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Orange Chocolate Swirl Bread

In this Chocolate Swirl Bread recipe, a sweet yeast bread dough is flavored with orange zest and swirled with semi-sweet chocolate. It’s delicious paired with orange marmalade!

Two slices of orange chocolate swirl bread on a white plate. A mini loaf rests in the background.

Creating This Orange Chocolate Bread Recipe

My absolute favorite flavor to pair with chocolate is orange. It always has been.

Maybe that comes from receiving a chocolate orange in my stocking each Christmas as a child. Whatever the reason, that flavor combination has stuck with me as a favorite through my childhood and into my adult years.

I knew for this season I wanted to make something with chocolate and orange together. I took a simple cinnamon swirl bread recipe, loaded it up with orange zest, and substituted chocolate chunks for the cinnamon mixture.

Served toasted with a dab or marmalade on it, this orange chocolate swirl bread is magic on my taste buds!

Orange Chocolate Swirl Bread Ingredients

This sweet yeast bread recipe is incredibly easy to make and requires no special ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need to make the bread:

  • Milk
  • Unsalted butter
  • Yeast
  • Warm water
  • Granulated sugar
  • Orange zest
  • Vanilla extract
  • Eggs
  • Salt
  • All-purpose flour
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chunks

For the complete ingredient list and detailed instructions, scroll to the bottom of this post for the FREE printable recipe card.

How to Make Orange Chocolate Swirl Bread

I’ve given detailed step-by-step instructions on how to make this chocolate swirl bread in the recipe card below. Here’s a brief overview.

  1. Make the sweet yeast dough.
  2. Place the dough into an oiled bowl and cover with a dish towel. Set aside to rise until doubled in size.
  3. Once the dough has doubled, punch it down and let it rest for 10 minutes before rolling it out into a rectangle.
  4. Once the dough is rolled out, sprinkle with chocolate chunks.
  5. Roll the dough up, starting from the shorter end.
  6. Place the rolled up dough into a greased loaf pan. Let rise another 90 minutes.
  7. Bake the bread for 30 minutes at 350F.

The above is simply a quick summary of this recipe. Check out the full recipe in the free printable recipe card at the bottom of this post for all the detailed instructions.

Can I Make Mini Bread Loaves?

Yes! I baked the dough in four small loaf pans (the directions below are for one loaf, though).

All you need to do is dive the dough into four equal parts, then roll them into out into smaller rectangles. I just eyeballed it.

If you’re concerned about what size, you could probably just stir the chocolate straight into the dough instead of rolling it in.

Storage Instructions

The chocolate orange bread can be double-wrapped in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for 2 to 4 days or frozen for 3 months.

Tips for Making a Sweet Yeast Bread

  • If you store your yeast in the fridge, let it come to room temperature before adding it to the warm water.
  • You’ll know your yeast is still active and good to use if it begins to foam in the warm water after about 5 minutes.
  • You’re welcome to add more orange zest to the bread dough, if desired. However, do not add orange juice for more orange flavor as that will affect the texture of the bread.

Read more: Here are even more tips for baking with yeast.

More Easy Yeast Bread Recipes:

I’ve been making yeast breads for years. Here are some of my favorites:

Let your kids get messy in the kitchen and help you make these amazing Caramel Pecan Brioche Rolls. They are the perfect weekend or holiday treat.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls are the perfect fall treat! Pumpkin spice dough is rolled with plenty of cinnamon and sugar, and then slathered with cream cheese frosting.

This Vanilla Sweet Bread is delicious on its own, but is even better when transformed into french toast!

While these tender Sweet Potato Rolls will make an excellent addition to any Thanksgiving menu, they’re also a great way to use up leftover baked sweet potatoes for a post-Thanksgiving treat.

This Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread is essentially a monkey bread from scratch with a homemade caramel topping.

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chocolate orange bread

Chocolate Orange Bread

Yield: 1 loaf
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Proofing Time : 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 50 minutes

In this Chocolate Swirl Bread recipe, a sweet yeast bread dough is flavored with orange zest and swirled with semi-sweet chocolate.


  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 envelope yeast, about 2 1/4 teaspoons
  • 1/2 cup warm water, about 110 degrees F
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • zest of 2 large oranges
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 1/4 - 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 heaping cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks


  1. Heat the milk and butter in a small saucepan or microwave until butter is melted and the temperature measures 110 degrees F.
  2. Sprinkle yeast over warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the beater attachment.
  3. Zest two large oranges. Add the orange zest to the sugar and rub to combine with your fingers. The sugar should become very fragrant as you release the oils in the zest.
  4. To the yesat mixture, beat in the sugar, vanilla, and eggs. Add the salt, milk mixture and 1 cup of flour. Stir till mixed.
  5. Slowly add the remaining flour until a smooth dough is formed, 1/2 cup at a time. Partway through, about after 2 cups of flour, you'll need to switch from the wire beater to the dough hook. The final dough should not be sticky.
  6. Transfer dough to lightly-oiled bowl. Cover and let rise for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, until dough has doubled.
  7. After dough has doubled, punch down dough one time and place on unfloured board. Let dough rest for 10 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, grease bottom and sides of a loaf pan.
  9. Using little or no extra flour (more flour will make bread tough), roll dough to 18 by 8 inch rectangle. Sprinkle the surface with chocolate chunks.
  10. Roll up tightly, starting with 8” end. Place loaf seam side down in well-greased 8 x 6 inch pan and let rise for 1 1/2 hours or until the dough reaches 1” above pan.
  11. Brush top of loaf with mixture of one beaten egg and 2 tsp. milk. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F.
  12. Remove from pan and let cool for 45 minutes.


Bread can be double-wrapped in plastic and stored at room temperature for 2-4 days or frozen for 3 months.

Adapted from The New Best Recipe: All-New Edition

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Nutrition Information
Yield 12 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 282Total Fat 10gSaturated Fat 5gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 42mgSodium 285mgCarbohydrates 45gFiber 3gSugar 16gProtein 6g offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.

Did you make this recipe?

I’d love it if you let me know what you think! Snap a photo and tag me on Instagram at @goodlifeeats with the hashtag #goodlifeeatsrecipes so I can see what you’re cooking up in YOUR kitchen!

Michelle Hathaway

Sunday 29th of December 2013

Sadly, this recipe was an epic fail from the get go. The directions are a little fuzzy and I think where the recipe went wrong was there was nothing for the yeast to eat initially. Dissolving the yeast in water and then adding all the ingredients never gave the yeast an opportunity to start reacting, therefore the dough never rose. I even went so far as to stick the dough in the oven for an extra hour to see if it would kick start a reaction. I made two batches following these directions as best I could but I am now stuck with $25+ dollars of dense mess. I am hoping that once the loaves cool down, I can slice and lightly toast them and call them biscotti because it's hard to call it bread. Too bad, because the pictures you posted looked beautiful.


Wednesday 1st of January 2014

Perhaps your yeast was old. I use this method of dissolving yeast in water all the time without trouble - including in this recipe. Also if you store your yeast in the refrigerator it is important to let it come to room temperature before you use it. I'm sorry you had a difficult time.

Christina @ This Woman Cooks!

Wednesday 2nd of March 2011

I just happened to stumble upon your blog today, I love it, so crisp and clean. This bread sounds delicious, will be bookmarking. :)

Christopher Sorel

Friday 17th of December 2010

I love whoopie pies. If you like them try zingermanss over the moon pie using Scharffen Berger Chocolate they are great.

Damaris @Kitchen Corners

Wednesday 8th of December 2010

How fun I'm in. Now I need to go and bake something!

Jamie | My Baking Addiction

Wednesday 8th of December 2010

Chocolate and orange are such a classic combination. I bet the flavors of this bread are amazing!

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