Marble Cake

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Homemade Marble Cake is swirled vanilla and chocolate cake made with one easy batter. This cake is moist and fluffy and topped with a whipped chocolate buttercream.

A side view of a slice of marble cake with chocolate frosting

Easy Homemade Marble Cake

Readers have been asking me for a marble cake for a while now, and I sooooo excited about this recipe! It’s based off my favorite yellow cake, and half the batter is mixed with melted chocolate. It’s light and fluffy, the perfect texture. This cake is finished off with the fluffiest chocolate frosting.

I loved testing this recipe, but there was so much cake to eat! You have to get the texture just right between both the vanilla and chocolate cake. Luckily this recipe is quite easy to make, and I think you’ll love the results.

It’s made with these power ingredients: a combination of oil and melted butter, egg and egg yolks and sour cream. First, you’ll make the vanilla cake, split the batter in half and then whisk in melted chocolate. Then it’s swirled together in the pans.

This makes the perfect cake for birthdays, and you better believe I am eating leftovers for breakfast.

A slice of marble cake being removed from the cake plate with a spatula

What is marble cake?

A marble cake is the best of both worlds, it’s both a vanilla and chocolate cake swirled together to create one beautiful cake.

Cake Ingredients:

  • Dark chocolate– You can use milk or dark chocolate, but I recommend using a chocolate bar, instead of chocolate chips.
  • Granulated sugar
  • Vegetable oil
  • Melted Butter
  • Eggs & Egg Yolks– additional egg yolks give this cake a very tender crumb
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Sour cream– makes this cake extra moist
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder, Baking soda & salt
  • Milk

Ingredients Substitutions:

Sour Cream: is essential for keeping the cake moist. If you don’t have sour cream. I recommend substituting with non-fat Greek yogurt. This recipe has not been tested without sour cream

A close up of the side of a chocolate frosted cake showing the decorations

How to Make a Marble Cake

Prep: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare the baking pans. Line the pans with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat, grease and flour the edges of the pans

Melt the chocolate: In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate in the microwave at 50% power in 30-second increments and stir until completely smooth. Allow to cool.

Combine the sugar with liquid ingredients: vegetable oil, melted butter eggs egg yolks and vanilla extract. Beat until well incorporated, then mix in the sour cream.

Combine the dry ingredients

Add remaining ingredients: Alternate adding half the dry ingredients followed by half of the milk and mix just until the flour is incorporated.

Divide the batter in half, about 2 ½ cups per bowl. In one bowl, stir in the melted chocolate until well combined.

Fill the pans: I find it’s easiest to use a measuring cup to fill the pans, and that way I can tell it will be evenly filled. Alternate pouring the vanilla cake batter in the pan with the chocolate cake batter layering them on top of one another and gently swirl with a knife. Try to divide the batter evenly between the pans, about 2 ½ cups (combined) of batter per pan.

Bake, cool and frost: Bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes. Cool completely before frosting.

Fluffy Chocolate Frosting

This frosting recipe is based on my favorite chocolate frosting, only I used a little less powdered sugar than normal for an extra whipped and fluffy finish. You’ll see my recipe starts with cold butter. This is my secret to making the perfect frosting consistency for decorating.

You’ll need basic frosting ingredients. You can use any type of cocoa powder, but high-quality cocoa powder makes the taste of this frosting that much better.

  • Unsalted butter, cold
  • Cocoa powder
  • Powdered sugar
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Heavy whipping cream

Whip the cold butter. Cut the butter into pieces. Using the paddle attachment, whip butter for 3-4 minutes, scraping down the bowl occasionally. Beat until the butter is very soft and whipped.

Add cocoa powder and beat until combine.

Add powdered sugar, whipping cream and vanilla extract. Alternate adding 2-3 cups of powdered sugar at a time with the liquid ingredients. Add a pinch of salt if needed. With each addition of powdered sugar, be sure to beat the frosting really well.

Beat until fluffy: Once all ingredients have been added, whip for 3-4 minutes until the frosting is light and airy. If the frosting is too thick, add additional heavy whipping cream 1/2 tablespoon at a time.

a spatula with chocolate frosting hanging over a mixing bowl

How to assemble and decorate this cake

If you’re new to making layer cakes, I have a full tutorial on making layer cakes that covers everything from start to finish.

Level your cakes: Remove any domes with a serrated knife. Isn’t it beautiful? Place a dollop of frosting on your cake board and place the bottom layer of cake over that.

Add frosting between layers: Pipe a layer of frosting in a circle working outside edge to the middle. Spread evenly with an offset spatula. Then place the second cake layer, inverted so the bottom of the cake layer is actually the top of the finished cake. This creates a nice flat surface on the top of the cake. Be sure your layer is centered.

Crumb coat: Use your offset spatula to press any excess frosting onto the edges of the cake to create a crumb coating. Place cake in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to chill.

Add remaining frosting: To finish, pipe the frosting along the outside edge of the cake using a large open round tip or a cake icer tip (affiliate). Then use an offset spatula or icing smoother (affiliate) to even out the edges of the cake.

Decorating

If you’d like to add the decorative texture to the frosting, you need to do this before the frosting has set. Use an angled spatula (affiliate) or a spoon and very gently press it up against the side of the cake, then rotate the cake around working from the bottom up until you reach the top edge. A cake turntable (affiliate) is super helpful for this.

Next add the decorations to the top of the cake. When using multiple piping tips, I like to place my frosting in a large piping bag (affiliate), and then use a smaller piping bag that I can use with the various piping tips and swapping them out as I decorate.

This cake is decorated using a variety of piping tips including: (affiliate links) 1M tip, French tip: Ateco 866 and Wilton 199. Open star tip 21. First I pipe the 1M roses and the large rosettes with the 866, then I fill in with the smaller piping tips. I also added some shaved chocolate as a finishing touch. When you break it down step by step, it’s actually a very simple decorating technique.

HOW TO STORE A FROSTED CAKE

This cake is best stored at room temperature in an airtight container such as a cake carrier (affiliate). If you live in a hot or humid environment, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator, and serve at room temperature

HOW TO MAKE THIS CAKE AHEAD OF TIME

Prepare the cake layers up to 2 days in advance. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap with a piece of parchment paper on the top and bottom of the cake layer. Or these can also be stored in an airtight container. Cake layers can also be frozen, double wrap in plastic wrap.

The frosting can also be prepared 1-2 days in advance and kept in an airtight container at room temperature. You’ll need to remix it prior to using it.

More Cake Recipes you’ll love

a close up of a chocolate frosted cake with rosettes

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A side view of a slice of marble cake with chocolate frosting

Marble Cake

  • Author: Beyond Frosting
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 33 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 3 minutes
  • Yield: 10 slices

Description

Homemade Marble Cake is swirled vanilla and chocolate cake made with one easy batter. This cake is moist and fluffy and topped with a whipped chocolate buttercream.

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 6 ounces (170g) dark chocolate, melted
  • 1 ½ cup (285g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (118ml) vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup (56g) butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (118ml) sour cream
  • 2 ½ cups (350g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons (7.5g) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (4.2g) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (5g) salt
  • 1 ½ cups (355ml) milk

For the frosting

  • 2 cups (454g) unsalted butter, cold
  • 1 cup (111g) cocoa powder
  • 5 cups (650g) powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons (45ml) heavy whipping cream

Instructions

For the cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare two 8-inch round baking pans, line the bottom with parchment paper and grease the sides. Wrap with bake even stripes if desired.
  2. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate in the microwave at 50% power in 30-second increments and stir until completely smooth. Allow to cool.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs egg yolks and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed until the eggs and oil are well incorporated and the batter is lighter in color. Next mix in the sour cream and beat until well combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Alternate adding half the dry ingredients followed by half of the milk and mix just until the flour starts to incorporate. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and stir the batter from the bottom to the top to ensure it’s well mixed.
  5. Measure out 2 ½ cups of the prepared batter into a second bowl. Stir in the melted chocolate until well combined.
  6. Alternate pouring the vanilla cake batter in the pan with the chocolate cake batter and gently swirl with a knife. Try to divide the batter evenly between the pans, about 2 ½ cups (combined) of batter per pan. Bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes. Test the cake for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, your cake is done. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

For the frosting

  1. Cut the butter into pieces (about 1 tablespoon in size). Using the paddle attachment, whip butter for 5-7 minutes, scraping down the bowl occasionally. Beat until butter is really light and fluffy. Next, beat the cocoa powder into the butter until well mixed.
  2. Alternate adding 2 cups of powdered sugar at a time with the liquid ingredients: vanilla extract & heavy cream. Ensure the powdered sugar is well combined, and whip for 1-2 minutes before adding more powdered sugar. Once all the powdered sugar has been added, increase the speed to medium-high and beat for another 2-3 minutes to whip additional air into the frosting.

To assemble the cake

  1. Level off the cakes by removing any domes. Place a dollop of frosting on your cake board and place the bottom layer of cake centered on a cake board.
  2. Pipe a layer of frosting in circles working outside edge to the middle. Spread evenly with an offset spatula. Add the second layer of cake, inverted. Apply a crumb coat the cake and put in the freezer for 5-10 minutes. Remove from freezer and add remaining frosting to the side and top of the cake. Decorate and serve.

Notes

  • Sour cream substitute: You can use yogurt or Greek yogurt
  • Preparing this cake in advance: Prepare the cake layers up to 2 days in advance. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap with a piece of parchment paper on the top and bottom of the cake layer. Or these can also be stored in an airtight container. Cake layers can also be frozen, double wrap in plastic wrap. The frosting can also be prepared 1-2 days in advance and kept in an airtight container at room temperature. You’ll need to remix it prior to using it.
  • Storing a frosted cake: This cake is best stored at room temperature in an airtight container such as a cake carrier (affiliate). If you live in a hot or humid environment, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator, and serve at room temperature
  • Alternative pan sizes: You can bake this in a 9×13 inch pan  and bake for approximately 24-30 minutes.
Nutrition Information:
1 slice
1124
97g
412mg
65g
131g
4,8g
10g
195mg
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Oven

Keywords: Cake recipe, Birthday Cake, Marble Cake,

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