Cakes · Classic Recipes

The Marble Cake


I think that my favourite way to eat cake is having it as a layer cake. I mean I do love single layer cakes and have my fair share of them on my blog but there’s just something about a layer cake that is more enjoyable to eat. Slicing it through, getting lottsa thick layers of cake and frosting that is stick-to-your-fork moist, it’s really quite seductive if you ask me 😉

marble cake front slice

My love for marble cakes has stayed with me through the years never being overshadowed by other cake flavours. Having already perfected one version of marble cake, I knew I still had to make one more into a layer cake. I was actually just going to use that same recipe, double it and top it with chocolate frosting because it is by far one of the most amazing cakes on my blog. The only thing that stopped me was that I wanted to get the same fluffiness of my favourite vanilla cake and while the flavour of that marble cake is out of this world and the texture is melt-in-your-mouth tender, I had to see how much further I could step into the marble cake world.

I am soo happy with how this cake has turned out! I pretty much just merged those two cake, marble and vanilla recipes, together, tweaked a bit here and there and ended up with something really special 🙂


Marble cake has two parts to it, the vanilla portion and the chocolate. Both are super important and combined together they create the ultimate cake experience. One of the main issues with marble cakes is that the flavours can be a little lacking coming off as bland. This is weird since there is quite a bit going on but it’s the truth. Sometimes recipes focus so much on the textures that the flavours are overlooked so I wanted to make sure that didn’t happen here. I looked at each part of the cake separately first:

The vanilla batter

This is the main part of the cake as it is also the base for the chocolate batter. I based this part mainly off of my vanilla cake. I initially tried to tweak it slightly by using all butter in the hopes to boost the flavour as well as giving the cake a bit more of a tighter crumb but I felt like in doing so I actually lost something in the overall cake! weird I know but removing the oil made a difference that I didn’t really want so I ended up just using my original butter AND oil mix 🙂

To thicken up the batter a little, I did up the sour cream in place of some of the milk. This helps make perfect swirls in the final cake as well as give the most amazzzzingg marble cake texture!

The chocolate batter

The chocolate cake part of marble cake is really just a chocolate flavoured vanilla cake that is swirled into the batter. I looked into this part ALOT trying to figure out what was the best way to achieve both a good chocolatey flavour and a cakey texture. It was between using either cocoa powder or melted chocolate, both are super delicious but both give very different results. Melted chocolate gives more of a brownie-like texture which is good but I didn’t want that in this cake, so cocoa powder it was 🙂

To get the most out of the cocoa powder, I make a paste by stirring in some hot water, splash of oil and a bit of sugar. This mixture gives such a DELICIOUS chocolate flavour and texture in the cake, it’s just incredible!


It took me forever to decide what to fill and frost this cake with! you would think that is an easy decision but there’s just so much that could be paired with this cake, the options are endless! I settled on either one of these two frostings: this chocolate cream cheese frosting or the milk chocolate frosting written below. Both of these frostings are marvelous with this cake so I’m sharing both and leaving the decision up to you on which to use 😉 🙂

Whichever one you use, the cake will be delicious!


I wanted to take a picture of the whole cake for you guys but trying to hide cake from my family is actually impossible! these 3 slices were all I was able to save for picture taking. Even these 3 weren’t left alone till morning!

This cake is absolutely splendid and I can’t wait to make it again!


Enjoy my friends 😀 and save me a slice will ya! Tag @dutchbakerblog with all your dutch baker bakes on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter 🙂

The Marble Cake

Makes 1 layered 8 or 9 inch cake, a 9 x 13 inch cake or about 24 cupcakes.


  • 2 1/2 cups (312gms) minus 3 tablespoons all purpose flour*
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch/cornflour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 scant (less than full) teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup  (100gms) softened butter
  • 1 1/2 cups (300gms) white sugar, preferably caster/super fine
  • 1/4 cup (60mls) oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup (180gms) sour cream, plain yoghurt can be substituted
  • 3/4 cup (180mls) milk

For the chocolate batter

  • 1/4 cup (24gms) + 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons hot water
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Chocolate frosting

  • 250gms softened butter
  • 3/4 cup (70gms) cocoa powder
  • 2 1/2 – 3 cups (300gms) icing sugar
  • 3 – 4 tablespoons evaporated milk (any type of cream can be used instead)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Alternative Frostings


  1. Grease and flour the cake pans very well then line the bottoms with baking paper. These cakes are quite delicate so I highly recommend taking the extra step of lining at least the bottoms with the baking paper to prevent the cakes from sticking. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 160C/325F.
  2. In a large bowl, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cornstarch/cornflour and salt and whisk until very well combined. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk butter until creamy then add in the sugar gradually. Once combined, add in 2 tablespoons of the oil and whisk until mixture is paled in colour and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes (click here for references).
  4. Add in the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil then the eggs one at a time whisking well in between each addition. Add in vanilla extract and whisk to combine.
  5. Alternate in the dry ingredients with the milk and sour cream in alternating batches starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Make sure you whisk the last addition of dry ingredients until *just* combined taking care not to over mix. Batter will be on the thick side.
  6. Remove 1 1/2 cups of batter and divide the rest of the batter between cake pans. Add the cocoa powder into a small bowl and pour the hot water, oil and sugar on top. Whisk until a thick and smooth paste forms.
  7. To the reserved batter, stir in the chocolate mix and whisk until combined. Dollop spoonfuls of the chocolate batter onto the vanilla batter, I make about 6 or 7 per cake pan. Using a knife, swirl the batters together, I suggest once vertically and once horizontally . Don’t over swirl or else the batters may blend together.
  8. Bake the cakes for about 20 to 25 minutes until baked through and a toothpick or knife comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for a minimum of 40 to 45 minutes before removing onto a wire rack to cool completely.

For the frosting

  1. Whip butter until light and creamy, 2 – 3 minutes. Add in the cocoa powder and whip until smooth.
  2. Alternately add in the icing sugar and evaporated milk and whisk on high for 2 minutes until fluffy and creamy. Add more evaporated milk as needed. Whisk in vanilla to taste.
  3. Fill and frost the cooled cakes as desired.

*Cake flour can be used in place of the all purpose flour and cornstarch, use 2 cups + 2 tablespoons.

Recipe by the dutch baker.


7 thoughts on “The Marble Cake

  1. I am so excited about trying this cake! We have plenty of birthday’s coming up over the next several months, so a cake always has to be made. I love a good marble cake and to be honest I have only every eaten and made a loaf marble cake…which is so not the same. I totally love this, thanks my friend. xxx


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