Two amazing flavours collide in this moist pumpkin chocolate marble cake! Maple glaze tops off this easy autumn-inspired loaf cake. For this recipe, dollop chocolate and pumpkin batters in a loaf tin, then swirl them together right in the pan. With warming spices like cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg, it's a true fall classic you'll want to make again and again.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- White flour: use up to 50% whole wheat flour in place of white flour if preferred.
- Oil: any light-tasting liquid oil can be used. We don't recommend using melted coconut oil or butter, which make the cake too dense.
- Brown sugar: use light or dark brown sugar interchangeably for this recipe.
- Pumpkin spice: chai spice is a good substitute for pumpkin pie spice if you want to try something different.
- Make it vegan: omit the eggs, increase the baking powder to 2 ¼ tsp, and add ¼ tsp baking soda, ½ cup (125 ml) plant-based milk, and 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Substitute dairy-free milk for the maple glaze.
Step 1: in one bowl combine the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, and salt. Mix well and set aside.
Step 2: in another bowl combine the pumpkin purée, eggs, sugars, oil, and vanilla. Mix together until smooth.
Step 3: add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and stir to combine. Scoop one half of the marble loaf cake batter into a separate bowl. Combine the cocoa and milk in a small bowl and stir until the cocoa dissolves.
Step 4: add the cocoa mixture to one of the bowls of pumpkin batter and stir until the chocolate is well mixed in.
Step 5: alternate scooping the chocolate and pumpkin batters into the prepared loaf tin until both batters are in the tin.
Step 6: once all the batter is in the tin, run a butter knife through the batter in swirly figure-eights.
Step 7: don't over-mix, or the marbling won't be visible.
Step 8: bake the cake until the top springs back when lightly touched. Cool it on a wire rack, then turn the loaf out onto the rack and cool completely before glazing.
- Swirl fully: be sure the knife reaches the bottom of the pan for the marbling to be apparent throughout the whole loaf.
- Use any puree: you can use either canned or homemade pumpkin purée for this recipe. If you do use canned, be sure to buy unsweetened purée, not already seasoned with pumpkin pie spice or pumpkin pie filling.
- Don't over-mix: be careful to mix carefully and then fold the cocoa mixture into the batter. If you mix too much, or try to whisk the chocolate batter, you'll end up with a tough, chewy cake.
How to Store
Storage: the cake is best the day it's baked, but it can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days. The glaze will soak in a bit as it's stored.
Freezing: to freeze the marble loaf cake either wrap the cooled loaf, or individual slices, gently but tightly in a double layer of aluminum foil. The loaf will keep in the freezer for up to one month. Defrost at room temperature before serving. Don't add the glaze if you plan on freezing it.
Does marble cake contain chocolate?
Marble cakes are usually made with chocolate and another flavour (most often vanilla). Sometimes marble cakes are made with two cake types that aren't chocolate, like vanilla and cinnamon, but contrasting colours look best.
Why is my marble cake dry?
If your cake turns out dry, it's probably because it's over-baked or because the amount of sugar has been reduced. Check your oven temperature and increase the liquid if you plan on reducing the sugar content.
What is the difference between sponge cake and marble cake?
Marble cake is usually made with sponge cake batter, but it has cocoa added to some of the batter so that a contrasting marble effect can be created.
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Pumpkin Chocolate Marble Loaf Cake
- Measuring cups and spoons or a digital kitchen scale
- 9x5-inch (23x13-cm) loaf tin
- Parchment paper
- Wooden spoon
- 2 Mixing bowl
- Wire rack
For The Pumpkin Loaf
For The Maple Glaze
- 1 cup powdered sugar sifted
- 2 to 3 teaspoons maple syrup
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180º C). Line a 9x5-inch (23x13-cm) loaf tin with parchment paper and set aside.
- In one bowl combine the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, and salt. Mix well and set aside.
- In another bowl combine the pumpkin purée, eggs, sugars, oil, and vanilla. Mix together until smooth.
- Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and stir to combine. Scoop one half of the batter into a separate bowl.
- Combine the cocoa and milk in a small bowl and stir until the cocoa dissolves. Add the cocoa mixture to one of the bowls of pumpkin batter and stir until the chocolate batter is well mixed.
- Alternate scooping the chocolate and pumpkin batter into the prepared loaf tin until both batters are in the tin.
- Once all the batter is in the tin, run a butter knife through the batter in swirly figure 8's. Swirling with the knife is what creates the marble effect. Be sure the knife reaches the bottom of the pan for the marbling to be apparent throughout the whole loaf.
- Bake the marble loaf cake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until the top springs back when lightly touched.
- Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then turn the loaf out onto the rack and cool it completely before icing with maple glaze.
- Once the loaf has cooled, mix the powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon of the maple syrup.
- Continue to add maple syrup by the ½ teaspoon until the glaze is thick but pourable.
- Drizzle the maple glaze over the marble loaf cake, slice, and serve.