How to make the simple Marble Cake

The Marble Cake, with its eye-catching vanilla and chocolate swirls, is perfect for any occasion. It’s a childhood favorite that’s both elegant and tasty.

Slices of Marble Cake
Slices of Marble Cake

What is a Marble Cake, you ask? A cake treat featuring swirls of yellow and brown, that is much simpler to make than you might think. Using everyday ingredients like sugar, butter, flour, eggs, and cocoa powder, this recipe creates a fluffy, moist cake that’s a visual delight. It’s one of my all-time favorite recipes to make, cherished as a childhood favorite by many.

This cake is adored by yellow cake lovers and anyone seeking a less sweet option. Whether you’re baking for a birthday or just a weekend treat, the marble cake recipe is a satisfying choice. You can always serve it with your favorite cup of joe!

Interested in exploring more delightful cakes? Check out these related recipes: Classic Yellow Sheet Cake, Victoria Sponge Cake with Strawberries, Vegan Matcha Cake, and the Classic White Layer Cake.

Ready to create your own marble cake masterpiece? Let’s get started!

Why we love 💕the Simple Marble Cake

• 🎨It’s a visual feast: The vibrant colors of this marble cake make it as delightful to look at as it is to eat

• 🍰Moist and fluffy perfection: Each slice is a soft cake that’s a childhood favorite, bringing back delightful memories with every bite

 • 🧑‍🍳Surprisingly simple: This recipe is easy to make with ingredients you likely have on hand, making it perfect for all occasions. It is like a vanilla cake and a chocolate cake together

•🍴 Serve it your way: Although we love it plain, you can dress it up with your favorite toppings, from whipped cream to chocolate buttercream frosting

👩‍🍳What kitchenware you need to make this Marble Cake

  • 1 large mixing bowl
  • 1 medium mixing bowl
  • 9” x 13” baking pan
  • Handheld mixer (or stand mixer or a whisk)
  • Spatula
  • Dessert spoon

💡Fact

According to What’s Cooking America , “the Marble Cake called Marmorkuchen in German, originated in Germany back in the 19th Century.  The technique of this cake is to create a marble effect with two different colors of cake batters together. After World War II, as more German Jewish immigrants came to America, more Jewish bakeries opened featuring marble cakes and other German style pastries and baked goods.”

👩‍🍳What ingredients you need to make this cake

  • Sugar: Use plain granulated sugar to ensure the cake’s sweet flavor and perfect texture
  • Flour: All-purpose flour is essential; it provides the sturdy structure needed for a fluffy cake
  • Butter: Choose unsalted butter, and make sure it’s softened to room temperature to achieve a soft texture in the cake
  • Cocoa Powder: Opt for unsweetened natural cocoa to give the cake its rich color and deep flavor
  • Baking Powder: This is crucial as it helps the cake rise, ensuring a light and airy feel
  • Vanilla Extract: A splash adds a lovely aroma and enhances the overall flavor of this aromatic cake

💡Don’t forget!

Always use a scale to measure ingredients for accuracy!

🕐How to make the simple Marble Cake

Making the Marble Cake: a bowl with mixed butter, sugar and vanilla extract
Cream butter with sugar in a large mixing bowl using a handheld mixer
An image of the mixing bowl with cream, sugar and added vanilla and eggs to make the Marble cake
Add vanilla and eggs to the mixture
This is a bowl with Added flour, baking powder and milk into the batter mix
Add flour, baking powder and milk into the batter mix
A bowl with the chocolate mix
Add cocoa powder and milk into 1 cup of cake batter
A baking pan with yellow and brown batter
With a dessert spoon dollop batter into pan, alternating between vanilla batter and chocolate batter
The Marble Cake is ready!
The Marble Cake is ready!

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FAQs about the Marble Cake

Can I use cake flour instead of all-purpose flour?

Typically, you need to use the type of flour that the recipe calls for. Although both flours make identical batter, the end results are different. Cake flour has less protein compared to the all-purpose flour. That means that if you substitute all-purpose flour for cake flour in a recipe, you may end up with a cake that will be sunken in the center and simply will not work correctly.

Can I use regular cocoa powder instead of unsweetened natural cocoa powder?

For the best results in this fluffy marble cake recipe, use unsweetened natural cocoa powder. It provides a rich, deep chocolate flavor without adding extra sugar, ensuring the cake stays perfectly balanced and not overly sweet. Alternatively, you can use Dutch Cocoa powder.

Why should ingredients be at room temperature?

Room temperature ingredients mix better, resulting in a smoother, more uniform batter. This is crucial for creating a moist cake that cooks evenly. Butter, eggs, and milk should all be brought to room temperature before starting for this recipe.

How do I create the marble effect with the batter?

To achieve the classic marble effect, alternate spoonfuls of vanilla and chocolate batter in your pan. Then, use a knife to gently swirl the two together. Remember, the beauty of a marble cake lies in its unique patterns, so there’s no need to be precise with your swirls. Be free and playful and see what you create as your personal and unique pattern. It will always be fun!

Can I enjoy this cake without chocolate frosting?

Absolutely! We like this marble cake without any topping or cream cheese frosting. This marble cake is delicious on its own, with thick slices showcasing the beautiful vanilla and chocolate swirls. It’s perfectly sweet and moist, so you can skip the frosting and enjoy the natural flavors.

📖 RECIPE CARD

Slices of the marble cake

How to make the simple Marble Cake

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The Marble Cake, with its eye-catching vanilla and chocolate swirls, is perfect for any occasion. It's a childhood favorite that's both elegant and tasty. Using everyday ingredients like sugar, butter, flour, eggs, and cocoa powder, this recipe creates a fluffy, moist cake that's a visual delight.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8 slices
Calories 226 kcal

Equipment

  • handheld mixer (or stand mixer, or a whisk)
  • 2 mixing bowls
  • 9” x 13” pan
  • spatula
  • dessert spoon
  • fork

Ingredients
 
 

For the Cake batter

  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup whole milk room temperature

For the Chocolate swirl batter

  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk room temperature

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 340 ℉. Line a 9” x 13” pan with parchment paper
  • In a large mixing bowl, add butter, sugar and vanilla. Mix with a handheld mixer on low speed until combined. Continue beating for a 2 minutes or until butter turns creamy and fluffy
    Making the Marble Cake: a bowl with mixed butter, sugar and vanilla extract
  • Add eggs, one at a time, and beat briefly to combine
    An image of the mixing bowl with cream, sugar and added vanilla and eggs to make the Marble cake
  • Add flour, baking powder and salt. Start to mix together on a low speed
  • Add milk. Continue to mix on low speed until the cake batter is smooth and creamy
    This is a bowl with Added flour, baking powder and milk into the batter mix
  • Pour 1 cup of cake batter to a mixing bowl. Add cocoa powder and milk and stir by hand until combined
    A bowl with the chocolate mix
  • Spoon dollops of vanilla and chocolate batter into pan, alternating between the two for the marble effect; you don't need to look for perfection
    This is a pan featuring layers of the marble cake
  • Keep adding layers until all the batter is used, then smooth out the top
    A baking pan with yellow and brown batter
  • Bake for approximately 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean
  • Transfer cake to a rack and allow to cool completely. Cut into slices to serve.
    Slices of the marble cake

Notes

  • This is a cake that utilizes one cake batter
  • You don’t need to add frosting or icing for this recipe but you are free to do so if you wish
  • Keep butter, eggs, milk at room temperature for this recipe

Nutrition

Serving: 1Calories: 226kcalCarbohydrates: 44gProtein: 6gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.5gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.02gCholesterol: 64mgSodium: 84mgPotassium: 93mgFiber: 1gSugar: 20gVitamin A: 123IUCalcium: 66mgIron: 2mg
Keyword childhood favorite marble cake, classic marble cake, easy marble cake, marble cake, simple marble cake
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