Marmorkuchen - German Marble Cake

5/26/2019 08:37:00 PM

Marmorkuchen! Marble cake! Sweet and simple, a delicious buttery cake with swirls of chocolate and vanilla. A real family favourite!

Slice of Marble Cake Marmorkuchen
Marmorkuchen - Marble Cake

A couple of weeks ago, I was lucky enough to get some amazing Nordic Ware cake tins as a birthday gift from Sandra. I've always loved the look of them (online, and in Simply Nigella), and now I am the proud owner of three! Woohoo! She got me the 10-cup Heritage bundt pan, the 10-cup Jubilee bundt pan, and the 6-cup Heritage loaf pan. I suppose the sensible thing to do would have been to bake one cake at a time, but I just Could Not Wait and wanted to use them all straight away!

So the first free Saturday that I got, I set to work in the kitchen and baked three cakes!

Gingerbread loaf cake, lemon bundt, marmorkuchen marble cake

I did a gingerbread loaf, a lemon sour cream bundt cake, and of course, the marble cake. I thought they all looked so pretty together. Look at all those swirls! I love the sharp edges, gorgeous.

Today I'm sharing the recipe for the marble cake. Marble cake seems to evoke a bit of nostalgia - lots of people I know grew up eating them, particularly in Germany, where it is a popular choice for a weekend Kaffeeklatsch. Closer to home, my family and I used to love getting those individual thick square slices of marble cake from Hong Kong-style bakeries in Box Hill. We'd eat them after dinner, slicing a single piece into even thinner little slices and sharing them for dessert. (They somehow tasted better in tiny slices. I will not be taking questions at this time).

Marble Cake Marmorkuchen
Marmorkuchen - Marble Cake

I blogged Marmorkuchen once previously, almost exactly ten years ago, back when I wasn't recipe blogging, but rather just quickly documenting my adventures in the kitchen and, I suppose, reviewing recipes rather than creating them. (This is what many food bloggers, myself included, use Instagram for these days - how times have changed!) I was definitely overdue to make it again.

Obviously, I did not come up with the idea or recipe for Marmorkuchen - it's a classic cake, and the recipe itself is adapted from Dr. Oetker. (The Dr. Oetker Backen Macht Freude book is always my first stop when I want to make a classic German cake or biscuit). I've translated it, changed the ingredients to suit an Australian kitchen, adjusted the quantities, and most importantly (especially for future Sarah who will be referring to this blogpost in future next time she wants to make a marble cake) added significantly more steps and explanations to make it clearer. I hope you find this useful too!

So, onto the cake. The batter is a Rührteig - literally a "stirred dough" - similar to a butter cake or Victoria sponge. (Or my Pflaumen Streuselkuchen!) You beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in eggs, vanilla and rum extract, followed by flour and leavenings, with a little milk. (Rum extract is a standard item in German baking, and here you can usually find it at continental delis. It gives it that authentic homemade German taste, but the cake is still worth making if you cannot find it).

I do love a fluffy Rührteig!

Vanilla batter
Vanilla batter

You dollop two thirds of this batter into you prepared bundt tin, then flavour the remaining third with cocoa, milk, and sugar.

Chocolate batter
Chocolate batter

So, while we're here, let's take a look at how to prepare a bundt pan! These pans are very intricate, and there's nothing worse than spending ages baking a cake only to have it break when you try to take it out of the tin, so it's worth taking the time to prepare it properly. I got most of these tips from the amazing Stella Parks on Serious Eats, however, I just cannot bring myself to use cooking spray. So, melted butter and a brush it is for me!

I brush the tin with a thin layer of melted butter...

Buttered NordicWare Jubilee Bundt
Buttered NordicWare Jubilee Bundt Tin

...then sift some flour in, and rotate the tin to cover it in a thin layer of flour, before shaking out the excess flour into the sink, leaving a thin and even coating of flour. Ta-dah!

Floured NordicWare Jubilee Bundt Tin
Floured NordicWare Jubilee Bundt Tin

Then in goes the cake batter. Vanilla first...

Vanilla batter in the tin
Vanilla batter in the tin

...then chocolate! Swirl it with a knife (careful not to scrape the edges), smooth the top, and bake!

Chocolate Layer
Chocolate batter in the tin

Another tip for successful-bundt-removal: let the baked cake cool for 10 minutes before attempting to take it out. Too soon and it is more likely to break, too late and the cake might get stuck. Luckily, that wasn't a problem here and the cake popped out easily.

Marmorkuchen - Marble Cake
Marmorkuchen - Marble Cake

Aaaah I love the sharp edges on the cake! So pretty!

Marmorkuchen - Marble Cake
Marmorkuchen - Marble Cake

You'll see there were a few holes on the top, which would have come from a little excess butter in the nooks and crannies. I will be even more careful with the butter next time, but it's nothing that a little icing sugar couldn't fix.

Marmorkuchen Marble Cake
Marmorkuchen - Marble Cake

Marmorkuchen - Marble Cake
Marmorkuchen - Marble Cake

A nice slice of Marmorkuchen is a perfect low-key weekend treat. You definitely don't need to do what I did and make three cakes at once, but I wouldn't stop you!

Gingebread, lemon bundt, Marmorkuchen marble cake
Three cakes! Gingerbread loaf; Lemon sour cream bundt; Marmorkuchen / marble cake

Kaffeeklatsch - Selection of cakes and coffee

I hope you enjoy this Marmorkuchen as much as we did!

Marmorkuchen - German Marble Cake
Recipe adapted from Dr. Oetker

For the cake
300 grams softened unsalted butter
275 grams caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon rum extract, optional (this is half a little bottle)
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
5 eggs
375 grams plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Approx. 3 tablespoons milk
To flavour the chocolate layer
20 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
20 grams caster sugar
3 tablespoons milk

Preheat the oven to 180C.
Place the butter, caster sugar, vanilla extract, rum extract (if using), and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat until well combined, light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, and scraping down the sides as required.
Sift together the flour and baking powder.
Add half the flour mixture and fold in gently, followed by the remaining half. Add the milk and fold in.
Prepare a 10-cup non-stick bundt pan. Brush the inside of the tin all over with melted butter to form a thin and even layer. Sift in some plain flour, rotating the tin to cover the insides with a thin and even layer of flour. (You want to try and avoid any gaps). Tap the tin over the sink to dislodge any excess flour.
Spoon two-thirds of the cake mixture into the bundt tin.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, 20 grams sugar and 3 tablespoons milk, then pour this into the remaining 1/3 of the cake batter and mix to combine. Spoon the chocolate mixture into the bundt tin, and swirl with a butter knife to get a marble pattern happening. (Be careful not to scratch the edges of the tin). Smooth the top of the batter down with a spatula.
Place the bundt pan onto a baking tray, and bake for 45 minutes - 1 hour, or until cooked when tested with a skewer. You may want to cover the cake with foil if it is browning too quickly.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Gently pull the cake from the edges of the pan with your fingers. Place a cake rack on top, then (wearing oven mitts), flip the cake and rack over. Tap the tin firmly to help dislodge the cake, then gently pull the cake pan away.
Allow to cool before dusting with icing sugar to serve.
Makes 1 cake, serves 12-16

Have you made this recipe? Leave a comment below! Tag me on Instagram @sarahcooksblog and hashtag #sarahcooksblog

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  1. I went a bit crazy buying bundt tins when I was in America but realised that I like iced cakes more than bundt ones so I don't tend to use them very much! They are very pretty cakes though.

  2. I love the new backing tins thy look so good .I backed this weekend Donauwelle ,and it was a grate success



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