Marbled Sour Cream Pound Cake

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. 

Sour cream 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.

How to get the ‘Marbled’ look for this Sour Cream Pound Cake 

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. 

How to make marble pound cake from scratch 

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: 

  • Use room temperature ingredients, this helps everything blend together nicely. 
  • Beating the sugar and butter for at least 10 full minutes in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer. 
  • Beat the eggs in one by one, to allow them to emulsify into the butter. 
  • Sift the flour and cocoa in and don’t overmix once the dry ingredients are in. This will give you an even distribution without toughening the cake. 

Sour Cream Marble Pound Cake with a Chocolate Glaze

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: 

  • Always add a pinch of salt. 
  • Using a cocoa here will help, as it’s bitter notes temper the sweetness. 
  • Most importantly, use ORGANIC powdered sugar made with tapioca starch NOT cornstarch. Cornstarch melts at high heat, tapioca on the tongue. It makes a huge difference. Yet another reason to love Big Country Food’s Organic Powdered Sugar

 

FAQ for Marble Pound Cake 

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. 

Why doesn’t pound cake have leavening? 

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. 


 

See also: 

 

 

Marble Pound Cake Recipe 

marble pound cake

Marble Pound Cake

Perfectly marbled bundt cake made with both chocolate and vanilla sour cream pound cake batters.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Dessert

Ingredients
  

Marble Pound Cake

  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ cups unsalted butter softened
  • 1 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs plus 2 egg yolks
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour
  • ½ cup cake flour
  • cup dutch process cocoa powder

Chocolate Glaze

  • 1 cup organic powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • Pinch fine sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • Flaked sea salt for topping

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease and flour a 10 cup bundt pan.
  • If your eggs aren’t at room temp, set them in a bowl of warm water.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the sugar, butter, salt and vanilla for a full 10 minutes, the mixture should be very light and fluffy.
  • With the mixer on low, one by one add the eggs and yolks, allowing time for each to fully incorporate before adding another.
  • Add the sour cream and beat to combine.
  • Divide batter in half (use a scale if you have it for accuracy).
  • To one half sift in ½ cup cake flour and cocoa. To the other half sift in 1 cup flour and 2 tablespoons of cake flour.
  • Layer the batter into the bundt pan, alternating between the chocolate and the plain (you should get about 3 layers from each for a total of 6-7 layers, extras can be added on top).
  • Bake for 50-60 minutes, until you can press the top and it feels firm, or use a cake tester.
  • Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes then overturn onto a cooling rack.
  • Once completely cool, make the glaze by whisking all the ingredients together. If the glaze is thick, add a bit more milk, if it’s too thin, add more powdered sugar (or cocoa).
  • Spoon glaze on top of bundt and sprinkle with flaked sea salt.

Video

Keyword bundt cake, marble, pound cake
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