Chocolate & Vanilla Marble Cake


It’s not pay day till next week and it was a 5 week month for me – which means I’m broke. When I’m broke my baking is dull, dull, dull! No fancy ingredients or trips to Avoca to pick up “nicies” to make something new…. being broke sucks!!

I was rummaging around for a recipe that is as basic as can be and came across this one for a Marble Cake – all I needed was the ingredients for a normal sponge plus some cocoa powder and then icing sugar – even just before pay day I can stretch to that 🙂 

You can do this two ways, either using a circular sandwich tin or else a loaf tin – whichever you have or prefer is fine… I think it looks better in a loaf tin to be honest. Just do the usual job of greasing and lining it with baking paper / parchment first (am I the only one who HATES lining the sandwich tins? Drawing around the tin, cutting it out, cutting loads of little rectangles for the sides…ugh, it really annoys me!!!)

Anyway here we go!

Ingredients List

160g butter
160g caster sugar
160g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
3 eggs
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons hot water

50g butter
30g cocoa powder (sieved)
4-5 tablespoons milk
200g icing sugar (sieved)

**** Please sieve the cocoa powder and icing sugar into a bowl first… if you don’t and you just throw them into the pan while making the icing you are gonna have horrible bitter lumps of cocoa powder and lumps of icing sugar – so sieve it first!! 

1. Preheat the oven to 160°C or slightly lower for a fan oven. Grease and line your tin.

2. In your mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar. Every frickin recipe I read says “until light and fluffy”…. mine is never light and fluffy! Just beat it till it’s very well mixed in I say 🙂

3. One by one add in the eggs, beating well again after each one and add in the vanilla extract. This mixture will look pretty gross – don’t stress, that’s normal!

4. Sieve in the flour and baking powder and fold the mixture together with a spoon – don’t use a fork or beat this together, just nice and slowly fold it together with the spoon. Add the milk and continue to fold.

5. Spoon about half of the mixture into a separate bowl and set aside.

6. In another small bowl, mix together the cocoa powder and hot water and mix until smooth. Allow this mixture to cool for a few mins then add to one of the bowls and mix well until evenly blended.

7. Spoon the vanilla and chocolate cake mixtures into the tin randomly until you’ve used up all of them – you really don’t have to be neat here, just plop them in any which way. I then sometimes use a skewer and mix it round a bit but again, not necessary – you’re gonna throw icing over the top anyway so it won’t be seen!


8. Bake in the oven for about 35 – 40 mins. It will be well risen and firm to touch. Once it’s cooked, take it from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 5-10 mins then turn it out and peel off the baking paper and allow to cool fully. Don’t get all impatient and try to do this as soon as it comes out of the oven as it’ll be too warm and soft and the cake may start to crumble off with the baking paper (I speak from experience!)


9. Now to make the icing. Melt the butter in a small pan on a medium heat – DO NOT put this on a high heat… it burns easily (again, unfortunately I learned this from experience!) Add in the sieved cocoa powder and mix well – do this quite quickly. Stir in the milk and add half of the icing sugar.

Now take it off the heat and mix well. It really does need to be taken off the heat here or the mixture gets all dry and sticks to the bottom of the pan! Put the pan back on the heat and mix for about 15 seconds until it all starts to soften up again with the heat. Then add the 2nd half of the icing sugar and again mix well. If it’s really dry add a small splash more milk and mix it all again.


That’s the icing done – just pour it over the cake, let it pour down the sides or just leave it whichever way it lands. Leave to set for a good half hour at least. Then sprinkle with icing sugar and serve – it’s yum with some nice vanilla ice cream!

Enjoy 🙂

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