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Vanilla Chocolate Marble Cake

Updated: Mar 9, 2021

The best of both worlds: soft buttery vanilla cake with chocolate swirls, I am talking about the best marble cake. This recipe is for a simple one bowl marble cake batter. It is so versatile you can make it a bundt cake, pound cake or a layer cake with a rich chocolate buttercream frosting, as I did here.

The softest vanilla cake with dark chocolate cake swirls: the best Marble Cake Recipe!

frosted cake

What is the secret of a delicious marble cake?

The most important part of this cake recipe is having all the ingredients at room temperature and not to skip on the mixing time. To ensure a good mixing ability of the ingredients it is essential to have all the ingredients at room temperature. Especially the butter has to be very soft so that it can mix nicely with the oil and sugar, you will see how pale and fluffy the mixture gets after 4 minutes of mixing. At this point I would like to remind you not to skip on the mixing time as mixing this cake batter increases the amount of air and lightness of the batter. Only then it bakes into this delicious soft cake with millions of fine pores. Don't forget to not over mix the batter after adding the flour. Only mix it until it is just combined. Mixing the cake batter for too long after the flour in incorporated leads to a rubbery cake as the gluten gets activated. Avoid that by only mixing it as long as needed at this point.

Keeping all these tips in mind will ensure you a delicious cake!

cake slice

Vanilla Chocolate Marble Cake

cake slice marble cake

Ingredients for 4 6-inch cake layers

Marble cake:

1 1/4 cups (250 g) sugar

2 1/2 cups (300 g) all purpose flour

1/3 cup (40 g) cornstarch

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

4 eggs

1 cup (240 ml) butter milk

1/4 cup unsalted butter, very soft

1/2 cup (120 ml) vegetable oil

3 teaspoons vanilla

3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tbsp milk

Chocolate buttercream:

2 cups (454 g) butter

9 egg whites

2 1/4 cups (450 g) brown sugar

8 oz (226 g) dark chocolate, melted

1/2 cup (50 g) dark cocoa powder

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup (60 g) powdered sugar (for swirls on top)


Step 1:

Start off with a medium sized bowl. Sift in flour, baking soda, baking powder and cornstarch. In a large mixing bowl combine the sugar, butter, salt, and oil. Mix for about 4 minutes. The mixture should be very fluffy and lighter in color. Add eggs and butter milk. Mix it until fluffy. Sift in flour, cornstarch, baking powder and baking soda and mix until everything is thoroughly incorporated. Separate about 1 cup of the mixture and add cocoa powder and milk. Mix until smooth.

Step 2:

Divide the batter evenly among 2 6-inch cake pans. Add the chocolate cake batter in dollops and swirl it in. Bake for 38 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each layer comes out clean. Cool the layers in the pans for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Step 3:

For the Swiss meringue buttercream whisk egg whites and sugar in a fat-free heatproof bowl and place it on a pot with simmering water (bain-marie). Whisk it continually until soft peaks form for about 10 minutes. The mixture is warm enough when the sugar has fully dissolved.

Step 4:

In the meantime cut the chocolate in small pieces and melt 3/4 of it in a microwave safe bowl. Heat it in 30 second intervals and mix it after each interval. When everything is melted add the rest of the chopped chocolate and mix until everything is melted. Take the meringue out of the water bath and whisk it with a stand mixer or hand mixer until stiff peaks form. Mix in the butter in small pieces. Keep mixing it until it comes together in a smooth buttercream. Add the vanilla, and melted chocolate. Mix it until smooth. In a small bowl combine some buttercream with the cocoa powder. This helps preventing the cocoa powder to form chunks. When it is smooth add it to the rest of the buttercream and mix it in. If you want a more intense color add some black cocoa powder.

Step 5:

To decorate the cake, cut each layer one time horizontally to get 4 cake layers. Place the bottom layer on a plate and spread a thin layer of chocolate buttercream on top and smooth it out. Add the second cake layer and repeat the step two times. Cover the cake with buttercream on the top and its sides. Smooth it out and let it cool in the fridge for about 40 minutes or place it in the freezer for 8 to 10 minutes.

Step 6:

When the cake is cooled add a final layer of buttercream and smooth it. I like to add some texture with a shaped cake comb. Pipe a rope boarder on top of the cake and add some sprinkles if desired. To achieve a better piping consistency of the buttercream mix in powdered sugar to stiffen it.


marble cake with slices

**Pro Tips**

  • A shaped cake comb gives this cake extra dimension

  • this is my best chocolate frosting recipe with an intense chocolate flavor and great texture!


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5 Tips for the perfect


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