Last updated on July 19th, 2024.

Marble pound cake is a timeless treat that beautifully combines the rich flavors of vanilla and chocolate. 

sliced bundt cake with cups of milk and chocolate glazed.

The beautiful veins of chocolate leave no doubt to where the cake got its name from. Dark chocolate pound cake batter swirled into moist vanilla buttermilk pound cake batter, it’s like two cakes for one!  

This is another nostalgic recipe just like my Orange Chiffon Cake and this Biscuit Cake. Americans have Chocolate Chip Cookies, but we, the people of Israel, have Marble Pound Cake, a cake made last minute as an afternoon coffee companion. It’s the Israeli version of the Italian Ciambellone, a simple sweet treat and a counter staple during weekdays. This marble pound cake recipe uses simple ingredients you most likely already have in your pantry, and it can be baked as a bundt cake or a marble loaf cake.

Two Ways To Get The Marble Effect

There are two ways to create the signature swirls in the cake:

  1. Pour half of the vanilla batter into the greased pan and spread it into an even layer. Repeat with the chocolate layer. Repeating with the remaining batter. Lastly use a knife to run through the batter to create the swirls effect. (image below)
  2. Use two cookie scoops to scoop the two batters in an alternative pattern. Use a knife or a wooden skewer to create the swirls. (see below in instruction)
chocolate and vanilla cake batter.

Ingredients

The complete recipe, including measurements, can be found in the recipe card below.

  • All-purpose flour contributes to the moist crumbs in the cake. I like to use unbleached all-purpose flour, so if you can avoid using bleached or cake flour for this recipe, do so.
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Unsalted softened butter. For the parve (nondairy) option, use vegan butter.
  • Granulated sugar.
  • Large eggs at room temperature. Click to learn how to bring eggs to room temperature quickly.
  • Vanilla extract.
  • Buttermilk should be at room temperature. Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt can be substituted. For parve (a non-dairy option), use unsweetened, unflavored apple sauce or water + teaspoons of apple cider vinegar.
  • Dark chocolate. The best option is 62% or 72% semi-sweet chocolate. For the cocoa powder option, replace the chocolate with 1/3 cup of cocoa powder and mix with four tablespoons of hot water. 

Flavoring options

  • Black and white marble cake. Fold melted white chocolate into the vanilla batter.
  • Orange chocolate. My mom used to add the zest of one orange with the sugar, giving the cake a citrusy flavor.
  • Moca. Dissolve one to two teaspoons of instant coffee or espresso powder in the vanilla extract and add it to the vanilla batter.

How to Make Marble Cake

  1. Melt the chocolate in 30-second increments in a microwave-safe bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  2. Using the paddle attachment, mix the butter and sugar in an electric mixer bowl until light and fluffy, for about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, waiting for each egg to completely blend before adding the next.
  4. Stop the mixer and use a rubber spatula to add the dry ingredients in three additions, alternating with the buttermilk and vanilla.
  5. Measure one-third of the vanilla batter into a bowl and fold in the melted chocolate.
  6. Alternatively, scoop the chocolate batter and the vanilla cake batter into the prepared pan.
  7. Use a butter knife to create the beautiful marble effect by moving it around the pan in motions of “8”. Bake.
how to make vanilla and chocolate pound cake.
making a swirl for marble cake.
slices of marble pound cake.

Tips

  • For best results, ensure all ingredients are at room temperature. Cold ingredients will yield a dense crumb, for more information I have a complete post with all the tips for best pound cakes.
  • Do not over mix the separate batters, or you will end up with chocolate cake with no swirls of vanilla.
  • If you are using a loaf pan, make sure to line it with parchment paper. If using bundt pan, do not allow the cake to completely cool in the pan. Invert the cake 15-20 minutes after removing it from the oven onto a wire rack.
  • The cake is ready when a toothpick or a cake tester comes out with a few moist crumbs in the center.

Storage and Pan Options

Store the cake at room temperature, covered for up to 4 days. To freeze, wrap the cake in plastic wrap, place it in a plastic bag and freeze for up to eight weeks.

Pan Options

  • Loaf Pan: A 9×5-inch loaf pan is perfect for a classic pound cake shape.
  • Bundt Pan: Use an 8, or 10 cups bundt pan.
chocolate and vanilla pound cake.

Don’t forget to leave a comment and tag me on Instagram when you make one of my recipes.

Marble Pound Cake

A moist vanilla cake swirled with delicious chocolate cake.

Course Dessert
Cuisine European
Keyword marble pound cake
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 12 people
Author Dikla

Ingredients

  • 2/3 Cup Chopped Dark chocolate (120g)
  • 2 1/4 Cup All-purpose flour (270g)
  • 2 teaspoons Baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons Salt
  • 3/4 Cup Buttermilk at room temperature (180ml)
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 Cup Unsalted butter at room temperature (270g)
  • 1 1/2 Cup Sugar (300g)
  • 4 Large Eggs at room temperature

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325F (160C), and grease one 8, or 10-cup bundt pan. Or line one 9.5×5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper.

  2. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Melt the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl using 30-seconds increments.

  3. In a large mixing bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl two to three times during the mixing process.

  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, with the mixer on medium-high waiting for each egg to be completely incorporated. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl.

  5. Turn the mixer off, and use a rubber spatula to mix in the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the buttercream and vanilla. Start and finish with the flour.

  6. Measure about 1/3 of the batter into a medium bowl, and fold in the melted chocolate.

  7. Use two cookie scoops (or large spoons) to scoop the two types of batters in a pattern into the prepared pan.

  8. Insert a butter knife into the cake batter and swirl it like you are writing the number eight. Do it once.

  9. Bake for 45-48 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out from the center of the cake with a few moist crumbs.

  10. Remove the cake from the oven and allow the cake to cook in the pan for about 15-20 minutes, then invert it onto a cooling rack.

Recipe Notes

  • Make sure all of the ingredients are at room temperature before mixing the cake.
  • Store the cake at room temperature, covered for up to four days. 
  • To freeze, wrap the cake cake with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, place in a plastic wrap and freeze up to eight weeks. When ready, allow the cake to warm to room temperature unwrapped.
  •  For non dairy options: replace the butter with vegan butter and the buttermilk with unflavored unsweetened apple sauce. 
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