Chocolate orange marble cake for a sweet sixteen


A very specific request from my lovely daughter for her birthday. Absolutely NO NUTS, NO FANCY STUFF and definitely Betty Crocker chocolate icing. I did manage to sneak in a few extras…


250 g unsalted butter

250 g caster sugar

5 medium free-range eggs

1 orange (zest only)

250 g self-raising flour

4 tbsp milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 tbsp cocoa powder

100 g dark chocolate, broken into chunks (I used Green and Black’s Maya Gold)

100 g white chocolate, broken into small chunks*


Heat the oven to 180°C (conventional)/gas mark 3. Line a 30 cm loaf tin with baking paper.

Either put all the ingredients (except the cocoa powder) into a food mixer and blend for 1-2 mins until smooth; or beat the butter and sugar together, then add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Fold through the flour, milk and vanilla extract with a metal spoon, until the mixture is smooth.

Place half of the mix into a separate bowl and fold in the cocoa powder and dark chocolate chunks. Fold the orange zest into the other mix. The mix should gently fall from a spoon when lifted; if it is a little thick let it down with the milk.

Using two large spoons, dollop the chocolate and vanilla cake mixes into the tin alternately. When all the mixture has been added, gently tap the bottom on your work surface to ensure that there aren’t any air bubbles. Take a skewer or chopstick and swirl the mixture around in the tin a few times to create a marbled effect.

Bake for 45–50 minutes, until a metal skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean (leave the skewer in the cake for 3 seconds). Leave to cool on a wire rack before decorating.

fullsizeoutput_4f20I used Betty Crocker chocolate icing to decorate the cake (per daughter’s instructions), but couldn’t resist swirling in some melted white chocolate (it took a couple of go’s to melt it, but I finally cracked it*).

Finished with a sprinkling of gold stars and sparkles, candles and magic.

Half delivered to school, half stayed at home…


*Place the chocolate into a heatproof dish and sit on top of a pan containing an inch of water (the top dish must not come into contact with the water). Place on a gentle heat, and stir the chocolate. When the water reaches boiling point, take off the heat and continue to stir until the chocolate melts.


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