Marble Pound Cake

Let’s face it: we live in a Momofuku world. Desserts these days are prized for taking hours to create, containing outlandish ingredients, and requiring surgeon-like skills to execute. If you’re not familiar with the wild desserts coming out of this New York restaurant, here is a good article by Bon Appetit.

I think desserts like this are wonderful.  Once in a blue moon, I even like tackling such projects. Furthermore, someone in my house has been begging for me to make the Momofuku carrot cake truffles. At some point, I’m going to have to oblige.

Truthfully, I believe I have an old soul. I long for simpler days, and I think often of how my grandparents grew up and compare it to my own life. Anytime I’m scooping Beluga lentils out of the bulk bins at an over-priced natural foods market, I pause. My grandparents most certainly did not eat lentils. When I get frustrated that my small town grocer does not carry watercress, I remind myself that iceberg and homegrown Romaine were good enough for them, and therefore, they should be good enough for me.

I like to create delicious desserts using simple ingredients. I don’t like to drive to the store just for one ingredient, because, well I don’t have the time.  I work full time at a job I love, and I also run this site, which takes more time than I ever imagined.  I bake using what I have on hand. My hope is that you also have these items on hand and can whip up something delicious, too.

If you think about it, marble cakes must have been quite the rage when they first came out. “Can’t decide on a cake flavor? Have both!” But now, two-flavored cakes are borderline boring when compared to today’s modern desserts with exotic ingredients.

This cake, however, is anything but boring. The vanilla pound cake is rich with a tender crumb. The chocolate batter has instant espresso stirred in to amp up the cocoa powder. This cake is nothing short of perfection: simple vanilla and chocolate harmony.

And that’s how I like it: simple and perfect.

4.0 from 1 reviews
Marble Pound Cake
Makes 1 small pound cake in a 5¾" x 3" x 2" mini loaf pan.
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup flour
  • ⅛ teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons milk + 1 teaspoon (divided use)
  • ¼ teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 2 tablespoon cocoa powder
  1. Before beginning, leave all ingredients for the pound cake on the counter and let them come to room temperature.
  2. Then, butter a 5¾” x 3” x 2” mini loaf pan. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  3. In a medium bowl, beat together with an electric mixer the butter and the sugar. Beat this mixture for 3-4 minutes, until it becomes fluffy and pale yellow.
  4. Add the egg, and vanilla and beat until incorporated.
  5. Next, add the baking powder and half of the flour. Mix to combine, then add 3 tablespoons of the milk.
  6. Add the remaining flour and mix just until combined—do not over-mix the batter.
  7. Scoop out 2 heaping tablespoons of the batter into a small bowl. Stir in the remaining 1 teaspoon of milk, espresso powder and cocoa powder. Stir very well--at first, it will seem like it won't come together, but it will.
  8. Pour the vanilla batter into the mini loaf pan. Then, dot the chocolate batter on top and use a toothpick or small knife to swirl into the vanilla batter.
  9. Bake 38-42 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted comes out with moist crumbs clinging to it. Allow the pound cake to cool for a few minutes before dumping it out on a wire rack to finish cooling.



  1. says

    You are right on! The Momofuku desserts are so awesome but simple everyday desserts are where it’s at. This marble cake looks amazing! But really, you won’t be sorry if you put in the time to make the truffles! I would just ship them to you if I thought they would make it in one piece!

  2. says

    I love the classic marble cake, but I haven’t had one in soooo long. And you’re right, we live in a world where the fancier, the better for desserts and treats and dinners and so forth. I like to choose simple recipes that I usually have the ingredients for, and quite frankly, a nice slice of marbled pound cake sounds perfect compared to who knows what crazy thing is out there.

  3. says

    I like simple recipes that uses simple ingredients too :) Sometimes desserts with too many components confuse me and I don’t seem to like them as much as simple dessert :D Thanks for sharing!

  4. says

    I wanted to like the Momofuku desserts but they’re all too sweet for me. And I generally prefer old fashioned desserts, especially when it comes to cake. I could eat coffee cake and pound cake all day. Love the marbled pound cake! And the built in portion control.

  5. says

    You know,the best part about this recipe is that it uses ingredients that are easily available in everyone’s(Well,every baker’s at least!) pantry!:-)
    I have a MAJOR sweet tooth,and love desserts,cake specially!

  6. says

    Christina, I loved your phrase: “Truthfully, I believe I have an old soul.” Sometimes the world moves too fast for me, too! Lingering over a slice of this poundcake and a cup of coffee or tea would be the perfect slow-down moment. Ah yes, simple is better.

  7. says

    That’s so weird – I’ve been thinking of adapting a recipe to make a mini marble cake for a while now – you’ve answered all my wishes! Going to make this as soon as I have all the ingredients – if not this afternoon then tomorrow evening :-)

  8. says

    Haha I know, were crazy for making all these Momofuku desserts! I’m not gonna lie, I’m a lot like you. I like simple desserts with simple ingredients. Beautiful marble cake :)

  9. says

    Yum!! Haha, I feel like every comment I start on your blog begins with “Yum!” and this is no different! Marble Pound Cake is my absolute favorite – thanks for sharing your scaled down version! Now I won’t feel so bad about eating a whole loaf by myself! It’s a MINI loaf! ;)

  10. says

    I agree with you about keeping it simple. In this fast-paced world, it’s nice to retreat to the simple pleasures in life whether it’s baking something sweet and simple, gardening, spending time outdoors, etc.

    I enjoy and welcome the opportunity to bake something extra special, but am always amazed at how the simplest list of ingredients can make something magical.

    PS-Your citrus olive oil muffins look great! Pinning now. :)

  11. says

    In terms of what you can see, I suppose it could seem ‘boring’, but in terms of what you can make, it is anything but. That’s why I think we should MAKE before we turn our noses up at any delicious creation, even if it cannot be classified as “modern”.

  12. says

    I did co-op at a bakery last summer and they made the best loaves every. This pound cake looks like it might challenge that title though. I bet it tastes delicious!

  13. says

    Amen sister. I love the old, the abuelita sweets, the treats I had when I was younger. do I enjoy the new creations..yes, but my heart still longs for sweets that hold memories. Love this marbled cake! great post!

  14. says

    I live in a place where I can find just about anything, yet I still reach for the familiar ingredients. They being comfort, and I’m
    Ok with that! Love this marble cake because well, I love a simple mable cake!

  15. Sandy Campbell says

    I must say I have found too many recipes on this site to try at one time. I absolutely love being able to make them in small batch’s. Thank you so much! I also love simple and easy. Who doesn’t have these simple ingredients on hand?

  16. Kerryn says

    This is a great recipe! I love that I already had all the ingredients on hand, very fuss free. I made it and turned out great, only I cut the sugar to 1/3 cup because my family likes cakes to be less sweet.

  17. Julie says

    Can I use a muffin pan to make this recipe? How many muffins will this make and how long should I bake them for? Thanks!! this recipe looks amazing, I cant wait to try it

    • says

      Hi Julie! I’m sorry, but I didn’t test the recipe as muffins. I think it’s a great idea, though! If you try it, let me know. I’m guessing you will get around 4-6 muffins. Bake them for 15 minutes and then test them every 2 minutes afterwards for doneness? That’s my best guess!
      Happy baking,

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