The trick is to spoon batter alternating the vanilla and chocolate batters, like a checkerboard. Then, with an offset spatula or knife, draw swirls to mix the batters. The cake will turn out marbled. You could also do this with different colored batters for a non-chocolate version of the marble loaf.
Recipe by Martha Stewart
Yield: Makes one 9-by-5-inch loaf
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
1 ¾ cups cake flour*
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
⅔ cup buttermilk, room temperature*
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan, line it with parchment paper, then coat with butter and flour; set aside. Whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix in vanilla. Add flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with the buttermilk and beginning and ending with the flour. Set aside ⅓ of the batter.
- In a bowl, mix cocoa and ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water with a rubber spatula until smooth. Add the cocoa mixture to the reserved cake batter; stir until well combined.
- Spoon batters into the prepared pan in 2 layers, alternating spoonfuls of vanilla and chocolate to simulate a checkerboard. To create marbling, run a table knife (or wooden skewer) through the batters in a swirling motion.
- Bake, rotating the pan halfway through, until a cake tester comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. Transfer pan to a rack to cool 10 minutes. Turn out cake from pan and cool completely on the rack. Cake can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.
- Instead of cake flour, I used 1 ¾ cups of all-purpose flour, removed 3 tablespoons of flour and replaced them with 3 tablespoons of cornstarch. Sift it four times and you are ready to use it.
- For the buttermilk, I used 1 tablespoon white vinegar and filled up to the ⅔ cup mark of the measuring cup with whole milk.
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