I just love this simple, old-fashioned cake as it always reminds me of when I was little. Made using a basic Madeira cake recipe, the mixture is separated into two bowls, cocoa powder is folded into one and then the two mixtures are swirled gently together. This cake will keep for a couple of days in an airtight box, or it can be frozen. Serve it plain or dusted with icing sugar, or drizzle some hot chocolate sauce over the top.


  • 225g (8oz) butter, softened

  • 225g (8oz) caster sugar

  • 4 eggs

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 225g (8oz) plain flour

  • 2 tsp baking powder

  • 50ml (1 ¾ fl oz) milk

  • Scant 50g (2oz) cocoa powder, sifted


  • 1.

    Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F), Gas mark 4. Butter and flour the sides of a 20cm (8in) diameter spring-form/loose-bottomed cake tin and line the base with greaseproof paper.

  • 2.

    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.

  • 3.

    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.

  • 4.

    Tip half of the cake mixture into another large bowl and, into this bowl, fold in the sifted cocoa powder.

  • 5.

    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 overmix or you won’t have that wonderful marble effect. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

  • 6.

    Turn the cake out onto a wire rack and allow to cool.

Nutritional information

Nutritional analysis per serving (6 servings)

  • Energy 620kj
  • Fat Total 35g
  • Saturated Fat 21g
  • Protein 9g
  • Carbohydrate 72g
  • Sugar 38g
  • Sodium 172mg

Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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Average Rating
12 comments • 28 ratings
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Posted by Therese93Report
A simple 2 bowl cake that is terrific! Great down home recipes.
Posted by Report
Brilliant and easy cake.
Posted by Sabrina15Report
My first bake project ever!! : ) and boy! was the family impressed with the first attempt.... Thanks for the recipe : )
Posted by Report
really awesome..and simple..loved it
Posted by Chantelle21Report
I love this recipe, I make it for my daughter and nieces and nephews birthday cakes and top it with macarpone cream and chocolate ganache for a special treat for the family
Posted by Sara41Report
Its so easy to make and it was delicious!! Should I add a little milk to the cocoa mixture?
Posted by Emily JaneReport
It is delicous for a family....
Posted by Jakob2Report
this is so yum for the millonth time!!! but i like to add some salt and pepper, it is way better then this ***!!! try it!!! you will see!!!!
Posted by Jakob2Report
i love it to man or women!!!! what do u like about it????? i like all of it
Posted by Jakob2Report
add salt and pepper to help it my good mate!!!!!!!