A buttery, soft vanilla and chocolate swirled cake topped with a creamy chocolate peanut butter ganache. This classic cake is wonderfully versatile and super easy to make!
I made this marble cake saying “hey let me just make something quick and simple for dessert tonight, nothing big, nothing complicated”. There I was thinking ahh this isn’t going to be something special. Maaan was I wrong! It turned out to be one of the greatest bakes I’ve ever made!
I really shouldn’t have been that surprised though because marble cake was one of my all time favourite childhood treats. This specific recipe right here really had me head over heels. I mean check out this crumb……
This cake is basically a smaller version of my insanely delicious marble layer cake, made to fit in a regular cake loaf pan. The recipe is adapted from my super fluffy vanilla cupcakes and it can also be made into a single 9 inch layer cake.
- Cornstarch: a DIY cake flour, sort of, helps keep the batter thick so that it bakes evenly. The cornstarch prevents the cake from becoming dense, even days later.
- Butter: a cake made with butter is bound to be full of flavour. Since we have a vanilla cake portion, butter is used to ensure a delicious taste and soft texture.
- Sour cream & Milk: a mix of the two is a perfect combination to create a melt-in-your-mouth crumb. The sour cream reacts with the baking soda which make the cake soft yet sturdy. Milk is added to thin the batter and make it lighter.
The cake itself comes out so soft and buttery yet fluffy and super creamy. I’m so happy with how it turned out and I can’t wait to make it again with all sorts of different frostings and toppings.
Chocolate cake batter
I experimented quite a bit with the chocolate portion of this cake. I wanted to make sure that it would be easy, without having to make a separate batter. Initially I tried to add melted dark chocolate to the vanilla batter but the result was a denser cake with a more fudgy consistency.
After a few more attempts, I found the perfect balance of chocolatey-ness and crumb by using cocoa powder and a splash of water. A little bit of sugar to cut the bitterness results in a delicious cake-y crumb that doesn’t overpower the vanilla.
I topped the cake with a chocolate peanut butter frosting that I had found on Sally’s Baking Addiction. Absolutely adore her recipes! I wasn’t entirely sure about it as I had never paired it with marble cake, but it was just fabulous with the cake.
Chocolate and peanut butter=good
Vanilla and peanut butter=good
Vanilla+chocolate+peanut butter= most amazing combination ever. It’s really just about the math. I watch too much Friends haha.
Another frosting that is superb with this cake is this wonderfully decadent chocolate toffee frosting. I hope you guys try that one too because it is better than I can even attempt to describe.
Marble cake is really just one of those timeless home-y bakes that warms the heart. Such a delicious treat that can be enjoyed no matter the occasion.
My favourite substitutions
- Instead of all purpose flour, you can use cake flour. Leave out the cornstarch/cornflour if you do use cake flour.
- For an even lighter cake, use 1 whole egg and 2 egg whites.
- Vanilla essence is okay if you don’t have extract but try to get the best quality possible.
- If you can’t find sour cream then plain Greek yoghurt is okay to use. The cake may be slightly more dense.
More loaf cakes to love:
Enjoy my friends xoxo
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Easy Marble Cake
8 – 10servings
Recipe makes 1 8x4inch or 9×5 inch loaf cake, single 8inch or 9inch cake layer or 15 – 16 cupcakes.
1 3/4 cups (220gms) all purpose flour minus 3 tablespoons*
2 tablespoons cornstarch/cornflour
Scant (less than full) 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup (100gms) softened unsalted butter
3/4 cup (150gms) + 2 tablespoons white sugar**
Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean***
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup (125gms) sour cream****
1/2 cup (125mls) whole milk
- For the chocolate batter
1/4 cup (24gms) cocoa powder
2 tablespoons hot water
1 tablespoon sugar
- For the frosting
100 gms semisweet or dark chocolate
2 tablespoons (30gms) creamy peanut butter
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Grease and flour an 8×4 in cake loaf pan.
- In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch/cornflour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. In a separate small bowl, add sugar and vanilla bean seeds and rub them together with your fingers to combine.
- In another separate mixing bowl, cream together butter and vanilla sugar until paled, creamy and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes on medium speed. Click here for references. Add in the eggs one at a time whisking well in between each addition. Add in the vanilla extract and whisk.
- Add in a third of the flour mix and whisk until barely combined then add in the sour cream and whisk until just combined. Add in another third of the dry ingredients followed by the milk whisking each until just combined. Add in the last third of the dry mix and whisk until *just* combined and no more flour streaks remain. Batter will be slightly thick and fairly smooth but it’s okay if there are a few lumps, don’t try to whisk them out.
- Remove 3/4 cups of batter and spread the remaining batter into the prepared cake pan. Add the cocoa powder into a small bowl and pour the hot water and sugar on top. Whisk until a thick and smooth paste forms.
- To the reserved 3/4 cup vanilla batter, stir in the chocolate mix and whisk until combined. Dollop spoonful’s of the chocolate batter onto the vanilla batter. Using a knife, swirl the batters together, I suggest once vertically and once horizontally . Don’t over swirl or else the batters may blend together.
- Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until cooked through and a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs or clean. Cool on a wire rack for about 15 – 20 minutes then store in an airtight container to continue cooling completely.
- For the frosting
- Chop up the chocolate and add to a bowl. Add the peanut butter and heat over a bain-marie until the chocolate has melted. You can also do this step in the microwave; heat at 20 second intervals stirring in between until mixture is melted and smooth.
- Pour glaze over the warm cake. Cover the cake and store in an air tight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or up to 1 week in the fridge.
- *Instead of the all purpose flour and cornstarch, use 1 3/4 cup cake flour.
- **Super fine sugar like caster sugar is recommended for best results but any white sugar is okay.
- ***If you can’t get a vanilla pod then add in an extra 1 teaspoon vanilla extract instead along with the 2 teaspoons stated in the recipe.
- ****Sour cream can be substituted with yoghurt. For best results, use thick Greek yoghurt.
- Recipe by the dutch baker.