Thursday, January 7, 2010

Traditional Marble Loaf Cake

One of my friends once said to me, “you dislike baking because you don’t like to follow the recipe from the baking book; but, you can sure make a marble effect on a Marble Cake!” Hah, to be honest, I don’t know how a perfect marble cake is supposed to look like, do you? Anyway, do you think this marble cake looks okay? It tastes pretty good though I thought.

So, if you think it looks okay, then you can consider trying my method. I am not sure whether it will work with other marble cake recipes; but, it turned out fine using the recipe from Dorie Greenspan’s baking book. This is how I did it - Instead of dividing the batter into 2 parts, I removed about 1 cup of batter and mixed it into the melted chocolate and gently folded the mixture with a rubber spatula until they combined. Then, I scraped the chocolate mixture into the other batter. My little trick here is that I folded the batter as if you were folding the egg whites. (Do not over mix the batter.) Fold it gently for about 5 to 6 times and finally, scrape the batter into the baking pan. Dip a skewer deep into the batter and make 2 big swirls or 2 big zigzags. Then if you like, make a few swirls on top of the batter. That’s it, sounds real easy, doesn’t it? :-)

Recipe adapted from Baking From my home to yours by Dorie Greenspan

Traditional Marble Loaf Cake


2 Cups Flour plus 2 Tbsp All-Purpose Flour
1 ¼ tsp Baking Powder
½ tsp Sea Salt
1 ½ Sticks (12 Tbsp) Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
1 Cup Sugar
4 Large Eggs
½ tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
½ Cup Whole Milk
4 oz Bittersweet Chocolate, melted


Preheat the oven to 325˚F. Butter an 8 ½ x 4 ½ x 2 ½-inch loaf pan, dust the inside with flour and tap out the excess. Place the pan on an insulated baking sheet or 2 regular baking sheets stacked one on top of the other.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

Working with a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, or with hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the sugar and beat for another 2 to 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Don’t be concerned if the batter curdles and stay curdled-it will be fine. Beat in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and alternately add the flour mixture in 3 additions and the milk in 2 (begin with the dry ingredients), mixing only until each addition is incorporated.

Traditional method: Divide the batter in half and stir the melted chocolate into one half and keep the other half plain. Drop spoonfuls of dark and light batter randomly into the pan, and then plunge a table knife deep into the batter and zigzag the knife through the batter, making only about 6 to 8 zigs and zags. Scrape the batter into the pan.

Bake the cake for 1 hour and 20 to 30 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted deep into the center comes out clean. If the cake looks as if it’s getting too brown during its bake, cover loosely with a foil tent. Transfer the cake to a cooling rack and let it rest for about 15 minutes before unmolding, then cool the cake to room temperature right side up on the rack.


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  1. Neat technique and a great-looking cake!

  2. Looks great. I will give it a try for sure!

  3. can you give me this in uk measurements


  4. looks delightful! love that you used melted chocolate.

  5. Angie, it doesn't look alright, it looks perfect! A good marble loaf should be dense, buttery, holds most of its crumb but not firm, is yours like that?

    Can I ask why bother with the folding through? Why can't just pour alternate batter in the pan and simply run a skewer through it? You are already washing two bowls anyway the moment you separate 1 cup of mixture to add melted choc into. So, I don't quite understand.

    Thanks and cheers!

  6. Looks really delicious and there is nothing really like a plain old fashion marble cake. Have to give your swirling method a try the next time I bake one of this.

  7. Looks amazing! Loved the marble effect.

  8. I made a choc and banana marble cake at the Weekend and did it in a very similar way. Worked great, but for some reason no one ever eats up the banana bread in my house!

    I made your Hasselback tato's ages ago and blogged it and I still get loads of hits on that blog page every day! I hope you get some too as I ref'd you. Can you give me a clue as to what lighting you use, your food photos are always so brilliantly well lit. What's the secret?

  9. beautiful loaf of cake. i like your technique too!

  10. Looks wonderful. Reminds me of my childhood whereby Milo is used :)

  11. Your method is a winner! I think your marble cake looks just the way it should. Very attractive loaf!

  12. @ Dorie: I couldn't be happier to receive a compliment from you. Thank you! :-)

  13. @Chicho: Thanks. Do let me know how yours turn out. These are in US measurements. You can convert them using the "Culiverter" Converter on my blog. Thanks.

    @Nicole: Thanks.

    @breadetbutter: Thanks.

  14. Hi Quinn, BIG THANKS! The cake is dense but not that buttery though. Well, I really don't know why I can't follow the alternate batter method, somehow the cake will turn out "patchy". I am not good at baking, got a lot to learn too. ;)

  15. Marble cake looks great!.. The technique sounds simple to the one that i normally do!. Would like to try it sometime.

  16. I loved this marble cake, seems delicious :)

  17. @thingswemake: Yes, the Hasselback potatoes is still a big hit! As for the photos, natural lighting is the "secret". You may notice my recent pictures are not so bright due to the rainy weather over here. It's not good at all.

  18. Hi, your folding technique produced a really nice pattern! I made this cake today but used the traditional method, thanks for sharing the recipe. If not for your comment that the cake is dense, I would have thought it was on the dry side. I thought it would have the texture of a pound cake, moist and not too dense. Speaking of pound cake, I will try that next. I'm thinking of buying Dorie's book but will test out her recipes from your site before deciding. Thanks again!


  19. This cake looks wonderful! I'm curious, is all of the flour all-purpose flour?

  20. @Ellen: Yes, this recipe used only all-purpose flour. Thanks.

  21. I love the plate that you used in the first photo, where did you find it?

  22. Hey. This recipe is good. It was moist and the vanilla and chocolate flavour was there :) Thank you so much for sharing this recipe

  23. I have been looking for some marble loaf recipes and this one looks super delicious. I was wondering if I could use unsweetened cocoa powder instead of melted chocolate ?

  24. @MoniShreya: I bought the plate from Homesense.

    @Janice: Thanks. Glad you like it.

    @sequesteredwords: Sorry,I have not tried baking this cake with cocoa powder.

  25. Great recipe!

    Just wanted to let you know I published your recipe on my blog in a slightly different version.
    Thanks for posting it!

  26. Just made this cake and it is AWESOME! This recipe is a keeper, thank you so much for sharing it :)


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