Gluten Free Marble Loaf Cake

Gluten Free Marble Loaf Cake

Gluten Free Marble Cake

[pinit] When you read food blogs, do you skip the blah blah blah and just scroll down to the recipe? Sometimes I think I should just zip it and let you look at the pictures and then read the recipe without tugging on your shirtsleeve and making you pay me attennnnnnnnnnnnntion. I go back and forth. Either way, you should know that this isn’t a gluten free pound cake. It’s a gluten free marble cake. Chocolate and vanilla cake batters are, well, marbled together, and then baked until they’re pretty. Some might call this a zebra cake. Personally, that’s too much pressure.

Gluten Free Marble Cake

If all you expect is some chocolate and vanilla marbles and swirls, then you won’t be disappointed if your cake doesn’t look like a zebra baked into a cake. And anyway a zebra shouldn’t ever be baked into a cake. It’s not right.

Gluten Free Marble Cake

This cake really really works best with just a touch of xanthan gum. I made it every which way before I had a version that worked well enough and was easy enough to share with you. Trust me when I tell you that if you make this with a pre-blended gluten free flour that already has xanthan gum in it, there won’t be marbling. And if you’re anything like me, there may be some mild to moderate frustration and muttered expletives.

Gluten Free Marble Cake

But just a touch of xanthan gum really helps here. You can omit it from the recipe entirely, and you’ll have a beautiful cake, but it will be a bit delicate and won’t last more than a day, on the outside, at room temperature without becoming a bit stale. That’s just the way it is.

Gluten Free Marble Cake

Either way, it’s a really lovely, simple and moist marbled loaf cake. Plus, it’s totally impressive, particularly when you don’t include all that talk of zebras.

Gluten Free Marble Cake

If you did skip my blah blah blah and scrolled down here for the recipe, I’ll let the cake speak for itself:

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 1 loaf marble cake


8 tablespoons (112 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup (200 g) sugar

3 eggs (180 g, out of shell) at room temperature, beaten

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 cups (280 g) basic xanthan gum-free gluten free flour blend

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum*

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2/3 cup (5 1/3 fluid ounces) milk, at room temperature

1/4 cup (20 g) natural cocoa powder

2 tablespoons (1 ounce) warm water

*You can omit the xanthan gum completely, but the cake will become stale much more quickly after it is baked. If you use an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend that already contains xanthan gum, the batter will be too thick to marble properly.


  • Preheat your oven to 325°F. Grease a standard 9-inch x 5-inch (or slightly smaller) loaf pan, and set it aside.

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a large bowl with a handheld mixer), cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugar, eggs, and vanilla, mixing well after each addition. In a separate medium-size bowl, whisk together the flour blend, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the flour mixture in 3 parts to the butter mixture, alternating with the milk, mixing until just combined after each addition until all of the flour mixture and milk have been added. The batter should be light and smooth. Scrape half of the batter into a separate, medium-size bowl and set it aside.

  • In a small bowl, place the cocoa powder and warm water and mix together until smooth. Scrape the cocoa mixture into the mixing bowl and mix with the remaining half of the vanilla batter until just combined.

  • Marble the separate batters together in the prepared pan in the following manner: Begin by placing one portion of about 2 tablespoons of vanilla batter to the bottom center of the loaf pan (using spring-loaded ice cream scoops or a combination of spoons and spatulas). Shake the pan from side to side gently to spread the batter a bit. Place an equal portion of the chocolate batter in the center of the vanilla batter, and again shake the pan from side to side gently. Place a second portion of vanilla batter in the center of the chocolate batter, shake the pan again gently, and repeat with the chocolate batter, alternating until all the batter is in the pan.

  • Place the pan in the center of the preheated oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (about 45 minutes). Remove from the oven and allow the cake, still in the pan, to cool on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes. Carefully remove the cake from the pan, and place it on the wire rack to cool completely. Slice and serve.



P.S. Have you already pre-ordered Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread? If you do, it will ship to you from amazon in less than a month! Woohoooo!

Comments are closed.

  • […] Marble loaf cake. […]

  • Mare Masterson
    October 28, 2013 at 7:07 PM

    Of course I read every single scrap of blah blah and information you post — how else am I going to get my daily entertainment? Oh I forgot to share with you that had my first epic fail with one of your recipes — it was the apple crack cake. I forgot to lessen the sweetener amount since I was using honey instead of sugar. It was supposed to be for the bosses for bosses day. I may make a sugar using dates and try it with that next time. That is supposed to be a cup for cup way of substituting. My one boss cannot have sugar — he gets horrible migraines from it. I will keep you informed when I try again.

  • Marilyn Daigre
    October 28, 2013 at 5:23 PM

    Yeah I read all the blah blah blahs. I enjoy all the little hints and notes. I also talk out loud to myself when i’m cooking. and make comments about tastes, looks, consistency etc. Just never brave enough to write it down. You are fearless .

  • Carol Cripps
    October 28, 2013 at 3:22 PM

    I’ve come to the conclusion that I really don’t mind mixing up different flour blends. The recipes I use most were designed to work with particular blends, and don’t work so well with others. Of course, I don’t make anything that calls for bean flours of any kind, including soy. The migraines just aren’t worth it. But I do like having some of my favourites mixed up and stored in the pantry, so I can whip up something good at a moment’s notice. I think I’m going to have to mix up some of this gum-free blend of yours, just so I can make this marble cake, and the microwave chocolate cake for one. As you no doubt are aware, chocolate really is an essential food group. Thanks for all the hard work you’ve done in developing so many wonderful recipes. Your books are on my “Hint, Hint: I want this for my birthday, Christmas, whatever” list.

    • Mare Masterson
      October 28, 2013 at 6:58 PM

      Carol, chocolate is from cacoa which is a seed from an evergeen tree from South America…so it is healthy!!!

  • Charlotte Moore
    October 28, 2013 at 1:11 PM

    How is the best way to figure out the percentage to your flour blends. How many ozs. is 66%, 12%, etc…..

  • tjm
    October 28, 2013 at 12:10 PM

    Hi Nicole – I too, read all of your posts. You make me laugh and THAT makes my day!!! I don’t suppose you have tested this recipe in smaller pans, have you? This would make beautiful gifts for the holidays.

    • October 28, 2013 at 1:22 PM

      Hi, tjm, Glad I could give you a little laugh. ;) I haven’t tested the recipe in small pans, but I’m sure it would work great. In fact, I’m sure it would even work in a muffin tin. Just adjust the baking time. You’ll have to watch closely. :)

  • Jennifer Sasse
    October 28, 2013 at 10:44 AM

    Holy Yummy! this looks divine. And for the record, I always read all of your post – always! I enjoy it every day! Thanks for another great recipe!

    • October 28, 2013 at 1:22 PM

      You’re Jennifer, though. You’re a lifetime member around here, like it or not. ;)
      xoxo Nicole

Back to Top

Where should I send your free guide?

By entering your email, you're agreeing to our Privacy Policy. We respect your email privacy, and will never share your information.