I always used to love making marble cake as a child. My Mom showed me how to dollop drops of chocolate batter on top of white cake batter and then swirl them in with a knife. The marble effect this created through the cake used to fascinate me. When I grew up and moved to England, I noticed a distinct lack of marble cake, so I began to make my own. This recipe is really easy and makes one of our favourite cakes here in the 21st Century Household - especially for birthdays.
This recipe makes two eight inch layers, so you will need two pans. It’s easiest to make it in an electric mixer, but if you don’t have one, you can use a spoon. You just need strong arms!
3/4 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 cups caster sugar
4 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup plus 1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons cocoa powder (NOT drinking chocolate)
Preheat oven to 350℉ or 160℃. Grease and flour or line two eight inch round pans.
Cream the butter and the sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and beat together.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, salt and baking powder. Gently blend this mixture into the buttery eggy mixture - if using an electric mixer keep it on low to avoid being covered in flour! Now add the 1 cup of milk and blend until the mixture is smooth.
At this point, remove about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of batter from the mixture and place it in a small bowl. Divide the rest of the batter between the two baking pans.
Sift the cocoa powder into the batter in the small bowl and blend in. Using the 1/4 cup of milk, gradually add the milk, a bit at a time, until the batter is a nice consistency (preferably the same consistency as the mixture already in the baking pans).
Now dollop the chocolate mixture over the top of the batter in the baking pans, about three dollops per pan. Gently run a knife from one side of the pan through the other, cutting the chocolate and vanilla mixture together. You want to see streaks of chocolate through the vanilla - don’t over-blend.
Place the pans in the oven and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until a piece of dried spaghetti inserted into the centre of the cake layers comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pans for about ten minutes. Remove from the pans and cool on wire racks. When completely cold, the layers can be frosted and sandwiched together to make a two layer cake. It’s lovely iced with either chocolate or vanilla icing, but I use vanilla the most - and I have to confess it is often made by Betty Crocker!