Light and fluffy lactose-free marble cake

One of the recipes that the readers of Labna appreciate the most is my super light water-based cake, in it’s various versions: the vanilla one, the chocolate one, the cocoa one… they were all a major hit, and I expect the one I’m sharing with you today – the beautiful marble version – to be no exception.

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 our weight and trying to stay fit; however, I believe some of the success of these cakes lies also in the interest of my Jewish readers, that like these cakes for religious reasons: let me explain you why.

These recipes are based on a simple shared principle, the substitution of milk derivatives of milk with oil and water, a classic tecnique of Jewish cooking, which allows us to enjoy delicious lactose-free desserts we define as pareve, a word that literally 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 in order to comply to the religious prescription 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!

My parve recipes are perfect non 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 savoury and sweet), you can find them collected under the pareve tag here.

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 and 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 and 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 with the KitchenAid if you have one) whisk the eggs and sugar to until light and fluffy (10 mins approximately), then add the oil and the 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 standard down-across-up-and-over motion. Make sure you scrape the side and bottom of the bowl as you do.
  • Grease and line with parchment paper a 24 cm round cake pan or two loaves pans. Preheat oven at 350 F.
  • Divide the batter in two different bowls and add the cocoa to one of the bowls, mixing gently but long enough to remove all lumps.
  • 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 spoon of chocolate batter and repeat this 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 or fork to create the 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, set on a wire rack.
  • The cake keeps well for a week wrapped in aluminium foil.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


Torta light marmorizzata

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