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RECIPE: Easy Marble Ring Cake (Ciambellone)

Coffee time needs a good homemade cake. One that is created in under an hour, with minimum fuss and very few ingredients. This Italian marble cake is just perfect for dunking into coffee.


Easy Marble Ring Cake

This recipe is inspired by the type of marble cake Nonna would lay out on her table when friends and family would visit for a coffee and a chat. These Italian cakes are on the drier side and without fancy icings or toppings. Perfect to dunk into coffee. Though this version is still quite moist and light. If you don't have a ring or bundt tin - no problema - any shape cake pan will be suitable, such as a loaf, square or round tin.



  • 260g (2 cups) plain flour

  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda

  • 195g (1 cup) white sugar

  • 1 cup soy milk + 1 tablespoon

  • ½ cup olive or sunflower oil

  • juice of 1 medium lemon

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 3 tablespoons cocoa

  • icing sugar to serve (optional)


  1. Grease a cake tin. I used a 23cm bundt tin. You can also use a round tin or any shape. Whatever you fancy.

  2. Preheat oven to 175C.

  3. In a large bowl, sift the flour, bicarb soda and stir in the sugar. Make a well in the centre. Pour 1 cup of milk, oil, lemon and vanilla into the well. Stir until thoroughly combined.

  4. Pour approximately ⅔ of the batter into the prepared cake tin. Sift the cocoa into the remaining ⅓ of the batter, then blend in 1 tablespoon of milk until smooth. You now have a chocolate cake batter.

  5. To create the marble pattern you can try various ways. I like to pour the plain batter into the cake tin first and then pour over the chocolate. Take a knife and swirl the chocolate through the plain, creating a marble or swirl effect. Or you can alternate layers of the plain and chocolate batter by first pouring in plain and then adding a few dollops of the chocolate. Then repeat and swirl with a knife.

  6. Bake in a preheated oven for 40-45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean, especially checking the centre of the cake.

  7. Allow to cool slightly in the tin and then transfer onto a cake rack to cool further. If you’re using a bundt tin, you may have to help separate the cake from the pan by turning it upside down and shaking it or hitting the bottom of the pan to help release the cake.

  8. To serve, dust with icing sugar if preferred. And pour yourself a fresh cup of coffee!

Bake in any shape you prefer. It's just as gorgeous in a square or loaf tin.

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