Learn how to make this wonderful soft and moist German marble pound cake. This cake was my absolute favorite cake as a child and I still love it.
In Germany, this old fashioned marble pound cake is one of the most popular bundt cakes. Whether it's a birthday celebration, a special event, or just a casual cup of coffee in the afternoon you can find it everywhere.
It's perfect for first-time bakers because of how easy it is to make, but it looks like you put a lot of work into it.
Try this traditional German bundt cake Gugelhupf if you are a vanilla lover.
Since the middle of the 19th century, the recipe for marble cake can be found in cookbooks. However, marbled cakes in their form were mentioned already in the early 18th century.
Marble cake is called Marmorkuchen (m) in the German language.
Click on the play button to learn how to say Marmorkuchen in German.
The ingredients for this wonderful cake are humble and you probably already have everything you need in your pantry.
- soft butter
- vanilla sugar or vanilla extract
- lemon extract
- brown rum (optional)
- all-purpose flour
- baking powder
- corn starch
- unsweetened cocoa powder
See recipe card for quantities.
Follow these easy steps to learn how to make a German marble cake from scratch.
First, I separate the eggs into two bowls. I use the stand mixer bowl for the egg whites. If you’ve watched other videos, you know, I like as few dirty dishes as possible.
Beat the egg whites with salt and ½ cup sugar until stiff peaks form.
Then add the soft butter, the remaining sugar, vanilla extract, rum and lemon extract to a bowl and beat until light and fluffy. The rum is optional, you could use rum extract alternatively, but I prefer the real thing.
Now gradually add the eggs yolks while whipping the mixture on low.
Sift the flour, corn starch and the baking powder into a bowl and mix well.
Then heat the milk to lukewarm and preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Now gradually add about one fourth of flour, milk and egg whites to the egg yolk mixture and repeat until all ingredients are mixed well.
Beat on the lowest setting or fold in by hand.
Then grease and flour the cake pan. I love to use my homemade non-stick paste, this saves me the flouring part and the cake will slip right out of the pan without any problems.
Now you are ready to add ⅔ of the batter to the cake pan.
Sift the cocoa powder to the remaining batter and mix well to a chocolate batter.
Add the chocolate batter to the cake pan.
Swirl a fork through the batter to create the marble look.
Bake for about 40 – 50 minutes.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar or brush with a chocolate glaze.
Hint: Let the cake cool for about 15 minutes before removing from the pan to cool out completely.
- Marble pound cake with sour cream - use sour cream instead of milk, this will make your cake wonderful tender and moist.
- Chocolate marble cake with chocolate ganache- are you a chocoholic? Make this cake triple chocolate. Add chocolate drops to the vanilla part of the cake batter and cover the cake with a rich chocolate ganache.
- Almond marble cake - use almond extract instead of lemon extract to flavor the vanilla batter.
- Oil - instead of butter you can use neutral vegetable oil.
Change the flavor profile with these ideas:
- Coffee - I love the addition of a tablespoon of instant coffee to the cocoa batter. It elevates the chocolate flavor.
- Cinnamon - add a tablespoon of cinnamon to the cocoa part and the cake will get a wonderful holiday touch.
- Funfetti - Add sprinkles to the vanilla batter to give this humble marble cake a special birthday look.
Traditionally German marble cake is baked in a bundt cake pan. But you can find marble cake in German households and bakeries baked in bread pans too.
Marble cake tastes best fresh but you still can keep it for several days before it turns dry. Covering the cake with a chocolate ganache will keep the cake longer fresh and moist.
Instead of using dark cocoa powder, you can also color one or more parts of the dough with food coloring to create colorful cake combinations.
German Marble Cake
- 1 cup soft butter
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 1 tbsp. vanilla sugar or vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. lemon extract
- 2 tbsp. brown rum optional
- 6 eggs
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp. baking powder
- 2 tbsp. corn starch
- ½ cup milk
- ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
For the topping:
- Powdered sugar or chocolate glaze
- Separate the eggs into two bowls.
- Beat egg whites with salt and ½ cup of sugar until stiff peaks form and set aside.
- To a separate bowl add soft butter, sugar, vanilla extract, rum and lemon extract and beat until light and fluffy.
- Gradually add eggs yolks while whipping the mixture on low.
- Sift flour, corn starch and baking powder into a bowl and mix well.
- Heat the milk to lukewarm.
- Gradually add flour, milk and egg whites to the egg yolk mixture. Beat on lowest setting or fold in by hand.
- Grease cake pan.
- Add ⅔ of the batter to the cake pan.
- Sift the cocoa powder to the remaining batter and mix well.
- Add the batter to the cake pan.
- Swirl a fork through the batter to create the marble look.
- Bake at 350 Fahrenheit for 40 – 50 minutes.
- Let cool for about 15 minutes before removing from the pan to cool out completely.
- Sprinkle with powdered sugar or brush with a chocolate glaze.
More Marble Pound Cake Recipe Ideas
- Marzipan Pound Cake
- Nutella Marble Cake
- German Vanilla Lemon Pound Cake
- Marble Pudding Cake
- Marble Cake Loaf