Tiger cake


Tiger cake is a fabulous classic, beautifully moist and delicious. When I was young it was so fashionable: what would now be called cool. The marbled, psychedelic combination of swirled vanilla and chocolate flavoured cake was very popular and it is wonderful to see it back in fashion.

We Swedes love to serve this for fika. It brings a smile to the faces of us older people as we remember its trend-setting days. Younger people think of it as one of those cute examples of retro baking. Everyone is happy.

Tiger cake is easy and inexpensive to bake. It also freezes well so you can always keep some for unexpected guests.

Children love this cake and, with a little encouragement, even pre-teens have the skills to bake it. I have always enjoyed baking this with my own children and my grandchildren. Karin



  • This cake is sometimes also called marble cake. If you want to produce a marbled appearance, draw a fork through the cake mixtures to produce a swirling effect.
  • For a more tangy cake substitute the vanilla with the grated zest of a lemon or orange.


200 g (7 oz) butter, softened
220 g (1 cup) caster (superfine) sugar
3   eggs
220 g (1¾ cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
1½ tsp   baking powder
100 ml (0.4 cups) milk or a mixture of milk and cream
3 tbsp   cocoa powder
2 tsp   vanilla sugar (or 3 tsp of vanilla extract)


1. Pre-heat the oven to 175°C (350°F, Gas 4, Fan 160°C).

2. Grease and flour a 1½ litre (6 cup) loaf tin (pan).

3. Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

5. Fold in the flour and baking powder and then stir in the milk/cream.

6. Remove around a third of the mixture (batter) and mix with the cocoa.

7. Add the vanilla sugar (or lemon/orange zest) to the remaining mixture.

8. Pour half the light mixture into the prepared tin (pan), then the dark mixture. Top with the remaining light mixture. (For a marbled cake, draw a fork through the mixture to produce marbled swirls.)

9. Bake on a low oven rack for around 50 minutes. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes and then tip out on to a wire rack.  Slice when cold.


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