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Light & Tender…Yummy Marbled Pound Cake

If you need more information about any of the cooking terms or equipment requested, just go to Kitchen Management.

Special Equipment

  • 9 x 5-inch loaf pan
  • Electric mixer
  • 2 cup, liquid measuring cup with a spout
  • 2 short, metal, off-set spreading spatulas

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon melted butter, for brushing, plus 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, for the batter
  • 1 generous tablespoon plain whisked cake flour, for dusting, plus 1 2/3 cups cake flour, for the batter (whisk, don’t sift, before measuring)
  • 2 rounded tablespoons (one 0.8-ounce packet) dried buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 rounded teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 extra-large eggs, made tepid by submerging in a bowl of very hot tap water for 10 minutes
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons minced lemon or orange zest (optional)
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting (optional)

1) To set up : Preheat the oven to 350oF. Brush the interior of a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with the melted butter, and then sprinkle the greased surface with 1 generous tablespoon of cake flour. Tilt the pan to coat it with flour, and then knock out any excess.

2) To assemble the cake batter:Whisk together 1 2/3 cups of cake flour with the dried buttermilk, baking powder, and salt and sift this into another bowl. Melt the chocolate either in the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water, or in a microwave, on high power, for 1 minute (stirring after the first 30 seconds). Using an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the softened butter, until lightened. Add the sugar, in increments, beating well after each addition. In a 2-cup capacity liquid measuring cup (or other vessel with a spout), beat the eggs with the vanilla and zest, if using. Drizzle the beaten eggs into the creamed butter mixture, a little at a time, allowing each addition to be fully incorporated before adding the next. When done, the mixture should be very light. Stop the machine and, using a large rubber spatula, scrape the butter down from the sides and up from the bottom. Beat briefly. Stop the machine and add a heaping 1/2 cup of the flour mixture. Turn the machine on low, then up to medium and mix until the flour is almost totally incorporated. Continue to stop the machine, as you add another scoop of the flour mixture, and then beat again until almost combined. After adding all the dry ingredients, beat the batter, still on medium speed, for 30 to 40 seconds, or until the batter is very smooth and silky looking.

3) To assemble the marble pound cake :Scrape half the plain batter into another bowl and add the melted chocolate to the first bowl, folding it in until homogenous. Use a large, clean rubber spatula to transfer half the plain cake batter to the prepared loaf pan and, using a short, metal, off-set spreading spatula, spread batter out, covering the bottom of the pan. Do this same thing with half of the chocolate batter, using a clean off-set spatula, spreading it on top of the first layer of plain batter. Repeat this with the plain batter and then with the rest of the chocolate batter, creating 4 layers in all.

Beginning at one end of the loaf, drag a plain table knife through the batter, going up and down, in a soft sweeping swirling motion, making large loops at the top and then at the bottom, while traveling to the opposite end of the loaf pan (think of making a figure-8 over and over again). Don’t overdo this, however, or you’ll actually lose your marbled design. When done, pull the knife blade straight up and out of the batter, and gently smooth the top, using a short metal spreader. Place the pan into the center of the preheated oven and reduce the temperature to 325oF. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean and the cake is golden. Place the pan on a wire rack and, carefully run a knife around the sides of the pan. Turn the cake out of the pan and let it cool on the rack. Just before serving, dust the top with confectioner’s sugar, if desired, and cut into thick slices.

Plain Pound Cake Variation:

Prepare the batter as directed, omitting the chocolate. Add the entire batter to the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 65 minutes (about 5 minutes less than you would a marbled pound cake). Cool and serve as previously described.

Timing is Everything:

If you love pound cake (and who doesn’t?) why not keep several sealed bags of the dry mixture in your pantry? That way, it’s much quicker to get this cake into the oven.

SHOPPING LIST

At-a-Glance Reminder of Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon melted butter, for brushing, plus 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, for the batter
  • 1 generous tablespoon plain whisked cake flour, for dusting, plus 1 2/3 cups cake flour, for the batter (whisk, don’t sift, before measuring)
  • 2 rounded tablespoons (one 0.8-ounce packet) dried buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 rounded teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 extra-large eggs, made tepid by submerging in a bowl of very hot tap water for 10 minutes
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons minced lemon or orange zest (optional)
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting (optional)

From the supermarket shelf:

  • Cake flour (plain, not leavened)
  • Dried buttermilk
  • Baking powder
  • Fine table salt
  • Bittersweet chocolate (4 ounce bar)
  • Granulated sugar
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar

From the dairy case:

  • Unsalted butter

From the refrigerated section:

  • Extra-large eggs

From the produce aisle:

  • Lemon or orange (optional, if adding grated zest to the batter)

Watch the Video.

Comments (3)

3 Comments »

  1. I made the marbled pound cake and love the taste, but it always sags horribly in the middle. I’m in the mile-high city, so I’m guessing altitude has something to do with it. Is there anything I can do to correct the sagging problem?

    Comment by Eric — December 26, 2011 @ 3:44 am

  2. Thank you for the recipes.
    I am anxious to try the plain pound cake.
    Where have I been?!!! I think you are a marvelous
    cook and baker: healthy, delicious, and attractive recipes.
    My kind of cook!
    I am looking forward to getting your cookbook and will be checking your site frequently.
    Maggie Popham

    3/9/12

    Comment by Margaret Popham — March 10, 2012 @ 3:06 am

  3. Good answers in return of this question with genuine arguments and explaining everything on the topic of that.

    Comment by metal Roofs — October 4, 2014 @ 4:00 pm

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