Perfect Marble Cake

Perfect marble cake

2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
8 egg yolks, room temperature
3/4 cup whole milk, room temperature
2 teaspoon McCormick® Vanilla Extract
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup cocoa, good quality
Whipped Chocolate Buttercream
1 1/2 cups butter, at room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch table salt

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two 8-inch round cake pans buy 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 patter throughout the cake to gently achieve the marble effect.
Bake for 20-30* minutes or until an inserted toothpick is removed clean.
Start check 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 wire rack.
Whipped Chocolate Buttercream
In a the 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 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 covered this entire cake with a little left over, so feel free to use a healthy amount of cover sides.
Once 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.
Recipe adapted from

The Perfect Marble Cake with the Perfect Whipped Chocolate Buttercream!

Tips for success:

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 egg is key.  (You can check your eggs freshness by dissolving 2 tablespoons salt in 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 from thekitchn.

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.


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