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Vegan Chocolate Orange Loaf Cake

Learn how to make a soft, moist and tender Vegan Chocolate Orange Loaf Cake from scratch. This super easy recipe uses one cake batter to create beautiful swirls and a marble pattern of chocolate and orange sponge. Topped with a luscious and simple chocolate orange frosting, it’s sure to impress!

If you love chocolate orange, check out my Mini No-Bake Chocolate Orange Cheesecakes and Vegan Chocolate Orange Sheet Cake.

Slices of chocolate orange loaf cake with chocolate frosting

Vegan Chocolate Orange Loaf Cake

Meet the first EVER marble cake to The Little Blog of Vegan, and it’s about time too!! This cake is absolutely mouth watering, with rich chocolate and citrus orange bursting with every single bite. Made using just one single cake batter, it’s surprisingly easy to put together. Keep reading to learn some tips and tricks to get you making the most perfect, tender and delicious chocolate orange loaf cake each and every time!

Make sure to check out my popular Vegan Lemon Loaf, its the perfect Starbucks copy cat!!

Bite taken out of chocolate loaf cake

Why you’ll love this loaf cake:

  • Vegan!!!
  • Easy to make
  • Absolutely delicious
  • It uses one cake batter
  • Bursts of flavour
  • Simple to decorate
  • Minimal ingredients / easy to find ingredients
  • You create gorgeous swirls every time
  • Moist and the perfect texture

What is a marble loaf?

A marble cake is simply a loaf or pound cake, with either two or more flavours spooned or piped into a lined loaf tin , built up then swirled together. Once baked, you’ll cut it and find each slice has a beautiful marble pattern to the slices of cake. It’s delicious on it’s own, but go all out and top it with some delicious frosting. I opted to keep the flavours the same, and went for a simple chocolate orange, so so good!!!!

Chocolate buttercream with orange zest on top

Ingredients you’ll need:

This recipe uses simple and easily accessible ingredients which you probably already have in your kitchen cupboards or pantry. Full recipe, method and ingredients list is in the recipe card at the bottom of the page.

  • Plain flour : You’ll want to use a plain / all purpose flour for this loaf cake.
  • Raising agents : The combination of baking powder and bicarbonate of soda will help the loaf rise in the oven, making for a light and delicious loaf.
  • Sugar : I prefer to use a fine caster sugar for this recipe, but alternatively you can use golden caster sugar or even granulated sugar.
  • Vegan butter : Don’t get this mistaken for margarine. You want to use a thick vegan block butter, such as Naturli Vegan Block or Flora Plant Butter as it helps keep the loaf and frosting stable.
  • Vegan yogurt : You are more than welcome to use either a plain yogurt or vanilla flavour for this recipe.
  • Dairy-free milk : You can use any type of vegan / dairy-free milk for this recipe such as soya, oat, almond and cashew, but if i were to give you on recommendation, use soya. Mixed with the vinegar, it makes for the best vegan buttermilk replacement.
  • Vinegar : Use apple cider vinegar or white vinegar.
  • Cocoa powder : Use a good quality cocoa powder.
  • Orange flavouring / extract : Make sure to use a good quality orange flavouring like Valencian orange, it gives the loaf a richer, more citrus flavour.
  • Icing sugar : Make sure to sift the icing sugar before using, this will help remove any lumps and make for a smooth frosting.
  • Fresh oranges : As decoration, sprinkle some fresh orange zest over the top. It looks and tastes scrumptious!
Marble chocolate and white cake batter in a loaf tin
Marble chocolate orange cake batter in a loaf with with a line of butter

How to make a Vegan Chocolate Orange Loaf Cake

I love how simple yet effective this loaf cake is. It produces the most beautiful loaf with swirls of chocolate and orange sponge, topped with a chocolate frosting which can be whipped up in minutes!

  1. Marble loaf

    Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl (minus the orange flavouring and cocoa powder). Divine the batter in half, add cocoa to one and the orange to the other. Spoon or pipe into the lined tin. Place the butter on-top of the batter in a line then bake.

  2. Frosting

    Whip up all the ingredients in a stand mixer with balloon whisk attachment until very light and fluffy. Spread over the top of the cooled down sponge (make sure it is cool, as if you apply to hot or even slightly warm cake, it will melt off!).

  3. Decoration

    Zest a fresh orange over the top of the frosting. You could even add some candied oranges, that would be amazing!

Slices of chocolate loaf cake with frosting and orange zest

Tips and tricks for the best swirls

  • Don’t over-mix : The trick is to only gently swirl the chocolate and orange batter together. This is what will create the marble effect. If you over mix or swirl, you risk the batter turning into one colour.
  • Use a thin toothpick or skewer to mix : Create the delicate and small swirls with something small. If you were to use a large pallet knife for instance, you risk the batters swirling too much together.
  • Make the blobs of batter small : A great tip for getting really distinctive swirls is to make sure the spoons of batter which you add into the tin are small. The smaller they are, the higher chance of perfect swirls.
Chocolate orange loaf cake with chocolate frosting and fresh orange

If you make, and love this recipe, please leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating below. Thank you & happy baking! Make sure to tag me in your photos on Instagram and Facebook! And if you want to pin this recipe for later, you can use the button on the recipe card, above or below this post, or on any of the photos. Happy baking all!

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chocolate marble cake with chocolate frosting and orange zest

Vegan Chocolate Orange Loaf Cake

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5 from 2 reviews


A vegan chocolate orange marble loaf cake loaded with flavour, with a chocolate orange frosting. Delicious and easy to make.


Units Scale

Ingredients for the marble loaf cake

  • 250g of plain flour
  • 1 + 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tablespoons of cornflour / cornstarch
  • 300g of caster sugar
  • 150g of dairy-free butter (melted)
  • 140g of dairy-free plain / vanilla yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 150ml of dairy-free milk
  • 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon of orange flavouring

Ingredients for the chocolate frosting

  • 70g of dairy-free block butter (softened)
  • 20g of cocoa powder
  • 100g of icing sugar
  • Dairy-free milk (if needed)
  • Fresh orange zest to decorate


Method (marble loaf cake)

  1. Preheat oven to 160°C fan and line a loaf tin with grease proof paper or a loaf liner. Set aside.
  2. From a block of vegan butter, cut a small strip of butter, measuring the length of the tin and place on some grease proof paper. This will be placed on top of the batter before baking. This will help give the loaf the classic ‘crack’ down the middle of the cake. 
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cornstarch / cornflour, sugar until combined.
  4. Add in the melted dairy-free butter, yogurt, vinegar and milk. Whisk to combine and until smooth.
  5. Equally divide the mixture into two separate bowls.
  6. Add 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder to one bowl and 1/2 tablespoon of orange extract / flavouring to the other bowl. Mix to combine.
  7. Alternatively spoon the different flavoured batters into the tin (watch the video tutorial here) until all of the batter is in the tin.
  8. Use a skewer or tooth pick to create swirls in the batter but don’t over-mix.
  9. Lay the butter strips to the middle of the loaf (don’t press in!)
  10. Place the loaf in the middle of the oven and bake for 60 minutes. Check it at around 50 minutes just to make sure the top isn’t burning, then allow it bake for the remaining time. You’ll know its ready when a toothpick or skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. 
  11. Once baked, remove the loaf from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Allow the loaf to cool down fully in the tin. Once cooled to room temperature, use the sides of the grease proof paper or paper loaf liner lift out the loaf and place on a serving plate. 

Method (chocolate frosting)

  1. In a large mixing bowl, add in the dairy-free butter, whip until creamy. I use a stand mixer with a balloon whisk attachment, a hand mixer will work great too.
  2. Sift in the cocoa powder and icing sugar. Whip on high speed for around 5 minutes to incorporate it. Add in a teaspoon of dairy-free milk at a time until it reaches a smooth and creamy consistency. If it’s too thick, add in more chunks of butter. You want it to be smooth.
  3. Spoon the frosting to the top of the cooled down cake and spread out with either the back of a spoon or off set spatula. 
  4. Finish the loaf with some fresh orange zest on top. Serve and enjoy! 


To store: Store the cake in a sealed container in the fridge. Best enjoyed within 3 days of making. Best eaten second day of making.

Store un-frosted cake in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 3 days. 

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Category: Cakes and layer cakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


  1. Lucy
    March 4, 2023 / 8:30 pm

    Absolutely fool proof recipe, so easy to make and totally delicious….you would be hard pressed to realise it’s vegan…in fact my two non-vegans gobbled it up!!!
    Another successful bake from Holly…she knows her stuff this girl 💚💚

    • March 5, 2023 / 11:50 pm

      Hello Lucy, Aw thank you so so much for this feedback, Im over the moon you enjoyed! I am in love with this recipe too haha! x

  2. Ritchie Dee
    April 18, 2023 / 7:31 pm

    Make sure the oranges are vegan. Most oranges (and clementines, satsumas, etc.) from UK supermarkets and greengrocers aren’t vegan because they are coated with beeswax or shellac – look for E901 or E904 in tiny print on the label. If you want unwaxed oranges, you will probably need to buy the organic ones.

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