When hosting a crowd for the holidays, make it easy on yourself and choose recipes, such as this Marbled Pecan Pound Cake, that can be made ahead. Pound cakes are popular not only for their delicious taste, but because you can make them in advance and freeze them, if necessary. This recipe was sent in by Billie Taylor of Wytheville, Virginia, and was published in the December, 1993, issue of Southern Living. An instant hit, home cooks love the chocolate marbling on the inside—it gives the cake an extra special touch for the holidays. Serve this cake plain, or dress it up with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream, sugared cranberries, or a drizzle of chocolate ganache.
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup shortening
3 cups sugar
5 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (1-ounce) square unsweetened chocolate
1 tablespoon shortening
1/2 cup chopped pecans
How to Make It
Beat butter and 1/2 cup shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer about 2 minutes or until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating at medium speed 5 to 7 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until yellow disappears.
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; add to butter mixture alternating with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla.
Combine chocolate and 1 tablespoon shortening in a small, beavy saucepan; cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until chocolate melts. Remove 2 cups batter, and add chocolate mixture, stirring until blended. Pour one-third of remaining plain batter into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan; top with half of chocolate batter. Repeat layers, ending with plain batter.
Gently swirl batter with a knife to create a marbled effect, and sprinkle with pecans. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 to 15 minutes; remove from pan, and let cool completely on wire rack.