Marbled Pound Cake (Panqué Marmoleado de Chocolate y Vanilla)

This cake recipe from chef Pati Jinich is one of her childhood favorites.

Marbled-Poundcake copy
Photo: Pati Jinich
Hands On Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs

This pound cake recipe from chef Pati Jinich takes just an hour to make and uses unsweetened cocoa powder to give the dessert a marbled look. "When I was growing up in Mexico City, we would always have homemade dessert at home to have after the comida, or Mexican lunchtime, which is around 3 p.m.—right when you get back from school. It would typically rotate between a flan, a gelatina, or a pound cake," she explains. "If it was a pound cake, my favorite by far was this marbled one. I would take my slice to my room, with a big tall glass of cold milk. And I had perfected a technique to eat it: I would cut it into bite-size squares and pick and choose my next bite, and save the pieces that had the most chocolate for last. It would make getting into homework a lot easier! To this day, that is the way I eat any slice of marbled pound cake."


  • ½ pound unsalted butter, plus more to butter the pan

  • 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 4 large eggs

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • ¼ teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt

  • ½ cup sour cream

  • ¼ cup hot water

  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar, optional


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter the sides and bottom of a loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper cut to fit.

  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the sugar and continue beating until well combined and fluffy, another 2 minutes. Pour in the vanilla and continue beating until well incorporated and smooth, about another minute.

  3. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Break the eggs into another bowl. Add half of the eggs and half of the sifted flour mixture to the butter mixture, beating on medium-low speed until well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Repeat with the remaining eggs and flour.

  4. Add the sour cream and continue beating until the mixture is smooth. Set the batter aside. In a small bowl, combine the hot water with the cocoa powder.

  5. Pour half the cake batter into another bowl and fold in the cocoa-water mixture with a rubber spatula until thoroughly mixed.

  6. Spread the "white" batter from the mixer bowl in the bottom of the loaf pan. Pour the chocolate batter on top, in a straight line down the center. Make a design with a knife or fork, so it will look "marbled."

  7. Bake the cake for about 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and transfer to a rack to cool. Invert the cooled cake onto a plate, remove the parchment paper, and invert again onto another plate.

  8. Dust the top of the cake with confectioners' sugar, and slice. To store, keep it covered.

Related Articles