Marble Pound Cake

Marble Pound Cake


Marble Pound Cake is one of those recipes that everyone needs to have in their “tried and true” folder.

There are probably hundreds, if not thousands of recipes for pound cake swirling the internet not to mention all the baking books over decades!


I have several versions of pound cake recipes myself and I can probably say I love them all equally!

I know that is a weird thing to say since don’t we need to settle on one favorite recipe?

Well I do have my favorites~ plural!

Some of you may be familiar with one of my recipes for pound cake that I have shared in the past called “Golden Vanilla Cake”and it included cream cheese in the batter!

I do love that recipe but I have found that not everyone has cream cheese readily available nor do they want to always use it for one reason or another.

So here I have included yet another one of my recipes for you to add to your list of No Fail awesomeness!

It is so tender and buttery you may just want to double the recipe to make 2 loaves! (or 2- 9” layers if you want to turn this into a layer cake!)

The following recipe was adapted from my Culinary Institute of America days and then the version with cream cheese is below.

They are both definitely “tried and true” and Ill let you decide which you prefer.

Be sure to weigh your ingredients whenever possible to get the best results every time.

For those who want just a pure, plain Vanilla Pound Cake – leave out the cocoa+water+oil part and pretend it never happened!

But for those who want to marble let’s say~ another cake recipe?

Like my Vanilla Sponge Cake?

Take this same marbling technique and recipe for cocoa + water+ oil and marble away!

5.0 from 4 reviews
Marble Pound Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Preheat oven to 350°F
Grease a standard loaf pan (9"x4"x5")
All ingredients must be at room temperature before mixing
This recipe is for 1 loaf so if you want to make pound cake layers just double the recipe and divide the batter between 2- 8"X3" pans
To make this a vanilla pound cake just leave out the cocoa+water+oil part
Cornstarch is an old European method of creating a tighter crumb in the cake and also will help to lock in the moisture from the eggs and sugar *you can omit the cornstarch especially if you are measuring with cups not a scale
Serves: 1 loaf or 1-8" X 3" cake layer
  • Unsalted Butter 10 tablespoons (140g)
  • Granulated Sugar ¾ cup (150g)
  • Eggs large 4 (200g)
  • Vanilla Extract 1 teaspoon (5ml)
  • Cake Flour 1+ ⅓ cup (170g)
  • Cornstarch 3 teaspoons (12g)
  • Salt ½ teaspoon (3g)
  • Baking Powder 1 teaspoon (5g)
  • Dutched Process (or natural regular) Cocoa Powder 3 Tablespoons (18g)
  • Hot Water 4 Tablespoons (60ml)
  • Vegetable or Coconut Oil 1 Tablespoon (15ml)
  1. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy approximately 5 minutes
  2. Combine the eggs and vanilla extract together and sift together the flour, salt, baking powder & cornstarch~ reserve.
  3. Add ⅓ of the egg mixture to the creaming mixture and blend well.
  4. Add ⅓ of the sifted dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and blend well.
  5. Repeat this process with the remaining egg and flour in 3 total additions until all is blended in well.
  6. Combine the cocoa powder with the hot water and oil and whisk smooth
  7. Add less than 1 cup of the vanilla batter to the cocoa mixture then marble it together with the vanilla batter in your prepared greased pans.
  8. Bake immediately in preheated 350°F oven for approximately 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs
Pound cake can be stored at room temperature wrapped with plastic or in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Freeze wrapped well for up to 1 month


5.0 from 4 reviews
Golden Vanilla Pound Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Preheat oven to 350°F
Grease a standard loaf pan (9"x4"x5")
All ingredients must be at room temperature before mixing.
The butter and cream cheese must be at the same exact softened consistency so they can cream together without lumps.
This recipe is for 1 loaf so if you want to make pound cake layers just double the recipe and divide the batter between 2- 8" pans
To marble this version do the same as shown in the video for the previous recipe: add 3Tbs Cocoa+3Tbs Hot Water+ 1 Tbs Oil to ¼ of the batter, then marble together
Serves: 1 loaf or 1-8"X 3" layer
  • Unsalted Butter 9 Tablespoons (128g)
  • Cream Cheese ⅔ cup (170g)
  • Granulated Sugar 1½ cup (300g)
  • All Purpose Flour 1½ cup (188g)
  • Baking Powder 2½ teaspoons (12g)
  • Salt ¼ teaspoon
  • Eggs large 4 (200g)
  • Egg Yolks 2 (36g)
  • Vanilla Extract 1 Tablespoon (15ml)
  1. In the bowl of your Kitchen Aid mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and cream cheese together slowly to incorporate evenly.
  2. Add the sugar gradually while mixing on low until it is all combined well.
  3. Combine the eggs, yolks and vanilla and then add one at time to the creaming mixture. Be sure to mix well, before adding in the other egg and scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl often.
  4. Add the sifted flour and baking powder all at once and mix until smooth
  5. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake in preheated 350°F oven immediately for approximately 35-45 minutes or UNTIL ITS DONE when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs
Pound cake can be stored at room temperature wrapped with plastic or in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Freeze wrapped well for up to 1 month



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  1. Hi Gretchen, in the process of making the marble cake now. Waiting for butter to soften. Question, I measured three times the 3 tablespoons of cocoa and only get 24 g. Thanks.

  2. Why do so many recipes call for unsalted butter but then add salt separately, can’t you just use salted butter and leave out the extra salt?

    1. Its difficult to know how much salt is in that butter and we (as pastry chefs) like to control those amounts ourselves.
      However you can use salted if you prefer and leave out the salt

  3. We grew up baking and eating A LOT of Pound Cakes and seeing your recipes really brings back special memories. I’m so glad to have found your site, thanks again, and keep up the fabulous recipes! 🙂

  4. I made the vanilla version this weekend, what a lovely crumb! I will use this recipe again, I did think mine came out a little dry, maybe I over mixed my batter? Any thoughts are greatly appreciated, thanks for all the great recipes.

  5. Hi Gretchen,
    For the lemon pound cake, is the 1 tsp lemon extract in addition to the vanilla extract or a substitution for it? I was afraid the batter will turn out too wet with both the extracts together. Thanks!

  6. Hi Gretchen! You said we can use the same marble method for any yellow cake, what would the measurement of coco, water, and oil be to make the marble effect in your yellow sponge cake recipe which I love!? Thanks

  7. Fabulous recipe, Gretchen! I ADORE this recipe and I want to bake it in mini loaf pans to give to friends. How many loaf pans should I use? Thank you

  8. Hellow, would like to ask is corn starch same as corn flour?can corn flour replace corn starch? If its cant, any replacement or if i omit,will it effect the cake texture?

    Thank you..

    1. Hi Here in the US we have Cornstarch (which is what I am using here) and Then Corn MEAL (which is a yellow, coarse grain)
      SO Im pretty sure what you call cornflour in the UK is the same as our cornstarch- as long as it is white powder like what I am using here, and it is typically used as a thickener (then yes) you can use it

  9. Hi Gretchen, I’d like to make a banana flavored pound cake. Would I need to substitute for another ingredient or just add in a certain amount of pureéd bananas?

    1. Well I’m looking for a very soft and very moist cake consistency. My husband is from Mexico and is not a fan of American style cakes. He prefers wet cakes (Tres Leches more specifically, and I’m so sick of making that recipe lol) but also loves the texture of pound cake. I’ve got like 6 frozen bananas that will freezer burn before too long and I wanted to use them up, so I thought I’d ask. If nothing else, I’ll just make banana cupcakes for me and the kids and a traditional pound cake for him lol. Thanks!

  10. Hi Gretchen i want to bake this pound cake in a 6″ round pan for layered cake.How many cakes can i make in 1recipe and how long will i bake it? Thank you so much

  11. Hi Gretchen, to make this recipe in a tube pan or bundt pan, would you double the recipe or 1 – 1/2 the recipe? Thanks.

  12. Hi Gretchen I was wondering if I could have the recipe for your original golden vanilla butter cake. I’ve been with following you on YouTube for many years now. It was my favorite cake on your old channel and I loved how it tastes with the cream cheese.

  13. Hi Gretchen. Thank you for this recipe. If I wanted to make a strawberry pound cake, could I just add some strawberry purée and strawberry pudding mix to the batter? And if can, do I need to change the quantities of anything else?

      1. I was nervous for the outcome, but it turned out fantastic! I doubled the Golden Vanilla Pound cake recipe and added 3/4 C puréed strawberries and a box of strawberries and creme pudding mix. Thanks again!

  14. Hi Gretchen,
    I made this today in one 9″ round pan and am waiting for it to cool a bit more. It came out just under 1-1/2 inches high. Does that sound about right for the size pan? Baked it for 35 min, but I think that was a bit too long. I’m curious as to what is the purpose of the cornstarch in the recipe and what happens if left out? How would the two cakes be different. Thanks.

    Oops – also wanted to ask how to marble the cake. I had a huge mess! LOL White batter was thick and chocolate thin. Do you add all the vanilla, then choc on top and swirl?

    1. Yes! Sounds like you did great! From the blog post: Cornstarch is an old European method of creating a tighter crumb in the cake and also will help to lock in the moisture from the eggs and sugar *you can omit the cornstarch
      Did you watch the video for this recipe? I show you in the video

      1. Thanks Gretchen! I saw the video AFTER! Wish I had watched it before. lol Is there a search box for your site? I only see a google search and am having to look through all the cake recipes each time I try to get back to a specific one. I’m probably missing it somehow. There’s so much wonderful content here I’ve been jumping around all over the place.

        1. Great! I do have a search but it is google search (I get a couple extra pennies that way so hopefully I can afford another pound of butter! LOL) But you can also use the tab in the header I have them separated into categories, if you hover over the ALL RECIPES TAB it will drop down to even MORE categories

  15. Hi Gretchen

    I will like to make this recipe but instead of making it into loaf pan I will like to make it in cake pans is that possible do I have to change the measurements for everything to double the amount.

    Thank you

  16. Hi Gretchen, Thank you so much for your recipes, i need to make this into a 12″x18″x2″ sheet pan, how many recipes do I need?
    Thank you,

  17. HI Gretchen, Me again,This is for the golden vanilla cake, How will this cake be in a baptism cake with buttercream and rasberry compote filling covered with fondant. Will it be moist without simple syrup, and hold the fondant? And in the Golden Vanilla, can the cream cheese be replaced with sour cream or greek yogurt? My daughter doesn’t like cream cheese.

    1. Excellent choice I love this recipe. Your choices sound great and all work with fondant , simple syrup is not necessary on this style cake.
      I have not tried the cream cheese replacement, but once its all baked, she would never even know it was in there, you cannot taste just acts as a solid fat for this recipe without adding more butter

  18. Hello Gretchen,
    I love all your recipes and had success so far for the ones I tried. Would like to try this but I want to bake in 9 inch springfoam pan. can you please tell me how many recipes of this do I need?

  19. I want to make a layered marble cake that is not a poundcake, something closer to your chocolate or sponge cakes. Do you have a recipe? If not can you advise where I should be looking? Thanks.

  20. Hi, I don’t use eggs. In your above recipe can I substitute egg replacer or flax egg or aquafaba instead of eggs. Will the outcome be a good pound cake. If I can replace egg. What can be used. Please suggest

      1. Thanks for your reply. I forgot to mention one thing. Can I use dairy products like milk and normal butter that is mentioned in normal recipe and just replace egg alone with egg substitute like energy or flax egg or aquafaba. BecauseI am ok with dairy products that is mentioned in normal recipes. But using egg is the problem. Will this work properly during baking. Please suggest

  21. Hi, Gretchen. I love making pound cakes, but lately, they have been falling in the center and I’m not sure why. My recipe is basically the same as yours, except I use 1/4 tsp of salt and 1 tsp. of baking powder. Should I increase the baking powder? Our altitude is a little higher, 3200 ft.

  22. One more question plz
    I tried the marble version with corn starch and it turned out really really dry!! Again what could be the possible reason? Is it that I put the cake for cooling uncovered?
    I bake them before sleeping so put them
    On wire rack and cling film them in the morning. How to store them?

    1. Hi! Im sorry that happened! The addition of cornstarch is a European method of making a much tighter crumb. However if the measurements were even slightly off (most often from using cups measure CLICK HERE FOR MORE) if could throw it off and cause a dry result.
      I am going to make a note about this here in the blog post for others to note that this could be a possibility and perhaps omitting the cornstarch altogether may be a better way to go since not everyone measures with a scale.
      However by leaving the cakes over night unwrapped this could have added to the dryness since cakes will naturally want to release their moisture into the air over time and why we always want to keep them wrapped or iced with icing! 🙂
      Thankyou for the feedback and the comment! Again Im sorry this happened!

  23. Hello,
    Can I marble a cake using two different vanilla and chocolate recipes…or will they not bake properly….so id have to make valilla and add cocoa to that same recipe to make the chocolate portion of it..?

      1. Thank you ..that’s what I thought. I will be making another small donation again soon. You must have spent a lot of money to go to chef school…and the fact that you give away all your wonderful recipes and expertise for free is beyond generous. I think anyone who’s on here should be donating! Thx again.

        1. awe! thankyou so much! Why yes it is true I have spent alot of time, money & resources to learn what I know and the cost to run this blog is definitely not free, so I appreciate the fact that you recognize that! I thankyou so so much!

          1. DID YOU ALL HEAR THAT! This blog is not free to run. If everyone that comes on here donates just 5 dollars for all of Gretchens FREE “bakery level” recipes and professional help…then you’d truly be showing her the appreciation that she deserves! My gosh who else do you know online who spends hours answering EVERY persons questions? No one! DONATE!

  24. please tell me the difference between Refined Flour (India) and All purpose flour. can i make AP flour by adding some cornstarch like cake flour. we dnt get AP flour in India

  25. Hello Gretchen
    I love love your recipes special this one
    I want to turn it in the pineapple poundcake
    can I mix pineapple jam in it ?
    must I leave something out ?
    what amount do you suggest ???
    I don’t want it too wet because I use it under fondant
    Thank for your answer

  26. @Gretchen’s Bakery, am a beginner will like to know more about baking, watched your videos a d I enjoyed them so much

    1. Great! You came to the right place! You can start on my youtube channel and start watching oldest to newest since I actually went in the order of BASE recipes for beginners and then worked up to more advanced recipes! Try that CLICK HERE
      All the videos have recipe links in the description box below so you can click through and find yourself right back here for more info and the written printable recipes

  27. Hi Gretchen!
    I’m just starting out baking and this might be a silly question but when you say “blend well” in the instuctions, do you mean by hand or in my stand mixer? If it is in my stand mixer, then what sort of speed should I be using? Just asking because my vanilla cakes (not your recipes) always seem to be dry so I’m just wondering if I’m overbeating them.
    Thank you for a wonderful site. I’m going through your cakes at the moment and am planning which cakes I’m going to make next! Thank you again.

    1. Hey there, sure thing, I usually cream (butter & sugar first step) on medium to high which is about speed 7 or 8 (on a 10 speed stand mixer).
      Then the rest at a lower speed since if you go to fast it will all just fly out of the bowl, so like around speed 4 or 5 then the flour last and a speed of about 2

  28. Hi , I baked the golden vanilla pound cake + marble receipe in loaf tin for 45 min but center is still wet and coats my testing stick . I am making at 350 F . I also have oven thermometer saying it’s 350 but looks like still not cooked . Did anyone else had this problem ? I have now covered with foil and baking for additional 10 min but afraid it will burn the sides

  29. Well done Gretchen. I tried this and it was perfect. Please what is the effect on my cake if the oven temp is lower than prescribed. I must say I’m amazed at your responses. Awesome!!

    1. Hey Great job! typically we bake at 350F (preheated oven) as an average temp because this is the ideal temperature that will bring the ingredients in the batter to their ideal working state. Specifically the leaveners (baking powder & soda) will get activated and set the batter through both heat & the chemical helpers. People laugh when I say baking is SCIENCE! But it’s true!!

  30. Hey Gretchen! I took ur suggestion earlier n i need to take it now as well. Out of the two recipes which one is more moist? And will the combination of butter cream and cream cheese taste good the pound cake?

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