A chocolate vanilla marble cake that always turns out! This recipe is super easy, simple and time-tested. You’ll love how soft, tender, and moist this marble cake is, and perfect for any time of day.
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 hubs and I reaching out for second helpings 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 loaf!
I have to say, I feel like I’ve re-kindled a whole new love and respect for chocolate vanilla marble cakes.
Oddly, not too long ago, I used to think that there was nothing special about them. I don’t know why but marble cakes seemed uninteresting to me.
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 maybe, it was meant to be more a chocolate lover’s cake with buttery vanilla to sweeten things up a little.
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 you get with the classic combination of 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, golden caramel sauce, or even light buttercream topping, this humble cake transforms into an indulgent treat. In a snap!
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Origin of marble cake
Marble cakes have a long history, originating in Germany during the 19th century and are known as marmokuchen in German.
It is said that marble cakes made its way to America before the Civil War through German immigrants.
Now, originally, the earliest versions of marble cake were made by marbling molasses and spices.
The first appearance in an American cookbook titled Aunt Babette’s Cook Book: Foreign and Domestic Receipts for the Household published in 1889 was a Jewish recipe for marble cake.
The American adaptation by replacing the molasses with chocolate came about as a result of the growing popularity and obsession with chocolate in 1895.
This was a significant time because chocolate was becoming more affordable to American home bakers, due to the introduction of modern mass production capabilities.
What is marble cake?
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.
Now, it’s usual to think that these cakes are always made with chocolate and vanilla flavoured batters.
But by definition, they are typically batter cakes made with any mix and number of different coloured batters.
A marble cake is visually beautiful because it involves marbling a light-coloured batter with a darker-coloured one for contrast.
The batters can be flavoured with different kinds of fruit or fruit pastes, or blended with cocoa, coffee and even flavoured liquors.
About this chocolate vanilla marble cake
This recipe by Singapore’s Executive Chef Judy Koh, was taught to baking students at her baking institute, Creative Culinaire.
It was 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 one as invaluable as when I first had a go at it as a baking novice.
It’s also an excellent recipe if you’re looking to make a basic butter cake. Simply omit the steps for the cocoa batter, and bake as is.
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!
While you’re at this, check out these drool-worthy butter cake recipes you might enjoy:
Soft & Moist Chocolate Vanilla Marble Cake
- 150 g cake flour
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ 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 (or heavy whipping cream)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
To make cocoa paste:
- 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.