Light and Fluffy Lactose-Free Marble Cake

I have a feeling you guys will like this light and fluffy lactose-free marble cake. One of the recipes that the readers of Labna have historically liked the most is my super airy “water-based” cake, in its various versions: the vanilla, the chocolate, the cocoa one… they were all a major hit, and I expect the new version I’m sharing with you today – this beautiful marble one – to be no exception.

Light and fluffy lactose-free marble cake - Torta light marmorizzata

Some of the success of these cakes is to be attributed to the fact that these days we are all on a perennial diet, fighting to keep off that extra weight and trying to stay fit; however, I believe some of the success of these cakes lies also in the special interest of my Jewish readers, who enjoy these cakes for religious reasons: let me explain to you why.

These recipes are based on a simple shared principle, the substitution of milk (and derivatives of milk) with oil and water, a classic Jewish cooking technique that allows us to enjoy delicious lactose-free desserts we define as pareve, a word that translates to “neutral” and applies to recipes that have no milk and no meat in them.
For us, it’s important to be able to prepare desserts without milk derivatives to comply with the religious prescription – found in the Bible – to avoid mixing milk and meat in the same meal; a pareve cake can be served after a meal that features meat, which means that we can enjoy a yummy dessert without breaking the rules. This is, quite simply, how I know my readers out there will generally love this light and fluffy lactose-free marble cake: there’s no such thing as enough pareve desserts!

My pareve recipes are perfect not only for people with religious needs like me but also for all the lactose intolerant readers. If you want to check them all out (we’ve got both savory and sweet), you can find them collected in the pareve category page here.

Light and fluffy lactose-free marble cake - Torta light marmorizzata

Water based marble cake - Torta light marmorizzata

Light and fluffy lactose-free marble cake

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Course Colazione
Cuisine Italiana
Servings 2 loaves or 1 round cake


  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 10 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1/2 cup + 1/2 tablespoon water
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp cocoa


  • In a large bowl or the stand mixer whisk eggs and sugar until light and fluffy (10 mins approximately), then add oil and water gradually while continuing to whisk (oil first, water right after). Finally, sift the flour and baking powder into the mixture, and fold it gently with a spatula, with the classic down-across-up-and-over motion. Make sure you scrape the side and bottom of the bowl as you do.
    2 1/2 cups cake flour, 1 1/4 cups sugar, 3 eggs, 10 tbsp sunflower oil, 1/2 cup + 1/2 tablespoon water, 1 tbsp baking powder
  • Grease and line with parchment paper a 10-inch round cake pan or two loaves pans. Preheat the oven at 350° F.
  • Divide the batter into two different bowls and add the cocoa to one of the bowls, mixing gently but long enough to remove all lumps.
    3 tbsp cocoa
  • Use one tablespoon for each batter to create the layers of batter on the prepared pan. Begin from the middle of the pan, take one spoon of white batter then over it add a spoonful of chocolate batter, and repeat these steps until all batter has been used. (If you don't have the patience to make these layers just add one batter on top of the other and create swirls with a knife to create a marbled effect).
  • Bake for around 40 minutes or until the cake/the loaves are baked through. To test for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, it is done. Allow the cake to cool completely in the pan.
  • The cake keeps well for a week wrapped in aluminum foil.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Light and fluffy lactose-free marble cake - Torta light marmorizzata

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