This marble bundt cake has both chocolate and vanilla pound cake batter layered together to make a two-toned, perfectly moist and classic sour cream pound cake.
I love this cake! I love it so much that days after I took all these photos, I went back and made it again – simply because we didn’t get enough of the first and wanted more. Many of you loved my blood orange pound cake and this recipe uses the same base so I know you’ll love it too. Plus, chocolate pound cake! Let’s talk about how to make this old fashioned marble pound cake recipe.
To get a moist pound cake you need to use the good fats, hence sour cream pound cake. Butter is a given, but adding sour cream will make for a richer, super moist and tender cake. In my experience, a sour cream pound cake is far and wide better than one made with milk or even heavy cream because it leads to a moist, melt-in-your-mouth bite.
Also similar to the blood orange pound cake, I use cake flour here too; the fine mill of cake flour and the added starch to it make for a tight, tender crumb. This is the way to get that iconic pound cake texture just so.
I was aiming for more of a ‘zebra’ like cake, which I still believe is possible but you’ll need to layer your alternate batters more thinly than I’ve done here. It’s such a striking cake as it is though, even with just 3-5 layers it will turn out absolutely gorgeous. There is something rather special about a classic marble cake, or any swirled cake, it’s eye-catching but also it gets you excited about each bite knowing it will have two different flavors.
It’s a fairly simple process, the butter and sugar need to beat for awhile, then the eggs go in (one by one) and the sour cream. Divide the batter into two and add just flour to one and a mix of flour and cocoa to another. Then you’ll layer the batters into a bundt cake.
Key points to make the perfect pound cake:
Glazes often have a reputation for being overly sweet and flavorless. Which makes sense, given the sheer volume of sugar in any glaze. There are a few ways to make a glaze which is actually enjoyable to eat:
How to soften butter quickly?
My cheat way of doing this is popping butter (in it’s paper wrapper) in the microwave for 10 seconds or less. Never to the point of melting it, but just so that if I press it it leaves an indentation.
Why do we beat pound cake batter so long?
Most cakes need air beaten into them in order for them to rise, usually you’ll add baking soda or baking powder to make those air bubbles bigger so the cake rises in the oven. A classic pound cake has no leavening and so we’ll beat as much air as possible into it. That along with the eggs will help it rise and become tender.
Can I make substitutions for this marble pound cake recipe?
No substitutions for the eggs, butter or sugar. If you cannot find cake flour, you may use all purpose flour (perhaps even swapping out a tablespoon of it for some cornstarch) and it’s possible a full-fat greek yogurt would work here instead of sour cream, though I haven’t tried it.
How can I vary up the flavor in this pound cake recipe?
This recipe yields a classic vanilla & chocolate cake but you can add some lemon or orange zest to it, or some spices (cinnamon! cardamom!) to jazz it up a bit.
Can I bake this as a sour cream pound cake loaf?
Yes with a caveat; you’ll need to reduce it by ⅓. So 1 cup sugar, 1 cup butter, 3 eggs, ¼ cup sour cream, and so forth.
How do I know when a pound cake is done baking?
Use a cake tester or press your finger into the center; if it springs back and feels firm, the cake is done.
How to make a thick chocolate glaze, as pictured?
Use less liquid and more powdered sugar. When you stir it with a rubber spatula, it should be stiff but still slightly pourable.
Traditional pound cake does not have baking powder or baking soda (leavening) because it needs neither to rise. You want a tight crumb for pound cake with some rise; and you’ll accomplish this by thoroughly creaming the butter and sugar together (in other words, beating air into the mixture). More beating once the eggs are in ensures enough air is incorporated so you’ll get the correct rise.
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