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Marmorkuchen – Marble Cake

January 7, 2011

There are lots of things I’d never do for my man.

I’d never live in Kansas, dye my hair, name my child after him, or stop cracking my fingers. I’d never wear high heels in the snow (unless I wanted to) or redirect my moral compass. I’d never become religious for my man or stop believing for my man.*

There are other things that, no matter how unnatural they may be to me, I will happily do for him. I will fold his shirts just so, I will stop myself from putting cheese on everything, I will not let the dog on the bed (sigh), I will accommodate too many Italian shoes, I will use the lint roller, I will attempt to shower at least once a week (kidding!), I will refrain from losing it every time his shower goes over the 15 minute mark, and I will bake him things that I don’t like.

As you can imagine, the list of baked things I don’t like is very short but, unbeknownst to cupid, my man’s favorite things are on it. We’ve already discussed his all-time favorite cake – which I’m already not looking forward to making again for his birthday next month – and this little cake here probably earns his silver medal. Like his favorite, it’s a German creation and therefore probably reminds him of the year he spent in Frankfurt with his Germanophile mother.

To his credit, marmorkuchen has a bunch of things going for it. First of all, it is pretty. And it’s a cinch to make (unlike some other cakes I know). Plus, he has no problem finishing it all by himself so it’s not like I have to bribe some neighbor to take it off my hands. (That’s what the dog’s for anyways.) It’s actually a recipe from my grandmother who was born and raised in Germany before escaping to Israel in 1939, so that makes it even more special. And even better – it contains rum. A pretty cake with history and liquor! What could the problem possibly be?! Well, I’ll tell you: it’s dry, dense and bland.

Yes, I may be a harsh critic but I prefer flavorful, moist and – as the Australians annoyingly say – moreish over plain. My man? Not so much.

Simple is his bag so simple is what I bake for him. He eats marmorkuchen for breakfast, dunking it old school in a frosty glass of full cream milk. It’s a sight that makes me happier than any exciting cake ever could. After all, it’s the simple things in life.

* Just to be clear, he has never asked me to do any of these things. It doesn’t even snow in Sydney.

Printable Recipe


Recipe from my safta, Ora Lachish. Make this for breakfast, brunch or tea. Serves about 12.

Zutaten / Ingredients:

1½ cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch salt

½ cup (1 stick / 115 grams) butter, room temperature, chopped
¾ cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

¼ cup milk
¼ cup sour cream

¼ cup cocoa + ⅛ cup milk
2 tablespoons rum (or more milk)


Preheat oven to 325 F/160 C. Grease a bundt pan (if you don’t have one, a loaf or regular cake pan will work.)

In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt. In another small bowl, mix the sour cream and ¼ cup milk. In a large bowl, use electric beaters to cream the butter and sugar; add the eggs one at a time then add the vanilla.

To the butter-sugar mixture, add installments of the dry mixture and wet mixture, beginning and ending with the dries. Do not overmix. Divide batter equally into two separate bowls.

In another small bowl, mix the cocoa powder, rum and ⅛ cup milk. Add this mixture to one of the bowls of batter and mix until fully uniform.

Spoon the light and dark batters into the bottom of the greased pan, then run a knife over the top of the batters to swirl. I like to take a fork and scoop some up and plop it back down in a different spot, making sure the top is level before popping it in the oven. Bake in the preheated oven for 40-50 minutes or until a knife comes out clean. After five minutes, turn the cake onto a rack to cool. Keeps up to a week on the countertop, longer in the fridge and indefinitely in the freezer.

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 19, 2011 12:24 am

    looks yummy!

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