This is the kind of simple loaf you see sliced thick and domino-stacked in bakery cases. It’s sturdy with a welcomed denseness and enough sweetness to count as a casual dessert, but not so much that you feel guilty about enjoying it as a weekday breakfast ‘al desko.’ The latter is really where this chocolate marble loaf cake shines.
As the bread bakes up in the oven it cracks slightly on top so you can peek into the loaf and see swirls of chocolate and vanilla batter. With crisped edges and a moist center, this loaf is a little of everything and not too much of anything.
While it looks like you are combining two different cake batters to make this, you really only make one base batter and then jazz up half of it with melted bittersweet chocolate. Semisweet would work too, but it inclusion would yield an overall sweeter cake. If you’re wondering how to create the two-toned marble look, have no fear! There are quite a few process photos below and it is all explained in the recipe instructions.
If you’re feeling frisky, you could add a little citrus zest to the vanilla batter before you scoop it into the pan. Serve as-is for breakfast or top with whipped cream or ice cream, and preferably hot fudge, for dessert!
This is the kind of simple loaf you see sliced thick and domino-stacked in bakery cases. It’s sturdy with a welcomed denseness and a little sweetness on the vanilla side swirled with rich chocolate flavor.
- 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks or 12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup (4 oz.) bittersweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Butter or grease an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan. Line the bottom of the pan with a rectangle of parchment paper and grease the parchment. Place the pan on the top of a cookie sheet and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth. Add the sugar and cream on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix thoroughly after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract.
- Reduce the mixer speed to low and alternate adding the flour and milk, beginning and ending with the flour and mixing only until each addition is just incorporated. Keep the empty bowl that the flour mixture was in nearby.
- Scrape down the bowl with a spatula and scoop half of the batter into the now empty flour bowl. Set aside. This will be the vanilla part of the marble loaf. We’ll make the chocolate part of the marble loaf out of the remaining half of the batter in the stand mixer. Add the chocolate into the bowl of your electric mixer and mix on low speed to combine.
- We are now ready to scoop the two batters into the prepared pan!
- Randomly drop spoonfuls of the vanilla and chocolate batters into the pan OR spoon the batters out into long alternating rows (this is what I did here: bottom row was vanilla-chocolate-vanilla and then the second row was chocolate-vanilla-chocolate). Then, grab a butter knife and plunge it into the batter at one end of the loaf. Drag the knife to the other side of the loaf pan in a zig-zag motion, careful not to exceed 6 zig-zags. Remember, marbling can take on a life of its own in the oven so don’t get too picky about a perfect marble, but it is best not to over-mix the doughs once they are in the pan.
- Bake the loaf, resting on top of a cookie sheet, for 1 hour and 10 minutes to 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until the top is lightly golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for about 15 minutes before inverting it onto a rack and flipping it right-side-up to cool completely.
If you like this loaf, you should totally check out this Lemon Loaf with Lavender Glaze!
While we’re on the loaf topic, this Brown Butter Cinnamon Sugar Pull Apart Bread is one of my favorite loaf shaped things!