Marble Pound Cake

12 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

This Marble Pound Cake is tasty and beautiful! Moist chocolate cake marbled with vanilla cake batter, an easy marble cake baked in just 60 minutes.

Even easier than my Chocolate Cake, with all the richness of my Vanilla Pound Cake recipe, this marbled loaf is a show stopper. Another quick and delicious Cake Recipe perfect for any occasion.

Chocolate Marble Loaf Cake Slice


The debate between chocolate or vanilla is finally over thanks to this delicious cake. Okay, that may be a little dramatic, but this marble cake means you no longer have to choose! You get both chocolate and vanilla in every bite.

Marble Pound Cake is a dessert that is sure to make everyone happy. Just enough chocolate for my fellow chocoholics, with a buttery vanilla cake for those who like a little less. I did equal parts chocolate and vanilla batter for my cake, but you can always do more or less of the flavor you like best.

This Marble Cake is so easy to make, why not try making it as an upgraded homemade birthday cake? With some chocolate frosting or a vanilla glaze, this becomes an even more beautiful and yummy dessert. Marble Pound cake can easily be made into cupcakes or small loaves too.

My marble cake recipe starts with a simple vanilla batter, divided in half. I fold in a butter cocoa powder mixture into half of my cake batter to make it rich and chocolatey. Then I add the remaining vanilla mix in spoonfuls and swirl gently with a knife until a marbling pattern appears.

Not only is this Marble Pound Cake is so easy to make, it’s easy to adjust to how you like it. Using different flavor extracts in the vanilla batter, mixing in bits of chocolate, or adding nuts are just a few quick ways to change your cake. I’ve got even more ideas below.


Can you make this in a regular cake pan? 

This cake can be made as a sheet cake, bundt cake, or a beautiful layer cake for a special occasion. This recipe will make enough batter for two round cake pans. Once they are cooled, use a chocolate frosting between cake layers and cover with a Chocolate Ganache.

Chocolate Marble Cake slices in a stack


  • Cake Batter: Marble with other flavors, adding peppermint or almond extract to one of the batters. Try stirring in peanut butter powder, give it a chocolate swirl and frost with Peanut Butter Frosting.
  • Cupcakes: Make these Marble Cupcakes by filling your lined muffin tin ½ way with chocolate batter and a spoonful of vanilla batter. Swirl with a knife and bake for 18-20 minutes at 350 degrees.
  • Chocolate Buttercream: Top this marble cake with delicious chocolate buttercream. Use my Buttercream Frosting recipe and substitute ¼ cup powdered sugar with ¼ cup cocoa powder. 
  • Chocolate Chips: Give each bite bursts of chocolatey goodness by stirring in semisweet chocolate chips, dark chocolate chips, or bring out the vanilla flavor with white chocolate chips.
  • Cream Cheese: Add a cream cheese layer to your marble cake before swirling in the vanilla batter. Fill the loaf pan with 2/3 of the chocolate cake batter and then add cream cheese filling. Top with the remaining chocolate batter before marbling in the vanilla cake batter.
  • Sour Cream: Give your cake a richer flavor by replacing ¼ cup of milk with sour cream. You can also use buttermilk or greek yogurt.



  • Serve: Wrap your cake tightly in plastic wrap and keep at room temperature for up 5 days.
  • Store: Your cake will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 2 weeks in a sealed container.
  • Freeze: This cake will freeze well for up to 3 months. Cool completely, cover in plastic wrap, and store in a freezer bag.

Marble Cake on wooden cutting board

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Marble Pound Cake

This Marble Pound Cake is tasty and beautiful! Moist chocolate cake swirled with vanilla cake batter, an easy marble cake baked in just 60 minutes.
Yield 12 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 15 tablespoons unsalted butter , softened and divided
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup whole milk


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease a 9 inch by 5 inch loaf pan and line it with parchment paper; grease the parchment paper as well.
  • Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in the microwave, using 30 second increments until fully melted. Mix the cocoa powder into the melted butter until well combined.
  • Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl.
  • Using a mixer, combine the remaining 12 tablespoons of softened butter with the sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well.
  • Gradually mix in the flour mixture to the batter.
  • Mix the milk into the batter.
  • Take half of the batter and mix it into the butter-cocoa mixture until fully combined.
  • Pour the cocoa batter into the loaf pan.
  • Gently spoon the yellow cake batter into the loaf pan.
  • Using a the tip of a knife swirl the batter gently for a few seconds.
  • Cover the loaf pan with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  • Uncover and bake for an additional 30 minutes.
  • Let cool before removing from loaf pan.


Calories: 312kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 74mg | Sodium: 70mg | Potassium: 146mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 505IU | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 1mg

Marble Pound Cake collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. I added two more eggs, one more tablespoon of butter & doubled the amount of cocoa powder for a more intense chocolate flavor. The extra butter & egg were added to offset the additional cocoa powder. I also added 1 tsp of almond flavoring to the vanilla batter. The consistency & flakiness of the cake are really good. Brings back memories of my German mom’s marble pound cake.

  2. I think the problem is too much baking powder. Pound cakes have much less leavening than the amt used here. All other ingredients seemed right.I used 1.5 t and would probably cut it back even more to get that wonderful denseness of a pound cake. Hubby loves it. I like it. It’s a pretty cake. Think I’ll try it again with modifications and with chocolate frosting.

  3. I am a baker of many years and I found this recipe to be dry despite following the recipe to the letter. Will not serve it and will never make it again.

  4. Did not taste like a true pound cake. Was not as dense as a pound cake and it was way too sweet for my taste.

  5. Tried tis recipe, loved it. Nice & spongy, don’t really cover my cakes while baking.
    Will go into my recipe book which I maintain for mostly the tried & tested recipes that are a success ??

  6. Just like all the comments stated (and I made this with the 3 eggs), cake is very very dry. It tasted like dust in my mouth. Ended up throwing it away. Would recommend swapping milk for sour cream maybe, but I won’t be trying this out again.

  7. About to make this, and a bit confused regarding proportions of this and that. Was thinking of following suggestion to make a higher percentage chocolate than vanilla — but wouldn’t one need to use more cocoa powder or risk diluting the chocolateyness? And would adding more cocoa powder necessitate other changes?

    Let’s say I wanted a 75% chocolate / 25% non-chocolate ratio. What would be suggested?

    Also, I guess that as a very experienced baker you’re just eyeballing what “half” the batter is in step 8. Anyone have a measurement? Because the batter and the chocolate mixture both have butter already, so it seems that might affect things too.

    Probably overthinking this, and if so, I apologize.

    1. I am so sorry the comment got lost, I am just seeing this tonight. I am sure the recipe has long been cooked/or not but I still want to try to help.

      Rikki, as long as you proportionally increase the cocoa powder and butter that you add to the larger ratio of the cake batter, it should work fine (in your example, using 75% chocolate would require you to add 50% more of the cocoa powder and the 3 tablespoons of melted butter.) If you’re not comfortable eyeballing, you could definitely use a large cup measure to make sure your ratios are correct.

      1. Sabrina, thanks for your belated reply, which I didn’t see until looking for this recipe again.

        However, I don’t understand your directions at all. Where did “the 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder” come from? Where does that amount come from? Wouldn’t I want two additional tablespoons of cocoa powder — 50% more than the original 4 tablespoons — if I want the cake to be 75% chocolate instead of 50%? And do I then need MORE butter, or to take, say, 1.5 tablespoons from the rest of the butter?

  8. Great recipe makes a delicious cake. I didnt cover it for half the time though as I have never covered a cake while baking. It did take 1 hr 13 minutes uncovered.

  9. I gave this a try after waffling between a few other recipes. Baked it at 325 since I had something else in the oven that required that temperature but left the loaf in about 35 minutes before uncovering and 35 after. It turned out great, still moist and didn’t sink. One thing I would suggest is moving step 3 to just before step 8 as the cocoa mixture hardened a bit as it sat. Thanks for sharing Sabrina.

    1. Thanks Lo for the great review and for the instruction suggestion, I will go in and look at the recipe a bit closer to see if the order can be improved. Happy Holidays!

  10. I do a lot of baking. I too have never had to cover a cake with foil. I did this, but used cooking spray so the foil would not stick to the cake like the other baker experienced. This cake also came out very dry. I did not have any on hand otherwise I would have added some sour cream to add moisture. (without reducing the amount of milk).

    1. After retesting this recipe, I’ve decided to add an additional egg to it. I think that will make for a more moist cake. Thanks for helping me work through this.

      1. In process of baking now and read the post on revising the recipe. Is the current recipe correct with 3 eggs or should it be 4?
        Not that I can do anything about it now but I’ll know for next time 🙂

    2. TR – I added a 1/4 cup of sour cream in addition to the milk and it was still dry. Will never make it again. Betty Crocker boxed pound cake is much better than this.

  11. I haven’t baked too much, and i’m definetely not an expert, so this may be not be a smart question, but is it okay if you put the white batter first, and THEN swirl in the chocolate instead. Also I’m splitting the recipe in half, so how long exactly should I put it in the oven for. I can’t wait to make this recipe!

    1. You can swirl it however you’d like 🙂 Make sure to use a 8×4 loaf pan if you’re halving the recipe but it will still need around the same bake time. Make sure to check to see if it’s with a toothpick test. Good luck!

  12. I followed the recipe exactly and all seemed well! But about 30 minutes after I took it out of the oven and looked to check on it and the entire center had sunken through pretty deeply and the center was very gooey and underdone

    1. Oh no! Was the door slammed or shut hard by accident? That could cause the middle to sink in. Did you allow it to finish baking?

  13. This did not work at all. I’m an experienced baker so I know it wasn’t me. I’ve never had to cover a cake and for good reason. It got stuck on the aluminum and when I removed it the middle fell miserably.

    1. I’ve since retested this recipe and have added a total of 3 eggs now vs the original only had 2. I’d love for you to give it another try.

  14. My cake turned out really crusty and didn’t have a moist top. Any idea about where I went wrong? I’m a fairly experienced baker but I’m pretty sure I must’ve screwed up somewhere lol. I only have a really dark metal loaf pan so maybe that affected it? The cake still had a pretty good flavor, might need some coffee to amplify the choco flavor tho.

    1. I would suggest putting your elevation into google to see what alterations you need to make as they can be different depending on elevation and I am by no means an expert. Good luck!

  15. Found this cake to be dense, dry and not moist at all. At 60 minutes at 350 the cake was still raw in the middle. It needed another 10-15 minutes. The flavor was good. Perhaps some sour cream would have moistened it up a bit.

  16. I just made this marble pound cake and after 1 hour of total cooking time it was absolutely raw. I cooked it an additional 3 minutes and it was still “shaking”. I have now cooked it a total of 1 hour and 9 minutes and decided I had better take it out. I have never had any problems with my oven temperature. What could have been the problem?

  17. Hi. I am about to make this cake as it looks pretty moist on top and I love a moist crust compared to other pound cakes I have made.
    After looking at a bunch of similar recipes, I am wondering if cream cheese, yogurt or sour cream will make the cake extra moist? Some recipes even ask for a lot more butter.
    Have you tried this recipe using some of these ingredients? Thanks!

    1. I haven’t tested it but those are all great ways to make it extra moist. If you decide to try some out, I’d love to know what worked. Thanks!

  18. Hello,
    If i will use salted butter, should i omit salt or i need to add it in lesser amount?

  19. Hello! Did you use all purpose flour or cake flour? Which one is better to use for this recipe?
    Thank you excited to try this!

  20. Hi..Sabrina!

    Had a few clarifications as I wish to bake this for my sons 2nd birthday

    The recipe holds good for Two round pans_ 8inch? How much height this will yield?

    Recipe Serves 12 for 25 should I double the recipe?

    Can I use simple syrup for layering and frosting with ganache?

    Sorry for the long list just want to make sure my little ones cake turns out awesome..

    1. Yes, this will make 2 round 8inch cakes. I always prefer to have more so I would double it for a party. Sounds like you’ve got it covered with the simple syrup and frosting. I hope you all have a wonderful time!

        1. Was it the entire bundt tasting like it or was it in a single piece? Just wondering if it had a clump that needed to be be mixed or something else.

  21. This cake is so rich and decadent. I am always a sucker for marble cake and this is like an over the top even better version!

        1. I’ve not tested this recipe without using butter. If you decide to try, I’d love to know what worked out for you.