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With a perfect blend of chocolate and vanilla this Marble Cake Recipe is the perfect cake for any and all occasions that will feed a crowd.

Slice of Marble Cake Recipe on white plate with milk and another slice in background.

I have to admit to something, cake is my downfall. I’m obsessed with any and all cakes, this Marble Cake Recipe has been a favorite of mine for a long time.

I love chocolate, but I also love vanilla and the two mixed together create the perfect flavor combination. Then all frosted in a silky chocolate buttercream, yum.

I mean really, YUM! This easy marble cake recipe has a flavor and texture I adore. From that tight crumb to the luscious buttcream on top of the cake, I can’t get enough.

People are really intimidated by cakes, sometimes I am too even being an experienced cook/baker as baking is a science and you always want it to look pretty.

The main thing is not how it looks but how it tastes, that is what is most important to most people anyway. Trust me, I have made some ugly cakes in my day, but they tasted amazing.

This easy recipe is perfect for leveling up your skills as a baker. Make sure you save that recipe card at the bottom of the post!

When it comes to layer cakes like this Marble Cake Recipe, it just takes practice and it really never needs to be perfect at all, just know that!

Some of my other favorite cake recipes I have on my site include: Chocolate Bundt Cake, Lemon Poppy Seed Cake and Raspberry Jello Poke Cake.

Finished frosted and decorated marble cake recipe on cake stand.

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS:

  1. This is a layer cake so it serves a lot of people.
  2. This stores really well so you can have leftovers for later consumption.
  3. You can cut this in half and make it in a 9×13-inch baking pan.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED (SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST FOR THE FULL RECIPE CARD):

  • Cake flour
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Fine sea salt
  • Unsalted butter
  • Granulated sugar
  • Light brown sugar
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • Buttermilk
  • Semi-sweet baking bar
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Powdered sugar
  • Heavy whipping cream
  • Chocolate curls for garnish, optional
Ingredients needed to make a Marble Cake Recipe.

HOW TO MAKE MARBLE CAKE RECIPE:

  1. Preheat the oven 350°F. Lightly spray 2 9-inch cake pans with baking spray. Place parchment paper in the bottom of the pan. Spray the top of the paper with baking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, set aside.
  3. In the body of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment cream the butter with the granulated sugar and brown sugar for 3 minutes. 
  4. Add the eggs one at a time until fully mixed in. Stir in the vanilla.
  5. Add half of the dry ingredients and stir it in until combined. 
  6. Next, add half of the buttermilk, stir until combined. Repeat with the remaining dry ingredients and buttermilk, scraping down the sides as needed.
  7. In a medium-sized microwave safe bowl add the chopped chocolate. Microwave in 15 second intervals, stirring in between until the chocolate is melted. 
  8. Add 1 & ½ cups of the cake batter to the chocolate and stir until combined with no streaks.
  9. Divide the yellow cake batter among the cake pans. Add dollops of the chocolate batter on top, make sure to put the same amount in each pan. Take a toothpick or butter knife and gently swirl the two colors together. 
  10. Take a spatula and smooth out the top, this will ensure the cakes bake evenly.
  11. Bake for 22-27 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool completely in the pan.
  12. While the cakes are cooling, make the frosting. In the body of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl with an electric hand mixer add the butter and whip until smooth.
  13. Add the cocoa powder and carefully mix it in until combined. Add the powdered sugar a little at a time, mixing the first batch in completely before adding more. The mixture will be thick.
  14. Add the salt, vanilla, and 6 tablespoons of the heavy cream. Mix until smooth. If it appears too thick add an additional 1 tablespoon heavy cream. Once mixed in, turn the speed up to medium-high and whip for 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides as needed.
  15. To assemble the cake, take the cakes out of the pan and discard the parchment paper. 
  16. Trim the tops of the cake if there is any doming so they are even and flat. 
  17. Place one of the cakes bottom side down onto your serving dish or cake plate. Add 1 cup of the frosting and smooth it out to the sides. 
  18. Place the other cake, top side down, on to the frosting. 
  19.  Take about another cup of frosting and lightly frost the entire cake, making a crumb coat. Place in the fridge for at least 2 hours or up to overnight to set.
  20. Take the remaining frosting and frost the outside of the cake. Add chocolate curls around the outside edge if desired. Cut and serve.
Step by step photos on how to make a Marble Cake Recipe.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS RECIPE:

The frosting makes just enough to generously frost the cake but with none left over to make any piping decorations.

If you want more for piping I suggest making 1.5 the recipe of the frosting.

Use your favorite chocolate frosting, classic buttercream, cream cheese frosting, etc for this, you really can’t go wrong.

Since the cake is both chocolate and vanilla it goes with many different flavors of frosting, even strawberry frosting would be amazing!

I like to use baking strips to help the cake cook more evenly.

We have used them in pretty much all of our cake recipes and they are such a huge help in getting them to bake evenly.

We like these Wilton ones that we got off amazon, you can also find them at Walmart as well.

Cake server holding up a slice of the Marble Cake Recipe.

Try a few of these on for size.

I haven’t tried them all personally, but experience says they’ll be great!

  • Chocolate Chips: Mix in chocolate chips to the batter for extra chocolatey bites, enhancing the chocolate vanilla marble cake.
  • Nuts: Add chopped nuts like pecans or walnuts for a crunchy texture in your homemade marble cake.
  • Caramel Swirl: Drizzle caramel sauce into the batter for a rich, sweet surprise that complements the fluffy cake.
  • Coffee Powder: Add a teaspoon of instant coffee powder to the chocolate batter for a mocha flavor that deepens the chocolate swirl.
  • Orange Zest: Mix in some orange zest for a fresh citrus twist, adding a new layer of flavor to the type of cake.
  • Coconut Flakes: Sprinkle coconut flakes in the batter for a tropical touch, making the cake even more delightful.
  • Raspberry Jam: Swirl in raspberry jam to add a fruity layer to the cake, enhancing the marbling effect.
  • Cinnamon: Add a pinch of cinnamon to the batter for a warm, spicy flavor that pairs well with the chocolate cake batter.
  • White Chocolate Chips: Add white chocolate chips for a contrast in flavor and color, making the cake visually appealing and delicious.

Yes indeed! Let me know in the comments how this turns out for you!

  • Cake Flour: Use all-purpose flour with a bit of cornstarch if you don’t have cake flour, maintaining the lower protein content for a tender crumb.
  • Buttermilk: Substitute with a mix of milk and lemon juice or vinegar to mimic the tangy flavor and acidity, ensuring the fluffy marble cake texture.
  • Granulated Sugar: Use coconut sugar or brown sugar for a different sweetness profile that still complements the chocolate vanilla marble cake.
  • Light Brown Sugar: Replace with dark brown sugar for a deeper molasses flavor, adding richness to the batter.
  • Unsalted Butter: Use margarine or a dairy-free butter alternative for those with a medically restrictive diet, ensuring everyone can enjoy this delicious marble cake.
  • Semi-Sweet Baking Bar: Use dark chocolate or milk chocolate if preferred, adjusting the amount of sweetness as needed to maintain the perfect balance.

This cake will last at room temperature covered or in a cake container for up to 4 days and in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

You can also freeze this cake, place the frosted cake in a freezer container and it will keep for up to 3 months.

To defrost, place the cake in the refrigerator overnight and then move to the countertop to come to room temperature.

DANA’S TIPS AND TRICKS:

  • This cake is best enjoyed at room temperature. Very moist and flavorful with a knockout chocolate buttercream that is very rich, smooth, and fluffy.
  • The frosting makes just enough to generously frost the cake but with none left over to make any piping decorations. If you want more for piping I suggest making 1.5 the recipe of the frosting.
  • You can use other frostings, see my suggestions above.
  • This can be frozen, see above on how to do that.
  • We like to use baking strips to have the cakes bake evenly, see above on which ones we use.
  • You have to work quickly with this batter. As soon as you are done making the base batter, melt that chocolate and get that part mixed in. Add the batter to the pans, swirl, smooth out the top, and pop it in the oven. If the chocolate mixture sits for too long it will begin to seize up and harden making it too dense to cook properly.
Slice of marble cake recipe on white plate with bite taken out.

Love chocolate and vanilla mixed together and all things cake like me?

Then this Marble Cake Recipe needs to be made ASAP!

If you like this recipe, you might also like:

If you’ve tried this MARBLE CAKE RECIPE, let me know in the comments how it turned out! You can follow me over on PINTEREST, INSTAGRAM OR FACEBOOK to find some more of our mouthwatering recipes!

This Silly Girls Kitchen Logo
5 from 2 votes

Marble Cake Recipe

Author Dana at ThisSillyGirlsKitchen.com
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 27 minutes
Total: 47 minutes
With a perfect blend of chocolate and vanilla this Marble Cake Recipe is the perfect cake for any and all occasions that will feed a crowd.
Servings 16 servings

Ingredients
  

For the frosting:

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven 350°F. Lightly spray 2 9-inch cake pans with baking spray. Place parchment paper in the bottom of the pan. Spray the top of the paper with baking spray. Set aside.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, set aside.
    2 & ¾ cups cake flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, ½ teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • In the body of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment cream the butter with the granulated sugar and brown sugar for 3 minutes.
    1 cup unsalted butter, 1 cup granulated sugar, ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • Add the eggs one at a time until fully mixed in. Stir in the vanilla.
    4 large eggs, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Add half of the dry ingredients and stir it in until combined.
  • Next, add half of the buttermilk, stir until combined. Repeat with the remaining dry ingredients and buttermilk, scraping down the sides as needed.
    1 & ¼ cups buttermilk
  • In a medium-sized microwave safe bowl add the chopped chocolate. Microwave in 15 second intervals, stirring in between until the chocolate is melted.
    4 ounces semi-sweet baking bar
  • Add 1 & ½ cups of the cake batter to the chocolate and stir until combined with no streaks.
  • Divide the yellow cake batter among the cake pans. Add dollops of the chocolate batter on top, make sure to put the same amount in each pan. Take a toothpick or butter knife and gently swirl the two colors together.
  • Take a spatula and smooth out the top, this will ensure the cakes bake evenly.
  • Bake for 22-27 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool completely in the pan.
  • While the cakes are cooling, make the frosting. In the body of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl with an electric hand mixer add the butter and whip until smooth.
    1 & ½ cups unsalted butter
  • Add the cocoa powder and carefully mix it in until combined. Add the powdered sugar a little at a time, mixing the first batch in completely before adding more. The mixture will be thick.
    ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 6 cups powdered sugar
  • Add the salt, vanilla, and 6 tablespoons of the heavy cream. Mix until smooth. If it appears too thick add an additional 1 tablespoon heavy cream. Once mixed in, turn the speed up to medium-high and whip for 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides as needed.
    ½ teaspoon fine sea salt, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 6-7 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • To assemble the cake, take the cakes out of the pan and discard the parchment paper.
  • Trim the tops of the cake if there is any doming so they are even and flat.
  • Place one of the cakes bottom side down onto your serving dish or cake plate. Add 1 cup of the frosting and smooth it out to the sides.
  • Place the other cake, top side down, on to the frosting.
  • Take about another cup of frosting and lightly frost the entire cake, making a crumb coat. Place in the fridge for at least 2 hours or up to overnight to set.
  • Take the remaining frosting and frost the outside of the cake. Add chocolate curls around the outside edge if desired. Cut and serve.
    Chocolate curls for garnish

Notes

  1. This cake is best enjoyed at room temperature. Very moist and flavorful with a knockout chocolate buttercream that is very rich, smooth, and fluffy.
  2. The frosting makes just enough to generously frost the cake but with none left over to make any piping decorations. If you want more for piping I suggest making 1.5 the recipe of the frosting.
  3. You can use other frostings, see my suggestions above.
  4. This can be frozen, see above on how to do that.
  5. We like to use baking strips to have the cakes bake evenly, see above on which ones we use.
  6. You have to work quickly with this batter. As soon as you are done making the base batter, melt that chocolate and get that part mixed in. Add the batter to the pans, swirl, smooth out the top, and pop it in the oven. If the chocolate mixture sits for too long it will begin to seize up and harden making it too dense to cook properly.

Nutrition

Calories: 690kcal | Carbohydrates: 89g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 126mg | Sodium: 228mg | Potassium: 263mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 68g | Vitamin A: 1060IU | Vitamin C: 0.03mg | Calcium: 87mg | Iron: 2mg
Nutrition Disclaimer
Course Baked Good, Dessert
Cuisine American

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5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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One Comment

  1. Julie Pollitt says:

    This looks absolutely fantastic!

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