Dairy-free Chocolate Orange Marble Madeira cupcakes


I promise I won’t burble for long but if you just want the recipe feel free to scroll right to the bottom!

So my mum and I have been creating different variations of this madeira recipe for as long as I can remember. Well, I say that. Back when I was wee I did a little stirring and mostly just licked the bowl and spoons at inopportune moments. This chocolate orange marble madeira sponge recipe is one of my own.

They generally look fab on their own, with no additional decor and fuss, due to their awesome swirls. However, sometimes some fuss is required. The photo below is of these cupcakes all dressed up and ready to party. The butterflies are edible laser cut rice paper that I found on EBay.
cake edit

They can also be made to look fun and a bit messy, other people will feel less threatened by your baking prowess if you take the following route.


Dairy-free Chocolate Orange Marble Madeira cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes

210g self-raising flour
120g caster sugar (My mum uses about 90g but she is trying to be a skinny-ninny. If you like cakes pretty damn sweet go for 150g)
170g Vitalite dairy-free spread (100% my fav but any dairy-free spread that says ‘suitable for baking’ will do fine)
3 medium eggs (if your eggs are the wrong size don’t worry, you will just need a tad less or more liquid. Also for those who can’t eat hens eggs use 2 duck eggs)
25ml of a liquid (I use the juice from my orange, you can use any milk subs or even water)
Zest of one orange
2 tbsp cocoa powder

**If you don’t fancy the orange flavour skip the zest and juice, add vanilla essence or leave plain when you split mixture in step 2**

  1. Preheat oven to 170˚C fan oven, 190˚C regular. Place 12 paper cases into your 12 hole tray, if you want your cases to be able to stand up to high scrutiny you can put two cases in each hole. This means that the inner one takes the grease and the outer looks lovely. It also makes the marbling a bit easier. I use a muffin tray with regular size cupcake cases, I like the way the sides are very straight but just use whatever you have.
  2. Combine everything EXCEPT the cocoa powder and orange zest. Split the mixture as evenly as you can into two bowls. Sift cocoa powder into one bowl and mix. Add orange zest to the other bowl and mix. You should now have two magnificent smelling mixtures, one brown and one cream.
  3. Spoon about a heaped teaspoon (easier to use an actual cup of tea-making teaspoon than a measuring teaspoon spoon) of each mixture into all 12 cases. If you have mixture left over having done so, continue to split mixture between cases until you are all out of cake mix.
  4. Now for the fun/tricky bit. Marbling big cakes is fun and straightforward. Marbling cupcakes is trickier as the swirling movement can pull the cases away from the tin leaving you with a rumpled edge. If you have double cupcake cased your tray this is easier to rectify as only the inner case rumples and when you push it back to the edges of the tin to straighten it up the inner case slots back into the undisturbed outer case. Grab a skewer, cocktail stick or fork. With your thumb and forefinger press down slightly on the rim of your cupcake cases whilst you swirl your mixture. Don’t overdo it now! You want a beautiful marble effect, not a solid light brown colour.
  5. Pop these bad boys in the oven and bake for about 20 mins. Keep an eye on them as cooking time will vary between cupcake sizes and the age of your oven. The cakes should spring back when gently prodded with your finger. If you are unsure use your skewer from earlier (having washed it!) and insert into the centre of one of your cakes. It should come out clean.
  6. When cooked allow cupcakes to cool in their tray for a few minutes before turning out to cool on a wire rack. They are very tasty as this stage but no good for icing, so try to be patient. Don’t ice when they are even the slightest bit warm still or you could watch all your hard work splurge everywhere into a soggy mess. Believe me, I know.Optional last step: take a pic and Instagram or Twitter it using #amysbakes so I can see your awesome results!
  7. Optional last step: take a pic and Instagram or Twitter it using #amysbakes so I can see your awesome results!

I am leaving it to you to decide whether to ice or simply sprinkle with icing sugar or cocoa powder. As I said earlier due to the marbling they look lovely uncovered. One tip I will give is that Poundland’s Jane Asher baking range do vanilla frosting which just so happens to be vegan and pipes beautifully. Happy days!


4 thoughts on “Dairy-free Chocolate Orange Marble Madeira cupcakes

  1. Hello there! I have followed you for a while but Ionly just seen that you have a blog, it’s brill! Love your recipes- I’ve just developed my own blog, I’m new to it so would you possibly take a look for me and tell me what you think? Thank you keep up the recipes! 😊


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