A super easy, simple and tested recipe that turns out a soft, tender, and moist chocolate vanilla swirly marble cake, perfect for everyday tea.
If you haven’t yet pinned marble cakes on your list of must-bake treats, it’s time to re-think that list! Because marble cakes aren’t just good, they are deliriously delicious! I’ve baked this three times this week alone, each loaf hardly ever getting past the second day, with hubby and I reaching out for sweet seconds every time we’ve pinched off morsels for quick bites. And you know what, this cake is so good, it just can’t be enjoyed in little portions, you’ll want to have the whole slab!
And it’s almost as if I’ve re-kindled a whole new love and respect for chocolate vanilla marble cakes. I used to think that there was nothing special about them, and that marble cakes seemed so, err… what’s the word,… oh yah, dull. To me, marble cakes used to seem sort of iffy – it’s almost as if it couldn’t be decided if the cake should have been more a buttery vanilla confection, with a chocolatey compromise (perhaps to appeal to chocolate lovers?). Or perhaps, more a chocolate lover’s cake, with buttery vanilla to sweeten things up a little? Can’t say, right? See? Iffy.
And then I realised that it doesn’t really matter, because either way, it makes for a perfect union of flavours. Seriously, how wrong can one be with chocolate and vanilla? And these cakes are fantastically easy and simple to prepare (otherwise, I wouldn’t be trumpeting about it). Though marble cakes are more of an everyday tea cake, these can become amazingly decadent desserts, when drizzled over with a rich, smooth chocolate glaze, or golden caramel sauce, or even light buttercream topping- right away, a humble cake transforms into an indulgent treat. In a snap!
DID YOU KNOW? Marble cakes have a long history, originating in Germany during the 19th century (also called marmokuchen in German), and first appeared in American cook books from 1871 onwards. It’s usual to think of marble cakes as mostly chocolate and vanilla flavoured, though by definition, these are basic butter cakes made with a mix of different coloured batters, a light-coloured one, to contrast a darker-coloured one. The batters can be flavoured with different kinds of fruit or fruit pastes, or blended with cocoa, coffee, even flavoured liquors.
Ultimately, marble cakes are butter cakes at heart – so you can expect nothing short of a soft, moist, tender-textured cake, with a light, pure, buttery flavour. And now having told you how easy and simple marbles cakes are to bake, I surely do have the perfect recipe (or at least, as close to perfect right now) for you. This recipe is also very good for a basic butter cake – simply omit the steps for the cocoa batter, and bake as is.
This marble cake recipe, by Singapore’s Executive Chef Judy Goh, was taught to baking students at her baking institute, Creative Culinaire, as part of a first-level cake foundation course, which I attended several years ago. In the years since, I’ve tried several marble cake recipes, but truth be told, I still find this particular marble cake recipe as invaluable as when I first had a go at it as a baking novice, and well,… it’s just too good to swap for any other. I do hope you’ll give it a go, and tell me what you think!
- 150 g cake flour
- 1 1/2 tsp double-acting (or regular) baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 130 g butter, softened at room temperature
- 100 g caster sugar
- 2 whole eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 50 g milk
- 40 g dairy cream (whipping cream)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp milk
- 1 tsp oil
Pre-heat oven to 190 deg C (375 deg F). Place oven rack in the centre of the oven. Lightly grease the base and sides of an oval loaf pan (9 in x 4 in x 2 1/4 in).
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a small bowl, combine whole eggs and egg yolks, and stir with a fork to mix well. In another bowl, combine the milk, cream, and vanilla extract. Lastly, in a separate bowl, combine the cocoa paste ingredients and stir until smooth.
Using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on medium speed (speed 3 on my Kitchen Aid mixer) until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes.
Keeping the mixer speed on low to medium, add the eggs, little by little, beating well after each addition. Add the flour mixture, alternating with the milk-cream mixture, in 1/4 portions each time, beating well until you get a smooth batter. Do not over-beat during this stage.
Weigh out 100 g of the cake batter. Gently fold in the cocoa paste until well combined. In the prepared loaf pan, pour enough plain batter to cover the base. Next, alternate dollops of chocolate batter with plain batter, ending with some chocolate batter on the top. Using a toothpick or bamboo skewer, create a swirled or marbled effect.
Bake in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a metal or bamboo skewer inserted into the centre of the cake, emerges free of batter. When cake is done, remove from oven, and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove cake from the pan, and cool completely on a cooling rack. Slice, and serve as desired.