I have been playing around with traditional marble cake recipes for years – making variations like Cinnamon Dolce Latte Cake and Chocolate Orange Marble Cake – but I know that going back to basics is never a bad idea. Besides, our son is home for a visit and this is is absolute favourite cake.
It’s the contrast of the chocolate and vanilla that makes this cake so seductive. Rich chocolate batter is marbled through a plain batter flavoured with vanilla. Use the very best vanilla that you can; it really makes a difference. I like to glaze this cake with both chocolate and vanilla glaze, but you can of course choose one or the other if you prefer. If you do use the two flavours, it’s important to let the first glaze dry before adding the second. In my experience, doing the chocolate glaze first works best. Once it is completely dry – allow at least an hour, or more if you can – then glaze the cake with the vanilla glaze.
I sometimes make this as a layer cake, but I really do prefer it as a bundt cake. You get better marbling through a thicker batter.
The trick to great marbling is to layer your batter.
From top left, clockwise:
1. Put a layer of vanilla batter in the prepared bundt pan.
2. Dollop three spoonfuls of the chocolate batter and three spoonfuls of the vanilla batter alternately over top of the layer of vanilla batter.
3. Top each of the spoonfuls of chocolate batter with a spoonful of vanilla batter, and each of the spoonfuls of vanilla batter with a spoonful of the chocolate.
4. Run a dinner knife or kitchen palate knife through the batter in a wavy line, once round the cake only.
This cake really isn’t hard to make and it never fails to impress. It’s a great cake to have around over a weekend for snacks and desserts as it keeps for two to three days covered at room temperature. My absolute favourite way to serve it is with a scoop of really good vanilla ice cream sprinkled with a little bit of sieved cocoa. I hope you love it as much as we do!
- ¾ cup butter, softened
- 1¼ cups white sugar
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 2 teaspoons good quality vanilla
- 3 cups all purpose (plain) flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup milk, divided
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder (not drinking chocolate)
- For the chocolate glaze:
- ¾ cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon golden syrup (or corn syrup)
- For the vanilla glaze:
- 1 cup confectioner's sugar (icing sugar)
- 1 to 2 tablespoons water
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (170°F).
- Grease and flour a bundt pan, or spray with quick release baking spray.
- Cream the butter and sugar together in an electric mixer.
- Add the beaten eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl.
- Measure out the milk. Remove 2 tablespoons and put in a small container. Set aside.
- Add the flour mixture to the batter alternately with the largest amount of milk. Do this in two additions of flour and two additions of milk.
- Remove a generous half cup of batter and place in a medium bowl.
- Sift the cocoa powder into this batter and stir through.
- Add the two tablespoons of milk that were set aside earlier and mix to a smooth batter.
- Put a layer of vanilla batter in the prepared bundt pan (as pictured above).
- Dollop three spoonfuls of the chocolate batter and three spoonfuls of the vanilla batter alternately over top of the layer of vanilla batter.
- Top each of the spoonfuls of chocolate batter with a spoonful of vanilla batter, and each of the spoonfuls of vanilla batter with a spoonful of the chocolate.
- Run a dinner knife or kitchen palate knife through the batter in a wavy line, once round the cake only.
- Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the cake comes out clean.
- Remove the cake from the oven and cool in the pan for about 20 minutes.
- Carefully remove the cake from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.
- To glaze:
- Make the chocolate glaze by melting the chocolate chips and butter together in a double boiler, whisking constantly.
- Add the golden syrup and beat until smooth and shiny.
- Drizzle over the cake.
- Let the glaze dry for at least an hour before making the vanilla glaze.
- To make the vanilla glaze:
- Put the confectioner's sugar in a bowl.
- Add 1 tablespoon of the water and the vanilla.
- Whisk together.
- Add the remaining water, a bit at a time, until a smooth, drizzle-able consistency is reached. (You may not need all the water.)
- Drizzle over the cake.
- Allow the glaze to dry before serving.
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