This moist and soft marble loaf cake is made with vanilla and chocolate batter. It only takes 20 minutes to prepare this delicious pound cake and gives you the most amazing effect! I've topped this loaf cake with a dreamy chocolate ganache.
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This recipe was originally published in June 2021. It has since been updated with new images.
Loaf cakes are always a big hit in my household! Whether it's something fruity like a raspberry loaf cake or this rich and delicious marbled loaf cake, they're always quick to make and use simple equipment. Plus with all the swirling in this loaf, I love how every slice looks different!
This cake is super soft and moist due to to the sour cream in the batter. Using sour cream instead of milk will add so much richness.
Tell me about this recipe!
- You'll get two flavors from just one cake batter! No need to make two separate batters.
- This loaf cake is extra moist and buttery thanks to sour cream.
- Swirling chocolate and vanilla cake batters means every slice of pound cake is different!
- This is such an easy recipe and you need simple ingredients that you probably already have!
- The chocolate cake batter is mixed with some espresso powder which makes the chocolate even richer.
- Flour: I tested this recipe with all purpose flour.
- Espresso Powder: this is optional but will give the chocolate much more depth, it won't make it taste like coffee!
- Unsalted Butter: I used European style butter which is much richer and creamier.
- Sour Cream: using sour cream instead of milk will make the marble loaf cake extra moist.
- Cocoa Powder: this recipe was tested with dutch process cocoa powder. Not sure if yours is dutch processed? Check the ingredients label! If it mentions alkali or acidity regulators then it is dutch process.
- Baking Powder: I'm only using a little bit of baking powder in this recipe!
- Dark Chocolate: I'm using a dark chocolate for the ganache.
Step by Step Process
Step One: Whisk together your salt, baking powder and flour. Set aside. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and generously grease and line an 8.5x4.5" loaf pan.
Step Two: Cream your butter in your stand mixer with the paddle attachment for 1 minute, until it is smooth and creamy. Add your sugar and beat for another 5 minutes on medium-high speed. You want it to be light and fluffy!
Step Three: Add in your vanilla and then add your eggs one at a time. After each egg is added, whip up the batter for 1 minute.
Step Four: Change the speed to low and add a third of your flour. Once that is combined, add half of the sour cream. Repeat this once more, ending with the flour. Beat on low speed after each addition.
Step Five: Take half of the batter out into a medium bowl. In a small bowl, mix 1 tablespoon of hot water with the espresso powder. Pour that and the cocoa powder into the medium bowl and mix together - this is your chocolate batter.
Step Six: Using an ice cream scooper or large spoon, scoop out the vanilla and chocolate batter into a checkerboard pattern. You will have enough batter to do two layers of this. Use a toothpick to swirl the two batters together then bake for 70-80 minutes.
- I highly recommend using a weighing scale and measuring out your ingredients the metric way. It makes a huge difference to your baking and is the most accurate way to bake!
- In order to get a soft and fluffy pound cake, you'll need to whip up the batter a lot more than you think. I recommend using a timer to make sure you really are whipping it up as much as the recipes states!
- Make sure the ingredients are at room temperature before you start baking. If the butter is too cold it won't be able to whip up with the sugar properly.
- Be sure to allow your loaf to cool completely before slicing into it, otherwise the loaf will fall apart when you cut into it.
- Don't make the chocolate ganache until the loaf cake is completely cool. If you add the chocolate ganache while the marble loaf cake is still warm it'll just slide off!
Frequently Asked Questions
I recommend keeping it tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and at room temperature.
Yes! Cut the loaf into slices and wrap each one in plastic wrap, keep in your freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, let it defrost in the fridge for a few hours. If you topped it with ganache, the ganache's texture will be quite thick once you've defrosted it but still delicious.
I recommend using a metal pan with a lighter metal. If you use a dark pan, it will cook the outsides of your loaf faster resulting in a crunchier crust - not ideal in this recipe! I also recommend using a pullman loaf pan, this will give you sharper corner and a taller loaf!
You can but the loaf will be much thinner and won't require as much baking time!
Nope! The espresso power just deepens the flavor of the chocolate, it won't taste like coffee at all!
Other Simple Cake Recipes:
Marble Loaf Cake
- 8.5"x4.5" loaf pan
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 3 eggs room temperature
- 1 ⅓ cups all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ cup sour cream room temperature
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoon espresso powder
- 4 oz semisweet chocolate chopped
- pinch kosher salt
- ½ cup heavy cream
- Preheat your oven to 325°F/167°C. Generously butter your loaf pan and line it with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together your flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter for 1 minute on high speed. It should be smooth and creamy.
- Add your sugar and beat on high speed for 4 minutes. You want it to be very light and airy. Add your vanilla.
- Add your eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each new addition and scraping down the bowl well before each addition.
- Add a third of your flour mixture and beat on your lowest speed. Add half of your sour cream, and again beat on low speed. Repeat the flour, sour cream and then the final addition of flour. Beat on low speed until combined after each new addition.
- In a small bowl, whisk your espresso powder with 1 tablespoon of boiling water. Take half of your batter into a medium bowl, and whisk it with the espresso and cocoa powder.
- Using an ice cream scooper, scoop out the vanilla batter into your loaf pan and alternate it with the chocolate batter, creating a checkerboard pattern. Repeat until you have used all the batter, I created two layers like this. Then use a butter knife or small offset spatula to create a few swirls. Do not over swirl it.
- Tap the loaf pan on your countertop a few times to get rid of any air bubbles.
- Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, a tester should come out clean. After 20 minutes, take out of the pan and let cool completely.
- In a small saucepan, bring your heavy cream to a simmer (not a boil!). Place your chopped chocolate in a medium bowl, and pour the heavy cream on top. Leave for 3 minutes. With a rubber spatula, swirl the two together until it is completely smooth. Sprinkle over your salt. Let it sit until it is a harder consistency, about 15 minutes. Spread on top of your loaf.