Marble Pound Cake

The first time I tried this cake was when I met my future mother-in-law for the first time. It was one of her go-to recipes to serve to guests. Dense and buttery, the cake is full of flavor. Cognac adds a spicy citrus note and the almonds add just the right amount of crunch. The cake tastes even better the next day and freezes well to have on hand for last-minute guests.

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4 eggs
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 cups sugar
1 cup milk
1/2 cup cognac
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
The rind of one orange
1 cup slivered almonds, toasted
3 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cocoa powder

Preheat your oven to 425°F and prepare two loaf pans by spraying with non-stick spray and lining with parchment paper. Melt the butter and allow it to cool completely. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk in the orange rind and set aside. In a separate bowl, sift the cocoa powder and set it aside.

Beat the egg whites until frothy on high speed in an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Turn down the speed to medium-low and slowly add in the sugar. Continue to beat for 2 minutes and add the yolks into the mixture one at a time. Add the vanilla extract. Beat for 10 minutes. While the eggs are beating, in a measuring cup combine the milk and cognac and set aside to steep.

Turn the speed down to low and add the cooled butter and the milk mixture to the egg mixture. Once mixed together, remove the bowl from the mixer and pour the liquid ingredients into the prepared flour. Fold until the liquid ingredients have fully incorporated the flour. Set aside 1 cup of the batter and mix in the sifted cocoa powder.

Pour the batter equally into the two loaf pans. Pour the cocoa batter over the vanilla batter and, using a butter knife, blend it into the vanilla batter. Drizzle the top with the toasted almonds and bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean and the top is golden brown.

Makes two 8” loaf pans or one bundt cake pan.

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