Paul Hollywood's marble chocolate cake recipe

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Get the perfect marble cake with this classic recipe from Great British Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood. Swirls of vanilla and chocolate sponge produce impressively beautiful results

Preparation Time30 mins
Cooking Time6 mins 0 Between 55-70 mins
Total Time1 hours 40 mins
Cost RangeCheap

Create the perfect marble cake with this classic recipe from Great British Bake Off judge, Paul Hollywood. Swirls of vanilla and chocolate sponge produce beautiful results, that almost look too good to eat. Just be careful not to swirl the mixtures together too much, as you want to leave an obvious marble effect.


  • 250g plain flour
  • 200g unsalted butter, softened
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 40ml full-fat milk
  • ½ tsp natural vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3tsp baking powder
  • 2tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Icing sugar for dusting




  1. Heat your oven to 180˚C/350˚F/Gas Mark 4. Line a 1kg loaf tin with baking parchment.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the butter, 180g of the sugar and the vanilla extract together until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then add the baking powder and sift the flour over the mixture and fold in with 2 tbsp of the milk.
  3. Spoon two-thirds of the mixture into the prepared loaf tin – it should fill the tin three-quarters of the way.
  4. Sift the cocoa over the remaining third of the mixture and fold in, together with the last of the milk and 20g of sugar.
  5. Spoon the chocolate mixture over the cake mixture in the tin, then run a fork through both mixtures, gently swirling the two together to create a marbled effect.
  6. Bake for 55–70 minutes, until the cake shrinks slightly from the sides of the tin. Test it is cooked by inserting a skewer into the centre and it comes out clean (test the cake after 55 minutes).
  7. Remove the cake from the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack. Once cooled, dust with icing sugar.

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With his silver hair and piercing blue eyes, Paul Hollywood is best known for being a judge on Channel 4’s baking competition ‘The Great British Bake Off.’ Although he’d originally trained as a sculptor, Paul’s father - who was also a baker - managed to persuade him to join the family business. And thank goodness he did. Paul went on to become one of the best artisan bakers in the country working at some of the most prestigious hotels in London including The Dorchester and The Grosvenor.