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Cinnamon swirl marble cake

Updated: Wed, 26 October, 2022

Half a buttery, tender plain pound cake, half chocolaty, cinnamony, fudgy perfection - swirled into a gorgeous marble cake.

cinnamon swirl marble cake

How did we live before YouTube?

Practically all possible ‘how-tos’ can be found on YouTube.

It’s quite astonishing. Starting from ‘how to fix your lawnmower’ and featuring separate videos for all makes, through to ‘how to crochet’, ‘how to make slime’ (wtf?) and ‘how to thread a needle’ – or eyebrows.

Recently I looked up ‘how to trim your fringe’ and it was a revelation. It turns out I’ve been doing it wrong for years, starting with the name (it’s ‘bangs’, silly). I was holding the scissors at a wrong angle – and the scissors were probably not as sharp as the ones in the video.

How did we ever manage in the times before YouTube?

It makes me wonder though when all those people find time to film themselves repointing paving slabs on the patio. Presumably they need a couple of retakes, so must they yank the slabs out of the mortar again or do they end up with the whole back garden paved over?

Still the old YouTube is hugely useful like that, provided you trust the source.

cinnamon marble cake

Marbling on YouTube

I set out to make the cinnamon marble cake and recalled an abysmally failed marbling from a couple of years back – a massive clump of white batter was sitting on top of the dark, or the other way round.

Off onto the YouTube I went and marvelled at assorted zebra cakes, dainty Japanese marbled sponges, swirly pink veins running through pound cakes.

After about two hours of blissful time wasting found the relatively boring, two-colour butter cake that I was after.

Use a knife, said one guru. Don’t use a knife! warned the other. Chequered lumps of batter and at least three layers, instructed the third. Use a loaf tin for best effects, commanded another.

I was none the wiser but spoilt for choice – no wonder shopping for bathroom tiles makes us depressed.

I ended up, of course, doing it in a random pattern, hotchpotch way, using whatever tool I first grabbed from a drawer. It came out all right.

With regards to YouTube, I think I’ll stick to fringe trimming guidance in the future.

marbled pound cake

How to make the cinnamon butter cake

It is an absolutely glorious butter, pound-style cake recipe and you can happily use it to make a plain cake, without the cocoa, dividing the batter or marbling.

The method is standard: starting from beating butter with sugar, adding eggs and cream (sour cream makes fabulous pound cake), finally the flour mix.

Cocoa powder mixed with cinnamon and a little dark brown sugar to make it fudgy is then added to about half the batter.

cake batter

Swirling the marble

Marbling is really not complicated: it’s all about not letting the two parts mingle too much.

I plop dollops of both batters in a chessboard fashion, in two layers which you then need to swirl about with a chopstick. A figure od eight, then a zigzag(ah!) should do the trick.

marbling cake batter

The cake bakes for just short of an hour, and if you want to glaze it (you SO do), let it cool in the tin a little while you make the icing.

Heating up lemon juice to combine it with icing sugar makes the smoothest, loveliest icing.

cinnamon marble butter cake

More butter cake recipes

Lemon pound cake made with condensed milk. This lemon butter cake is soft and spongy, tender and moist with a fantastic lemony, zesty flavour.

Not a big deal – this is only the best pound cake ever baked. It’s both rich and fluffy, it melts in your mouth, and it has this amazingly satisfying quality of a pound cake: velvety and smooth.

Peach pound cake is the richest, most buttery and tender crumb made with peach puree, with diced fresh peach embedded in the batter.


More cinnamon baking recipes

Cinnamon and raisin buns rolled up from challah dough are not too sweet and perfect for breakfast. Assemble, freeze and get in the oven the night before for a breakfast treat!

Giant cinnamon roll scone cut into wedges is a cross between scone and cinnamon roll. Shall we call it cinnamon scrolls?

Cinnamon twist star bread, a variation on the kanelbullar, Swedish cinnamon buns, theme. A giant kanelbulle twisted into a star bread shape, with cinnamon, apple and chocolate fillings.

marble cake with cinnamon swirl

Cinnamon swirl marble cake

Servings: 16Time: 2 hours
Rating: (1 reviews)


  • 200g (1 stick plus 5 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened
  • 220g (1 cup) caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 200g (¾ cup) sour cream
  • 300g (2½ cups) plain flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 25g (2 tbsp) dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • For the glaze:
  • juice from half a lemon
  • 100g (1 scant cup) icing sugar


1. Butter a round 20cm (8”) tin and line the bottom with parchment. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4.

2. Beat the butter with the sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs one by one. Beat in the sour cream.

3. Sift the flour with the baking powder and beat it into the batter.

4. In a separate bowl mix the dark brown sugar with the cocoa and cinnamon. Add half the cake batter to it (about 500g or 1 pound) and beat it together until smooth.

5. Spoon the two batters into the prepared tin in a checker pattern: blobs of dark alternating with white in the first layer, the same in the second with dark on the white blob. Make a swirl: with a chopstick or a knife make three or four shapes of 8 in the batter; then one zig-zag across the tin.

6. Bake for 45-50 minutes until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

7. When the cake is out, make the glaze: bring the lemon juice to the boil in the microwave or a small pan, and then pour it gradually into the icing sugar stirring it with a spatula, until it reaches smooth, runny consistency. Pour it over the top of the cake, still in tin. Cool and unmold.

Originally published: Thu, 4 May, 2017

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Looks gorgeous
4 years ago

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Hello! I'm Anna Gaze, the Cuisine Fiend. Welcome to my recipe collection.

I have lots of recipes for you to choose from: healthy or indulgent, easy or more challenging, quick or involved - but always tasty.


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