Marbled Pound Cake Recipe #1

As of yesterday, I’ve been on a mission to find the perfect marbled pound cake recipe. This may take a while, but I have a good start thanks to Patricia who posted Dorie Greenspan’s recipe at Technicolor Kitchen. I made it this morning and it is very good. The only change I made, and this was based on other pound cake recipes with similar proportions, was to increase the salt.

Here’s what the cake looks like cut. I’m taking it to the school right now. Consider this Marbled Pound Cake #1

Marbled Pound Cake Recipe

Marbled Pound Cake #1 (based on a Dorie Greenspan recipe)

112g (4oz) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 cups (280g) all-purpose flour**
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 scant teaspoon salt
226g (2 sticks/8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Melt the chocolate over a double boiler and set aside to cool. Alternatively, you may use a heat-proof bowl set over but not touching a pan of barely simmering water.

Preheat the oven to 165ºC/325ºF. Spray a 9×5-inch (22.5×12.5cm) loaf pan with flour added cooking spray or grease with butter and dust with flour. Put the pan on an insulated baking sheet or on two regular baking sheets stacked one on top of the other.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Beat the butter and sugar on high speed until pale and fluffy, a full 5 minutes. You can do this with a stand mixer or with a hand-held electric mixer, but a stand mixer makes the job much easier. Scrape down the bowl and beater and reduce the mixer speed to medium. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 to 2 minutes after each egg goes in. As you’re working, scrape down the bowl and beater often. Mix in the vanilla extract. By hand, stir in the flour mixture and mix just until blended, making sure you’ve gotten rid of all lumps.

After the batter is fully mixed, transfer half of it to another bowl and gently blend in the melted, cooled chocolate. Alternate large spoonfuls of the light and dark batters in the pan, then run a kitchen knife in a zigzag pattern through the batters to marble them. Smooth the top.

Bake the cake on center rack of oven for a total of 65-75 minutes. At 45 minutes, check to see if it’s browning quickly and if you notice brown edges, cover loosely with foil.The cake is properly baked when a thin knife inserted deep into the center comes out clean.

Remove the cake from the oven, transfer the pan to a rack and let rest for 30 minutes.

Run a blunt knife between the cake and the sides of the pan and turn the cake out, then turn it right side up on the rack and cool to room temperature.

Wrapped well, the cake will keep for 5 to 7 days at room temperature (stale cake is great toasted) or up to 2 months in the freezer.

Serves 8-10

**2 ¼ cake flour may also be used. I used all purpose here.

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  1. says

    Looks yummy to me. It looks similar to one I keep wanting to make from Alice Medrich’s Chocolate And The Art of Low-Fat Desserts book that I bought a while back, so I can use up more of this plain yogurt I’ve got. So many things and so little time….I guess since the one I want to make is in a low-fat book, it’s probably not pound cake, but still a similar marbled cake in a bread pan that I’ve looked at a number of times of the last week and just haven’t gotten to making.

  2. Cindy in Tempe says

    What about a zebra cake (Nic at Baking Bites made one a while ago)? That seems to me to be the ultimate marble cake!

  3. says

    Zebra Cake! Good thinking.

    I believe this is the original…the one that started it all.

    Sounds like an easy to bake moist cake.

    Katrina, I think one con to this cake (the one I made today) was the lack of buttermilk/yogurt/sour cream. It was good, but a wee bit on the dry side. Now it could have been something I did, but I baked the cake according the directions, weighed ingredients and took the cake about right at 65 minutes. I’m going to see what my testers say ;). They’ll probably try it tomorrow.

  4. Karen says

    I love marble cakes and am always searching for a new recipe. I guess I haven’t yet found “the one.” They are often too dry or not chocolatey enough. I have my eye on this one from joy the baker:

    I can’t wait to see the rest of your experiments!

  5. says

    Karen, let’s have a race to see who makes Joy’s cake first! It sounds really good. Thanks for the link! Again, I think the sour cream really helps. I also likes that she used cake flour.

    Her recipe is adapted from Gourmet so I suppose the original is on Epicurious somewhere.

    I will leave out the orange extract.

  6. Shari says

    My very favorite pound cake is half butter, half cream cheese. I think it turns out way better than with sour cream! Very moist – almost fudgy if it’s a chocolate version.

  7. says

    Anna, I just made the chocolate muffins. I followed your recipe from yesterday except the only thing I changed was plain yogurt instead of sour cream. The muffins are good, and rise up pretty, but if I’m going to have a chocolate treat, I’d rather have it in ccc form or a yummy decadent cake. I can’t talk myself into have a muffin like this for breakfast. But I KNOW these will get eaten up here. The boys will think they are cupcakes and though they don’t care for cake, they will eat cupcakes. I’ll probably even let them frost them with leftover frosting from Parker’s b-day.
    I made some regular size, (15 min.), some mini’s (13:30 min., wish I would have just done 12), and for kicks I made a few cookies/muffin tops (10 min.) All good!

  8. Judy says

    Hi Anna,

    Have you ever tried this Chocolate Mug Microwave Cake? I am having my grandchildren this weekend and thought I would try this ahead to see what I would get myself into. The cake came out dense and spongy – do you think if a person used cake flour, half of the oil that this would come out more like a cake texture?

    >> 1 Coffee Mug
    >> 4 tablespoons flour(that’s plain flour, not
    >> self-rising)
    >> 4 tablespoons sugar
    >> 2 tablespoons baking cocoa
    >> 1 egg
    >> 3 tablespoons milk
    >> 3 tablespoons oil
    >> 3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional) some nuts
    >> (optional)
    >> Small splash of vanilla
    >> Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well . Add the
    >> egg and mix thoroughly.
    >> Pour in the milk and oil and mix well.
    >> Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla, and
    >> mix again.
    >> Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes
    >> on high.
    >> The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but
    >> don’t be alarmed!
    >> Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if
    >> desired. EAT!
    >> (this can serve 2 if you want to share!)
    >> And why is this the most dangerous cake recipe in
    >> the world?
    >> Because now we are all only 5 minutes away from
    >> chocolate cake at any time
    >> of the day or night!

  9. Jennifer says

    My favorite pound cake isn’t marbled, but it’s absolutely delicious. It was the first pound cake recipe I had ever tried, and I’m honestly quite certain that I’ll never need another one. It has deliciously slightly-crisp edges, the most WONDERFUL delicate flavor, and the perfect crumb.

    I believe there are several versions of Elvis’s “favorite” pound cake out there, but this one is the one that doesn’t include cream cheese. If you follow it to the letter, I can practically guarantee pound cake perfection.

    As for marbling, I’ve improvised marbling for this cake in the past, as my boyfriend’s mother rather enjoys marble cake. It turns out nicely, with the chocolate portion having a good discernible chocolate flavor.

    For a marbled pound cake, add these directions to the recipe linked above:

    1. Stop after the step that reads “Scrape down side of bowl, then beat at medium-high speed 5 minutes. Batter will become creamier and satiny.”
    2. In a bowl, blend together a heaping 1/2 cup of cocoa powder, 1/2 cup water, 6 tbsp sugar, and 3/4 tsp vanilla. (You might need more or less cocoa powder or water, but try to aim for a similar consistency to the plain pound cake batter.)
    3. Pour 1/3 of the plain pound cake batter into the bowl with the chocolate mixture. Beat for about a minute.
    4. Drop heaping 1/4-cupfuls of alternating batter into two loaf pans (or a 10″ tube or bundt). Swirl to marble (don’t overswirl).
    5. Continue with the rest of the recipe where it left off.

    I really do hope you try this pound cake, either plain or marbled. It’s absolutely delicious.

  10. says

    Baking Bites made the microwaved cake in a mug a few months ago, you can find her recipe and my comments for that recipe, one that I have used. Mine used cake mix, but was REALLY good. I think Nicoles was from scratch. It’s yummy with a few melted chocolate chips and even some marshmallows on top. Just sprinkle them both on after the mug is baked and they get melty and are a great “frosting”. There were lots of comments on Baking Bites for this on the day it was posted.
    It is a fun way to get kids involved in making their own treat. My recipe was 1/2 cup cake mix, with a little powdered egg white in it (for a whole cake mix it’s 1/3 cup of Deb El powdered egg whites whisked in ahead of time, just keep that ready mix in a cupboard and scoop some out for a treat whenever you want!) and 1 T. oil and a little water. All mixed in the mug (sprayed) and microed for 1 1/2 min. I did a lot of research on this and tests and this was the best version I came up with. I always thought 1 egg was too much–and the oil, too much. I made these for cute gifts last year. You can see more of my comments on Baking Bites. I’ll shut up now. 😉

  11. says

    I’ve been eyeing this recipe in Dorie’s book. I’m trying to hold off trying it till my sister’s birthday. I’m anxious to see your version, and hoping that serious injury will be averted and excellence will triumph.

  12. says

    Your marbled pound cake looks great. I have Dorie’s book and love it. Pound cake is one of my favorites. Have you ever tried Five Flavor Pound Cake? It is the best. Found it at Allrecipes and just keep making it. I wonder if you can marble any pound cake recipe? Anyhow, if you have never made Five Flavor Pound cake, give it a try…….it’s worth it!

  13. says

    Okay, well maybe I’ll put the zebra cake on hold and focus on marble pound cake. FOCUS.

    Katrina, are you going to post a picture of the muffins? I will check in a minute.

    Shari, I love cream cheese in pound cakes. I’m trying to start with more traditional formulas and will proceed with acidic additions today. For instance, today’s will have sour cream. Cream cheese version will come along shortly after.

    Judy, I think the cake flour would make it more tender, but I wouldn’t cut the oil. I’m not really sure about microwave cakes. Sounds like Katrina’s recipe is the way to go with that.

    Jennifer, thanks for the link! I’m putting that one on the list. If I recall, it was a popular recipe with bakers on eGullet.

    Baking Blonde, I think pound cake is a good exercise in proper baking. To make a good pound cake, you really have to follow directions, use the proper amount of flour (weighing helps) and cream your butter and sugar as specified. Taking shortcuts and improvising on pound cake recipes can often (not always!) lead to failure.

    Erin, have you checked Amazon used? It’s less expensive there. You might as well buy it now.

    Debbie, I made a 5 Flavor Pound Cake off Recipezaar years ago. It was excellent!

  14. says

    Anna, I’m glad to see you tried the cake – I like Dorie’s recipes a lot, but haven’t used the book lately. All those “Tuesdays with Dorie” posts around the blogs have put me off using the book.
    I’m sorry to hear the cake was a bit dry – I think a bit of yogurt would solve the problem in another try. Or even ground almonds.
    My two nieces who ate the cake loved it. But you know kids – they’ll love anything with chocolate. 🙂

  15. Karen says

    Because Anna dared me, I made Joy the Baker’s cake linked above. I made a half recipe and baked it in a 8×4 loaf pan for 52 minutes. I omitted the orange (though I think it would be really good with orange). I used 2 tbs dutch process cocoa which I dissolved in 2 tbs hot water first for the chocolate. I stirred in a scant 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips. I put it in the pan kind of like the zebra, in layers, but not super thin. My marbling was therefore more delicate than Anna’s in the picture above – thin stripes of chocolate rather than large areas. The cake is delicious! Very moist but still firm. It is not super chocolatey but the chocolate taste is there. I did pick up a slight baking powder taste. My daughter absolutely loved it.

  16. Carole R. says

    I made this cake this afternoon. I added a Tablespoon of Grand Marnier, eliminated the vanilla and added a couple teaspoons of grated orange zest to the plain batter.

    I have not cut into it as it is still cooling.

    I love the combo of orange and chocolate. YUM!!!

  17. says

    Patricia, I still liked the cake. I’m not sure why it was dry because usually Dorie Greenspan’s recipe are perfect. I must have done something wrong somewhere….I just don’t know what. We’ll see what Carol has to say.

    Heidi, I found the recipe on Patricia’s blog then went and checked Dorie’s book and saw that the recipe was indeed the same. I didn’t bother looking for the banana marble cake because this particular quest is for a plain chocolate marble cake. I think banana marble cake sounds good, though! I did see it on other blogs at one point and then realized it was TWD. But I always forget about TWD. I should follow it. Someone will have to remind me on Monday ;).

  18. Carole R. says

    Like Anna I found the cake a bit dry. Tasty but dry.

    Greenspan says you can toast pound cake slices which is what I may do with the rest of this cake. Or grind it in the foor processor and use the crumbs for something.

    Anna, you didn’t do anything wrong. There maybe something wrong with the recipe. Maybe she left an ingredient out.

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