Marble cake – Cyril Lignac


Prep time: 45 minutes

Cook time: 50 minutes

Serves: Serves 6 - 8

Certain recipes only call for egg whites, like this Gianduja & orange blossom cake or this amazing amaretti from Ottolenghi, to name few recipes that I already shared with you, so it will be great to use up egg yolks. You may think to make a lemon curd or crème brûlée, which is perfect when you have 2 or 4 egg yolks leftover. But , what do you do when you end up with 11 or 12 egg yolks ? That was my case last week, when I had made a lot of hazelnut friands and amaretti for charity organised by my husband’s company.
I started looking for recipes that only require egg yolks, and I found this wonderful recipe from my favourite pastry book « La Pâtisserie ». Let me tell you something, this is the best marble cake I have ever had. It’s light, moist, incredibly delicious and a great way to use leftover egg yolks. 

What is this marble cake made of ?

1- Vanilla batter

2- Chocolate batter

3- Vanilla syrup

4- Crunchy layer made with milk chocolate, hazelnut praliné and feuilletine

5- Chocolate almond glaze

It’s actually easier to make than you would think.

This marble cake recipe is everything you want to taste in a marble cake. It’s fluffy, tasty and has the perfect balance of both vanilla and chocolate flavour. 

Some recipes have one base cake batter, and then flavour a portion of that batter by adding a cocoa powder or melted chocolate to make the chocolate batter. But when you do that, you’ll inevitably change the texture of the cake. You will end up with a very dense chocolate cake mixed with a lighter vanilla cake. I really invite you to try this way of making a marble cake. It will take 15 minutes to make both batter, but at least you will have the perfect texture that you’re looking for in a cake. 

This cake looks pretty as it is with its beautiful swirls, you can learn how the chef makes them by watching this video . Or follow the my way to do it.

 If you want, you can make it prettier and more presentable by adding the chocolate glaze. It’s not much effort and makes it look irresistible and elegant. Perfect to serve at an afternoon tea party or a birthday.

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Marble cake - Cyril Lignac

  • Prep time: 45 minutes
  • Cook time: 50 minutes
  • Total time: 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Serves: Serves 6 - 8

Ingredients : I used my loaf tin 20cm* 10cm / 7,5 cm height

Vanilla batter :

  • 30 g unsalted butter melted
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 100 g egg yolks , ( 5 - 6 eggs depending on their sizes)
  • 70 g crème fresh liquid , ( double cream )
  • 100 g all purpose flour
  • 2 g baking powder

Chocolate batter :

  • 30 g unsalted butter melted
  • 80 g egg yolks , ( 4- 5 eggs depending on their sizes)
  • 110 g caster sugar
  • 20 g cocoa powder
  • 90 g all purpose flour
  • 2 g baking powder
  • 60 g crème fresh liquid , (Double cream )

Syrup ( optional ) :

  • 125 g mineral water
  • 20 g caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean

Praliné feuilletine : ( I use the half to get 3mm thickness if you like it thicker use the full amount )

  • 50 g milk chocolate
  • 10 g unsalted and melted butter
  • 90 g Hazelnut praliné , ( ill put the link in method section to see how to make it )
  • 50 g feuilletine

Chocolate almond glaze :

  • 50 g chopped almond
  • 225 g milk chocolate
  • 50 g sunflower oil , ( grape seeds for me )

Method :

Vanilla cake batter :

  • 1)

    Place the butter into a small saucepan and melt it on a low heat. Set aside.

    In a food processor fitted with the whisk, mix the egg yolks at room temperature with the caster sugar until you obtain a pale mixture. Then add the cream, then whisk until fully incorporated. Add the sifted flour and baking powder. Mix gently.

    Finally combine the warm melted butter and the vanilla seeds.

    Pour the batter into a big piping bag (without the nozzle) and keep it in the fridge while you make the chocolate cake batter.


Chocolate cake batter :

  • 1)

    As for the vanilla batter, start by melting the butter.  Set aside.

    In the food processor fitted with the whisk, whisk the egg yolks, the caster sugar and the sifted cocoa powder. Then add the cream mix until is fully combined . Then add the sifted flour and baking powder, mix gently.

    Finally pour in the warm melted butter and stir to combine. Pour the cake batter in a large pipping bag.


Bake the cake :

  • 1)

    Preheat your oven to 165C.

    Butter and flour your loaf tin or line it with baking paper. If you want to obtain the same visual as the one in chef Cyril Lignac’s book “La Pâtisserie”, use a loaf tin with a lid, you will find it on amazon.  Otherwise plan B, once you fill your loaf tin, cover it with baking paper, then add on top a baking sheet on which you will place a heavy thing like a mortar with this you’ll have a straight cake ( once again is optional is just in case you want to have the same chape like the chef’s cake).


  • 2)

    Pipe the vanilla batter, alternating it with the chocolate one like in this picture.



    The second level will be the opposite of the first one, like in the picture. Continue until you have used both batters.



    Using an spatula or just a knife, make zigzag to create a marbled effect.



    Bake your cake for 50 minutes, the time is given as an indication, the baking time will depend on the mold used and your oven. The cake will be cooked once an inserted knife – at the top and in the center of the cake – comes out clean.


Vanilla syrup :

  • 1)

    In his book “La Pâtisserie” the chef doesn’t use any syrup, but when he shared his way of making this marble cake on instagram, (video shared in the intro), I noticed that the chef is dipping his cake in a syrup.  I decided to do the same and I have to say that it makes the cake moister and allows to keep it longer.

    In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the mineral water, caster sugar and vanilla seeds and bean. Bring to a boil, once the sugar has dissolved remove from the heat.

    You can flavor your syrup with rum or another alcohol. Now if you only have the vanilla sugar, in this case, for example if your bag is 8g, take the same amount of the caster sugar used to make the syrup.

    While the cake still warm, soak it with the syrup. Let it cool before placing it on the praline feuilletine.



Praliné feuilletine :

  • 1)

    While the cake is baking, make the praline feuilletine, which will be the base of the cake.

    Melt the milk chocolate, add the hazelnut praline and the feuilletine, stir in the melted butter. Once all the ingredients are well incorporated , spread the mixture between two sheets of baking paper (3 mm, if you want thicker use all the quantities given in the ingredients section), make sure to obtain a rectangle which has the same size of your loaf tin. Keep in the refrigerator until needed.



    Once the cake has cooled, place it on the Praline Feuilletine rectangle. Cover with cling film and set aside in the freezer for 30 minutes.



Chocolate almond glaze :

  • 1)

    Preheat your oven to 210C.

    On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spread the chopped almonds, then roast them until they get a nice golden color, about 5 minutes (just keep an eye on it).

    Melt the chocolate in a water bath (Bain marie 45C), then add the oil and the roasted almonds.  Set aside at room temperature.

    Cover a plate or baking sheet with cling film, then place your cooling grid.

    Take the cake out of the freezer and place it on the grid, once the glaze is at 30C, pour it all over your cake.  Using the angled spatula, spread the top of the cake to remove the excess.  Make sure to cover your entire cake.



    keep it  in the fridge for a few minutes to allow the chocolate to set.


  • 2)

    Bring your cake to room temperature before tasting it.

    Enjoy !!



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