Deliciously soft, eye-catching chocolate and vanilla Gluten Free Marble Cake. Optional Dairy Free.
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Getting Creative with Chocolate and Vanilla Gluten Free Marble Cake
I love a Marble Cake… Beautiful swirls, blocks and stripes of contrasting colours in one simple sponge… Each slice different, yet just as exciting. So today, I’m sharing my delicious Gluten Free Chocolate and Vanilla Marble Cake… A soft and tender two-tone loaf cake, topped with (optional) white chocolate drizzle and sprinkles of crushed chocolate flake.
It’s the perfect, easy cake for sharing with friends over a cup of tea and a good chat… But be warned… One slice may just become two… or three 😁… It’s that good!
Is a Gluten Free Marble Cake easy to make?
Yes. It may look like extra work, but making a gluten free Marble Cake is actually really easy.
We use a ‘creamed’ sponge batter, which just means the butter and sugar are whisked together first to make them super-creamy and to add lots of air. Then the batter is divided before adding chocolate to one half. The two batters are blobbed into the loaf pan before being lightly swirled together (to give a marbled effect) and baked.
The sponge batter is given extra moisture and softness by using homemade buttermilk… But don’t worry… that’s really easy to make too… All it requires is to mix milk with some lemon juice as laid out in the recipe, and within minutes you’ll have a little magic that will take your marble cake up a level.
See… Nothing complicated at all.
Ingredients in this Gluten Free Marble Cake
So what ingredients will you need to make my Gluten Free Chocolate and Vanilla Marble Cake? Again, there’s nothing strange in here. It’s all basic ingredients that you’ve probably already got in your gluten free larder…
- Milk (dairy or dairy free)
- Lemon juice (for making buttermilk)
- Gluten Free Flour Blend – I use my Gluten Free Alchemist white Blend A. The recipe for the blend can be found at the bottom of my Gluten Free Flours page. However other good gluten free flour BLENDS should also work well for this cake.
- Ground Almonds (these bring moisture to the sponge and support a good shelf-life).
- Xanthan Gum – a very small amount to support structure. If your flour blend already contains xanthan gum, then don’t add any more.
- Baking Powder and Bicarbonate of Soda (baking soda)– for rise. If you don’t like using bicarb, then switch it for baking powder at twice the amount of the bicarb stated.
- Salt – Just a pinch to enhance flavour.
- Butter (or dairy free alternative)
- Caster Sugar – I use golden, but white is fine, as is superfine or granulated sugar if you live in North America. In the UK, use Caster!
- Eggs – I use UK Large sized eggs. But egg sizes vary around the world… So if you are unsure where your eggs fit, check out my Egg Size and Weight International Comparison Guide.
- Vanilla Extract (because it’s a vanilla sponge).
- Dark Chocolate (for the chocolate sponge).
- Optional White Chocolate and chocolate flake for decorating if you wish.
Is this recipe wheat free?
Yes. At Gluten Free Alchemist, all our recipes are currently wheat free. Although some bloggers and authors use flour blends which contain ‘gluten free wheat starch’, I have chosen not to go down this route as in the past I have reacted to it (despite its ‘GF’ status). I therefore worry about the long-term impact of eating it on a regular basis. Occasionally I am happy to do so if I’m eating out… But it’s not something I wish to bake with.
But don’t worry… We work really hard to make sure ALL our bakes are at least as good as standard non-gluten-free equivalents… And to be certain that no one will ever know they are gluten free.
Is this recipe safe for people with Coeliac Disease?
Yes! Providing the Marble Cake is made with a safe gluten free flour blend, then it is safe for people with Coeliac Disease (Celiac Disease). As always though, make sure all ingredient labels are checked for any risk from hidden gluten or cross-contamination. It’s always important to be extra cautious when eating gluten free because of a health condition.
If you’re new to label checking, head over to my page ‘Coeliac Disease + Food’ for some advice on what to look out for.
Can I make this Marble Cake dairy free?
Yes again! Making a gluten free, dairy free Marble Cake is just as easy. Simply sub the butter, milk and chocolate for safe dairy free alternatives. Any dairy free milk will do, as will dairy free ‘butter’. In the UK, I use either Flora Plant B+tter or Stork vegan blocks when I bake like-for-like dairy free.
Many dark chocolate bars are also naturally dairy free, but be sure to check the labels for potential cross-contamination risks.
Tips for making the BEST Gluten Free Marble Cake
As mentioned above, making a gluten free Marble Cake is easy. But it’s always good to have a few tips, particularly if you are a less confident baker. So here are my tips for getting the best Marble Cake…
- Follow the recipe. Not following a recipe is the number 1 reason for its failure.
- Prepare the tin by base-lining and greasing the inside (particularly if your tin is old and has lost its ‘non-stickness’).
- Mix up the milk and lemon for the buttermilk first. That way it will be ready when you need it. And don’t worry that it looks clumpy… that’s exactly how it should be!
- Make sure all the ingredients (including the eggs, butter and milk have been brought to room temperature. This helps to ensure the batter mixes evenly without splitting.
- Cream (beat) the butter with the sugar for a good few minutes to make it super creamy and to get plenty of air in. This will help both the texture and rise of the final sponge.
- Don’t over-fold the batter. Over-mixing knocks out the air and makes the sponge ‘tight’.
- Don’t ‘over swirl’ the marbling. Too much swirling and the two batters will just mix back into one colour. (Also see section below)
- Use a cake tester or cocktail stick to check when the cake is done. Because a loaf cake is tall and dense, it can be deceptive to know when it’s done just by touch. The best way to check is to poke the very middle with a cocktail stick or cake tester. If it comes out clean or with a couple of crumbs attached, then it’s ready.
How to ‘marble’ the sponge batter
The photographs that go with this post show different marble cakes with alternative styles of marbling. How you choose to marble yours is up to you. But here are a few tips for making each of the different styles shown…
Traditional marbling is probably the most familiar process used in a Marble Cake. It’s created to ‘imitate’ stone marble by swirling colour on colour. To marble cake batter:
- Transfer the cake batter to the baking pan in random blobs, so that colours alternate next to and on top of one another.
- Using a knife or skewer, gently swirl the colours together, keeping the knife/skewer vertical. But remember ‘less is more’… Over-swirling will result in the colours mixing together and losing their two-tone definition.
Block-marbling is the easiest way to ‘marble’ a cake sponge. And while it may not be considered the ‘prettiest’, it is still very dramatic with contrasting blocks of colour side by side. To block marble:
- Fill the cake pan with varying-sized blobs of batter placing contrasting colours side by side.
- Once all the batter has been transferred, give the pan a gentle wiggle and tap to level the top and push out any air pockets… Then bake!
Zebra Marbling is perhaps one of the most eye-catching methods, probably because it’s not expected when you cut into the cake. Even better, it’s actually really easy to achieve. To Zebra Marble:
- Start at the centre of the pan with a medium blob of the first cake batter.
- Place a blob of the second batter centrally on top of the first.
- Follow this with another blob of batter 1… still placed centrally (the weight of the batter should now be pushing the base layers outwards in a striped pattern).
- Keep alternating colour on top of colour until all the batter has been used.
- Lastly… Gently wiggle the pan so that the batter spreads right across to even the top and fill the corners (do NOT stir or poke the batter in any other way)… And bake!
(I found this video on YouTube to give you a visual if the above doesn’t make sense)
How to store your gluten free marble cake
Your Gluten Free Marble Cake should stay good for 2 to 3 days if stored in an airtight container at room temperature…
It will also freeze whole or in slices for up to 2 months, ready to defrost when you need it. Make sure it is well-wrapped and airtight before freezing.
Ready to make Marble Cake?
I hope you enjoy making my Gluten Free Marble Cake… whether traditional, block or zebra! The recipe is just below (scroll an inch or two further). Do let me know what you think… You can leave a comment, message me on social media (Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest) or rate the recipe.
For other great gluten free cake recipes, head over to our dedicated Gluten Free Cake Recipes Index. You can find small cupcakes, etc in our Small Gluten Free Cakes Index… And for everything else, head to the main Gluten Free Recipe Index and navigate our hundreds of free recipes from there.
Shared with my love
Chocolate and Vanilla Marble Cake (gluten free)
- knife or skewer
- microwave or hob and saucepan
Base Sponge Batter
- 70 ml milk dairy free as required
- 1 tsp lemon juice to make the buttermilk
- 160 g plain gluten free flour blend I use GFA Blend A (see NOTES), but an alternative flour blend should work fine.
- 50 g ground almonds
- ⅓ tsp xanthan gum
- 1½ tsp baking powder (gluten free)
- ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- pinch fine sea salt
- 190 g unsalted butter (or dairy free block alternative) – softened
- 190 g caster sugar (golden)
- 3 large eggs UK large size (Canadian ‘Extra Large’; Australian ‘Jumbo’; and US ‘Extra or Very Large’ (at room temperature)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the Chocolate Marbling
- 50 g plain chocolate chopped
- ½ tbsp milk dairy free as required
White Chocolate Glaze and Decoration (optional)
- 80 g white chocolate chopped
- 2 to 3 tsp milk
- 1 Cadbury flake (chopped) or alternative chopped chocolate/chocolate sprinkles
Loaf Cake Sponge
- Base line a 9×5 inch (2 pound/900 gram) non-stick loaf tin with baking paper. (Or use two one-pound tins).
- Pre-heat the oven to 170 C/325 F/Gas 3.
- In a small bowl, weigh/measure the milk and stir through the lemon juice. Set aside for 10 minutes or so, to turn into buttermilk. (It will become clumpy)
- Weigh and mix together the flour, ground almonds, xanthan gum, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt making sure any lumps are completely broken down. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together the softened butter with the caster sugar until pale and fluffy.
- In a separate small bowl, beat the eggs together with a fork to combine.
- Add the egg to the creamed butter (a little at a time) and beat well (but gently) between each addition.
- Add the vanilla and beat through.
- Add the buttermilk and flour mix to the bowl (about half of each at a time), gently folding through between each addition, until just combined.(Be very careful not to over-mix).
- Transfer HALF of the batter to a separate bowl.
- Melt the dark chocolate either over a pan of simmering water or in the microwave set at medium on maximum 30-second bursts, stirring frequently until melted.
- Add the melted chocolate and the additional milk to one half of the mixture and gently fold through until combined.
- Spoon blobs of each of the mixtures alternately into the loaf tin.
- Very gently swirl the mixture with a knife to make a marbled effect (being careful not to over-stir) and gently jiggle the pan to make the top even.
- Bake for approximately 50 minutes to an hour, until a skewer/toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean, with a few crumbs attached.
- Leave the cake to cool in the pan for about 15 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack. Cover with a clean tea towel while the cake cools completely on the rack.
Chocolate Glaze and Decoration (optional)
- Place the white chocolate and milk into a small Pyrex bowl and melt either over a pan of simmering water or in the microwave set at medium on maximum 30-second bursts, stirring frequently until evenly combined.
- While the glaze is runny, drizzle over the top of the cake and sprinkle with crushed chocolate flake or decorations.
© 2019-2023 Kate Dowse All Rights Reserved – Do not copy or re-publish this recipe or any part of this recipe on any other blog, on social media or in a publication without the express permission of Gluten Free Alchemist