Marble Bundt Cake

By Chef Megan Joy / May 30, 2012

Every once in awhile I get a hankering for some kind of dense, rich, buttery cake. The kind you cut into really thick slices. And even eat for breakfast.

They are usually quite high in fat, these cakes, especially since their main lineup of ingredients reads like a list of high-fat dairy products.

But life is meant for living and a slice or two of bundt cake or pound cake is not going to end your life. Or diet. It will enhance it. Trust me on this.

Cakes like this can be tricky at altitude because they contain lots of sugar and are dense to begin with. It’s not uncommon for them to collapse or come out ‘gummy’. This adaptation seems to be a good formula for the altitude in Vail.

Be patient when baking, most cakes like these at sea level take almost an hour to bake. If the top is becoming too brown, yet the center is still raw, reduce your oven temperature slightly.

I also think that this cake benefits from sitting overnight, tightly wrapped, before eating it. It’s most certainly delicious fresh from the oven, but it seems to become moister when it has a day to sit.

My brother and I brought some slices with us to Moab and they held up quite well. A great pick-me-up for the drive home after a hot day in Canyonlands National Park!

How to make this high altitude adjusted recipe:

Marble Bundt Cake (adapted from Baked by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito)

For the chocolate swirl:
6 oz dark chocolate (60-72% cacao), coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder

For the sour cream cake:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
scant 2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
16 oz sour cream

Preheat your oven to 360 F. Generously grease a 10-cup bundt pan. Over a double boiler, melt the chopped chocolate until smooth. Stir in the cocoa powder and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla.

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Alternately add to the batter with the sour cream. Mix until just combined. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Mix on low for 20 seconds.

Take 1/3 of the batter and fold it in with the chocolate mixture. Scoop half of the remaining sour cream batter into the bottom of the prepared pan. Top with the chocolate batter and use a butter knife to swirl the batter. Cover the chocolate batter with the remaining sour cream batter and again swirl with knife. Bake for about 60-70 minutes, checking the cake at 45 minutes to see if it is getting too dark. Continue baking until the top is golden brown and the center of the cake springs back when lightly touched.

Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap when cool and cut into very thick, decadent slices.

About the author

Chef Megan Joy

kelley {mountain mama cooks} - May 31, 2012

This looks perfectly dense and like it would be perfect alongside a hot cup of coffee. I’m all over the bundt cake for breakfast!

Cindi - July 3, 2013

So. It doesn’t say if the chocolate is sweetened or not? I have baking unsweetened chocolate. Do I need to add sugar as it melts? Any idea how much? Or should I use chocolate chips?

    Chef Megan Joy - July 4, 2013

    Hi Cindi, the chocolate called for in this recipe can either be semisweet (60% cocoa) or bittersweet (72% cocoa), or anywhere in between that percentage range. The semisweet chocolate is sweeter and has less cocoa solids, where the bittersweet has a higher percentage and is less sweet in taste. When you buy chocolate at the store it usually will tell you the percentage of cocoa solids on the package and if it’s a sweeter or more bitter chocolate. Baking unsweetened chocolate is 100% cocoa solids and has no added sugar (making it very bitter!), so in order to substitute it you’ll want to make sure you add sugar as it melts. For 1 oz of bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, use 1/2 oz unsweetened chocolate plus 1-1 1/2 tablespoons sugar. If your chocolate chips are semisweet, they will also be a fine substitute. Happy baking!

Jennifer - January 21, 2015

Absolutely wonderful! I made this for my husband’s birthday without the chocolate, and he had 4 pieces in an hour. I live in Albuquerque, NM, and was extremely pleased with the quality, as I’m used to sea-level baking. Thank you so much for a no-fail recipe!

Alexi Alfieri - November 23, 2015

I’d like to make this marble bundt cake into a completely chocolate bundt cake. Can I simply triple the amount of chocolate and cocoa powder and fold it into all of the batter? (Love, love, love your website, by the way!)

    Chef Megan Joy - November 25, 2015

    Hi Alexi, I would recommend reducing the flour by 1/2 cup, and replacing it with 1/2 cup of cocoa powder. Keep the chocolate quantity the same. I can’t guarantee this would work but it’s always worth a test! If the baked cake isn’t chocolate-y enough, try pouring a soft ganache glaze over the top.

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