Marbled Pound Cake

Every time I saw slices of this gorgeous cake at a cafe or pastry shop, it reminded me of how much I wanted to make it but how terrified I was to even try. Would mine ever look as pretty? More importantly, would it taste as good as it looked?

I finally decided to take the plunge and give it a try. I combed the Internet and several cookbooks for a list of ingredients that sounded appealing and finally narrowed it down to two different recipes. I then took what I liked from both to make the recipe you see below.

This cake is moist and dense, with a slight crunch to the crust. You can taste the rich butter and the slight bitterness of the dutch cocoa adds a nice layer to the sweetness of the pound cake. I recommend checkering the batter, but you can layer the batter in any way to make any design you want. For this cake in particular, the messier, the more marbled and the prettier it looks.

Also, this tastes so much better the next day and the day after that when the butter and sugar and sour cream have had a chance to settle. Enjoy!


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup (16 ounces) sour cream
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon Dutch-process cocoa powder


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Grease and flour a 9×5 inch bread pan
  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy
  • Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition
  • Beat in vanilla
  • Combine the flour, baking powder and baking soda
  • Add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream, beating well after each addition, beginning and ending with the flour
  • Reserve 1/3 of the batter separately
  • In a bowl, mix cocoa and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water with a rubber spatula until smooth
  • Add the cocoa mixture to the reserved cake batter; stir until well combined
  • Spoon batters into the prepared pan in 2 layers, alternating spoonfuls of vanilla and chocolate batter to simulate a checkerboard
  • To create marbling, run a table knife (or wooden skewer) through the batters in a swirling motion
  • Bake at 350° for 50 – 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
  • Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely
  • Cake can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days



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