German Marble Cake – Marmorkuchen

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Marmorkuchen Magic: A Swirl of Flavors You'll Love

Welcome back to our food adventures, dear readers! Today, I’m taking a delicious detour to Germany to explore the enchanting world of Marmorkuchen, a marble cake that has captured the hearts and taste buds of many. This delightful cake boasts a harmonious blend of chocolate and vanilla, creating a swirl of flavors that will leave you craving for more. Let’s dive into the history, secrets, and variations of this magical cake and, of course, share a scrumptious recipe for you to try at home!

History of Marmorkuchen

Marmorkuchen, or marble cake, has been a staple in German households for centuries. It’s said to have originated during the Renaissance era when bakers sought to create visually appealing desserts that would impress the aristocracy. The art of marbling the cake, which gives it its name and characteristic appearance, was a symbol of culinary finesse.

The Classic Recipe:

Marmorkuchen is made by combining two batters – one flavored with vanilla and the other with cocoa or melted chocolate. The two batters are gently layered or swirled together, creating the iconic marble effect. The cake is typically baked in a bundt or Gugelhupf pan, which gives it an elegant shape and helps to achieve an even distribution of flavors. The result is a moist, tender cake that perfectly balances the flavors of chocolate and vanilla.

Variations and Add-Ins:

While the classic Marmorkuchen recipe is always a winner, there are endless ways to put your personal touch on this marvelous cake. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

  1. Fruits: Adding fruits like cherries, raspberries, or blueberries can elevate the flavor profile and add a burst of freshness. You can also try incorporating fruit purees, such as raspberry or strawberry, into one of the batters.

  2. Nuts: Chopped walnuts, hazelnuts, or almonds can add a delightful crunch and depth of flavor. You can mix them into one or both batters, or sprinkle them on top of the cake.

  3. Spices: Get adventurous by adding a pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, or cardamom to the batter for an aromatic twist. You can also try adding orange or lemon zest for a citrusy touch.

  4. Coffee: Add instant coffee or espresso powder to the chocolate batter for a mocha-flavored marble cake. This creates a rich, deep flavor that pairs well with the vanilla.

  5. Different chocolates: Instead of using unsweetened cocoa powder, experiment with melted dark, milk, or white chocolate in the chocolate batter for varied flavor profiles.

  6. Cream cheese swirl: Mix softened cream cheese with sugar and an egg to create a creamy filling. Swirl this mixture into the cake batters for a decadent and moist variation.

  7. Vegan or gluten-free: For a vegan version, use plant-based milk, egg substitutes, and dairy-free butter. For a gluten-free option, use a gluten-free flour blend and ensure all other ingredients are gluten-free.

  8. Glazes and drizzles: Finish off your Marmorkuchen with a simple sugar glaze, chocolate ganache, or a drizzle of caramel for added indulgence.

  9. Marbled cupcakes: Instead of a bundt or Gugelhupf pan, create marbled cupcakes by spooning the batters into lined muffin cups and swirling them together.

  10. Triple chocolate: Create a triple chocolate marble cake by dividing the batter into three portions – one vanilla, one with cocoa powder, and one with melted chocolate. Swirl all three batters together for a decadent treat.

Feel free to mix and match these ideas to create your unique take on the traditional German marble cake. The possibilities are endless!

How to make a Moist German Marble Cake?

To achieve a moist and tender German marble cake (Marmorkuchen), keep these tips and tricks in mind:

  1. Use quality ingredients: Fresh, high-quality ingredients like unsalted butter, pure vanilla extract, and good-quality cocoa powder contribute to the overall flavor and texture of your cake.

  2. Room temperature ingredients: Bring your butter, eggs, and milk to room temperature before mixing. This ensures even blending, better aeration, and a tender crumb.

  3. Cream butter and sugar: Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. This step is crucial for incorporating air into the batter, contributing to a moist and tender cake.

  4. Do not overmix: When combining the wet and dry ingredients, mix until just incorporated. Overmixing can develop gluten and result in a dense, dry cake.

  5. Alternate additions: Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, alternating with the milk. This method helps maintain a delicate and moist texture.

  6. Check oven temperature: Ensure your oven is properly preheated and calibrated. An oven that is too hot can cause the cake to dry out.

  7. Proper pan preparation: Grease and flour your bundt or Gugelhupf pan to ensure easy release and even baking.

  8. Don’t over-swirl: When creating the marble effect, gently swirl the batters together without overmixing. Over-swirling can blend the flavors too much and may impact the cake’s texture.

  9. Monitor baking time: Keep an eye on the baking time, and test the cake for doneness with a toothpick. Overbaking can lead to a dry cake.

  10. Cool properly: Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack. This helps the cake set and retain its moisture.

How to Store and Freeze German Marble Cake

To store and freeze your German marble cake (Marmorkuchen), follow these simple steps:


  1. Allow the cake to cool completely on a wire rack.
  2. If your cake has a glaze or frosting, wait until it has set before storing.
  3. Place the cake in an airtight container or cover it with a cake dome to keep it fresh. You can also wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap.
  4. Store the cake at room temperature for up to 3 days.


  1. Allow the cake to cool completely on a wire rack.
  2. If your cake has a glaze or frosting, it’s best to freeze it unglazed, as the glaze may become sticky or separate upon thawing.
  3. Wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap, making sure it’s fully covered. For extra protection, you can also wrap the cake in aluminum foil or place it in an airtight, freezer-safe container.
  4. Label the container or the wrapped cake with the date and type of cake.
  5. Freeze the cake for up to 3 months.
  6. To thaw, remove the cake from the freezer and let it sit at room temperature, still wrapped, for several hours or until completely thawed.
  7. If desired, glaze or frost the cake after it has thawed.

Note: For the best flavor and texture, it’s recommended to consume the cake within the first month of freezing. However, it can be safely stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.

German Marble Cake
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Marble Cake with Glaze - Marmorkuchen

Swirled chocolate-vanilla delight in a moist cake.
Prep Time10 minutes
Bake Time45 minutes
Total Time55 minutes
Course: Baking, Dessert
Cuisine: German
Keyword: Marble Cake, Pound Cake
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 414kcal


  • 1 10-inch Bundt or Gugelhupf Pan


For the Cake

  • 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 tsp. Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • 1 cup Unsalted Butter softened
  • 1+¼ cup Granulated Sugar
  • 4 large Eggs room temperature
  • 1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • ¾ cup Whole Milk room temperature
  • ¼ cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

For the Glaze

  • 4 oz. Semi-Sweet Chocolate chopped
  • ½ cup Heavy Cream
  • 2 tbsp. Unsalted Butter softened


  • Preheat oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease and flour a 10-inch (25 cm) bundt or Gugelhupf pan.
  • Mix dry ingredients: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
    2 cups All-Purpose Flour, 2 tsp. Baking Powder, ½ tsp. Salt
  • Cream butter and sugar: In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla extract.
    1 cup Unsalted Butter, 1+¼ cup Granulated Sugar, 4 large Eggs, 1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • Alternate dry ingredients and milk: Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.
    ¾ cup Whole Milk
  • Divide and flavor the batter: Divide the batter evenly between two bowls. Stir the cocoa powder into one of the bowls, mixing until fully incorporated.
    ¼ cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • Create the marbled effect: Spoon dollops of the vanilla and chocolate batters alternately into the prepared pan. Use a butter knife or skewer to swirl the batters together gently, creating a marbled effect.
  • Bake: Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  • Cool: Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Prepare the chocolate glaze: Place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the heavy cream over medium heat until it just begins to simmer. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let it sit for 1-2 minutes. Add the softened butter and whisk until smooth and glossy.
    4 oz. Semi-Sweet Chocolate, ½ cup Heavy Cream, 2 tbsp. Unsalted Butter
  • Glaze the cake: Once the cake has cooled completely, place it on a serving plate or cake stand. Slowly pour the chocolate glaze over the cake, allowing it to drizzle down the sides. Let the glaze set for a few minutes before slicing and serving.


Calories: 414kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 60mg | Sodium: 180mg | Potassium: 142mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 711IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 91mg | Iron: 2mg

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