Classic 1-2-3-4 Marble Cake

By shahdan • April 14, 2020

4 servings
30 min
Classic 1-2-3-4 Marble Cake

Classic 1-2-3-4 cake is the first cake I learned to bake with my mother. As a child, I really appreciated the fact that the cake name helped me memorise and learn the basic cake proportions by heart: ONE for 1 cup milk and 1 cup butter, TWO for 2 cups sugar, THREE for 3 cups flour, and FOUR for 4 eggs. Then of course the baking powder and vanilla.

I have baked this cake countless times. Sometimes I bake the full quantity for a big round cake, while other times I halve the quantities for the long rectangular cake shape, as shown in this picture.

I have also realised that the cake is lighter and less dense when I use half cup butter (100g), and half cup sunflower oil, as opposed to one full cup butter.



  • 1/2 cup butter softened (about 100g) - زبدة
  • 1/2 cup sunflower oil - زيت عباد الشمس
  • 2 cup sugar - سكر
  • 4 large eggs - بيض
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract (or 2 small packs) - خلاصة الفانيليا
  • 1 cup full cream milk - لبن كامل الدسم
  • 3 cup flour - دقيق
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder - باكينج باودر
  • 4 tablespoon cocoa powder - بودرة كاكاو

Step by step

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Grease the baking pan with butter and lightly dust with flour.
  2. In a bowl, beat the butter and oil with the sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and whisk after each egg.
  3. Add the vanilla and milk and continue whisking.
  4. Mix flour with the baking powder and add gradually to the cake while whisking until batter is well-combined. Always whisk in one direction to get the air in.
  5. Pour only 2/3 of the batter in the prepared pan.
  6. Add cocoa to the remaining batter in the bowl and whisk until well-combined.
  7. Swirl the remaining chocolate batter over the vanilla. Use a knife to create more swirls in the batter for the marble effect.
  8. Bake for 40- 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. If you are halving the cake quantities for a smaller cake, it will only need 20-30 minutes in the oven.


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