Marble Cake Recipe

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Cakes River Cottage HandbookThe fun of the marble cake is that no piece is ever the same – each slice is a work of art in itself, which is why it has fascinated children for generations. The success of the marbling depends on how the uncooked mixture is spooned into the tin. Keep the spoonfuls irregular in size and not too big and hopefully your cake will be swirly and patterned throughout. Alternatively, this easy recipe can be baked unmarbled – either all chocolate or all vanilla – to make a lovely plain cake or to use as a base for other flavours or fruity drizzles.

  • Yield: 10 Servings


  • 300 g self-raising flour
  • 200 g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and softened
  • 250 g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 200 ml soured cream
  • 25 g cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 20 cm round or 18 cm square tin, lightly greased and base lined with baking parchment
How to Make It
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4. Sift the flour into a bowl and set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, using either a wooden spoon or a hand-held electric whisk, beat the butter to a cream. Add the sugar and continue to beat until the mixture is very light and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, adding 1 tbsp of the flour with each and beating thoroughly before adding the next. Beat in the soured cream until evenly combined. Using a large metal spoon, carefully fold in the remaining flour.
  3. Divide the mixture between two bowls. Into one, sift the cocoa powder and carefully fold in. To the second, add the vanilla extract and gently blend in.
  4. Without being too neat and tidy, drop dessertspoonfuls of each mixture alternately into the prepared tin. When they are all added, tap the tin sharply on the work top to level the surface, then lightly swirl a skewer through the mixture to give the cake its distinctive marbled look.
  5. Bake in the oven for 45–50 minutes until the cake is evenly golden and springs back into shape when lightly pressed.
  6. Leave in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out to cool on a wire rack. This cake will keep for up to a week in an airtight tin.

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