Marble Cake with Whipped Chocolate Buttercream

filed under: Chocolate Cakes on January 8, 2015

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! Looking for more great Cake Recipes? I’ve got you covered!

Marble Cake

Marble Cake

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!

The Perfect Marble Cake!


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!

The Perfect Marble Cake with 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.


The Perfect Marble Cake

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.

The Perfect Marble Cake with the Perfect Whipped Chocolate Buttercream!


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!)

4.5 from 10 votes
Marble Cake
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
40 mins

Creating the perfect Marble Cake doesn’t have to be difficult! 

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Marble Cake
Servings: 8
Author: Amanda Rettke
Marble Cake
  • 2 cups (200g) Cake Flour
  • 2 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1 cup (226g) Unsalted Butter room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups (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
Whipped Chocolate Buttercream
  • 1 1/2 cup (340g) 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
Marble Cake
  1. 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.
  2. Sift together cake flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
  3. 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.
  4. Lower speed to medium and add in egg yolks, one at a time, whisking after each addition.
  5. With the mixer on low, add in milk and vanilla and fully incorporate. (usually about 1 minute)
  6. Remove bowl from mixer and fold flour mixture into butter mixture. Mix until just combined.
  7. In a small bowl add the melted butter and cocoa and mix until combined.
  8. Add 3/4 cup of the yellow cake batter into the cocoa/butter mixture and fold together.
  9. Now add 3/4 cup of yellow cake batter to each cake pan and smooth out.
  10. Divide the chocolate batter evenly between the two pans by dropping spoonfuls in a circle over the yellow batter.
  11. Divide the remaining yellow cake batter between the pans and smooth out as much as possible without mixing.
  12. Take a clean table knife and make a swirling pattern throughout the cake to gently achieve the marble effect.
  13. Bake for 20-30* minutes or until an inserted toothpick is removed clean.
  14. 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.
  15. Cool for about 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack.
Whipped Chocolate Buttercream
  1. 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.
  2. Be sure to stop at least once and scrape the bowl.
  3. With the mixer off, add in cocoa powder, vanilla, and salt.
  4. Turn mixer on low and blend for about 30 seconds.
  5. One tablespoon at a time, add in heavy cream.
  6. Once all cream has been added and the mixture is mostly combined, turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  7. 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.)

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

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.

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  • Marcia Mayfield says:

    OK. I think there are way too many food/cooking/baking blogs on the internets today! But I like you already! Ater viewing the video of your ding dong cake today on FB, I came directly to your page. (And I have everything on hand for that recipe except heavy cream. I just made a pound cake yesterday, but by the end of the week I will be making that one.) Then I saw this marble cake at the bottom of that page, so I had to check this one out too. I like the way you frost a cake, you do not skimp on the icing! I cannot wait to try this one too, with that whipped chocolate buttercream. So now I am subscribed to another cooking/baking newsletter – yours. Look forward to drooling over your photos and learning from you as I read your newsletter and try your recipes.

  • Candace says:

    My husband requested a marble cake for his birthday. I haven’t made this cake since I was a young girl (over 30 years ago) and it was from a box. I searched for a recipe and found this one. After my husband took the first bite of this cake, his reply was “Perfect”! I am glad I followed the directions as written. Thank You!!!

  • Mark says:

    Hi! I think there is an error in your butter weight (grams) in the frosting portion. More butter than in the cake but weighs less.

  • Jill says:

    First time on your website and this is the best chocolate buttercream ever! Can’t wait to make this marble cake and the no bake cheesecake is in the refrigerator now!

  • Yanira says:

    Im going to attempt making this cake next week and was wondering if all purpose flour will work ok or if i should go out and get cake flour instead??? Thank you!!

    • Casey Johnson says:

      You can make cake flour by taking 1 cup of flour and by removing two tablespoons of it and replacing the removed flour with two tablespoons of cornstarch.

  • Martha Chanco says:

    Your recipe says to use egg yolks but the video shows you using whole eggs. Would you care to clarify this? I plan to try this marble cake soon. Thanks.

    • Amanda says:

      The written recipe is correct.

  • Kali says:

    I made this for my husband’s birthday but I combined it with your birthday cake cookie recipe and made a cookie base for it. I decided two layers of cookie was just too much. I made it in 9 in pans because the local store didn’t have 8 inch ones. It came out great but I think it would have been more moist in the 8 inch ones. Everyone loved it! Great recipe!! Also I had to stop myself from eating more frosting than I put on the cake. So Good!

  • Carrie says:

    recipe shows egg yolks only; video shows whole eggs…???
    made with yolks only as I watched the video as the cake was baking, and so far, I’ve had to keep the cake in the oven long than the recipe states…?

  • shyamala says:

    is confectioners sugar the same as icing sugar?

  • Cheryl says:

    Hi, this cake looks great and I want to make it! Not a big baker so I have a couple questions before I try. I have 2% milk, is it a big deal to use this instead of whole milk? My next question is about the mixer. I only have a hand mixer, any tips on making that work? Thanks so much for the recipe and your time.

    • Amanda says:

      You can use 2% and you can use a hand-held mixer. 🙂

  • Elly says:

    Just made this cake. So very good, easy to make, very moist, absolutely delicious. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe😍

  • Diane says:

    How is this frosting to pipe borders with and to decorate with gum paste flowers?

  • Cindy says:

    In the video she uses four eggs and no milk. Which is correct? The recipe as written is different than the video. I’ve made this recipe as written and have not been thrilled with the yellow batter as it almost looks curdled when I add the milk. Why the difference?

  • Liz says:

    The recipe says to use 8 egg yolks and your video shows using 4 whole eggs. Can you please clarify this and adjust accordingly??

  • Karen Hooper says:

    I am definitely going to make your Chocolate Marble cake. Looking at your other recipes I know I will be refering my friends to your blog.

  • Flora says:

    I was so excited to find this recipe. Then I made it. Holy crap, it was tooth achingly sweet with absolutely no balance. I will say the cake is moist and has nice texture. But, everything else was literally like just shoveling giant spoons of sugar down my gullet.

  • Felicia Rogers says:

    Way too dry

  • Felisha Morton says:

    Hi, I’ve been searching forever for a really good marble cake recipe…I found it! Lol, I want to make a triple layer version. Could you give me the conversions to make this a triple layer recipe?

  • Carol says:

    I noticed that in the ingredients 8 egg yolks are listed, but in the video Amanda only used 4 whole eggs. Please correct. I would like to make this tomorrow.

  • Christine says:

    I don’t know if it was just me, but I had the worst experience with this recipe. Maybe even the worst baking experience I’ve had to date. And I’ve been baking a very long time. I don’t know how we were expected to mix a thick, dry chocolate paste into the batter and it not be a clumpy mess! It is beyond me that this method would have worked for anyone. This recipe absolutely ruined my day. I am very disappointed 🙁 🙁 🙁

  • Emily says:

    Hi Amanda! I am wanting to make your recipe for the marble cake…but I want to make it in a 9 x 13 sheet pan. How much time would I need to bake it at. Thanks!! 🙂

  • Mendy says:

    Can I double this recipe?

  • Lara says:

    I see someone asked about a 9×13 (I need to make a double layer 9×13) but I didn’t see the reply as to how long to bake it.

  • KStef says:

    I’m confused – video shows using “four big ‘ol eggs” in it and written recipe says 8 yolks. Which one? Has anybody tried both versions? Which have you had more success with?

  • Donna says:

    Hi my question is I do not have a stand mixer could I use an electric mixer will the cake tirn out moist or dense ??