Friday, 27 December 2013

Chocolate And Vanilla Marble Cake

And then for tea time, we had some cake, of course!

Continuing from yesterday's post, where I shared the spoils from an afternoon of baking. First, for lunch we had a savoury quiche and then for our afternoon cuppa, I stuck to the old-fashioned, homely charm of a butter cake. You might get adventurous and fancy from time to time but ultimately home baking is about the classics and you can never go wrong with a pound cake.

There is something so comfortingly simple about a pound cake, complete with that ruptured, rustic top that has a charm of its own. There are many adaptations to a basic pound cake with the addition of lemon zest or orange zest or dry fruits or even, chocolate chips.

This chocolate-vanilla marble cake is my favourite version of the classic. I am not really sure but I suspect it appeals to my inner child to see those swirls of chocolate and vanilla play around with each other and result in that 'marbled' effect.
The recipe is the same for a basic pound, butter cake. Then half the batter is flavoured with cocoa powder. Alternate spoonfuls of the two batters are placed in the cake tin and then with a skewer, you gently draw swirls.

The final result is just delightful. You have the firm but light texture that you expect from a sponge cake. You can not only clearly see the two flavours but you will also taste them distinctly when you bite into a slice. Apart from the visual beauty of that marbling, the interplay between the sweet vanilla batter and the slightly darker, not-too-sweet chocolate batter ensures that the cake is not cloyingly sweet.

Baking this cake reminds me why I enjoy baking. Its about simple ingredients resulting in a beautiful cake that is homely, rustic, delicious and meant to be shared with family and friends amidst some gossip and giggles. All that's left is a cup of tea!

Chocolate And Vanilla Marble Cake

Recipe, adapted from this website, by Rachel Allen. I used a '8 x 3 x 2' loaf tin but you can also use a 6-inch round tin.
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 5 teaspoons milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • Pre-heat oven to 180 deg C. Butter and flour the sides of the cake tin and line the base with greaseproof paper.  
  • Cream the butter in a large bowl or in an electric food mixer until soft. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  • Whisk the eggs and vanilla extract together in a small bowl. Gradually add the eggs to the butter mixture, beating all the time. Sift in the flour and baking powder and fold in gently to mix, then add the milk and mix gently to combine.    
  • Tip half of the cake mixture into another large bowl and, into this bowl, fold in the sifted cocoa powder.
  • Place the cake mixtures into the prepared tin by alternating spoonfuls of the vanilla batter with the chocolate batter, then with a skewer or similar implement, gently draw swirls through the cake mixture to ‘marblise’ it. Don’t over mix or you won’t have that wonderful marble effect. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  • Turn the cake out onto a wire rack and allow to cool before serving.


  1. Sorry for missing many of your wonderful posts Sarvani. Life has been extra crazy these past couple of months.
    This cake is my all time favorite. It is exactly as you said. It calls to the kid in me :)

    1. Sawsan!! always good to hear from you! I must confess, I've been extremely erratic with this blog and keeping up with many others.. and I suspect its been the same for you! Although I have been reading most of your posts by mail.. just haven't got round to posting many comments!

      Coming to this cake.. this is one of the first cakes I baked when I started baking and has been a favourite ever since!


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