Marble Cake

This tasty marble cake is one of my favorites to make because it’s not only delicious with a tender yet dense crumb texture, but also because it‘s a nostalgic cake for so many and also so easy to make. This version uses oil (I use olive for extra richness) versus butter for simplicity but I also make it the way I remember my dad’s aunt making hers (with oil and also my fav marble cake recipe ) - although hers was a bundt version which I will get on the blog soon too. I also find marble cakes fun and exciting to make because no two loaves are ever alike when it comes to the pretty chocolatey swirls. It’s always exciting to slice - each slice has the possibility of different swirl patterns. This marble cake is perfect as is, or with a dusting of powdered sugar or go full out by topping it with a rich and glossy chocolate ganache. This marble loaf cake has the tender center, with a crunchy golden brown crust. It has the best of both worlds. You can serve it as is or top with chocolate buttercream icing, chocolate frosting, chocolate ganache or a simple dusting of confectioners’ sugar Depending on what your taste is.

Marble Cake

Why you will love this cake

  • It’s made using everyday ingredients
  • You only need to make one cake batter
  • It boasts a truly tender yet dense crumb - like pound cake should have
  • You’ll create a beautiful, unique swirl every time

Marble Cake

What is Marble Cake?

My Marble Cake is essentially a pound cake, with a dense, tight crumb. But it’s wonderfully moist and and so flavourful - this one especially as I make mine with olive oil. It’s full of vanilla flavour with a hint of chocolate. It’s lovely cut into thick slices and enjoyed on its own or dusted with powdered sugar, or for a more decadent teat feel free to slather on some chocolate ganache or frosting.

Marble Cake

Ingredients for this marble cake:

  • Simple pantry Ingredients are required to make this marble pound cake and that is why I think you will love it! Here is a break down of the main ingredients - full details in recipe below):
  • Flour - I used all purpose flour here I have not used cake flour in this recipe so I don’t know if it’s a good substitute but you can use a good all purpose GF 1-1 flour if you want to make a gluten free marble cake
  • Sugar - feel free to reduce the sugar to 1 cup for a little less sweetness
  • Eggs - make sure they are room temperature
  • Oil - I use olive oil but feel free to use any neutral vegetable oil like canola oil or you can even use coconut oil
  • Milk - feel free to use regular full fat milk or non dairy milk here just make sure it’s room temperature. I have never tested this recipe with buttermilk so I cannot tell you if it’s a good substitute to use
  • Cocoa powder - unsweetened cocoa powder is what I use
  • Vanilla - pure vanilla extract is always good for the best flavour
  • Baking Powder & Salt - for leavening and flavour

Marble Cake

Marble Cake Recipe Variations:

  • For more chocolatey goodness, mix in ¼ cup of chocolate chips with the chocolate cake batter.
  • Stir in ½-1 teaspoon of instant coffee granules for more intense chocolate flavor.
  • Top your cake with ¼ cup of chopped walnuts or pecans for more crunch.
  • To make this cake vegan substitute with flax eggs. The basic ratio for the flax seed egg is 1 tablespoon of flax seeds and 3 tablespoons of water to replace 1 egg. This recipe uses 3 eggs, so triple this amount. You will have to grind the flax seed into powder and whisk it with the water before adding to the cake batter.

Marble Cake

How to make a simple marble cake:

This very simple marble cake has only a few steps and it comes together pretty quickly - don’t be intimidated about the swirling part - it’s easy and I have more details on the easiest method below. Because there is no butter in this marble cake recipe it’s the best marble cake to make in a pinch as theres no need to wait on you butter to soften-which is a total bonus! Here are the simple steps (full instructions below):

  1. Whisk together the dry ingredients
  2. Beat together the eggs, oil and sugar until light and frothy - then mix in the vanilla
  3. Add the dry ingredients and milk to batter alternating in two batches mixing to combine in between - do not over mix or the cake will be dry
  4. Mix 1 cup of vanilla batter with cocoa powder and remaining milk until combined - I stir them by hand - no need to use mixer
  5. Alternate scooping in the different batters into pan - more details below for this easy no fail marble cake method
  6. Bake then cool, top with either a dusting of powdered sugar or ganache and slice and serve.

Marble Cake

How to get Perfect marble swirls in your Marble Cake?

Most marble cakes require you to pour in the vanilla batter, then the chocolate, and top with more vanilla before you swirl it all together or others will require you to make two separate batters and pipe them with a pastry bag or frosting piping bag. For the best swirls and a very simple method - we use a dollop method where we create a checkerboard pattern where I layer before swirling together. This ensures you get both flavors in every slice with the perfect marbled effect. I always use cookie scoops to do this but anything to help spoon the batter in to cake pan will work.

Marble Cake

Marble Cake Storage & Freezing:

The cake keeps for several days, at room temperature, under a dome or wrapped in plastic. I cut mine in half and froze the two halves (after taking a few slices for the family).

Marble Cake

What is the best way to store pound cake?

Pound cake will keep fresh for up to 3 days if stored at room temperature in an air-tight container. You can also wrap it up in foil or plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. If freezing, wrap individual slices of cake in freezer safe plastic wrap or foil.

Marble Cake

More quick breads and pound cakes you will love:


Servings: one (8¼" x 4¼" or 9x5) loaf
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 35-45 mins


  • 1¾ cup all purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup olive oil or any vegetable oil like canola or coconut
  • 1¼ cup sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup milk, dairy or non dairy (room temperature)

Chocolate Mix

  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoons milk, dairy or non dairy (room temperature)

Chocolate Ganache (optional)

  • 4 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • ½ cup (118ml) heavy cream
  • Flaky sea salt for sprinkling


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F, grease a nonstick loaf tin (8 ¼” x 4¼” or 9x5) and line with parchment if you wish
  2. Whisk together dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt in a medium bowl and set aside
  3. Use a large mixing bowl of stand mixer, or hand mixer or a whisk, mix together the oil, sugar and eggs together on medium-high speed for about two minutes or until mixture is creamy pillowy yellow
  4. Add the vanilla, beat or mix for 30 seconds to combine.
  5. Alternately add the flour mixture and milk to the bowl in two batches and mix until just combined. Do not overmix.
  6. Scoop out a cup of the vanilla cake batter into a small bowl, add the 3 tbsp cocoa and 1 tbsp milk and mix until just combined.
  7. The batter for this cake is thin, so carefully add it to the loaf pan, alternating between dollops of vanilla and chocolate batter, making sure to scrape out all the batter from bowls
  8. Use a long skewer or a knife to swirl the batter together
  9. Bake for 35-45 min or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  10. Remove from oven and place on wire rack and allow to cool ten minutes in pan - flip loaf out after ten minutes and allow to cool completely on cooling rack before slicing and serving with a dusting of powdered sugar or chocolate ganache

Chocolate Ganache (optional)

  1. While the cake is cooling, make the ganache.
  2. Add the chopped chocolate to a bowl, and the heavy cream to a measuring glass.
  3. Microwave the cream for about 1 minute, or until bubbling and steaming.
  4. Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and let it sit for about a minute. Then whisk to combine.
  5. Drizzle the ganache over the pound cake and top with a sprinkle of sea salt (optional), or allow the ganache to set a bit and slather it on the cake then

Recipe Notes

  • If you have a 9"x5” loaf pan, reduce baking time by 5 minutes.
  • To make this cake vegan substitute with flax eggs. The basic ratio for the flax seed egg is 1 tablespoon of flax seeds and 3 tablespoons of water to replace 1 egg. This recipe uses 3 eggs, so triple this amount. You will have to grind the flax seed into powder and whisk it with the water before adding to the cake batter.
  • Watch your bake time. This cake takes a while to cook, but you’ll know it’s ready when a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. If your cake is very brown on top towards the end of cooking, loosely cover the top with aluminium foil and continue to bake.

Marble Cake