Dark and White Chocolate Marble Cake with Chocolate Fondant Icing
Swirls of rich, flavorful dark chocolate and white chocolate cake covered in chocolate fondant and decorated with malted milk balls. Simple. Pretty. Dramatic. Delicious.
I LOVE it when readers request recipes. First of all, it’s a lovely compliment when someone searches the blog for a recipe they can’t find and then, rather than go search for it elsewhere, reaches out to ask me for it directly. Second, it’s the perfect excuse to head to the kitchen and get busy working on a new recipe. The entire reason behind two of the most popular recipes here – Champagne Cake and Perfect Yellow Cake – is because readers requested them directly.
It’s not that I need someone to give me an excuse to work out a recipe. If that was the case, this would be a very small blog. It’s more that it offers a more meaningful reason to bake than just because I feel like it. Kind of like the difference between baking a birthday cake for someone you love and baking a cake just because cake sounds good. Both are great reasons to bake cake. But, baking a cake for someone you love holds more meaning.
So, that’s why I baked this cake. A reader sent me a message that they had just baked the afore mentioned Champagne Cake. They loved it and wondered if they could make some substitutions to turn it into a recipe for dark and white chocolate marble cake? I had my doubts that would work, but promised them to work out a new recipe. Three dark and white chocolate cakes later and the final result is one of my favorite cakes ever. So, thank you James.
This cake is for white chocolate lovers and white chocolate snubbers.
For those of you who are immediately jumping to the conclusion that this cake isn’t for you because you don’t really care for white chocolate, I really think you should try it anyway. The white chocolate batter calls for Ghirardelli Ground White Chocolate, a powder that lends a rich, complex vanilla flavor that is not overtly “white chocolate”. The flavor compliments and accentuates the dark chocolate cake perfectly. Kinda like how an excellent glass of wine makes a good meal even better.
How do you know I’m telling you the truth about the white chocolate flavor? I’m (mostly) a white chocolate snubber. White chocolate candy is not my favorite. But, you know what I’ve discovered? Baking with white chocolate can sometimes add a sublime richness and depth to baked goods. I first discovered this trick when creating a recipe for Gluten Free Caramel Cake. Mixing a bit of melted white chocolate into the batter transformed the cake from “This is a good gluten free cake” to “There’s no way this is a gluten free cake.”
I used the same trick for these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Mini Loaves. If you’re not the one baking them, you’d never guess their richness came from adding a bit of melted white chocolate to the batter. The white chocolate powder in this cake does something similar – it boosts the flavor, adds richness, and creates an extra-tender crumb.
It’s super duper yummy. Even white chocolate snubbers will think so.
White and Dark Chocolate Fondant Icing. And Malted Milk Balls.
I adore those giant Black and White Cookies that line the case of nearly every bakery in New York City, and their half white and half dark chocolate fondants were the inspiration for this cake’s icing. The beauty of icing half the cake with white chocolate fondant and the other half with dark chocolate fondant is that you get to make white chocolate lovers and dark chocolate lovers happy at the same time. Also, I think it looks really cool.
Decorating your cake with malted milk balls is, of course, completely optional, and maybe a bit deceptive. One might think that a cake covered in malted milk balls includes some malted milk flavor. It does not. Like the half white and half dark chocolate icing, I just think it looks cool.
Used in this recipe:
You might also like:
- Black and White Cookies
- Mississippi Mud Pie
- Perfect Yellow Cake with Chocolate Buttercream
- Banana Split Crepe Cake
FOR THE CAKE:
- 2 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 12 tablespoons ( 1 & 1/2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 5 large eggs, at room temperature
- 3 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup + 2 tbsp buttermilk, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1 cup Ghirardelli White Chocolate Powder
FOR THE FONDANT ICINGS:
- 3 oz (about 1/2 cup) semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 3 oz (about 1/2 cup) white chocolate chips
- 8 tbsp butter, cut into 8 equal pieces
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp corn syrup
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 4 cups of malted milk balls
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 12-cup bundt pan.
- Add the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt to a bowl and stir with a wire whisk to combine. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer, add the butter, vegetable oil, and sugar. Beat on low to combine, then beat on medium-high until very light and fluffy – about 8-10 minutes. Stop 2 or 3 times to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating on medium high for about 30 seconds to incorporate each before adding another. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with each addition.
- Add the vanilla to the buttermilk and add it to the batter in two additions, alternating with the flour mixture: flour, buttermilk, flour, buttermilk, flour. After each addition, beat on low speed just long enough to incorporate.
- Remove 2 cups of the batter to another bowl. Add the cocoa powder and stir with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to mix. Add the White Chocolate Powder to the batter in the mixing bowl and stir with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to mix.
- Scoop half the white chocolate batter into the prepared bundt pan and spread it out along the bottom into a mostly even layer. Dollop 4 large scoops of dark chocolate batter over the white chocolate batter; you want 4 large “mounds” of dark chocolate batter, evenly spaced. Pour the remaining white chocolate batter into the pan and spread it into an even layer so that it completely covers the dark chocolate batter.
- Using a butter knife, gently swirl the batter around in the pan, moving the knife in different directions, using large movements. Only “swirl” the batter a few times so that you get a large pattern of white and dark chocolate cake with clear definition between the two different batters.
- Bake the cake for 60-65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out with only cake crumbs clinging to it and no sign of raw batter.
- Remove the cake from the oven and set on a wire rack. Let stand 5 minutes, then invert the cake from the pan onto the wire rack to let cool completely.
- While the cake cools, make the fondant icing. (The cake and the icing will take about the same amount of time to cool, so start the icing soon after removing the cake from the oven.)
MAKE THE FONDANT ICINGS:
- Add the semi-sweet chocolate chips and 4 tablespoons of the butter to a small bowl. Add the white chocolate chips and 4 tablespoons of butter to another bowl. Set both bowls on the counter close to the stovetop.
- In a medium size saucepan, combine the sugar, salt, corn syrup, and cream. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often. Reduce the heat and simmer for 6 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and pour half over the white chocolate chips and the other half over the dark chocolate chips. Let stand for 5 minutes to allow the chocolate chips and butter to melt. Stir each fondant until all the butter and chocolate chips have melted and the mixture is completely smooth.
- Let the fondants cool before using them to frost the cake, string occasionally from time to time. You want the consistence to be thick, but still pourable.
ICE AND DECORATE THE CAKE:
- Spread a couple sheets of aluminum foil or parchment paper over a flat surface. Place the cake, still on its wire rack, in the center.
- Use a spoon and a flat metal spatula to pour the white chocolate fondant over one half of the cake, gently smoothing the icing with the spatula to cover the cake. Repeat with the dark chocolate fondant on the other side of the cake.
- Cut several malted milk balls in half and press the cut sides into the sides of the cake to form a line where the white and dark chocolate fondants meet. Fill the center of the cake with whole malted milk balls, and place a ring of the candies around the base of the cake.
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