Yield: 8×4″ espresso marbled loaf cake // Total Time: 1 hr. 30 min. // Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links. // This post is sponsored by Papanicholas Coffee, all opinions are my own.
Espresso Marbled Loaf Cake with Espresso Ganache
Hello! If you’re not already aware, I’m obsessed with coffee. So if you are also a fellow coffee lover, you’ve come to the right blog. I’m here again with another delicious way to incorporate coffee into your baking. This marbled loaf cake is marbled with vanilla, espresso and chocolate cake. If that’s not enticing enough, it’s topped off with a milk chocolate ganache that’s been steeped with espresso beans. I also believe that your desserts should be both pretty to look at and delicious, which is why I’m obsessed with marbling my cakes, and why this one is of course marbled.
Why you’ll love this espresso marbled loaf cake
1. It’s loaded with espresso. Espresso and chocolate are a perfect match, they compliment each other SO well. This cake has espresso in the coffee cake batter, chocolate batter, and in the milk chocolate ganache. And we’re talking real brewed espresso, not just some instant espresso!
2. It’s super light and fluffy. While the flavor is delicious, the cake itself is also SO light and fluffy, the fork will just fall through the cake when you go to take a bite.
3. Espresso ganache..YUM. Ganache is already stellar enough, but when you add espresso into it, it’s next level.
I’ve partnered again with my all-time favorite coffee brand: papanicholas coffee for this espresso marbled loaf cake. I use their coffee beans every day and am so happy to be able to partner with them to spread the love of their coffee. In this recipe I used their french vanilla espresso beans which have flavor notes of vanilla bean and sweet cream. I definitely highly recommend trying some of their coffee, they have so many delicious flavors and are always the coffee I use in my recipes (and for my daily caffeine dose!). You can find their website by clicking here. Also, if you do end up purchasing their coffee be sure to use code FRESH20 for 20% off your coffee order!
Weigh your ingredients
- Weighing your ingredients is important for getting the recipe perfect and getting consistent results. I do provide cup measurements but please note that I test all my recipes in grams and can not guarantee that your bake will turn out like mine. This kitchen scale is super cheap and a great starter scale!
Room temperature ingredients
- It is important for the ingredients to be at room temperature so that they properly incorporate with each other and you don’t end up with a curdled, uneven batter. Take out the egg, butter, sour cream and milk at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hr 30 min. before starting the recipe. Here’s how to get room temperature ingredients FAST if you’re in a time crunch or forgot to take the ingredients out (like I often do):
- Egg: place the egg in a bowl and run hot water over it for 1 continuous minute, or let it sit in a bowl of warm water for 5 minutes.
- Butter: slice the butter into 1 tbsp. slices and place them flat on a plate. Microwave in 5-second intervals until the butter is soft to the touch, but not melting.
- Sour cream and milk: microwave them in 5-second intervals until it is no longer cold, but is not warm (room temp!)
Mix the dough carefully
- When adding in the flour and milk, only fold until the last streak disappears. Overmixing the dough leads to more gluten formation, which will make your cake tough and chewy rather than light and fluffy.
Keep an eye on the cake while it bakes
- Things like to go from under-baked to over-baked super quickly so it is important to keep a close eye on them. Start checking at 40 minutes with a toothpick. If the toothpick comes out wet, check again in 5 minutes and so on, until the toothpick comes out with just a few moist crumbs
When you should make the ganache
- I’d recommend waiting to make the ganache until the cake is almost fully cooled. If your ganache sets up before you’re ready to pour it over the cake, simply microwave it in 5-second intervals and stir until it’s pourable again.
Ingredients and substitutions
For the espresso marbled loaf cake:
All purpose flour: gives the cake structure.
Baking powder: helps the cake rise.
Salt: for balancing and bringing out the sweetness of the batter.
Unsalted butter: for tenderizing the cake and adding flavor. You can substitute in salted butter, just be sure to omit the extra salt in the batter. You can also use your favorite dairy-free butter stick in it’s place.
Vegetable oil: for tenderizing the cake. You can substitute any neutral oil, such as canola, in place of vegetable oil.
Granulated sugar: for sweetening the cake and keeping it moist. The sugar also helps aerate the butter to give this cake its rise.
Egg: for binding and for moisture. We’ll use 2 eggs and 1 egg white.
Vanilla: for flavor.
Sour cream: adds moisture and makes the cake tender. I recommend full fat sour cream for the best texture.
Whole milk: adds moisture – like above I recommend whole for the best results. However, 2%, 1%, or your favorite non-dairy milk should work just fine.
Dutch process cocoa powder: gives the cake a rich chocolate flavor. I highly highly recommend dutch process because it’s more flavorful – but you can use natural if it’s what you have on hand.
Espresso: freshly brewed espresso helps to both bloom (bring out more flavor from) the cocoa, and adds some delicious strong coffee right to the batter. If you’re unable to brew espresso, you can use instant espresso with hot water, but you will need whole coffee beans for the ganache.
For the espresso ganache:
Espresso beans: we’ll crush some espresso beans and steep them in the heavy cream for a delicious, strong espresso flavor.
Heavy whipping cream: smooths out the ganache.
Milk chocolate: I highly recommend milk chocolate for the ganache filling as it’s sweetness is very much balanced out by the cream. I’ve found that semi-sweet ganache is often bitter, but if you’d like that better you can certainly use semi-sweet!
How to make espresso marbled loaf cake with espresso ganache
Here are the basic steps to follow to make this cake and some photos of the beautiful process. You can find the complete recipe at the end of this blog post.
1. Beat together the wet ingredients. Beat together the butter, oil, and sugar until it’s light and fluffy. Then beat in the eggs one at a time, followed by the egg white, vanilla, and sour cream.
2. Alternate adding in the flour and milk. Fold in half of the dry ingredients, followed by all of the milk, and then the rest of the dry ingredients.
3. Bloom the cocoa. In separate bowls, add 24g of cocoa and 6g of cocoa. Brew the espresso, and mix 30g of espresso into each bowl. In the bowl with more cocoa, we’ll mix in 1 c. of batter, and in the bowl with less cocoa, we’ll mix in 1 1/3 c. of batter.
4. Alternate adding the batters into the pan. Alternate adding scoops of the three different batters into the pan. I used a medium cookie scoop (3 tbsp.) to distribute the batters.
5. Swirl and bake. Use a knife to gently swirl all the batters together in the pan, then bake until a toothpick stuck in the center of the cake comes out clean.
6. Make the espresso ganache. Steep the crushed espresso beans with warm cream for 5 minutes, then heat it up to a simmer. Pour the cream through a fine mesh sieve over a bowl of chocolate. Cover the bowl and let it sit for 1 minute, then whisk together until smooth.
7. Serve and enjoy! Once the cake has completely cooled, pour the ganache over it. Slice, serve and enjoy!
Espresso Marbled Loaf Cake Q & A
What size loaf pan do I need?
I used an 8×4″ metal loaf pan and I do recommend you do the same. If all you have is a 9×5″ that’s perfectly fine to use, just note that your loaf will be a tad bit shorter and will probably need a little less baking time. I always recommend against glass bakeware because it just doesn’t conduct heat as well which affects bake time and browning on your bakes. So please note that if you do use a glass pan, your bake will take more time.
How to store this loaf cake
Ganache can technically be left out at room temperature in an airtight container for 2 days, but I do recommend refrigerating the frosted cake for the best food safety practices. It will keep well in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Why do you measure in grams?
My recipes are all written in grams because it is the most accurate way to bake. When you use a kitchen scale, you ensure that your baked goods turn out as close to the written recipe as possible. Plus, the cleanup is way easier when using a scale! I will provide standard cup measurements but please note that I have not tested the recipe using cup measurements and therefore can not guarantee your recipe will come out how mine did. Here is my favorite kitchen scale, and here’s an article about why I use a kitchen scale, and why you should too!
A note on oven temperature
Ovens vary and fluctuate in temperature. For example, I always have to set my oven to 330°F if I want it to bake at 350°F. If you love to bake like I do, I highly recommend getting an oven thermometer. They are super helpful for letting you know when your oven might be lying to you! I use this one.
Tools and ingredients
You can find all my favorite tools and ingredients that I use on my Amazon Storefront page, here!
Did you make this espresso marbled loaf cake?
If you made this espresso marbled loaf cake recipe I would love to see them and know your thoughts! Please leave a comment and review down below, and tag me on Instagram @freshbeanbakery. If you have any questions about the recipe I will gladly do my best to answer them in the comments below!
Espresso Marbled Loaf Cake
Espresso Marbled Loaf Cake
- 240 g all purpose flour (2 c.)
- 2 ½ tsp. baking powder
- ¾ tsp. salt
- 100 g unsalted butter room temperature (7 tbsp.)
- 60 g vegetable oil (⅓ c.)
- 250 g granulated sugar (1 ¼ c.)
- 2 eggs + 1 egg white room temperature
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 120 g sour cream room temperature (½ c.)
- 120 g whole milk room temperature (½ c.)
- 30 g dutch process cocoa powder (¼ c. + 1 tbsp.)
- 60 g freshly brewed Papanicholas French Vanilla Espresso (2 oz.)
- 45 g Papanicholas French Vanilla Espresso Beans (3 tbsp.)
- 170 g heavy whipping cream (⅔ c.)
- 170 g milk chocolate chips or baking bar (1 c.)
Espresso Marbled Loaf Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350°F / 175°C. Butter and line an 8×4" loaf pan with parchment paper.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat together the butter, oil, and sugar for 5 minutes until light and fluffy.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add in one egg at a time, beating until combined after the two additions.
- Add in the egg white, vanilla, and sour cream and beat until combined.
- Alternate between adding the flour mixture and the milk. Fold in ½ of the flour mixture, then all of the milk, followed by the rest of the flour mixture.
- Brew the espresso. In a small bowl, whisk together 24g (¼ c.) of cocoa with 30g (1 oz.) of the espresso. In another small bowl, whisk together 6g (1 tbsp.) of cocoa with the remaining 1 oz. of espresso.
- To the bowl with more cocoa, add in 1 c. of batter. To the bowl with less cocoa, add in 1 ⅓ c. of batter. Mix each bowl just until no streaks remain.
- Alternate scooping in the three different batters into the loaf pan. Once all the batter has been used, use a knife to gently swirl the batters together.
- Bake for 40-50 minutse, or until a knife inserted in the middle of the cake comes out with just a few moist crumbs.
- While the cake is cooling, make the espresso ganache.
- Place the chocolate into a small mixing bowl and set aside.
- Transfer the espresso beans to a sealed plastic bag, and lightly crush them.
- Add the crushed espresso beans and the heavy whipping cream to a small saucepan. Set the mixture over medium heat and bring it to a simmer.
- Once the mixture is simmering, turn off the heat and allow the mixture to sit for at least 5 minutes, and up to 20 minutes.
- Once the cream has sat for 5 minutes, put it back on medium heat and once again bring it to a simmer.
- Once simmering, pour the cream through a fine-mesh sieve over the chocolate.
- Cover the bowl with a lid or plate. Let the mixture sit for 1 minutes, then whisk the ingredients together until you have a smooth ganache.
- Pour the ganache over the cake once the cake has cooled to room temperature. Slice, serve, and enjoy!