Marble Cake 8 thumb German Marble Cake

This is the last, but not least, of this series of guest posts on Diethood. In just a few short days I will be back home trying to catch-up, clean-up, pay bills… oh I don’t even want to think about that.

Okay, back to good things.

Today is a treat. I am truly honored that I have a guest post from Tori, The Shiksa! I discovered her blog via Tasty Kitchen and I was hooked from the moment I landed on her homepage. Her energy, her enthusiasm, and her passion definitely translate through her words, and you will want to jump on The Shiksa Feed  just as fast as I did!


I’m so excited to have the opportunity to guest post for Katerina here at Diethood! I’ve admired this blog for quite some time, and I’m happy to share a delicious recipe with you. Today, we’ll be making German Marble Cake.

I realize some of you may not be familiar with my blog, so here’s a little background for you. I write about Jewish food and food history. My favorite thing to do is study the story behind what we’re cooking. For most of the recipes I post, I give some background on how that recipe came to be. If you’ll indulge me, before we start cooking, I’d like to tell you a little about the history of Marble Cake.

The idea of marbling two different colored batters into a cake originated in nineteenth century Germany. Marble cakes made their way to America with German immigrants before the Civil War. Originally the cakes were marbled with molasses and spices. The first recorded Jewish recipe for a marble cake appears in an American cookbook called “Aunt Babette’s Cook Book: Foreign and Domestic Receipts for the Household,” published in 1889. This recipe replaced the molasses and spice combination by marbling chocolate into the cake, a reflection of the new American obsession with chocolate. The cake remained popular throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.

According to the “Encyclopedia of Jewish Food” by Gil Marks, “Many Jewish bakeries in the New York area in the 1950’s through the 1970’s would distinctively add a small amount of almond extract to the chocolate marble cake, creating a version sometimes referred to as a ‘German Marble Cake,’ that had a characteristic almond aroma.” Delicious, right?

This is my recipe for a traditional German marble cake recipe. To give it a slightly modern twist, I like to add vanilla pudding mix to the batter. This little trick is a fantastic way to add moisture and flavor to your cakes. You can use regular or instant pudding mix; just sift it in dry with the flour. It creates a wonderful texture and locks in moisture so the cake doesn’t dry out as quickly. They certainly weren’t doing it this way in Germany 150 years ago, but sometimes it’s fun to improve on tradition. Try it!

If you don’t have vanilla pudding mix in your pantry, just replace the pudding with an equivalent amount of cake flour. If you’ve never marbled a cake before, click here for detailed instructions on my site. Enjoy!

P.S. Katerina, I hope you’re having a ton of fun in Macedonia. Bring back pictures, please! (and recipes, too!)

German Marble Cake

(Makes one 9-inch marble cake loaf )

Kosher Key: Dairy

You will need:

  • 1 ¼ cup cake flour
  • ½ cup dry vanilla pudding mix (about one 3.4 oz package—regular or instant)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 ½ tsp almond extract
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

You will also need: 8- or 9-inch loaf pan, three mixing bowls (large, medium, small), electric mixer, whisk


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the cake flour, vanilla pudding mix (in dry powdered form), baking powder, and salt.

Marble Cake 1 thumb German Marble Cake

  • In a larger mixing bowl, whip together the butter, sugar, eggs and almond extract for a few minutes till the mixture turns light yellow.

Marble Cake 2 thumb German Marble Cake

  • Beat in half of the milk and half of the sifted flour mixture, then beat in the remaining milk and flour mixture.
  • Whip until the batter is smooth and creamy.
  • Rinse and dry the medium mixing bowl that you used for the sifted flour; you’ll need it again soon.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and 1/3 cup of very hot water till smooth.

Marble Cake 4 thumb German Marble Cake

  • Pour a little less than half of the cake batter into the medium mixing bowl that you rinsed out.
  • Whisk in the cocoa powder mixture till fully combined and smooth.
  • This is your chocolate marbling batter. Reserve the rest of the batter—this is your light cake marbling batter.
  • Generously grease your loaf pan using butter or cooking spray.
  • Pour the light and dark cake batters into your loaf pan and marble them. If you need a marbling technique, you can check out this post: How to Marble a Cake.

Marble Cake 6 thumb German Marble Cake

  • Bake the marble cake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven and cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes.

Marble Cake 7 thumb German Marble Cake

  • Gently remove the cake from the pan and let it cool completely on the rack.
  • This cake will keep at room temperature for 3-4 days; wrap in plastic wrap or foil to seal in the moisture, or keep it inside an airtight container. To extend shelf life, keep the cake in the refrigerator.

Marble Cake 9 thumb German Marble Cake


I am linking this up with Foodbeast. Please check out their site for all up-to-the-minute Food News.

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39 Comments on this article. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Sook October 1, 2011 at 11:37 PM - Reply

    So beautiful! I still haven’t tried making these… but it’s on my list! :)

  2. Sandra September 30, 2011 at 7:54 PM - Reply

    Congrats on a great recipe and Top 9!

  3. Claudie September 30, 2011 at 6:44 PM - Reply

    It’s so great to see this recipe today! Two days ago, I was thinking about my grandma and the marble cake she used to make me!!! I haven’t had any since I moved from Europe, and I miss it. Will try your recipe :)

  4. The Elegant Eggplant September 30, 2011 at 1:21 PM - Reply

    Looks wonderful. I love Tori too!! :)

  5. Maggie @ Vittles and Bits September 29, 2011 at 6:41 PM - Reply

    Kate, I miss you but I’ve got to say you’ve had some really great guest bloggers! Tori’s cake looks amazing, I love the history as well. Be safe on your trip back – can’t wait to see your pics & stories!

  6. Lisa @ Tarte du Jour September 29, 2011 at 5:30 PM - Reply

    What a delicious looking cake! I great guest post!!

  7. Megan @ Pip and Ebby September 29, 2011 at 1:27 PM - Reply

    This is beautiful, and it looks delicious! Great way to end the guest-posting!!

  8. Christine September 28, 2011 at 9:16 PM - Reply

    Congrats on Foodbuzz top 9!

  9. Karen September 28, 2011 at 7:58 PM - Reply

    I am looking forward to making this cake.

    It brings back memories. My mother who is German/Latvian used to make this when I was little. I had totally forgotten about this cake. Just thinking about it makes me remember how good it was.

    I’ll have to share it with my parents once I make it. My father is from (former) East Germany.

    Do you know of any good recipes for Bienenstich? Uber-fattening, but oh so good.

  10. Sook September 28, 2011 at 6:43 PM - Reply

    The cake looks beautiful! Congrats on top 9!

  11. Hester @ Alchemy in the Kitchen September 28, 2011 at 10:30 AM - Reply

    Kate, this is fabulous – congrats on the Top 9 and a wonderful guest post. Even uncooked, the cake looks amazing!

  12. Elin September 28, 2011 at 9:46 AM - Reply

    Congrats !!! Today’s Top 9 :) Kate and Tori, great post and great tutorial on how to get a good marbling effect :)

  13. Angie @ Bigbearswife September 28, 2011 at 9:21 AM - Reply

    mmm looks really good! I need a slice!

  14. Ann September 27, 2011 at 7:48 PM - Reply

    Yummy! I love marble cake and this looks great! I look forward to your return, but you’ve had some AMAZING guests…thanks!

  15. Jerry Ko | Simply Good Eating September 27, 2011 at 4:31 PM - Reply

    Great job with that marble cake. It looks absolutely stunning in the photos and thanks for sharing the recipe :)

  16. Happy When Not Hungry September 27, 2011 at 3:18 PM - Reply

    Beautiful cake!! Great guest post :-)

  17. Cucina49 September 27, 2011 at 2:30 PM - Reply

    This looks easy and delish–plus I love the history lesson!

  18. Fran {The Flavorful Fork} September 27, 2011 at 2:04 PM - Reply

    Looks delish and I love that you provide a little history about the recipe. I am always interested in learning about how various traditions came to be. I will definitely be checking out your blog.

  19. visda September 27, 2011 at 1:19 PM - Reply

    I love Marble cake because of it’s simplicity in taste and flavor. When I was a kid we used to have it for breakfast some times and goes very well with a cup of black tea. Wonderful that you shared your recipe. Now I should make one.:-)

  20. Liz September 27, 2011 at 11:55 AM - Reply

    What a gorgeous cake! Your marbling is PERFECT!!! Great cake, Tori!!!

    Looking forward to your return, Kate!!! Miss you~

  21. Feast on the Cheap September 27, 2011 at 11:17 AM - Reply

    What a pretty poundcake!

  22. Rachel @ Baked by Rachel September 27, 2011 at 8:53 AM - Reply

    Gorgeous! I love the look of anything marbled. I bet it tastes fantastic too ;)

  23. Dana Salvo September 27, 2011 at 7:56 AM - Reply

    Yummy recipe sounds nice & moist!

  24. kita September 27, 2011 at 7:16 AM - Reply

    I just recently discovered Tori’s blog too and love it. How cute is her little bio picture? This German marble cake looks adorbs too. Wouldn’t be able to resist a slice.

  25. Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen September 27, 2011 at 4:56 AM - Reply

    It’s great to learn about the history of the recipe. Marble cake is one of my very favorites and I didn’t know where it originated from.

  26. torviewtoronto and createwithmom September 26, 2011 at 7:58 PM - Reply

    delicious looking marble cake

  27. Tina@flourtrader September 26, 2011 at 2:48 PM - Reply

    Great guest post Tori! The history regarding marble cakes was interesting and the cake looks wonderful. Also, your instruction links are very helpful.

  28. Tori @ The Shiksa in the Kitchen September 26, 2011 at 1:25 PM - Reply

    Thank you Kate! This was super fun. :)

    And thank you everybody for the kind words! I hope some of you get a chance to try the cake. By the way, the link for How to Marble a Cake is:

  29. RavieNomNoms September 26, 2011 at 1:20 PM - Reply

    I find marble cake to be one of the best kinds of cakes. It is the best of both worlds how could you not like it?? Yours looks amazing

  30. Tina (PinayInTexas) September 26, 2011 at 11:58 AM - Reply

    Can’t wait to see what you have to share with us from your vacation in Macedonia!
    Another awesome guest post, btw! The marble cake was so beautifully done! Great job, Tori!

  31. Kristen September 26, 2011 at 11:49 AM - Reply

    The marbling in that cake is so perfect. Thank you so much for such a nice guest post!

  32. Carolyn September 26, 2011 at 10:26 AM - Reply

    This is a gorgeous cake. Great guest post, Tori. And Kate, I am sure you don’t want to come back, but the foodie world will be glad to have you!

  33. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts September 26, 2011 at 9:54 AM - Reply

    What a great looking cake! I have never met Tori before, thanks for the introduction!

  34. Mariko September 26, 2011 at 9:51 AM - Reply

    I love marble cake. Yummy! I’ll have to go check out your blog.

  35. Kelly September 26, 2011 at 9:16 AM - Reply

    What a gorgeous recipe, I absolutely LOVE Tori and her blog! Great guest post!! :)

  36. Elies_Lie September 26, 2011 at 8:28 AM - Reply

    Hi kate, looks like u having a great time there & don’t want to come back? Haha ha – kidding dear :D
    hope to see u soon – around then & having a great time with ur fam in macedonia! ;)

    Hi tory!
    Tq for sharing this recipe & story about this lovely cake! Glad to know u! ;)

  37. This looks absolutely delicious! Katerina, you finished off your guest blogging series with a perfect person. I love this cake! Tori, thank you so much for sharing it with us.

    Be safe coming home, Katerina.

  38. Peggy September 26, 2011 at 8:17 AM - Reply

    What a great guest post! I love marble cake and this one looks absolutely perfect!

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