Thursday, April 19, 2012

Martha's Marble Cake

Tonight I was looking for a really good on-line recipe for marble cake.  It's for a birthday cake so I couldn't take any chances -- it had to have good reviews.  I found it, and I am not surprised at the source:  Martha Stewart.  I know that pretty much all of her recipes are tested to perfection.  So, trusting Miss Martha implicitly, I dug right in and mixed up a batch of marble cake batter that not only looked beautiful in the pan, but now smells DIVINE as it cools, just out of the oven.

The recipe is simple.  You stir together cake flour (I didn't have any and went ahead with all-purpose at no apparent cost, as some of her recipe's reviewers did), baking powder, and salt.  That's added to a sugar/egg mixture alternately with the buttermilk.  Cocoa powder is mixed with almost an equal amount of boiling water and that's stirred into a third of the batter.  Then you spoon the different batters into your cake pans in a rustic checkerboard fashion, swirl with a knife, and bake!

I won't be eating this cake so I'll have to wait for a response as to how good it is, but it appears the top needs just a little leveling-off and there will likely be at least a few teaspoons of buttercream left over, so maybe I'll have to...  See, this is where that saying comes from, "Never trust a skinny cook."  I am very trust-worthy!  Photo of my trusty cake follows the recipe...

This is Martha Stewart's recipe, as follows, from her Web site, (though Martha didn't frost hers in buttercream, and I baked mine in 2 round pans instead of one loaf pan)

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
1 3/4 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon Dutch-process cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Generously butter a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan; set aside. (I used two 6-inch round pans, lined with parchment, sprayed with baking spray).

Whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Mix in vanilla.
Add flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with the buttermilk and beginning and ending with the flour.
Set aside 1/3 of the batter.
In a bowl, mix cocoa and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water with a rubber spatula until smooth. Add the cocoa mixture to the reserved cake batter; stir until well combined.
Spoon batters into the prepared pan in 2 layers, alternating spoonfuls of vanilla and chocolate to simulate a checkerboard. To create marbling, run a table knife (or wooden skewer) through the batters in a swirling motion.
Bake, rotating the pan halfway through, until a cake tester comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes.
Transfer pan to a rack to cool 10 minutes.
Turn out cake from pan and cool completely on the rack.

Cake can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.

Martha's marble cake, all dressed up and ready to go!


Photos:  Adirondack Baker


  1. Deeelicious! The marble swirls make it so fun! I have a marbled chocolate banana bread recipe that I love but I've never made a marble cake. Thanks for making this and showing us how it's done. ;)

  2. Looks delicious! Want to move to Florida and open up a shop?

  3. Beautiful! Wonderful idea! :-) ~Anna