This vanilla and chocolate marbled pound cake reminds me of yin and yang. Dark chocolate cake entwined with light vanilla that combines beautifully and deliciously as a whole. There’s no need to decide between the two, because together they are a heavenly match. The pound cake is fabulous on its own, or it can be served topped with fresh fruit, softly whipped cream, or ice cream. If you’re looking for some great flavor variations, see the Notes below.
12 Tbs. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
3/4 tsp. salt
2 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract or paste
2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 cup milk, at room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour
6 Tbs. Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly grease 9- x 5-inch loaf pan and line with parchment or foil so two ends extend over the sides of the pan.
In a large bowl of a stand mixer, beat 10 Tbs. of the butter with the sugar until creamy. Beat in the eggs and yolk, one at a time and beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed, beat in the vanilla and then beat on medium-high speed until light and creamy, about 3 minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Reduce the mixer speed to low and alternately beat in the flour mixture with the milk, beating until blended.
Melt the remaining 2 Tbs. of butter. Transfer about 1 1/2 cups of the batter to a small bowl. Stir in the cocoa powder and the melted butter.
Spread about a cup of vanilla batter in the bottom of the pan. Dollop about 3/4 cup of the chocolate batter over the vanilla, then repeat with another heaping cup of vanilla batter, the remainder of the chocolate, and top with the rest of the vanilla batter. If desired, using a chopstick or tip of a knife, cut 4 swirls into the batter
Bake the cake until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 1 hour and 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan and set it on the rack to cool completely.
It’s important for this recipe to let the butter, milk, and eggs come to room temperature before using.
The cake can be well-wrapped and stored at room temperature for up to 5 days, or double-wrapped and frozen for up to 3 months.
For other flavor variations, you can swap out the vanilla extract for almond, lemon, or orange. For a mocha flavor, dissolve 1 1/2 tsp. espresso powder in the melted butter before adding to the chocolate batter. Finely ground nuts can also be folded into either the vanilla or chocolate batter.
Keywords: marbled pound cake