating and then add the remaining flour, followed by the remaining 1/4 (50 mL) cup of orange juice. Scrape down the sides of the bowl using a rubber spatula and then beat well for a minute until all of the ingredients are well combined.
- Remove approximately 2 cups of this cake batter and add it to the bowl which contains the cocoa powder, sugar and water. Using a whisk mix it well by hand so that all of the plain batter is combined with the cocoa batter.
- Into the remaining batter (the one not mixed in with the chocolate) mix in the orange zest and the orange blossom water, if using it.2 tbsp orange zest, 1 tsp orange blossom water
- Grease a loaf pan. Pour enough of the orange batter into the pan to cover the bottom surface. Then, using a large spoon, drop spoonfuls of the cocoa batter on top of the plain batter. Leave approximately 1/3 of the cocoa batter in the bowl.
- Pour the remaining orange batter into the pan, and then pour in the rest of the cocoa batter.
- Bake in the middle rack of your oven for 50 – 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before transferring it to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- When the cake is completely cooled you can dust it with icing sugar if desired.