Chocolate orange loaf cake

I am yet to try a Nigella recipe that I don’t like. Somehow, everything of hers that I make (even if I do a bit of doctoring to make it a bit more waist-friendly) turns out delectably delightful and her chocolate orange loaf cake was no different. They were rich and slightly gooey and the batter smelled so much like jaffas it took all my control not to eat it all raw. Will came home with some orange and almond chocolate he’d scored at work the other day and that was my inspiration for making this recipe. Of course I added the chocolate to it for extra chocolaty goodness.

The ingredients

Using brown sugar in place of white seems to be a must if you want to achieve that rich, dense flavour. It always reminds me of gingerbread when I’m measuring it.

Sugar, butter, melted chocolate and golden syrup

Start the loaf cake by beating the butter, sugar, golden syrup and melted chocolate until it’s smooth and creamy. Of course the chocolate isn’t a must but it definitely adds something extra special.

A little of the dry ingredients

Mix the flour, cocoa and bicarb soda together. When the butter/sugar mixture is smooth and with the beater still turning, add one tablespoon of the flour combination.

Add an egg

Add the first egg and continue beating until it has been incorporated. Add a little more flour then the remaining egg and the rest of the flour.

Caught in the Kitchenaid – adding the orange

When everything is well mixed, add the orange juice and rind with the motor running. I love my shiny Kitchenaid but I do get caught in the reflection sometimes!

Baking time

I decided to make mini-loaves instead of one big loaf for this recipe. It fitted perfectly between the 8 spaces with a little left over for me to make an extra cupcake. Bake the cakes at 170C fan-forced for about 20-25 minutes but check on them during that time. If you are making the regular loaf size it will take about 45 minutes.

A little extra

This was my secret ingredient – dark chocolate with orange and almond.

A little rest

Let the baked cakes rest for about 5 minutes.


Transfer them to a wire rack to cool.

Chocolate orange loaf cakes

Mine were being gifted so I wrapped them up, still a little warm and off we went. Enjoy!

Chocolate orange loaf cakes


Chocolate orange loaf cake

Chocolate orange loaf cake

Yield: 1 loaf or 8 mini loaves


  • 150g (5.3oz) soft butter
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 175g (6oz) dark muscovado sugar (I used dark regular sugar)
  • 150g (5.3oz) plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 25g (4tbsp) cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs
  • zest of 2 oranges and juice of one
  • 50g (1.8oz) orange and almond dark chocolate, melted (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 170C(306F) fan-forced and line a loaf tin with baking paper. Make sure you extend the paper over the sides so you have little handles to remove it from the tin.
  2. Use and electric mixer to beat the butter, syrup, sugar and melted chocolate until smooth.
  3. Mix the flour, bicarb and cocoa together. With the motor running, add 1 tbsp of the flour mixture to the bowl followed by one egg. When that has been mixed in add another tbsp of flour and the remaining egg then add the rest of the dry ingredients.
  4. Keep the beater going and add the orange and orange zest and mix until just incorporated. Nigella warns that the batter may curdle a little at this stage but it's nothing to worry about. I'm glad she added that note because mine curdled and I would have been a little concerned.
  5. Bake a single loaf cake for 45 minutes or baby loaf cakes for 20-25 minutes but check both about 5 minutes before they should be ready. When it springs back in the middle when you touch it lightly it's ready to come out.
  6. Leave the loaf in the tin for about 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

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