Intense dark chocolate espresso meets buttery vanilla cake in this decadent espresso marble cake. It’s finished off with a scrumptious chocolate espresso streusel.
Espresso Marble Cake
I couldn’t be more excited to share today’s recipe with you all, as it comes from the brilliant mind of Thalia Ho of Butter and Brioche. Thalia is one of those bloggers I’ve followed from the start of my own blogging days, and have loved watching her from half-way around the world (literally!). Her writing is impeccable; flourishing with elegant and sensual memories that makes you feel as though her stories are your own. Her recipes are equally lush, marrying classic European technique with unique and thoughtful flavors like rosewater, smoked tahini, or caramelized white chocolate. And to top it all off, her photography is a counter-balanced minimalist, soft, and moody dream.
I mean… can you tell I’m actually obsessed with her?
Thalia’s cookbook Wild Sweetness came out this week, and take it from someone who has a bajillion and one cookbooks: it’s in a class of its own. You can get it at many major retailers, including Amazon, Target, and HarperCollins. Congratulations, Thalia. You should be so proud 🙂
What is espresso marble cake?
I adore this espresso marble loaf cake. It’s my favorite kind of dessert because it’s seriously scrumptious, unique, and looks super fancy, but is actually pretty darn easy to make. It’s not too sweet to serve as a breakfast treat, but is decadent enough to have for afternoon tea or dessert.
But let me back up. What exactly is an espresso marble cake? This buttery pound cake consists of 3 parts:
Vanilla Pound Cake: Thalia’s vanilla cake recipe is top notch. It’s super moist with a dense, tight crumb and a lovely vanilla flavor that holds its own against the stronger chocolate espresso notes in this espresso marble cake.
Chocolate Espresso Cake: That vanilla cake is swirled through with a rich, decadent chocolate espresso batter. The best part is that you don’t need to make two separate cake batters – simply stir in espresso and cocoa powder to a portion of the vanilla cake and voila! Chocolate espresso cake!
Espresso Chocolate Streusel: This espresso chocolate streusel might just be the best thing I’ve ever eaten. It’s dark, fudgey, and intensely chocolatey without being too sweet. I LOVE IT. And you will too.
Ingredients for Espresso Marble Cake
Because I’m assuming you took one single glance at this beautiful cake and said, I simply must have it, I’ll do you the favor of putting together your ingredient list for you. Here’s what you’ll need:
All Purpose Flour
Dutch Processed Cocoa Powder
Tips for making scrumptious marble cake
Line your pan with parchment paper: In my opinion there are few things worse than a cake sticking to a pan. Especially when said cake is a gorgeous espresso marble cake. For an easy release, line your loaf pan with parchment paper on the long sides and generously butter the short sides to ensure an easy release!
Use high quality cocoa powder: The key to delicious chocolate desserts is using a top notch cocoa powder. We love Rodelle, but any high quality Dutch processed cocoa powder will work!
Don’t over swirl the cake: This is crucial to getting that gorgeous chocolate vanilla marble. If you over-swirl your cake it will muddy the colors instead of giving you two distinct flavors.
Enjoy every single bite of this espresso marble cake! Happy baking!
3/4cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2 teaspoons espresso powder
1 Tablespoon hot water
2cups + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4cup + 2tablespoons sour cream
2 Tablespoons Dutch process cocoa powder
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and line an 8 x 4 x 3 inch loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving a slight overhang on both sides.
To make the streusel, put the flour, sugar, cocoa, espresso, and salt in a small bowl. Add in the butter and use your fingers to rub it until pea-size crumbs have formed. It’ll seem a little dry at first but will come together as you continue to work it. Stir in the nibs. Set aside.
Next, make the cake. In a small measuring cup, stir together the espresso powder and water until dissolved. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large mixing bowl.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes.
Pause to scrape down the bottom and side of the bowl. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then beat in he vanilla. Set the speed to low. Beat in half of the dry ingredients, followed by all of the sour cream, then the remainder of the dry ingredients. Set the speed back to medium and beat until aerated.
Transfer a quarter of the batter into a small bowl and add the dissolved espresso and the cocoa. Work the mixture together with a wooden spoon until smooth.
Using a generous tablespoon, begin to drop alternating dollops of the batters into the prepared pan in a checkerboard-like manner, until they’re all used up. Use a skewer to swirl them into each other to create a marbled effect, being careful not to overdo it, as too much of a drag could muddy it. Cover with streusel.
Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, until golden brown. A skewer inserted into the middle should come out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes before lifting it out and onto a wire rack to cool further. Dust with confectioners sugar before serving.
Some readers have had problems with their batter overflowing from their loaf pan. If you are worried abut your loaf pan not being big enough, only fill it 2/3 of the way with batter and keep a sheet pan underneath
Leave a comment and rate this recipe!
Made this in a 9x5x3 pan and it was a perfect fit for me! Tasted great and followed the recipe and baking times exactly. Added a drizzle of ganache on top and some semisweet chocolate chips in the batter too, because why not? Great recipe!
Are all these recipes available in Gram measurement also?
If you click on the button at the top of the recipe card to switch to metric it will give you the ingredients in grams!
Would this cake recipe work in a cake pan not a loaf pan instead? Thinking of making this as a birthday cake?
Yes–I think it would! I’ve never personally tried it, but I think it would bake up just fine! The only thing I will say is that it is definitely a dense, pound cake texture so I wouldn’t do too many layer because it will just be heavy!
This is such a delicious cake! I topped it with an espresso glaze and each bite was eye-crossingly good. My pan did not overflow because I never fill loaf pans more than 2/3 full. I used the extra batter to make a couple cupcakes(which baked in like 15 minutes). Thanks so much for this recipe!
I made this today, like others, my pan over flowed. I probably needed to clean my oven anyway, lol. I did like the flavor, will make again. I think putting this in mini loaf pans and putting with holiday treats would be great, or even make them as cupcakes even though they would be putzy to do.
Oh no! I’m so sorry to hear that that happened to you. I have added a note in the recipe as a warning!