Dark Chocolate And Orange Marmalade Quick Bread

Dark Chocolate and Orange Marmalade Quick Bread

Dark Chocolate and Orange Marmalade Quick Bread

Need a spot of baking inspiration this weekend?

How about a squidgy and utterly more-ish dark chocolate and orange marmalade quick bread! Americans are great quick bread bakers and basically they’re just cakes baked in a loaf tin using raising agents such as baking powder and/or bicarbonate of soda instead of yeast. My predilection for loaf cakes stems from childhood birthdays when Mama J baked me a chocolate cake from a packet (always amplified with an extra spoonful of cocoa powder) in a loaf tin, slathered it with chocolate buttercream and decorated with Freia Non-Stop (Norway’s answer to Smarties). It’s just a riff on good old chocolate cake baked in a cake tin but somehow much, much more satisfying.

The beauty of this cake/bread is it’s got zero refined sugar in it and thus is less sweet than most chocolate cake recipes. Admittedly I’ve kept the refined sugars out of this recipe for the very simple reason that I didn’t have any brown sugar to hand and was too lazy (er, too in need of chocolate cake!) to run to the shops and get some. If you prefer to bake with golden syrup or brown sugar do substitute the honey with your sweetener of choice. Do feel free to up the sweetener content in this recipe to 150-200g if you have a particularly sweet tooth.

The use of orange marmalade sort of makes this a Jaffa-cake in a tin, except there’s no biscuit base and there’s no orange jelly. Oh well, it tastes good. Add a splash of Grand Marnier and you’ve got a very grown-up cake indeed. Just don’t get carried away with the Marnier while baking, folks.

Dark Chocolate and Orange Marmalade Quick Bread (cake masquerading as bread!)


  • 200g refined spelt flour (or plain flour)
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 100g melted butter
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 100ml clear honey (I used orange blossom honey)
  • 2 tbsp plain yoghurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 100ml boiling water
  • 1 shot espresso or 2 tbsp strong coffee
  • 200ml orange marmalade (I used St.Dalfour which has no refined sugar and is made with grape juice)
  • Juice and zest of 1 large orange (juice should make up 75ml)
  • 75g dark chocolate orange, chopped into small pieces or chocolate chips (optional)

* You can of course use brown sugar instead of the honey in this recipe, or golden syrup, maple syrup, date syrup…go with what you have rather than following this recipe to a T!


Preheat oven to 180 C. Line a 900g capacity loaf tin with baking parchment.

In a large bowl mix the flour, ground almonds, raising agents and salt together. In a smaller bowl break the two eggs and mix with the honey, tablespoons of yoghurt, vanilla and set aside. Stir 100ml boiling water into a cup with the cocoa powder and add a shot of espresso or strong coffee.

In a separate bowl mix the marmalade with the zest of one large orange or two smaller oranges along with the juice of said large orange or smaller oranges. Blend together.

Returning to the large bowl, make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add the melted butter, egg mixture, cocoa mixture and finally half the orange marmalade mixture (you’ll need the rest to glaze the bread after baking. Stir together until smooth and no pockets of flour remain, then finally add the chopped dark orange chocolate or chocolate chips if you wish.

Pour this into the prepared loaf tin and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 35-40 minutes. Depending on your oven this may take a little less or a little more time so I would check with a metal skewer after the 30 minute mark!

When the bread feels firm to the touch, remove from the oven and skewer lots of holes while it’s still hot. Slowly pour some of the orange marmalade glaze over it and make sure it trickles down into the skewered holes so the cake get a marmalade-y lift. Allow to cool completely before drizzling the remainder of the marmalade and then eat.

* Serving suggestions *

  • try this on it’s own (duh.)
  • eat with a steaming hot cup of tea or coffee or hot chocolate alongside (oh yes!)
  • have a snifter of Grand Marnier, if you haven’t already done so while baking
  • tart this up and make a fancy-ish dessert by preparing slices on plates, scoop some good ice cream on top and drizzle more marmalade (either warmed with a couple of tablespoons of boiling water or loosened with some fresh orange juice/Grand Marnier)
  • take on a long walk and eat in the woods with an orange. Chocolate and your daily dose of vitamin C, what more do you need really?
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23 Responses to Dark Chocolate And Orange Marmalade Quick Bread

  1. shayma says:

    a Jaffa loaf cake. that’s all i need to hear to make this. it reminds me of the choc-dipped orange rinds i adore. and that chocolate-orange gelato at Mondi in Rome. plus, you’ve made this w spelt flour- a fave of mine. lovely recipe, Sig. x shayma

  2. Signe says:

    Thank you Shayma, I completely agree with you – chocolate-dipped orange rinds are seriously good. Might try and make some orange jelly and keep tweaking away. Perhaps a Jaffa cake tart would work…

  3. the says:

    I’m not a huge fan of most chocolate and fruit mixtures but you can’t beat the chocolate/orange combo. This looks wickedly fudgey and delicious – you’ve definitely inspired me to do a spot of baking over the weekend.

    ps The cookies I made from your site turned out spot on so I’m expecting great things :-)

    • Signe says:

      Thank you The Little Loaf! Must make some more cookies again. Testing a recipe for homemade Oreos which I’ll keep you posted on :) Should really have a separate blog for American baking…

  4. Sorry, you’ve caught me at that dangerously hungry time just before going out for steak, where I’m starving and inarticulate. So I’ll just say phwooooaaaaaaaar. That’s all.

  5. Signe says:

    Hi Zoë, apologies for tempting you with cake before dinner but thank you for dropping by and for your comment :-) Hope that steak tasted great! Signe x

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  7. This really looks & sounds delicious. Will attempt to make it gluten-free by replacing the wheat flour with GF grains. Just wondering what to use instead of natural yogurt too? Any suggestions welcome. Thank you.


    • Signe says:

      Hi Caroline,
      you could certainly make this gluten-free by increasing the ground almond content and using a gluten-free flour of your choice. As for the yoghurt you could omit it altogether as there’s not a huge amount in the recipe. Or substitute with soy yoghurt perhaps? If you’re thinking of making it completely dairy-free then obviously just substitute the butter with vegetable oil. Hope that helps! Signe

  8. Nina says:

    This looks incredible! Although I no longer have a baking flatmate, I have acquired a baking colleague, to whom I have already forwarded this link :)

  9. joanna says:

    This sounds extremely delicious and I might have to make it for the Jaffa cake Junkie in the house. I just wanted to say thank you once more for the iitala cups and saucers which arrived yesterday. They are very beautiful and have a nice feel in the hand too. Tusen tak! Joanna

  10. nicole says:

    Oh, you’re killing me here. I’m not even hungry right now, but I’m pretty sure I’d polish off a couple slices of this loaf if it was in front of me.

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  12. Jamie says:

    Mmmm I have been on an orange and chocolate streak and this would fit in more than perfectly! Love the combo and squidgy did you say? It is calling my name! I will try this!

    • Signe says:

      Thanks Jamie, it’s such an easy recipe I do recommend trying it if you’re into choc-orange matching! Sig x

  13. Tom says:

    Looks a bit heavy and stodgy. Is this the desired texture?

    • Signe says:

      Hi Tom, thanks for your comment. It’s neither heavy nor stodgy but full of flavour and delicious. Perhaps the photo doesn’t do it justice? Plenty of people have used the recipe since I posted it and raved about it.

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  16. That looks so delicious .. I am always up for anything that involves dark chocolate and its combi with orange is just heaven .. Even though baking is not one of my strengths but I will try to make it, this weekend.
    Thanks for the recipe
    Ipshita xx

  17. cmk1926 says:

    I made this a while ago and it was so good it has now become a family favourite, frequently requested for birthdays.

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