Spirited Marble Cake


Finished PhotoThis Spirited Marble Cake is one of my favorite cakes that dates back to my boys childhood, some forty years ago.  I’ve updated the cake to eliminate the need to beat the egg whites separately and fold them in.  Marble cakes for some reason have gone by the wayside in recent years, but I love the way they look and the bite of chocolate and white cake together.

This is considered to be two step cake and I love the ease of putting it together.  I remember the creme de cocoa being a rather racy ingredient at the time.

I call this finish a porcupine finish and it as easy as can be to execute but gives the cake a unique look.  The only caveat concerns beating the frosting.  It’s a simple American buttercream but doesn’t have the grittiness of some of the powdered sugar based frostings.  Just be careful not to over-beat it.  If it is too aerated, it won’t spread smoothly or pull out when you go to finish it.  You will know  as soon as you start to finish the cake.  Just put the unused portion back on the machine, add a bit of milk and beat it again on medium.  That should solve the problem.

This cake does not call for undercoating as some do, especially if you freeze the layers before putting the cake together.  They are much easier to fill and finish.

Spirited Marble Cake
Cake ingred. (1 of 1)4 large egg whites (135 grams or 4 3/4 ounces)
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons vanilla
3 cups cake flour (300 grams or 10 1/2 ounces)
1 1/2 cups sugar (300 grams or 10 1/2  ounces)
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (170 grams or 6 ounces)
3 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted (85 grams)
1/4 cup crème de cocoa

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 nine inch round cake pans with parchment. Spray center only of each parchment.  See Cake Pan Prep.Pan lined

In a bowl, lightly combine the egg whites, 1/4 cup milk and vanilla.Cake liquids in bowl

In a large mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients Cake flours in bowland mix on low speed for 30 seconds to blend. Cake flours in mixer Add the butter and remaining 3/4 cup milk. Flour, butter, milk in mixer bowlMix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. mixing ingred. on low Increase to medium and beat for 1 1/2 minutes.  Cake mixing 2Gradually add the egg mixture in thirds,2nd liquid in beating about 30 seconds each time. Batter fully mixed

Batter weights 1110 grams or 38 1/2 ounces.

Divide the dough in half (555 grams or 19 1/3 ounces).  Into one half of the batter whisk in the chocolate and crème de cocoa until combined.Chocolate in half of batter

Leave the second half plain.Plain half of batter

In each of the two pans, place 4 dollops of white batter in a north, south, east and west design in the pan.  Plain batter in 1st layerPlace 4 dollops of dark batter between the white ones and one dollop and one in the center.1st chocolate layer down

Place a second layer of dollops on top of the first.  Place four chocolate dollops on top of the white dollops.Second layer of chocolate

Place the remaining four dollops of plain batter on top of the chocolate dollops and one in the middle.Second layer of white on chocolate

With a small spatula, carefully swirl the batter to mix them somewhat.Swirling 1Swirling 2Swirling 3Smooth the top carefully to maintain the differences. Cake layer smoothedRepeat with the second layer.  Bake for 18 to 20 minutes until the center springs back.  Cool completely.

Spirited Chocolate ButtercreamFrosting ingredients2 sticks butter, softened (225 grams or 8 ounces)
3 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted (85 grams)
1 1/2 tablespoons crème de cocoa
2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2  teaspoon salt
4 cups unsifted powdered sugar (500 grams or 17 1/2 ounces)

Place all in a mixing bowl and beat on low to combine. Frosting ingred in bowl (1 of 1) Raise mixer to high and beat until light and airy.

Frosting ingred. in bowl

Frosting mixed

Place one layer of cake on a cake board or cake plate.  Brush all crumbs from the side of the layer.Brushing crumbs from side of cakePlace about 1cup of frosting in the middle of the layer.Frosting on first layer

Spread to the edge of the layer. Frosting spread on 1st layer

First layer frostedRelease the second layer,Cake layer with parchment remove the parchment.  Brush crumbs off side.Removing parchmentUsing a cake board as an aid, place the second layer on top.  Second layer onFrost the side of the cake,Frosting side of cakethen the top with the frosting overhanging the top. Frosting overhanging top edgeWith a flat spatula, smooth the side of the cake, allowing the frosting to extend above the top of the cake.  Smoothing side frostingWith an offset spatula, pull the frosting at the side edges into the middle, raising the spatula gradually as you approach the center. Smoothing top of cake

Smoothing top 2

Scrape the excess frosting off the spatula.  Continue all the way around until the frosting on top is smooth.Smoothing top 3

Smoothing top 4

Smoothed topAt this point, clean the bottom of the board.  Cleaning the boardIf you are going to move the cake off the cake board, channel the bottom so the cake can be lifted without disturbing the finish.  With a flat spatula, simply remove the barest amount of frosting from the bottom where it touches the board.Channeling bottom

Place the flat side of the spatula on the frosting on the side of the cake. Peaking sidesPull the spatula straight out so the frosting peaks out.  Sides peakedContinue around the side and then do the same thing on the top.Top Peaked

This cake can be stored at room temperature or frozen if desired.

Yield:  9″ cake – 12 to 16 servings

Pastry has not only been my profession, but my passion. If there is anything in particular you would like to see or any questions about baking or pastry, please let me know. Be sure to subscribe so you don't miss a post!
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