It’s been an eventful few weeks. It’s okay then it’s scary, there’s nothing to do but then it’s a lot of work. Weather gets hot then cold, my kids are happy and then insane. Can we just agree that things are kinda tumultuous? The political, health, financial, and relational climate of this world is a hodgepodge right now, so it seemed fitting to share a dessert equally nutso: Marble Layer Cake. This is the dessert you go when you’re craving both chocolate and vanilla, and because it’s a slightly smaller batch recipe than I normally share here, you can feel okay about making it during these more isolated times. Let me tell you all about it.
My first experience with marble anything was at a Starbucks. I was always obsessed with their marble loaf and even shared a copycat recipe on this site a few years ago. I think a cake like this is a fun twist on a traditional chocolate or vanilla cake and makes a great alternative for the plain Janes in your life. Maybe you have a fussy eater in your house who doesn’t love fancy flavors? They’ll adore this! Maybe you’re normally an adventurous eater but you’re really just craving something that feels comforting and familiar? Again, this marble layer cake is the perfect choice. Chocolate and vanilla is always a safe choice, and let’s be honest- we could all use a little of that, right?
I’ll keep it short (and sweet!) today, but I do want to fill you in on a few recipe details. First, this makes a smallish cake. I baked my batter in a 10″ square pan, cut the cake in half, and stacked the two layers on top of one another to form a 10×5″ 2-layer cake. Alternatively, you could bake the batter in two small round pans and stack in that manner. Cakes this size are super easy to store in the freezer, so if you can’t eat it all ASAP, save the leftovers for later! Second, you can basically use whatever cocoa powder you prefer her. I used regular unsweetened, but a dark or dutch processed one would be fine too. Finally, this chocolate fudge frosting is super good, but the consistency will totally change in the fridge. I recommend serving at room temperature.
Do you have any birthdays or special occasions coming up? We can still celebrate, even in the midst of quanrantine! Give this marble layer cake a try and celebrate the people you love even if it’s from afar. Happy Tuesday and happy baking!
If you like this marble layer cake you should try:Print
Marble Layer Cake
This marble layer cake is a chocolate and vanilla swirled cake with a rich fudge frosting. Perfect for small batch baking!
- Prep Time: 25
- Cook Time: 45
- Total Time: 120
- Yield: 9 Servings
- Category: Dessert
For the cake:
- 1/3 cup (80 gm) hot coffee or water
- 1/3 cup (25 gm) cocoa powder
- 1–1/3 cups plus 2 extra tablespoons sugar, divided
- ¾ cup (170 gm) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2–1/4 cups (270 gm) cake flour
- 1 tablespoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons (200 gm) whole milk, at room temperature
- 2–1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the frosting:
- 1 cup (230 gm) unsalted butter
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 2 cups (230 gm) powdered sugar
- 1 cup (85 gm) cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons milk
To prepare the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 10” square pan, lining it the bottom with a cut out sheet of parchment paper. In lieu of a 10” pan you could also use two round 7” pans.
- In a small bowl, stir together the coffee (or hot water) and cocoa powder as well as 2 tablespoons of sugar. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and 1-1/3 cups of sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the eggs one at a time, stirring to combine each into the butter. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add half of the flour as well as the baking powder and salt. Stir on low and then add the vanilla and half of the milk. Add the remaining cake flour and then stir in the rest of the milk. Only stir until combined. Spoon out 1/3 of the batter and fold the cocoa powder mixture into it. Begin alternating dollops of the chocolate batter and the vanilla batter into your prepared pan(s) until all of the batter has been used. Smooth the top and bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean about 30 minutes for a 10” pan or 22-ish minutes for the two round pans. Allow to cool completely prior to frosting.
To prepare the frosting:
- In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and cream cheese on medium speed until combined, about 1-1/2 minutes. Add in the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla, salt, and milk, and stir on low until smooth and combined. Increase the speed briefly to fluff it up.
- Trim any dome off of the top of your cake(s). If you opted to bake your cake in a single 10” pan, cut the square in half to make two equal-sized rectangles. Spread frosting on one half of the cake and then top it with the remaining rectangle. Smooth frosting over the remaining cake and enjoy!