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Marble Cake

Marble Cake

Marble cake is a cake with a streaked appearance (like marble) achieved by very lightly blending light and dark batter.  Usually blending vanilla and chocolate batter.  One of the first print references to marble cake appears in Malinda Russell’s, “Domestic Cook Book” from 1866.  One popular variation of this recipe during Victorian times was “Harlequin cake,” which was baked with checkerboard patterns.  Early recipes used molasses and spices to achieve the dark colored batter. 


1 Cup Unbleached Flour

4 Tablespoons Cake Flour

1/2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt

1 Cup Unsalted Butter (Room Temperature)

1 1/2 Cups Sugar

1 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract

4 Eggs (Room Temperature)

1/4 Cup Buttermilk

3 Tablespoons Dutch Processed Cocoa Powder

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. 

Grease 8×4” loaf pan and line bottom with greased parchment paper.  Set aside. 

In medium-size bowl combine flours and kosher salt.  Set aside. 

In large-size bowl beat butter until creamy.  Add sugar and beat until incorporated.  Add vanilla and beat until incorporated.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just combined. 

Add 1/3 flour mixture to butter mixture until just combined.  Add half the buttermilk until just combined.  Repeat with another 1/3 flour mixture and remaining buttermilk.  End process with flour mixture. 

Divide batter in half.   Stir cocoa powder into half of the batter. 

Using an ice cream scoop alternate scoops of vanilla and chocolate batters into prepared pan.  Drag a knife through batter to create a marbled effect.  Smooth top.  Tap pan on the counter a few times to release excess air bubbles. 

Place pan on a baking sheet. 

Place in oven 70 minutes until inserted toothpick comes out clean. 

Remove from oven and let cool in pan 10 minutes.  Remove from pan and place on wire racks to cool completely. 

Transfer to serving platter and serve. 

Makes 1 loaf cake

Serves 8

Prep Time:    20 Minutes

Cook Time:   70 Minutes

Total Time:   90 Minutes

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Victoria Glavin Hart