Classic pound cake with vanilla cake swirled around cocoa layers. Fun part in this bake is an element of surprise - the swirls come out different every time you bake it so the first cut into the cake is always exciting.
We are sharing our favourite and reliable family recipe for this cake. It’s a standard pound cake with classic ratios of 1:1:1 (same amount of butter, flour, sugar - in grams). What is slightly different, is a note to add 1 Tablespoon flour less - this is to account for aeration of flour when sifting. We are adding coffee and spices to bring out stronger flavour in cocoa layer.
Everyone has their own tricks for swirls - below the recipe we are giving you few hints on how we go about making ours. You can bake this cake in bundt cake form or loaf tin.
As a result you get light, buttery pound cake with fun marble effect and two flavours: vanilla and lightly spiced cocoa. The cake is a perfect match for a quick tea or coffee.
Marble Pound Cake Recipe
Yield: 12 servings
Time: 25 min prep + 45 min baking
Tin: 10-cup bundt cake form (23x8cm) or 10x20cm (900g) loaf tin
- 290g all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/5 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 300g butter, softened and diced
- 300g caster sugar
- 2 tsps vanilla extract
- 5 large eggs, room temperature
- 100ml full-fat milk, room temperature
For the cocoa layer:
- 30ml full-fat milk
- 2 tsps instant coffee granules
- 2 tsps cocoa
- 2 tsps cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Lightly grease baking tin and apply thin layer of flour or spray with non-stick baking spray.
2. Prepare dry ingredients: Sift flour with baking powder, baking soda and salt.
3. Prepare coffee extract: In a small pot bring 30ml of milk to boil, add coffee and cook for 15 seconds until dissolved. You should get, thick in consistency, coffee liquid. Set aside to cool.
4. Prepare cake batter: Using paddle attachment or hand held mixer beat butter on medium speed until soft (2-3 minutes), add sugar in 5-6 turns. Beat on medium speed until fluffy and pale (5-6 minutes). Add vanilla extract - mix for few seconds until incorporated then reduce speed to medium-low and start adding eggs, one at a time, mixing well in-between additions. Don’t worry if the mixture looks a little bit split (it will have no impact on baked cake). Start adding sifted flour from Step 2 (in 2-3 turns) mixing on low only until combined (don’t over mix). Add milk and mix on low until combined. Split the batter in half. To the cocoa batter - add cinnamon, nutmeg, cocoa, coffee extract (from Step 3) and using spatula fold in until combined. Don’t over mix.
5. Shape: To get the look as in the pictures simply pour vanilla cake batter first (if you are baking in bundt cake form - spoon the batter evenly around the form), then pour the cocoa batter on top. Using knife handle make few swirls for the marble effect.
6. Bake at 180C for 45-50 minutes. Check with the skewer if fully baked through. Once baked, take out of the oven and let the cake cool in the baking tin for 10 minutes before transferring to the cooling rack. Let the cake cool for about 2 hours before serving (for the texture to set).
1. Spices - highly recommend mixing in some cardamom in the cocoa batter - 1 tsp cardamom (or ground seeds from 5 pods) +1 tsp cinnamon+1/2 tsp nutmeg. Gingerbread spice works really well too (1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp gingerbread spice, 1/2 tsp nutmeg).
2. Butter - cut into smaller pieces and leave at room temperature for 1 hour before preparing the cake. Beat butter for few minutes to soften and slowly incorporate sugar (don't rush that part) - this will give you fluffy cake base.
3. Milk - add at room temperature (if you forgot to put the milk out, just warm it up slightly). If you add cold milk you are risking soggy cake bottom in this bake.
4. Cocoa - use Dutch cocoa if you can get it. It's less acidic and will give you deeper cocoa flavour.
5. Swirls - if you want a number of smaller swirls - place the batter in 2-3 layers - so a layer of white/black/white/black etc. and make few swirls using knife handle. We like the old-fashion look with clearly visible cocoa and vanilla batter - if you want to go for that look (as in pictures) spread vanilla batter, then cocoa batter on top. Don’t swirl too much as the effect will be diminished and you may end up with cocoa pound cake The thicker the handle you swirl with the more profound/thicker the swirls.
6. Storage - store at room temperature, loosely covered with foil. The cake stays fresh for about 3-4 days. You will get stronger coffee and spice flavour from day 2. If you ask us - the cake gets better as the time passes.