Chesterman: Marble Cake Recipe

Dining critic Lesley Chesterman can be heard every Wednesday morning at 7:10 A.M. on CHOM 97 7 in Montreal.

For more recipes and kitchen tips, follow Lesley on Instagram: @lesleychestrman.

Been working on this recipe (that was in my old pastry book) to get the marbling right. I like the Batman look of this one I made this morning. It’s an easy recipe but you really do need pastry flour, so no substituting!

And as for the last picture here, it’s pastry chef François Perret’s take on the classic marble cake I tasted at Ritz Paris with David Lebovitz just six weeks ago. 

Marble Cake

makes 1 cake

  • 2/3 cup (150g) butter
  • 1 1/3 cups (160g) pastry flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup (200g) sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons milk


Butter and flour a 9 X 4’ bread tin. Heat oven to 350F (180 C).

Melt the butter over low heat and set aside. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

Separate the eggs, placing the whites in a medium-sized clean bowl. Set 1/3 cup of the sugar aside with the whites.

In a larger bowl (or the bowl of a mixmaster), beat egg yolks at high speed and gradually blend in the remaining 2/3 cup sugar along with the vanilla. Beat until thick and creamy. Reduce speed then slowly blend in half the butter. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and continue to blend in the rest.

By hand, fold in the flour mixture and set aside.

Beat the whites (I do this with a hand blender) until doubled in volume then gradually add in the 1/3 cup sugar. Continue to beat at high speed until quite stiff, then fold one third of the whites into the base mixture, stirring vigorously until smooth and the fold in the rest until well blended.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and milk until smooth, then gradually stir in a third of the white batter (about 200g). You can whisk this to make sure it’s smooth, but don’t go bonkers.

Pour one third of the white batter in the mould, spread into an even layer, then pour half the chocolate mixture overtop and spread out evenly, then repeat again with the white, the chocolate, and then the last third of the white. Swirl very lightly to give a marbled effect but don’t go crazy or it won’t work.

Bake 45-55 minutes until the split in the middle is dry. Enjoy!

Lesley Chesterman

Lesley Chesterman

François Perret

For more recipes and kitchen tips, follow Lesley on Instagram: @lesleychestrman.