Creating the perfect Marble Cake doesn’t have to be difficult! Follow this easy, pretty, and most certainly delicious recipe to create a Marble Cake that people will love!
I have been going nuts this week. For the last three days I have made marble cake after marble cake, trying again and again to achieve the perfect marble. The perfect ratio of chocolate to yellow. The perfect looking slice of cake.
After three long days of recipes testing and failing it occurred to me that I was going about this all wrong. Achieving the perfect marble is a great visual treat but really shouldn’t be the focus. Especially since it is nearly impossible for others to replicate the exact same marbling!
My mind only wanted to see the inside of that cake after the first slice was removed. It seems that I am conditioned to think in terms of “surprise-inside“, or to focus on what the cake looks like. 😉
For this cake, I was wrong. It had to be all about taste and texture.
And finally, after more failures than I care to admit, I have found the perfect recipe. Not to mention the perfect Whipped Chocolate Buttercream!
Sidenote: Just look at the frosting! I swoon when I see chocolate deliciousness like that!
There are many theories behind a marble cake in terms of how to make it, but I only wanted to explore one. Old fashioned.
My great-grandma made marble cakes a specific way and I adore her method. That is what I am sharing today.
Marble Cake Recipe
I highly recommend following every step as written. Achieving the perfect marble cake recipe from scratch is worth every step in the process, I promise! The eggs and butter should be room temperature, the butter and sugar need to be whisked for a certain period of time, etc. I have made this recipe and skipped certain steps and it almost always resulted in a dense and dry cake.
Eggs are important. Getting a good quality, fresh, and vibrant eggs is key. (You can check your eggs freshness by grabbing 2 cups cold water, then put the egg in the water. If it sinks, it’s good; if it floats, it’s too old.)
What to do with egg whites? Here is a list of 10 Ways to Use Egg Whites.
As you may have already determined, I used the existing yellow cake to make my chocolate cake. Some folks prefer to make a yellow cake and a separate chocolate cake for marble (which is fine!). My method is a *bit* of a time saver and certainly doesn’t lack any flavor.
You can also see above that the crumb of the yellow and chocolate cake is slightly different; I love the gentle change in texture and think it enhances the flavor is some weird mind-bending way.
- 2 cups (200g) Cake Flour
- 2 tsp. Baking Powder
- 1/2 tsp. Salt
- 1 cup (226g) Unsalted Butter room temperature
- 1 1/2 cup (300g) Granulated Sugar
- 8 Egg Yolks room temperature
- 3/4 cup (184g) Whole Milk room temperature
- 2 tsp. McCormick® Vanilla Extract
- 2 tbsp. Unsalted Butter melted
- 1/4 cup (30g) Unsweetened Cocoa Powder good quality
- 1 1/2 cup (170g) Unsalted Butter at room temperature
- 4 cups (500g) Confectioners Sugar
- 3/4 cup (94g) Cocoa Powder
- 4 tbsp. heavy whipping cream
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- pinch table salt
- Heat oven to 350°F. Prepare two 8-inch round cake pans by buttering (or spraying) and then adding a piece of parchment to the bottom of the pan.
- Sift together cake flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with whisk attachment cream together butter and sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy, at least 3 minutes.
- Lower speed to medium and add in egg yolks, one at a time, whisking after each addition.
- With the mixer on low, add in milk and vanilla and fully incorporate. (usually about 1 minute)
- Remove bowl from mixer and fold flour mixture into butter mixture. Mix until just combined.
- In a small bowl add the melted butter and cocoa and mix until combined.
- Add 3/4 cup of the yellow cake batter into the cocoa/butter mixture and fold together.
- Now add 3/4 cup of yellow cake batter to each cake pan and smooth out.
- Divide the chocolate batter evenly between the two pans by dropping spoonfuls in a circle over the yellow batter.
- Divide the remaining yellow cake batter between the pans and smooth out as much as possible without mixing.
- Take a clean table knife and make a swirling pattern throughout the cake to gently achieve the marble effect.
- Bake for 20-30* minutes or until an inserted toothpick is removed clean.
- Start checking the cake at 20 minutes. In the winter I can get away with a 22 minute bake time but in the summer it increases to 28 minutes. Just keep a close eye on it.
- Cool for about 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack.
- In a bowl of an electric stand mixer, fitted with whisk attachment whisk butter and sugar on medium-high speed until very pale and fluffy or about five minutes.
- Be sure to stop at least once and scrape the bowl.
- With the mixer off, add in cocoa powder, vanilla, and salt.
- Turn mixer on low and blend for about 30 seconds.
- One tablespoon at a time, add in heavy cream.
- Once all cream has been added and the mixture is mostly combined, turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Now turn the mixer onto medium-high to high and whisk for 3-5 minutes or until mixture is lighter and fluffier. The frosting will be shiny and seem to have many large air bubbles throughout and this is exactly what we are going for. (You can smooth those out on the cake if so desired.)
To Assemble Cake Place one layer of cooled marble layer on cake stand. (You should not have needed to level these cakes, but in the small change that you did now would be the time to do so.) Cover in about 1/2 cup (can use more if desired) of chocolate buttercream and smooth out with an offset spatula. Gently set other marble cake layer on top and make sure it is centered. Starting with about 1 cup of chocolate buttercream scooped on top of the cake, start to smooth the frosting out and over the sides of the cake. There is enough frosting to cover this entire cake with a little left over, so feel free to use a healthy amount of cover sides. Once the cake is covered in frosting use a butter knife or offset spatula to create the letter "C" or swoops in the frosting. Best served at room temperature, but you can also chill until ready to serve.
While the marble cake is definitely the star of the show, the chocolate buttercream is definitely a nominee for best supporting role! It is beyond light and fluffy but still manages to have a rich depth of flavor that will have you coming back for more.
The method I used for frosting (rustic, vintage) is really forgiving for households with members who cannot resist stealing a lick of a beautifully frosted cake! (like mine!)