Vegan, Sugar-Free Marble Cake | Marmor Gugelhupf

Vegan, Sugar-Free Marble Cake | Marmor Gugelhupf

A few weeks ago, I received a parcel from my mother in Japan. Included in it was a baking form that she had been having in her cupboard which hadn’t been used for decades—a Gugelhupf’s form. As I looked inside the form, it was written, “Made in W-Germany.” It felt quite special to feel the history passing on to me.

This gift’s arrival inspired me to make the Marble Bundt Cake, which is called in Austria and Germany, “Marmor Gugelhupf.” Although I had never baked a vegan Gugelhupf, I took it as a wonderful challenge to realize its moist and light texture with a vegan recipe, using a minimum amount of sweetener, but still with perfect sweetness and aromatic flavor! 

Marmor Gugelhupf

This Marmor Gugelhupf brings me immediately back to my childhood, as I spent some time in Austria with my family in those early years. I remember enjoying this cake very much when we visited some of my parents’ friends, where they served their homemade Marmor Gugelhupf.

This marble cake (Marmor Gugelhupf), I made with a chocolate layer and a plain layer, along with some orange zest. The cake is vegan, wheat free, cane-sugar free, and made with only whole grain and nuts, using a minimum amount of natural sweetener. It turned out to be so delicious that I was so happy with.

The formula for success in vegan baking

Although I always liked Marmor Gugelhupf, since I began to bake vegan, sugar-free recipes over 10 years ago, it never occurred to me to bake this cake. The well-risen and moist texture is a signature of Marmor Gugelhupf. This is definitely what the eggs and milk can make possible. In addition to that, Gugelhupf has quite a height, which could become even more difficult to realize with vegan recipe. It’s not an easy task!

How can I bake it using no refined flour or sugar without compromising the beautiful texture I want to realize…?

I created this recipe by modulating it for the sponge cake of my strawberry shortcake. This sponge cake’s recipe I developed has a perfect moistness and softer texture as a vegan whole grain cake. As I add some almond meal to the whole spelt flour, it adds some fluffiness as well as a beautifully nutty flavor. Also, I am using only applesauce as an egg substitute, without flax eggs, which brings a smoother and moister texture.

Different sweeteners for each layer

I love making chocolate flavored cake sweetened with date syrup. The date’s dark and rich sweetness is beautifully compatible with the chocolate flavor. Although you will lose much of the fibers from the date fruits during its making process, much of the nutritions of the fruits are contained in the syrup, including high amounts of minerals such as iron, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus.

The plain batter is sweetened by maple syrup, which is another sweetener that is low on glycemic. I recommend using darker Grade B syrup which is harvested later in the season, since it has more nutrition.

Applesauce as egg substitute as well as wholesome sweetener

However, I use both of these sweeteners in a significantly smaller amount than so many other recipes out in the world, which is so much healthier. And this can be made possible because I use my baked applesauce for the egg substitute, which I make only with apples. The sauce has such a beautifully rich flavor and sweetness. Since it is made with whole apples, it has fibers and all the other nutritions. It is a very healthy, gentle sweetener for our body.

And you will be surprised how beautifully sweet this cake is. There is no compromise for the sweetness of flavor. And the cake that has just the right amount of sweetness is so much more delicious since you can enjoy the wholeness of the flavor of the cake rather than just sweetness!

Technique for marbling

How can you make the beautiful marble for your cake? All you need is one fork! Once you put the layers from the plain batter, and then the chocolate batter, you dip the fork in a diagonal direction and start spiraling the fork while going through the circle, lifting up the lower layer and bringing down the upper layer. It’s very helpful when you do this slowly and gently so that you won’t scrape the dusting flour and can keep the fork swirling in the batter.

If you like your chocolate layer to be surrounded by the plain layer, you can make a dent with a large spoon after pouring the plain batter into the baking form and letting the plain batter go up the entire side of the baking form. Then you can pour the chocolate batter into this hollow spot that you created.

Aromatic experience

It is quite amazing how much we are experiencing the sweetness by the aroma, not only by the flavor. Therefore, aromatic ingredients are a great help for us to minimize the amount of sweetener in the baking. The aroma of vanilla can always do an incredible magic. But also, for this cake, I used plenty of orange zest, one of whose varieties which is now in season here in California. Orange is beautifully compatible with chocolate, but also the plain cake. The fragrance of orange can transform the experience of flavor significantly, even when it doesn’t actually change the taste itself. Another aromatic ingredient I used for this cake is bourbon. I can imagine brandy would also be a great alternative to bourbon. The combination of vanilla, orange, and bourbon were so beautiful!!

Beautiful surprise at the cutting!

The moment of cutting the marble cake is definitely a far more exciting moment than with other cakes, since you will then finally see the result of your marbling!

Serving with chocolate mousse whipped cream

Although the cake is so delicious just by itself, eating with whipped cream is definitely the classic way of enjoying this cake, and it surely is delicious. I was originally thinking of making a chocolate whipped cream, adding some cacao powder to my vegan probiotic coconut whipped cream as an optional accompaniment. But then I got this idea to also add some melted cacao butter to the whipped cream to give more chocolate aroma and flavor. This was heavenly delicious!!

This cream is a little heavier than the whipped cream, since I added cacao butter in the ingredients. Therefore, I named this chocolate mousse whipped cream. It is very easy to make.

Once you have let the probiotic coconut whipped cream ferment (recipe here), mix the whipped cream with the following ingredients:

  • 10g of melted cacao butter
  • 4 tbsp of cacao powder
  • 30g of date syrup 
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp of bourbon (optional)
  • 2 drops of food grade organic orange essential oil (optional)

When mixed, put it in the fridge for at least 1 hour until it cools down. Once taking out from the fridge, mix the cream with the whisk before serving.


Vegan Marble Cake / Marmor Gugelhups

November 9, 2021
: 8
: 1 hr


  • ⌀17cm Gugelhupf baking form
  • —————
  • Basic dry Ingredients:
  • 225 g whole spelt flour
  • 105g almond meal
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • —————
  • Basic wet Ingredients:
  • 83g Coconut oil 55g
  • 173g Coconut milk 115g
  • 180g Applesauce 120g
  • —————
  • Plain Batter:
  • Dry ingredients
  • 180g basic dry ingredients
  • Wet ingredients
  • 218g wet ingredients
  • 30g maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp bourbon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp Orange zest
  • —————
  • Chocolate Batter:
  • Dry ingredients
  • 145g dry ingredients
  • 30g cacao powder
  • Wet ingredients
  • 218g wet ingredients
  • 30g date syrup
  • 1/2 tsp bourbon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp Orange zest
  • Step 1 Prepare the basic dry and wet ingredients in separate bowls, then prepare four other bowls for the dry and wet ingredients for the plain batter, as well as the dry and wet ingredients for the chocolate batter. Dust the baking form with oil and flour.
  • Step 2 Put all the dry and wet ingredients for the plain batter, as well as the dry and wet ingredients for the chocolate batter, into each bowl, then mix well.
  • Step 3 Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • Step 4 Once the oven temperature becomes hotter than 300°F, mix the dry and wet ingredients well together to make the plain and chocolate batter.
  • Step 5 Pour the plain batter into the baking form first, then pour chocolate batter in.
  • Step 6 Dip a fork into the batter in a diagonal direction, then turn it around while turning the baking form one time around. This will make a spiraling movement going through the circle by lifting up the lower layer and bringing down the upper layer of the batter.
  • Step 7 Once the oven reaches 375°F, put in the baking form and bake for 45 minutes.
  • Step 8 After 45 minutes, check with the cake tester, and if it is thoroughly baked, turn off the oven and take out the baking form. Let it rest on the cake cooler for about 10 minutes.
  • Step 9 Turn the baking form to take the cake out from the form. Let the cake cool down on the cake cooler.

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