This marmorkuchen recipe produces a moist swirled chocolate and and white chocolate bundt cake. The technique for this pretty cake is very simple – by running a knife through two different colors of cake batters, you create a marbled effect.
A Short History of Marmorkuchen
Marmorkuchen, like so many other wonderful cakes, first emerged in Germany in the 19th century. Early marble cakes achieved a marble effect by swirling a spiced batter with a yellow cake batter. German immigrants brought marble cakes with them to America. In both Germany and America, as chocolate became more affordable and available at the end of the 19th century, it gradually replaced spices as the flavor of choice. And so, the classic marble cake we know and love was born.
In Germany, marble cake seems to have remained very popular into the 20th century. An influx of German bakers to the United States after World War II brought about a resurgence of interest in the recipe. Typical German marble cakes use a pound cake and melted chocolate swirled together. They are baked in either a kugelhopf (very tall bundt) or a loaf pan. In America, German-American bakers often added almond extract to the chocolate batter and called it a “German chocolate” flavor. As those bakers retired in the 1980s, marble cake began to disappear from view. We’re happy to contribute to bringing it back to the center of baking interest, where it should be.
In Germany, marble cakes remain very popular. Marmorkuchen are favorite cakes for Sunday afternoon get togethers and birthday celebrations. This particular traditional German marble cake recipe uses white chocolate to amp up the vanilla flavor in the white portion of the batter, making it extra rich and extra delicious.
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German Baking: Beyond the Marmorkuchen
Love German cakes? Check out these other traditional German recipes
Useful Tools for Making this Marmorkuchen Recipe
Marmorkuchen Recpe (German Marble Cake)
- 12-cup bundt cake pan
- 3 1/2 oz bittersweet chocolate chopped
- 3 1/2 oz white chocolate chopped
- 18 tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract in Germany this would be replaced with a sachet of vanilla sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 3 tbsp whole milk
- Preheat oven to 350 F, placing the rack in the bottom third of the oven.
- Spray the bundt pan generously with non-stick spray.
- Put the bittersweet and white chocolates in two separate bowls and microwave each small bowl in twenty second increments until just melted. Stir to fully melt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, cream together the soft butter and sugar until the butter mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla extract and then the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl between eggs, until the mixture is fully combined.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into the wet ingredients. Beat on low speed to combine.
- Scrape two thirds of the batter into a medium bowl and stir in the white chocolate. Add the melted dark chocolate, cocoa powder, and milk into the remaining third of the batter and beat the dark batter until fully combined.
- Scrape half of the white chocolate mixture into the prepared pan. Pour cocoa batter over the top of the light dough. Then add the remaining batter on top of the chocolate cake batter. Using swooping motions, drag the blade of a knife through the batter to marble the vanilla and chocolate part.
- Place the pan in he heated oven and bake 45-60 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Place on a wire rack let the cake cool 10 minutes, before unmolding and letting it fully cool removed from the pan. Dust with powdered sugar to serve.
- This cake is best served with a cup of coffee. It keeps well, wrapped in plastic wrap, for up to three days.
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