This is a very pretty marbled cake and very easy to make. Makes a change from a straight chocolate cake for a birthday or special occasion. Moist and soft with alternating bites of chocolate and vanilla, this rich loaf is covered with dark chocolate frosting, and the best: topped with a layer of caramelized walnuts to add a bit of crunch. When you add the cake batters to the pans – you don’t want to overdo it. Have them a little more separate so that you got the distinctly chocolate and vanilla flavors. Too much marbling and the chocolate can kind of take over, so keep that in mind. Ran a knife in a swirl through the cake in one direction once, then the opposite direction once and that was it.
Achieving the perfect marble cake recipe from scratch is worth every step in the process, I promise! The eggs and butter should be room temperature, the butter and sugar need to be whisked for a certain period of time, etc. I have made this recipe and skipped certain steps and it almost always resulted in a dense and dry cake. Eggs are important. Getting a good quality, fresh, and vibrant eggs are key.
- 1 cup (250g) Greek yogurt
- 6 medium eggs
- 1 3/4 cups (350g) sugar
- 2 cups (230g) all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 2/3 cups (150ml) sunflower oil
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 1 3/4 oz (50g) shelled walnuts or pecans
- 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Generously butter and dust a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with flour; set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat eggs and sugar until light and foamy, about 3 minutes.
- Add flour in 3 batches and baking powder. Mix in oil.
- Scoop 1/3 of the batter into another bowl and add the cocoa powder; stir well. Stir in vanilla extract in the large batch of batter without cocoa.
- To assemble the cake – start by pouring 1/3 of the vanilla batter in the bottom of the pan. Then pour half the cocoa batter lengthwise in the center.
- Repeat with another 1/3 of vanilla batter, then the second half of cocoa batter. Finish by topping with remaining vanilla batter. Using a spatula or skewer, make several cuts lengthwise into the batter to swirl all the batters together. Do not overmix.
- Bake 10 minutes at 375°F (190°C) then lower temperature to 340°F (170°C) and bake for 45 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.
- Transfer the loaf pan to a rack to cool 10 minutes. Turn out the cake from pan and cool completely on the rack. You can refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to garnish.
- Melt half the sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan with 2 to 3 tablespoons water.
- Once caramel gets a slightly golden color, add the remaining half of sugar progressively. Cook until lightly golden.
- Add pecans and stir to coat well.
- Transfer pecans onto parchment paper, making sure to space them so they don’t stick together and allow to cool.