Anna Olson’s marble pound cake

Marble cake

Confession: I’m mildly completely obsessed with any and all stories of women who successfully make career changes, especially from something completely non-food-related to pastry. I’m all over any story, book, movie, or newspaper article, whether real or fiction, that depicts a woman quitting her day-job to pursue her dream. I can’t help it. Those stories are my little glimmer of hope. Can you blame me? I know it’s not a very healthy obsession in that, often times, even without trying, the stories make it seem a lot easier to jump into a new (baking) career. Whatever, I don’t care. They give me hope and they inspire me.

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As I struggle to find my place in the baking world, I latch on to all the success stories I find. They remind me that I can do it too, and I can follow my dreams, as long as I keep baking. Of course, most days, I seriously don’t want to practice piping for obvious, frustrating reasons, but I keep baking.

Marble pound cake

I love a good loaf cake. This marble pound cake recipe comes from Anna Olson‘s new book, Back to Baking: 200 Timeless Recipes to Bake, Share, and Enjoy. Anna Olson is one of my heroes for obvious reasons: she left behind a career in banking to pursue her culinary dreams. I’ve watched her in awe and amazement since the beginning of her television career. I am always amazed at how easy she makes everything look, especially on her new show Bake with Anna Olson. I hope to one day be as skilled as she is, but in the meantime, I’ll study and learn from her books and tv shows.

Chocolate and vanilla marble cake

This marble loaf is very easy to make (in fact, I whipped it up by hand with a wooden spoon). It’s also so moist and shockingly full of flavor: the chocolate swirl is super chocolate-y, while the vanilla part screams vanilla. That’s because this marble cake is made with sour cream. Sour cream helps give cakes a more buttery, moist mouthfeel. This recipe yields the best marble cake that many other recipes claim to make, but few actually do. Make this marble pound cake recipe. Trust me. It’s that good.

 Marble pound cake recipe


Chocolate and vanilla marble cake
3.5 from 2 votes

Anna Olson's marble pound cake

This marble pound cake has a great buttery flavour and a lovely moist texture because it's made with sour cream. The chocolate cake part is made with dark chocolate. This marble pound cake makes a lovely accompaniment to afternoon tea.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 12 slices
Calories 355 kcal
Author Janice


  • 260 grams all purpose flour 2 cups
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 173 grams unsalted butter 3/4 cup, room temperature
  • 200 grams granulated sugar 1 cup
  • 4 large eggs room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 160 mL full fat sour cream 2/3 cup
  • 113 grams dark chocolate 4 oz, chopped and then melted


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Brush a 9×5-inch loaf pan with melted butter and flour it, tapping out the excess. Set aside for later.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl. Set aside for later.
  3. In a large bowl, cream the butter and the sugar until it is light. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Add the vanilla and mix again.
  4. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the batter, alternating with the sour cream.
  5. Scoop out half the vanilla batter into a medium bowl. Mix the melted chocolate into it.
  6. Dollop the vanilla and chocolate batters into the prepared pan and swirl them a little with a knife or spoon.
  7. Bake the loaf for about 70 minutes, or until a cake tester poked through the center comes out clean.
  8. Let the loaf cool for about 30 minutes before unmolding it onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe Notes

Calories calculated based on assumption that loaf cake serves 12.

baking, cake, chocolate, chocolate cake, cookbook, dark chocolate, loaf cake, marble cake, recipe, sour cream, vanilla

12 Responses to Anna Olson’s marble pound cake

  1. herbivoresheaven August 28, 2012 at 11:57 pm #

    Yum! I absolutely love marble cake, though no matter how good the vanilla part is, I always desperately munch my way towards the chocolate!

  2. Medeja August 29, 2012 at 1:59 am #

    It’s good if you get inspired by those success stories 🙂
    I like marble pound cakes.. I am just not very good at making that nice swirl.. :)))

  3. connie August 29, 2012 at 3:36 am #

    This pound cake looks and sounds wonderful! I too am inspired by the stories of career changes you mention. You are one of those women too and, whether you know it or not, are also an inspiration to others. Hang in there!

  4. Peggy G. August 29, 2012 at 8:34 pm #

    I hope to one day have a success story of my own – in a culinary path, of course! This marble cake looks absolutely delicious =)

  5. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite August 30, 2012 at 1:48 am #

    That is a beautiful cake – nice work! And one day I figure I will be reading YOUR success-story book 😉

  6. Wholesome Hedonist August 30, 2012 at 2:03 am #

    Feel the same way! I met Anna Olson and she is so sweet and down to earth. Shed totally makes baking accessible, even though you know how much hard work she put in to get there!

  7. Shilpa February 22, 2015 at 2:31 am #

    the marble cake looks so delicious
    i want to try but i dont get sour cream here easily , is there an alternative to this ?

    • Janice February 17, 2016 at 10:40 pm #

      I haven’t tried an alternative, but I’d use a full-fat yogurt. Let me know how it turns out!

  8. Mary February 17, 2016 at 9:03 pm #

    This cake was very dry! Wasted too many good ingredients.

    • Janice February 17, 2016 at 10:42 pm #

      Hi Mary, I’m so sorry that you didn’t like the cake and that you found it dry.I’ve never had that problem. I’d say crumble it and use it in a trifle with a boozy syrup, some whipped cream and fresh fruit. This way it won’t go to waste! Thanks for commenting!

  9. Ashley March 14, 2016 at 5:01 pm #

    Hi Mary! I graduated from a 4-year university with a completely different major. Decided it wasnt for me & went straight into culinary school. Now I am running a large-scale bakery. Go for your Dreams!!


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