This moist marble cake recipe with oil combines some of our favorite flavors – chocolate, vanilla, and coffee into one delicious treat! The chocolate flavor comes from cocoa powder and a little bit of expresso.
Marble Cakes and the Eat Dessert First Sisters
We first encountered a marble cake while on a family vacation in Austria. We were staying at a hotel (all in one room as one does when traveling with three unruly children). Each morning, breakfast materialized at your room. The breakfast tray included more traditional fruit and yogurt, as well as the star of the show: Marble Cake. It came thickly sliced, warmed, and sprinkled with powdered sugar. We are certain that the breakfast was included with the room because, as you know from our origin story, there is no universe in which our mother would have let us order chocolate cake for breakfast. Great glee and endless debate ensued – was it better to start with the chocolate portion or the vanilla portion? Were they better eaten together? Marble cake has remained a family favorite since then and today we’re sharing one of our favorite recipes for a moist marble cake recipe with oil.
A Short History of Marble Cakes
Marble cake, 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 dissappear from view. We’re happy to contribute to bringing it back to the center of baking interest, where it should be.
About this Moist Marble Cake Recipe With Oil
This easy marble cake recipe relies on oil rather than butter (which is more traditional) for a very moist cake. It includes a very American style sweet coffee drizzle. If that sounds too sweet to you, you can simply sprinkle it with a little bit of powdered sugar, for a more German style topping.
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German Treats Galore
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Useful Tools For Making this Recipe
Chocolate-Coffee Moist Marble Cake Recipe with Oil
- 1 10-cup bundt pan
For the cake
- 2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 cups buttermilk or sour cream
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp instant espresso powder
- 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp light color corn syrup
- 1-2 tbsp brewed espress or strong coffee
- 2 tbsp powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Liberally spray a 10-inch (12-cup) bundt pan with Pam or some other cooking oil spray.
- Set aside 1/2 cup of the flour.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift together the remaining dry ingredients — 2 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, granulated sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
- Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture. Beat with a wire whisk until just combined, scraping down the bottom of the bowl as needed.
- To make the chocolate cake batter: In a medium bowl, combine the cocoa powder and espresso powder. Add half of the buttermilk mixture to the cocoa mixture, stirring until smooth. Set aside.
- To make the vanilla cake batter: Add the reserved half cup of flour into the remaining buttermilk mixture, whisking until just combined.
- Spoon half of the vanilla batter evenly in the bottom of the pan. Carefully spoon half of the chocolate mixture on top of the cake batter. Add remaining batter, alternating between vanilla and chocolate. Run a butter knife gently through the batter to combine the cake layers just slightly for the chocolate swirl marbling effect.
- Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
- Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then immediately remove the cake from the pan.
- Place the cake on a wire rack set over a sheet of parchment paper. Using a long wooden skewer, poke cake in several places, all the way through to the bottom of the cake.
- In a small bowl, stir together the coffee drizzle ingredients.
- Slowly pour the coffee drizzle evenly over the top of the cake.
- Cool completely. Decorate by sifting the powdered sugar and cocoa over the top, if desired.
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