Sponge cake made from two mixtures of contrasting colours, gently folded together so that the baked cake presents the appearance of marble. In English practice marble cake is baked in a plain square or round tin, unlike the ring-form of the marbled middle-European 'Marmorkuchen'.
The 1869 Ann Arbor Marbled cake.
Image: Alex Bray & Rahul Khubchandani
'Marbled cake' is known in the USA at least since 'Dr. Chase's recipes' of 1869 where a high admixture of ground spices was used to achieve the dark colour. A multi-coloured version using added colourings is known in England since 1899 and the, now popular, chocolate-and-vanilla version at least since 1946.
Original Receipt from 'Dr. Chase's recipes; or, Information for everybody', 1869, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
32. Marbled Cake. - Those having any curiosity to gratify upon their own part, or on the part of friends, will be highly pleased with the contrast seen when they take a piece of a cake made in two parts, dark and light, as follows:
LIGHT PART - White sugar 1 ½ cups; butter ½ cup; sweet milk ½ cup; soda ½ tea-spoon; cream of tartar 1 tea-spoon; whites of 4 eggs; flour 2 ½ cups; beat and mixed as "Gold Cake.'
DARK PART. - Brown sugar 1 cup; molasses ½ cup; butter ½, sour milk ½ cup; soda l/2 tea-spoon; cream of tartar 1 tea-spoon; flour 2 ½ cups; yolks of 4 eggs; cloves, allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg, ground, of each ½ table-spoon; beat and mixed as "Gold Cake."
Directions. - When each part is ready, drop a spoon of dark, then a spoon of light, over the bottom of the dish, in which it is to be baked, and so proceed to fill up the pan dropping the light upon the dark as you continue with the different layers.
Original Receipt from 'Lichfield Mercury' - Friday 16 June 1899
Marble Cake. Beat four eggs with six ounces of castor sugar and six ounces of butter; add half a pound of flour. Divide the mixture into three portions. Flavour one with coffee and vanilla, another with pine apple, and to this add a little yellow colouring, the third with strawberry jam and few drops of carmine. Put a spoonful of each in turn in a tin to give a marbled effect. Bake in a good moderate oven.
Original Receipt in the 'Taunton Courier, and Western Advertiser' - Saturday 7 December 1946
MARBLE CAKE, Ingredients: 8 ozs flour, pinch of salt, 4ozs. margarine. 4ozs. sugar, 2 eggs (reconstituted), ½ oz. cocoa. Grease a 6 Inch tin and flour it. Sieve the flour into a basin with the salt and cocoa. Rub the margarine into the flour. Stir in the sugar. Make a well in the centre and mix with the beaten egg and milk. When well blended, put half the mixture into another basin, ard add the cocoa and few drops ol vanilla essence. Put alternate tablespoonfuls of the white and chocolate mixture Into the prepared cake tin. Bake a moderate oven for about three-quarters of an hour. When cooked, cool on a cake tray or sieve.
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