Marble Loaf Cake

Marble Loaf Cake

Marble Loaf Cake

If you line your pan with foil or parchment, you do not need to grease them. If you grease the pan, try adding a parchment paper "sling" across the wide side for easy lifting. By beating the egg whites first you won't have to wash the beaters to use them again.- Jenny Jones

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Makes: One loaf

Marble Loaf Cake


  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 3 egg whites

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

  • 1/3 cup milk (reduced fat or whole milk)
  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (Dutch process is best)
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Grease or line a loaf pan completely with foil or parchment paper.
  3. On wax paper, sift flour, baking powder & salt. Set aside.
  4. Place egg whites in a medium bowl, yolks in a large bowl.
  5. With an electric hand mixer on high, beat egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Set aside.
  6. To the egg yolks add oil, sugar & vanilla. Beat on high speed for about a minute until thick.
  7. With beater on low speed, slowly add milk, then slowly add flour mixture.
  8. Using a spatula, gently fold egg whites into flour mixture.
  9. Place about 2/3 cup of the batter into the empty egg white bowl. Fold in cocoa powder and 2 Tbsp. sugar.
  10. Spoon alternating layers into the pan. For the swirl, run a dull knife through the batter 3 or 4 times, lengthwise.
  11. Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan at least 10 minutes. Store tightly wrapped.

Variations: Try adding the zest of one orange. You would add that to the flour mixture.

Still want my original recipe? Click here

113 Comments on "Marble Loaf Cake"

  1. HSK

    This cake was exactly what I was looking for. It was a simple ingredient cake that I already had in my pantry. The only thing I substitute was almond milk since we don’t drink cow milk. It worked beautifully. I will make this again and again!!

  2. Maria

    Too dry. Elastic like.
    Will not redo

  3. Cher

    Did not see notation in the recipe as to what size loaf pan. I have several in my collection. I’m going with 9×5🤞🏻 Would be helpful to add pan sizes to your recipes. Looking forward to trying this one. Thanks.

  4. Naomi

    I was looking for a marble loaf recipe that was easy, light and delicious. I came across this and it was just as I wanted. Easy, light and delicious. Problem is I can’t make it too often because I wanted to eat it all.

  5. HS

    I was looking to make a marble loaf with cocoa and not butter. I came across your link. I decided to make the loaf. It was delicious and easy to make and moist, not dry at all.
    This recipe will definitely be on my baking to do list.
    Thank you

  6. Tara

    thanks for this simple delicious cake recipe. I was trying to find a marble cake without butter but also still had eggs. Its hard to find actually tasty dessert recipes that are pareve (kosher, not containing meat or dairy products). The only change I made was to use the lighter liquid from a can of coconut milk to replace the milk. I will be making this cake regularly

  7. Sam

    Does it matter what size the eggs are? I only have jumbo eggs.

    • Charlotte

      Certainly. if the eggs are different sizes they contain varying amounts of egg/liquid. Most recipes call for eggs that are a standard large, about 55 grams each, out of shell. so if you are using jumbo eggs, weigh them so you have about 165 grams of eggs, approx. you might only need 2 eggs. Weigh to be sure. Hope this helps.

    • jenn

      when it comes to baking, it is always large eggs


    Hello Jennie. I am planing to try this version of your marble loaf cake . What size of the loaf pan did you use ? Thanks for all your recipes. They are great. Thank you and Happy New Year.

    • Jenny Can Cook

      My loaf pan is 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inches.

  9. PaulaW

    Hi Jenny,

    Trying to keep it out of the house, but needed something chocolate, so came to visit you for a sure-to-please recipe….really, you have the best easy-to-follow recipes with flavor that always satisfies. Okay, have cocoa (and some frozen orange zest!!!) & found this recipe.

    Just finished cooling and tasting. This cake is moist and SO flavorful. Cut the whole cake into appx .25″ slices with a very sharp serrated knife, refrigerated 1/4 and froze 3/4 of the cake (each piece individually wrapped).

    THANK YOU for taking care of us and generously posting (like your new pumpkin bars) and sharing all of your scrumptious recipes.


    – Paula

    PS: Will be baking both your new Pumpkin Bars (and Simple Apple Cake) for the first time this this holiday…. I know you want us to follow your recipes exactly and I try – but I am somewhat of a “Kitchen Cowboy” and plan to add a small amount of soaked organic raisins (HMMMM in water/apple juice or rum?) and maybe some chopped pecans and walnuts to the apple cake. Will do this at my own risk and let you know how they turn out (can always make 2 😉

  10. Kiki

    You have two recipes for Marble Loaf Cake –
    Which is better
    One you separate the eggs and whisk
    the egg whites – the other you don’t.
    Please get back to me
    Thank you

    • GoGirl

      Quote from the very top of the recipe…

      “By beating the egg whites first you won’t have to wash the beaters to use them again.- Jenny Jones”


    • Jenny Can Cook

      The recipe that is posted is correct. I occasionally improve or simplify recipes and the old version of this cake is still available through the link at the bottom. I note all of the changes I make in the blog under “Recipe Changes/Fixes.”

      Whenever I find an easier or better way to make something, I adjust the recipe. Every recipe that is posted here is shown the way I make it today.

  11. Mil

    What a great tasting cake. I made three on Sunday one for me and one for my daughters and they absolutely loved the cake. Thanks for your recipes you are my go to site when I am in the mood to bake which is all the time.

  12. Arielle

    This still isn’t the same as the absolute wonder that was Sara Lee Chocolate swirl pound cake. This recipe has part of the cake itself having chocolate flavoring…not actual gooey chocolate inside that would melt when you’d put it in a toaster oven. THAT is the recipe that *I* am trying desperately to figure out how to replicate. 🙁

  13. Chloe

    Hi Jenny, im planning on trying out this recipe tomorrow as a gift for a friend, question: is it okay to substitute the dutch processed cacao powder with my regular Hershey’s 100% natural cacao powder. If so what difference would it make, would the chocolate part of the cake be lighter colored? would the taste be different? Please respond as soon as possible since i am making this tommorow
    Ps. love your recipes, too bad this one doesnt have a video

  14. Jenny Can Cook

    I made a couple of small changes to this marble loaf and I like it even better. I increased the oil by about 1 1/2 tablespoons and added a second tablespoon of sugar to the chocolate portion. I love love love this elegant cake. Oh, and I took a new photo. ?

  15. Trish

    This recipe looks delicious! I have been looking for a marble cake recipe but I am wondering if I can replace the oil with melted or softened butter? Thanks!

    • Honeybee 77

      Yes, I tried the recipe with softened butter and the recipe worked just as well.

  16. Saranya

    Thanks Jenny. Tried this cake and it was absolutely delicious.

  17. Fatima Azhar

    I made this cake today and believe me it was so delicious! I was worried about the cake at first as the batter was quite thick but it turned out so yummy! Thank you for sharing this recipe! 🙂

  18. Angelyn

    Hi Jenny, how are you? I am a student. I wanted to make this since we are doing a cake stall for this market at school and I was wondering if you have made a video for this because I could not find a video of this on YouTube. If you haven’t got an video, could you make one so I could follow it and know what you mean in the recipe? And also, could I use normal milk instead of 1% milk? please answer me ASAP as the market is getting closer.

    • Jenny

      I have only used 1% milk so I can’t say from experience but I think whole milk would work. My only concern is that it might make the batter too heavy so please let us know if you try it.

      • Angelyn

        I made the cake/loaf with normal milk not 1% milk and it worked perfectly well. Just on question, would you pour some of the white batter first then the chocolate on and the remaining of the white batter and use a knife and run it down length ways or what?

        • Jenny

          I usually alternate white – brown – white – brown – white but you can do white – brown – white. The swirling is what’s important.

  19. Usha

    Hi Jenny,
    Wanted to give a surprise to my son while he returns from school and made this cake now from your website. Even with just greasing and dusting the pan, the cake came out of the loaf tin without sticking. Looks yummy but the middle part has risen more than the sides and looks like a little mound. Why is that?

    • Jenny

      Similar to a loaf of bread, this loaf is supposed to be mounded – you should be able to see that in the photo. I would say anything baked in loaf pan will be mounded, which is a good thing.

  20. Lily

    Jenny where can I buy vanilla and cocoa powder? Walmart?

  21. Beth

    OMG! This recipe was great. Everyone loved it and it didn’t last long . Love the easy clean up of the foil lined pan. Thanks again, Jenny:)

  22. Stefi

    I absolutely Loved this recipe, fairly easy but so delicious and nice 🙂 I love the swirlyness! Thanks Jenny!!

  23. Pg

    Can I double the receipt ND use round or square pan.thx

    • Jenny

      I have only made it in a loaf pan so I can’t say for sure but I think it would double better in a tube pan. Look through the comments to see if anyone has done it.

  24. z

    Thank you for your recipe, making the cake, I had a small problem about the salt، it gave my cake a strange taste, can I omit the salt ? Why is it important to add salt?

  25. z

    Thank you for your recipe, making the cake, I had a small problem about the salt، it gave my cake a strange taste, can I omit the salt ? What is it important to add salt?

  26. Tammy A

    I ran across this recipe by accident. My husband wanted something sweet but I was out of butter! Its the last Saturday before Christmas and I have been baking up a storm. I made this in a round 9×9 pan and instead of using cocoa I used the same amount of chocolate pudding instead. It was wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing!

    • Beth

      Hi Tammy, I’m going to try this recipe and have both instant and reg. pudding. Which did you use.? Thanks.:)

  27. Cherry

    I tried the recipe but it came out Denice. Why

    • Jenny

      Please list all the exact ingredients you used, the size of the pan, what type of mixer, and how long did you preheat the oven? With some more information I should be able to help.

  28. Vk

    Does the eggs have to cold or room temperature??

    • Jenny

      With baking it’s always better to have all your ingredients at room temperature. Eggs are easier to separate when they’re cold so you can do that in advance and let them warm up a little before starting.

  29. kelsi

    i want o make this but I only have 2% milk

    • Jenny

      2% will work.

      • kelsi

        if it is still gooey in the middle after being in for 50 min should I keep it in longer or just call it a fail for me? I am just learning how to bake so I might have done something wrong .. I don’t think I did but hey its possible. lol

        • Jenny

          When something is not cooked in the middle it needs to bake longer. Baking is an exact science and even the smallest change can make a difference. If you try again, follow the recipe exactly and make sure you preheat your oven long enough. Use an oven thermometer if you can. If you’re new at baking, you could try a few easier things first like my lemon brownies or easy one-bowl cakes. Good luck!

          • kelsi

            that is what I did let it bake longer and it turned out amazing! thank you!

  30. ally

    hi jenny, you wouldn’t have a recipe for banana bread that has had a jenny Jones make over would you by any chance.

  31. Layla

    Hello dear Jennie. I made apple pie, its so great, thanks allot. I am from Ukraine, i never had so good pie. Its nice if you can make video on all your recipe. Thanks allot. Layla.

  32. Kathy

    Good morning. Okay if I add a few handfuls of chocolate chips?

  33. Sehrish

    Can i bake it in a foil pond cake pan shape bowl.since i dont have pound cake pan

    • Jenny

      If it’s a round cake pan I don’t think it will work. It needs to be a loaf pan – about 8 inches by 4 inches in size.

  34. Emalia

    Hey Jenny,
    Love this recipe. Just wondering if I can make this in a cake pan and cover it with icing. I am a personal trainer and have been searching all over the internet for a butterless marble cake recipe but I couldn’t find one. So I decided to make you r chocolate cake that you just posted on YouTube. However when I came to look for the recipe I finally saw a marble cake recipe and I got really happy. Thanks

    • Jenny

      I don’t think this recipe will work in a round pan but I believe it would in a small bundt pan. Or you might be able to double the recipe and use a standard size bundt pan. I’m just guessing because I’ve made one very similar in a bundt pan. Let me know if you try it.

    • Emalia

      Thankyou jenny. I just finished making this last night. I did end up using a Bundt pan and I didn’t have to double the recipe since my Bundt pan is quite small. I also covered it with frosting and sprinkles. My niece and nephew came over this morning and they tried a piece. They absolutely loved it and wanted another piece. P.S. Everyone was amazed at the marble pattern. I will be recommending your recipes to everyone I know.

      • Jenny

        Thanks for sharing your success. Maybe someone else might like to make this into a bundt, too. (including me!)

  35. Lee Anne

    This cake was great! Loved it, mine was moist and delicious. I used unsweetened almond milk and canola oil.

  36. Liisha

    what will happen if i use only 2eggs??
    Also, is it OK to use vanilla essence instead of extract?

    • Jenny

      Baking is an exact science so when you eliminate an ingredient it often leads to failure. I’m sorry I can’t tell you what would happen because my recipe uses 3 eggs. Also, I have no experience with vanilla essence but I looked it up and it doesn’t seem to be commonly used, maybe because it seems to be “synthetic.” I have never seen it in my stores so I have never used it. Thus, I can’t tell you if it’s a good substitute. I wish I could be more help but I am not a trained chef, just a home cook posting the recipes I make at home.

  37. Becky

    Hi Jenny.
    Thanks for sharing your recipe. I’ve made your old recipe before and it came out delicious but I want to try this one now.
    For the part that you add the cocoa mixture to, did you mean 1/3 or 2/3?

  38. kalpana

    dear jennie ,

    i am from india…i tried this caking using 1 egg and without chocolate.. it turns out unbelievable….

    great sponge ..amazing taste..tat all without!!!! loving it..

    thanks a ton for sharing such wonderful recipe.

  39. Jessica

    what else can I use instead of the coco powder???

    • Jenny

      I don’t know of any good substitute for cocoa powder in a marble loaf, sorry.

    • charlotte

      Hmmm was just sitting here wondering the same thing…I figure a pkg of carnation or other hot cocoa mix cud replace the cocoa and sugar.

  40. shaunnel

    wondering if I can skip the milk?

    • Jenny

      Baking is a specific science so if you skip the milk you would need to replace it with another liquid.

  41. Layla

    I made this cake this afternoon. It came out great and was/is very moist, but my husband asked to try it next time with butter. For me it is okay this way. It is one of the best cakes I have ever tried.

    Thank you very much. I love this way with the separated egg whites. The cake rises more.

  42. Charlotte

    Oh no…I was planning to make this cake again tomorrow( made it twice before) for “Family Day” get together…and I did not save your original recipe….the one before the beaten egg whites. Is there any way I can view that recipe again? that would be awesome…I’m not keen on this method….liked the first.

  43. Jenny

    I’m so sorry not everyone is satisfied with this recipe. I just want to say that this is not a pound cake. Pound cakes are moist but this is essentially a chiffon cake in a loaf. I really like it because it’s so light and does not seem dry to me when made with beaten egg whites. But I sincerely appreciate these comments as they are helpful to other cooks and especially to me. So if you’re looking for a marble pound cake, you will probably need a recipe that uses as fair amount of butter. But if you want to try my recipe, please read the comments below to see if it’s for you. Thank you again for your honest remarks.

  44. Diana

    I have to agree with the other reviewer that this was a little dry. I will add a little more sugar next time too, but we all enjoyed it despite that.

  45. Michele

    Well, despite the fact that I didn’t beat my egg whites properly, this still tasted delicious. It turned out a little dry, but the flavor was great. I just watched a youtube video on how to make stiff peaks so now I know that I didn’t beat them long enough…and then they separated…oops. Regardless, it will get eaten and I will try it again. My daughter liked it too, she just poured some milk on it to soften it up a bit. I would love to see a video, especially since I’m not a natural born cook. Thanks again for all you do!

  46. Sarah

    I am thinking about making this but I don’t have any oranges is it okay if I replace it with another citrus fruit.

    • Jenny

      There is no other citrus that I think could replace the orange but you can just eliminate it. If you can wait a couple of days I am about to post a newer and better version of this recipe that is more moist and has a little more chocolate.

  47. amna

    Can i make this cake in a bundt pan ?

    • Jenny

      I think a standard bundt pan would be too big but a 7 1/2-inch bundt pan would probably work.

  48. Jennie

    Hi Jenny,

    I was wondering if this time I can use chocolate chips instead of cocoa powder?

    • Jenny

      Chocolate chips are not a good replacement for powdered cocoa in this recipe because you need the powdered cocoa to create the chocolate swirl.

    • Selina

      Re: Marble Loaf Cake
      Can I substitute instant coffee powder for the cocoa powder?

  49. Fizza

    Is it okay to use vanilla extract instead of vanilla?

    • Jenny

      In any recipe where I use “vanilla” it is vanilla extract (liquid).

  50. Marie

    I made this cake and it came out JUST GREAT!

    This is a great and easy recipe. I hate it when you have to add all that butter and eggs —

    The only changes I made was this:
    I didn’t have milk so I used “Blue Diamond” Almond Breeze (Almond Coconut blend).

    Also, I did have to bake it an extra 10 minutes.

    And to make it even more special, I covered the top with chocolate ganache. Yummy!

    Thanks Jenny for this great recipe.


  51. Charlotte

    update***this cake took about 56 minutes to bake. I’m eating a slice right now and its quite good. made a bit of simple chocolate icing to drizzle over top. makes it a bit better! cant wait to try this cake again tomorrow and see how much better it gets!

  52. Charlotte

    Hi!! have this cake baking in my oven right now- its been baking for just over 50 mins and not quite done- having said that I don’t think I have baked too many loaf type cakes for only 40 minutes. They are usually 50 min- 70 min. Will post review after cake is baked, cooled and eaten!!

    • Jenny

      Please let me know how it turned out. Someone thought it was a little dry so I’d appreciate your input.

  53. coco

    would it make a difference if i use vegetable oil in this recipe?

  54. xuenix1

    I made it but the cake is a bit dry. I don’t know if i over cooked it or what but i set 40mins. Or i did something wrong???

    • Jenny

      It could be your oven temperature was higher than your setting so if you have an oven thermometer please test your temperature. But with baking, even the slightest change can make a difference. Please let me know if you used any different ingredient than I do and also what kind of flour and oil did you use? I make this cake a lot and it is never dry so please let me know if you made even the smallest change and we can figure this out. It’s important that my recipes work for everyone and this is one of my favorite sweets.

      • xuenix1

        Maybe its my oven problem, My oven is house oven small one and i used the same ingredients as your write on your repice. Anyways, after i put in the fridge its become softer and they finished in one and a half day. Overall i loved your recipe and for me i think its amazing just my boyfriend said its bit dry. That’s it 🙂

        • Jenny

          Your timing is perfect. I decided to make my marble loaf tonight to make sure I didn’t give a wrong instruction and it came out as always, moist and delicious. And it does get even more moist the second day. How about this? You eat it the first day and make him wait until day two! 🙂 I’m glad you like it.

  55. Ann Lim

    Hi! just want to ask, is there be an effect if I will not add orange zest to the ingredients. Thanks!

    • Jenny

      The orange zest just adds a nice added flavor burst but you can leave it out.

  56. khabirah

    Cake turned out great!

  57. khabirah

    does it have to be the zest of an orange? I just finished the last orange I have and happen to have lemons on hand. Would the zest of a lemon work?

  58. Geneth

    WONDERFUL cake. Finished it in 2 days so didn’t need to worry about it going dry! My family is already begging for another one.

  59. Ewa

    Hi. Whats size is the loaf pan that you used? thanks

    • Jenny

      A standard loaf pan measures 9 by 5 inches across the top but some are a little smaller. The one is use is about 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 inches measured across the top. The bottom of a loaf pan is always a little narrower than the top.

  60. Jess

    Thank you for the recipe, so happy with the cake!

  61. Unyime

    Jennie can I make this in a larger quantity and cover with fondant? How long can it last cos I didn’t see any preservatives in the recipe?

    • Jenny

      I don’t know how you would make a loaf cake into a larger quantity. As for covering it with fondant, I guess you could cover it with any kind of frosting if you like. To keep this loaf, I wrap it in foil and keep it on the counter until the second day. After that I keep it refrigerated. This way it will keep for 4-5 days. It will become drier day by day but still okay to eat. All home baking has no preservatives, only commercially prepared products would use them.

  62. Unyime

    Can you use a dry bowl in place of wax paper?

    • Jenny

      Yes, a bowl is fine and it’s what most people would use. I just try to avoid bowls to wash.

  63. Jennie

    I made this cake and it came out great! Thank you for this wonderful recipe.

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