Marbled Pound Cake #2

Update: I finally updated this recipe. The first time I made it the chocolate sank a bit. In fact, it sank into the shape of a smile. Unfortunately, sunken chocolate does not make for a stunning Marbled Pound Cake, so I finally went back and re-did the recipe. Or at least the marbled part. The cake went from this.

marbled pound cake

To this!

Marbled Pound Cake

The newer version is also more stately because I baked it in an 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch loaf pan rather than a 9×5. Loaf pan sizes are all over the map, but I’ve found the 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 and the 8×4 inch sizes to make tall but substantial cakes.


This recipe is based on one Katy gave me called Mary Jo Bowen’s Pound Cake, only this version is marbled with a small amount of chocolate.


The texture is tight-crumbed, soft and tender. It’s moist, but not greasy and not particularly dense. In fact, it’s kind of light. The cake flour makes a huge difference and I don’t know that I’d make another pound cake with anything other than cake flour, or if I had some on hand, soft wheat flour like White Lily.

The only drawback to this cake is it requires lots of bowls and beaters. Lining everything up ahead of time and having ingredients and appliances ready to go will help make baking this cake a lot more fun. It’s definitely worth it, just take your time and enjoy the process. In other words, don’t try to make it while you’re making dinner.

I’m going to take this to the school and get some feedback on Marble Cake #1, which I left there yesterdayI hope they didn’t find it too dry.

Here is the new improved version, and if you follow the directions (shortening is key because it lightens the batter) the chocolate shouldn’t sink too much.

Marbled Pound Cake #2
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This makes a very light textured vanilla flavored pound cake marbled with chocolate.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 12
  • 1 1/2 cups (165g) cake flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (114 grams) unsalted butter, cool room temp
  • 1 1/2 cups (300 grams) superfine sugar, divided use**
  • 3 large eggs, separated, room temp**
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1/2 cup (114 grams) sour cream, room temp
  • 1 1/2 oz (42 grams) semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon (12 grams) vegetable shortening
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease an 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch metal loaf pan and line with a strip of parchment paper. Dust with flour.
  2. Sift together dry ingredients; Set aside.
  3. Beat butter and 1 1/4 cups of the sugar until light and creamy (3-5 minutes). Beat in egg yolks one at a time. Beat in extracts. Add flour mixture and sour cream in alternating portions, beginning and ending with flour.
  4. In a separate bowl beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar until shiny, soft, billowy peaks form. Do not overbeat. Err on the side of under-beating. Fold egg whites into batter.
  5. In a microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate and shortening together using 50% power and stirring ever 45 seconds until smooth. Alternatively, you may do this step in a double boiler and start earlier in the process.
  6. Stir 1/4 cup of the cake batter into the chocolate until thoroughly blended, then add about another 3/4 cup of batter and stir until blended.
  7. Layer a little over half of the white batter in the pan. Dot with the chocolate batter, then cover with white batter. Add a few more splotches of chocolate batter and drag a knife through for a marbled effect. Bake on center rack of oven for 65 minutes on center rack or until cake tests done (wooden skewer inserted comes out with moist crumbs).
  8. Cool in pan for about 10 minutes, flip out of pan and invert. Cool completely.
  9. To make neat slices, cut with a serrated knife.


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  1. says

    Cute little smile! I’m seriously/probably going to make this marbled loaf cake from Alice’s low fat book today. Let you know!
    Do you like this one has melted chocolate instead of cocoa? That’s what I’m most concerned about, is the choclate part not being chocolatey enough (like the zebra cake).

  2. HeartofGlass says

    Is that a smile or is it punch drunk? The poor little fellow looks like it has a black eye!

    Just kidding–although perhaps in version 3, an image of Elvis or the Virgin Mary will surface and you can sell it on eBay!

    I’ve never liked marbled cake that much, because the flavors are often muddied, but if you say it is good, Anna, I will give it a try–I’ve never cooked anything bad from your blog!

  3. says

    Oh a smiling loaf… But that’s an evil smile I think! I’m not very receptive today to baked goods that smile at me, after spending my afternoon working on a smiling car cake.
    I like it has a bit of almond extract.

  4. says

    Katrina, I would stick with semi-sweet chocolate if I were you. I had one bad experience with a cocoa swirl and wouldn’t do it again. However, I did other things that messed up my cocoa-based marble. But I plan on sticking with semi-sweet.

    Lisa, I kept cutting more and more slices and the slices toward the center had more chocolate. So if you stick with the proportions above, you should have just enough chocolate. And I’m mentioning this because the photographed piece doesn’t have much swirl in it. The other pieces did.

    Heart of Glass, in this cake, the flavors aren’t muddled at all. I don’t like muddle either. And that smiley face *is* drunk. It got drunk from the vanilla extract. It has a low tolerance.

    Thanks VG!

    Rita, maybe you could make a frowning pound cake? About the almond extract, you could use a little more if you really like almond.

  5. says

    My chocolate loaf with vanilla swirl (I thought I’d be different–and I may have “muddled” mine too much, oh well) is in the oven. It sure smells good. We don’t bake cake here at our house very often. Just for kicks (and because I’ve been wanting to do it, Rita!) even though the cake says it stands alone and doesn’t need an icing or glaze, I’m going to make a white chocolate ganache for it–and because I have some cream. We’ll see how that goes and if it actually goes on the cake once I make it!

  6. says

    Cool Katrina! Hey Anna, ever thought of doing a double chocolate marble cake, with white chocolate on the white cake part? Like the cheesecake you did a while ago, but in poud cake form.

  7. Abi says

    I keep reading ‘marble’ and seeing ‘Maple’. This weekend cannot come soon enough.

    I like a 50/50 split in my marble pound cakes, so this might not be the recipe for me.

    Do you ever swirl through one with a skewer?

  8. Rachael says

    I made this today. The flavor is very nice- everything you said, light, soft, not oily. Two tiny problems- my swirl did not go as planned. I just layered the chocolate and vanilla starting with vanilla on the bottom. I never ran a skewer through because I don’t like the muddled look. But somehow all the chocolate moved itself to the bottom- maybe the chocolate was a lot heavier (I did use a little more than 2oz semisweet). Oh well, tastes good.

    Second problem, and maybe you can help me with this- it that I had to bake for a lot longer than 45 minutes in order to get the middle at an correct internal temp, maybe more than 15 minutes more. This resulted in the bottom and the edges being really hard and even requiring a serrated knife to cut. All that is not edge is baked perfectly, not over-baked. What’s with that? I only had a glass loaf pan- is that the problem you think?

    I’m just trying to learn more about pound cakes since it’s hubby’s fav dessert.

  9. says

    Hi Rachael,

    Thanks for the comment! I’m glad you liked the texture of the cake despite the issues. I’m positive the overcooked edges had to do with the glass pan. I don’t usually bake in a glass loaf pan (because I don’t have one), but I think the rule of thumb is to turn the temperature down 25 degrees when baking with glass. This applies to brownies and other bar cookies baked in 9×13 or 9 inch glass pans too. But yes, if you do not to that the result is either an undercooked center or a perfectly cooked center with hard edges. About the chocolate sinking, there are two ways to fix it. One would be to put just about all of the vanilla batter in the pan, put the chocolate on top, then maybe a few drops of vanilla batter on top all the while knowing the chocolate will sink. The other would be to use something like 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder and an extra tablespoon of butter in place of the two ounces of melted semi-sweet chocolate. I think a cocoa-based batter wouldn’t sink as much. I’ll have to try it! I haven’t made this cake in a while, but now I have a good excuse.

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