Chocolate Orange Swirled Cake

We always look forward to the weekend, who doesn’t you may ask? Well, we have a particularly good reason for this. Usually throughout the week we hold back from sweets (ok, I must admit we occasionally fail!). The reason is that in the Philippines I grew up having sweets or special treats only during weekends, specially on Sunday after lunch. Even a bottle of Coke (which was considered dessert as it was sweet) was only allowed during weekends. Naturally, I just adapted it for our home. Since I am the cook in the house that has been the unwritten rule.

That’s why when weekend comes I make sure that we have a dessert that’s truly special. Initially, I wasn’t sure if hubby would like this cake. He is not a fan of the orange-chocolate combo. If it’s a citrus-flavored chocolate bar, he’ll pass on it which is good, in a way, as that means more for me! 🙂 Since we had other desserts available when I made this, I didn’t even ask him to try the cake. 

Perhaps he was just hungry, I don’t know. But I was surprised to see hubby eating the last slice of the cake that was kept in the fridge. What was more surprising, he actually complimented me and said he enjoyed the cake. New  revelation – perhaps it was just the citrus and chocolate bar that he did not particularly enjoy but when these flavors are combined in a cake, it’s perfectly fine. Since we always buy oranges and chocolate (you never know when you have a chocolate emergency!), now I know what to make for him if I don’t have the time to make anything else. Hope you enjoy this easy and tasty cake!

Chocolate Orange Swirled Cake

By: Manila Spoon
April 28, 2015

Moist and delicious chocolate cake flavored with fresh orange juice and zest and jazzed up with a swirled frosting.


  • 2 cups all purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 1/3 cups Sugar
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted Butter, softened
  • 3 large Eggs
  • Grated zest from 3 oranges
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed Orange juice
  • 1/4 cup Water

  • For the Frosting 

  • 1/4 cup (half a stick) Butter, softened
  • 2 cups Confectioners’ (icing) Sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons Milk
  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened Cocoa powder


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F (180C). Grease an 11 x 7-inch baking dish.
  2. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. Beat the sugar and softened butter until creamy. Add the eggs one at a time beating after each addition.
  4. Adjust the speed to low and alternately add the flour and the fresh orange juice mixed with water scraping the sides with a spatula if necessary. Beat just until combined. Fold in the grated zest.
  5. Spoon the batter into the prepared baking dish.
  6. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean about 35-45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool the cake completely in the baking dish.
  7. To make the frosting, mix the butter and sugar on low speed. Add the milk slowly and continue to mix until smooth. Spoon half of the mixture into a bowl. Add the cocoa powder and stir to combine. 
  8. Spoon the cocoa powder mixture and the plain mixture next to each other (alternately) on top of the cake. Use a knife to make a swirling pattern. Refrigerate until frosting has set. 

Yield: 10-12 slices
Prep Time: 25 Minutes
Cooking Time: 35 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour

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  1. April 29, 2015 / 3:03 am

    I need to stop coming on here when I'm hungry- This looks so good and I've just started embracing the chocolate/orange combination!

    • April 29, 2015 / 8:54 pm

      Thanks, Arman! Fruits and chocolate are always a great combo for me and am glad you've started liking the orange and chocolate one. 🙂

  2. April 29, 2015 / 3:35 am

    Hmm interesting combo! I'm not usually a fan of citrus/chocolate together but you make this look really good! I'm filipina and my grandma told me that when she was young, they didn't eat sweets during the week either. I really like that, I might just have to implement that in my own life haha

    • April 29, 2015 / 8:52 pm

      Hi Christina! Wonderful to see you here and yes the older generation (perhaps that includes me already, yikes!) didn't seem to have much sweet cravings or perhaps there weren't many sweet temptations then. 🙂

  3. April 29, 2015 / 11:01 am

    You are so on a roll with these amazing looking desserts! And this one looks particularly elegant with the beautiful swirl 🙂

  4. April 29, 2015 / 11:52 am

    I wish we limited our sweets to the weekend!

  5. April 29, 2015 / 2:29 pm

    I love the citrus and chocolate combination and this cake looks so delicious!

  6. April 29, 2015 / 2:36 pm

    How funny to read about your husband's less-than-enthusiastic response to the orange and chocolate combination. My son, who is a great cook and otherwise shares my taste, also doesn't like the combination. Maybe I need to ask him to try this cake – or leave it in the fridge for him to find.

    • May 30, 2015 / 1:11 am

      Am sure it's worth the try Laura! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.

  7. April 29, 2015 / 3:40 pm

    Those swirls are beautiful! I'm normally not a fan of orange and chocolate combination, but I might have to give it a try again!

  8. April 29, 2015 / 7:57 pm

    I love the combination of chocolate and orange, this cake sounds amazing!

  9. April 29, 2015 / 8:09 pm

    This sounds amazing and refreshing. I'm going to be a new grandmother this weekend and I think the parents would enjoy this cake.


  10. April 29, 2015 / 9:28 pm

    This cake sounds absolutely lovely and it looks very impressive too!

  11. April 29, 2015 / 9:32 pm

    I love the chocolate/orange combo! It looks delicious!

  12. April 30, 2015 / 1:47 pm

    I am a totally chocolate girl! This is so my style of cake!

  13. May 2, 2015 / 1:57 pm

    I love chocolate and orange together…this looks delicious! Pinning and sharing!

  14. May 28, 2015 / 1:33 am

    I'm super intrigued by the chocolate and orange combo! Looks amazing!

  15. May 29, 2015 / 4:44 am

    This cake looks so moist and delicious. I can't wait to try it.

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