Marble Cake and a lesson in cake making!

Marble Cake

Sometimes you just can’t beat the old favourites – Marble Cake is exactly that, it’s not complicated or difficult just delicious!

200g butter
200g caster sugar
150g self raising flour
50g plain flour
4 eggs
3 tbsp cocoa powder

Preheat the oven to 180c/160cFan/350F/Gas Mark 4

Grease and line an 8″ round cake tin.

Cream together the butter and sugar

I thought I’d use this post to give you the low down on fail safe cake making.

The idea of creaming the butter and sugar is to start off getting some light airy fairyness into your cake and forms the base of most sponge cakes. However it is not just a case of mixing the two together.  They best implement for the job is an electric mixer, not only does it save your arms from aching it helps incorporate air very quickly.

This is butter and sugar in a what you may think is creamed state

However, if you carry on mixing the butter and sugar will go very pale and fluffy like this…

This is exactly how you want it, plenty of air incorporated for super fluffy yummy sponge and much paler than before.

Okay so over with the lecture let’s carry on with the recipe.

Beat the eggs together well (another important step – Mrs Beeton says ‘one egg beaten well is worth two not beaten’ and she’s right – wizzle up those eggs well with a fork).

Next step is to add the eggs to the creamed butter and sugar but don’t add them all at once, little by little is how to play the game.  When you have added about half the eggs add a spoonful of your flour.  This will stop the mixture from curdling.  Once a cake mix has curdled it is very difficult to pull it back, a good beat will sort out the texture but the mixture will not be very stable and can give varied results when you bake it.

Continue adding the egg little by little followed by a spoonful of flour.

Once all the eggs are combined with the butter add the remaining flour to the mixture and mix.  Mix till combined but don’t beat it hell for leather or the cake will be tough and have a poor texture.

Okay dokey so now we have a lovely cake mixture.  Separate your cake mix into two halves each in a bowl of their own.

To one bowl add the cocoa powder and mix well.

Now you have a chocolate cake mix and a plain cake mix.  Spoon large dollops of each type of cake mix into the tin like so

Keep adding cake mix in large dollops randomly.

Once all the mix is in the tin smooth the surface with the back of a spoon.

To create the marble swirl effect insert a table knife into the mixture in an upright fashion.  Swirl it around the tin in a decreasing circular motion.  You won’t need to go mad, just enough to create the swirly marbly effect.

Now into the oven for 25-30 minutes until the cake it springy to the touch and comes away from the sides of the tin slightly.

Cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Dust with icing sugar and serve.

Marble Cake

Marble Cake – a good old favourite

Ruth Clemens Baker

Ruth Clemens, Baker Extraordinaire

Contestant on BBC2′s The Great British Bake Off

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26 Responses to Marble Cake and a lesson in cake making!

  1. susie @newdaynewlesson says:

    I should send you my recipe to try as well. Always comes out moist

  2. Ruth says:

    Susie – would love your recipe will you email it to me?

  3. Carole says:

    Tried this at the weekend, but it didn't swirl very much !!! I think i'm too heavy handed ! However, it tasted elish !!!!!

  4. brownie queen says:

    A generous tablespoon of white chocolate chunks in the chocolate batch and generous tablespoon of plain chocolate chunks in the plain batch is just that bit ott but great

  5. Asma says:

    i love it was looking for a perfect recipe :>

    loved ur blog came here thru british bake off :)

  6. Ashley says:

    Hi Ruth,
    Love your blog and this step by step guide on cake making is fantastic!!
    In general cake mixing, when you add flour to a sugar/butter/egg mix, do you add it with an electric mixer or do you do mix it by hand with a spatula/wooden spoon? I am terrified of over mixing..!
    Loved you on the Great British Bake Off! Hoping you will bring out a cookbook soon!

  7. hannah says:

    Hi Ruth,

    Just wondering if it is possible to make this cake well without the aid of a food mixer? Sadly I don't have one but would love to have a bash at this recipe!

  8. Ruth says:

    I would still use the electric mixer when adding in the flour but only mix till its combined.

    You can do any recipe without an electric mixer using a good old wooden spoon to mix and plenty of elbow grease!

  9. Lynsey says:

    I made this cake today and it turned out perfect. It was really easy to make following the instructions and it came out very moist and light. This is a great blog, I look forward to trying out the other recipes.

  10. Katie says:

    Must try this I keep on meaning to ask my friend for her mums recipe but never got round to it, might try this one instead! I'm only in year 9 and yes that is what we talk about diffrent cake recipes!!!

  11. chris.griffin says:

    Is in the oven as I type. Kids are looking forward to it.

  12. Caron Photography says:

    I made this today and it turned out beautifully, thank you. There was one thing I was confused about though – being a new baker – and that was the flour. Do you put the SR and P together before adding, or do you add one before the other, or does it matter? (I mixed them before adding.)

    Thanks, Cx

  13. Ruth says:

    Caron – I normally weigh one sort of flour into the scale and then weigh the other on top of it. Then it goes into the cake mix just like that. It will get mixed up as it is incorporated into the cake mixture xx

  14. Caron Photography says:

    Thank you :-) It's great being able to ask the "stupid question"!

  15. Ruth says:

    Caron – it's not a stupid question xx

  16. Jennifer says:

    Hi Ruth

    Love your blog, really enjoyed making this recipe and it came out fab! Really pleased as only started baking after watching the Bakeoff. I think I am becoming slightly addicted :)

  17. Lizzie Violet says:

    Hi, I'm in the process of making this scrummy looking cake – only problem is it's already taken an hour in the oven and it's still rather gooey in the middle!! What on earth have I done wrong!? LOL

  18. Ruth says:

    Lizzie-Violet – it sounds like your oven isn't on the right temperature and is too cool or that you're using a tin that's too small, it shouldn't take that long! xx

  19. Abbas says:

    Wonderful recipe! Made it in cupcake form over the weekend for a friends birthday and went down pretty well. Took a while alternately spooning the 2 mixtures into each cup though haha. The chocolatey cake mixture was also very tasty x

  20. Susan's blog says:

    Have made this cake a few times now and its always really nice…not sure I'd really got the hang of marbled cakes before I read this post.

    Made a birthday cake with it too

    Many Thanks Ruth for lovely recipes and helpful tuition. x

  21. Carla says:

    We are Dairy free, would this work but using dairy free spread in place of the butter???

  22. Ruth says:

    Carla – absolutely yes, with most recipes you will be fine to replace the butter with dairy free spread xx

  23. Anonymous says:

    I made one of these for my sisters party i was going to do a 'batenburg' look but i went for this one

  24. Sneha says:

    Just made this cake, I didn’t have one large cake tin, only 2 sandwich tins, so I made two separate ones and then made the frosting from the chocolate and cherry cake pops and just piped in the middle, it added that extra moistness to the cake! Definitely recommend doing that! Looked a beaut too :P Thanks for the great (and simple) recipe! <3

  25. martha says:

    Hi Ruth,

    I could spend ALL DAY navigating this website! The great sponge cake is a mystery to me….I hav e made sooo many and they all turn out dry and lacking a little. :( Cud I ask ur opinion on a couple of things pls?

    How long should you beat your butter and sugar to get that fluffy mixture ( your pictures have def been an eye opener for me!)

    Second- I read that if you separate the eggs and whisk the whites to fold in separately makes the cake fluffier….what’s your thinking on that?

    and lastly ….glycerine….if you use this does it make the cake more moist??

    I hope I will get to make the perfect sponge ONE DAY SOON!!

    • Thanks Martha!

      Beating your butter and sugar at least five mins until it’s super fluffy! I’ve not had much success with folding in whipped egg whites – cakes made with this method are much more unstable and likely to collapse in the middle – unless it’s a genoise sponge (which is made in a different way)

      Cakes shouldn’t need glycerine adding but if it is added it should keep it moist for longer – I tend to only use glycerine for things like jam doughnuts which have a tendency to go rock hard within 24 hours!

      Hope that helps, R x

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