Marble loaf cake is perfectly moist, slightly dense and has swirls of vanilla and chocolate cake batter. This pound cake is a classic treat (just like mom used to make) sweet loaf cake in a marbled flavor of vanilla and chocolate.
Baked in a cast iron loaf pan, this moist marble cake recipe is swirled with vanilla and chocolate. It’s so much better than Starbucks marble cake and even better the second day! Made completely from scratch using everyday ingredients and ready in about 1 hour.
This recipe makes two loaves of marble loaf cakes. They’re freezer friendly, have soft crumbs, moist and the perfect easy dessert for any occasion.
Marble loaf cake is one of our most delicious cake recipes. It has incredible flavor, super moist crumbs and reminds me of my mom’s baking.
Don’t have cast iron loaf pans? (order some!) But don’t worry a bit, you can also use regular loaf baking pans. Moist pound cake made in a loaf pan is one of the easiest cakes to bake. (Anyone can make this marble pound cake!)
If you love easy to make desserts as much as I do, you must try this copycat Starbucks marble loaf! And make sure and try Southern Pound Cake, Lemon Bundt Cake, Starbucks Lemon Loaf, Red Velvet Marble Cake, Lemon Blueberry Cake and Coffee Cake.
It took a few years to develop the perfect copycat Starbucks marble loaf. But, I’ve finally done it! This marble cake is super moist and full of delicious vanilla and chocolate flavors!
Have you tried my Starbucks Lemon Loaf? Oh my goodness, that’s a delicious cake recipe too!
Why this recipe works
- Made with simple ingredients – This pound cake recipe uses ingredients readily available at most grocery stores.
- Prep ahead of time – Pound cake is one of the type of cake that’s better the second day!
- Ease – Simple steps ensure the perfectly baked cake each and every time. Made in one bowl with either an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer.
- Moist – Full-fat sour cream, along with pure vanilla extract and give this pound cake incredible flavor. A combination of butter along with vegetable shortening help this cake retain moisture.
- Easy dessert – Loaf pound cake is the perfect easy dessert recipe for any occasion.
What you’ll need
- Butter – For optimum flavor, be sure and use a high-quality butter brand (such as Kerry Gold) and take it out the night before so it’s room temperature.
- Shortening – This pound cake recipe uses a combination of butter and vegetable shortening. Shortening helps the cake stay more moist.
- Sugar – Add gradually and beat until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Unsweetened chocolate – Cut with knife and melt in a glass measuring cup in the microwave in 30 second increments and stir with a spoon until smooth. (Easily locate unsweetened chocolate bars in the baking aisle of most grocery stores.)
- Eggs – With all of our baking recipes, we use large eggs. Be sure and bring eggs to room temperature for this cake recipe, as they will incorporate into the batter better.
- All-purpose flour – We prefer a good-quality unbleached all-purpose flour, such as Bob’s Red Mill or King Arthur Flour. It really makes a difference in baking recipes. You can also use cake flour if desired.
- Sour cream – Use full-fat sour cream. This helps the pound cake stay super moist and have a tangy flavor. (You can substitute full-fat buttermilk or Greek yogurt if you prefer.)
- Baking powder and salt – Salt is always added to baking recipes to enhance flavor. Baking powder reacts with the sour cream or buttermilk to help the cake rise properly.
How to make Marble Loaf Cake
- Preheat the oven – Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Mix dry ingredients – In a large mixing bowl, combine sifted flour, salt and baking powder.
- Cream butter and shortening – In either a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer on low speed.
- Add sugar – Gradually add the sugar and beat until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the eggs – Add the eggs one at a time, be they are at room temperature so they easily incorporate into the cake batter.
- Add vanilla, sour cream and dry ingredients – Mix only until the batter is smooth and combined. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl occasionally.
- Place into baking pan – Scoop cake batter into two prepared loaf pans, alternating vanilla and chocolate cake batter.
- Swirl batter – Using a butter knife, swirl the cake batters together to create a marble pattern.
- Bake – Bake at 350 degrees F. (Carefully rotate pans about half way through the baking process.)
How to keep a Marble Loaf Cake moist
Loaf pound cake is one of our favorite dessert recipes for cookouts, barbecues, potlucks and for easy holiday desserts.
- My secret ingredient to keeping pound cake moist and super fresh is dough conditioner. Professional bakers, such as my mom add this to all of their baking recipes. Add 1 teaspoon of dough conditioner to 1 cup of flour.
- Cream together butter and shortening at low speed. Vegetable shortening is a key ingredients to helping cake recipes stay moist.
- Don’t over mix cake batter. Overmixing cake batter can cause cakes to be tough.
- Add room temperature eggs one at a time and only until combined.
- Use full-fat sour cream and fresh ingredients.
- Don’t overbake the pound cake! Check if your cake is done with a toothpick when inserted comes out mostly clean, with only a few moist crumbs.
Dough conditioner can be added to baked goods, including cakes and bread recipes to keep them moist, fresh and last longer. Be sure and try adding it to Pound Cake, Lemon Bundt Cake, Coffee Cake, Sourdough Bread and White Bread.
To keep loaves of bread, banana bread, quick breads and pound cakes fresh, once cooled I always use a Poly bread bag with a twist tie. Here is the one I love! This makes storing bread and cakes super convenient and helps keep them very fresh.
Marble cake is a mixture of vanilla and chocolate cake. In many cases, mostly vanilla with streaks of chocolate swirled. Marbled coffee cakes are often swirled with cake batter that has been mixed with cinnamon and spices.
Be sure and sift flour before adding to the cake batter. It’s especially important when using a Bundt, fluted cake pan or loaf pound cake. This helps reduce the likelihood of lumps in cake batter.
To create a marble effect with a cake, scoop the cake batter, alternating between vanilla and chocolate into prepared baking pans. Use a butter knife, swirl the batters together to create a marble pattern.
More Baking Recipes
- Banana Bread
- Buttermilk Biscuits
- Lemon Loaf Cake
- Lemon Bundt Cake
- New York Cheesecake
- Raspberry Bars
- Southern Pound Cake
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Marble Loaf Cake
Marble Loaf Cake
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 ¾ cups all-purpose or cake flour sifted
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter softened
- ½ cup vegetable shortening
- 1 cup full-fat sour cream
- 5 large eggs room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
Marble Loaf Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Use a sifter or metal strainer to sift the flour into a medium size bowl. Add baking powder and salt, set aside.
- Use either a stand mixer or electric hand mixer, cream together softened butter, shortening, sugar and vanilla. cream together butter and vegetable shortening. With the stand mixer on low to medium add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the eggs, one at a time and mix only until combined. Mix on low to medium speed.
- Add the sour cream and dry ingredients. Mix only until the batter is smooth and combined. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the bottom and the sides of the bowl occasionally.
- Place ⅓ of the batter into a separate bowl.
- Melt the unsweetened baking chocolate and let cool slightly. Stir the chocolate into the reserved ⅓ of the batter.
- Place paper liners in 9×5-inch cast iron loaf pans or metal loaf pans. Scoop the batter evenly into the pans, alternating between the chocolate and vanilla into two prepared baking pans.
- Using a butter knife, swirl the cake batters together to create a marble pattern. (If you sprayed your baking pans with cooking spray and didn't line them with paper liners – Do not touch the sides or bottoms of the pans!)
- Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 55-60 minutes or until when a toothpick inserted comes out mostly clean, with only a few moist crumbs the cake is done.
- About half way through the baking process, VERY carefully rotate your baking pan 180 degrees. This will help the cake bake evenly. Be very careful not to bump the cake or it will fall!
- Gently run a butter knife around the edge of the cakes to pull them from the pans if needed. This will help them easily come out of the baking pans.
- Let the cakes cool for 10 minutes in the pan. Remove from baking pans and let cool completely on a baking rack.
- Slice and enjoy. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving if desired.
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