Marbled Layer Cake

For her birthday, Fuzz requested a marble cake with chocolate icing and an assortment of decorating items so that she could decorate it herself. I think she did the job quickly because she’d spent a whole day at Six Flags and was ready to cut the cake and eat it.

Birthday Cake

Happy Birthday Fuzz!

marble cake

The recipe I used was my second favorite yellow cake, a recipe from Cook’s Illustrated with a little cocoa powder and mini chocolate chips added to part of the batter to make the marbling. But something went wrong. People ate the cake, but it was dense, tight crumbed and not very high.  I’m not sure what happened.  Needless to say, the next day I threw out the remaining cake and made a new one using a completely different recipe — Grace Parisi’s Marbled Layer Cake from Food & Wine Magazine.

Marble Cake Slice

This cake was better, especially the icing which was fantastic and will be made again soon! As for the crumb, it was what you’d expect from a yellow cake made with all-purpose flour. I think from now on I need to stick to yellow cakes made with cake flour.  It makes a big difference.

Marble Cake

So I’m still on the hunt for the perfect marbled layer cake.

I think I’ll make a third recipe using Shirley Corriher’s yellow cake as a base.

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  1. CindyD says

    Have you thought about making the marble cake into a zebra cake? Trying one is on my list someday – but no baking this week because it’s supposed to be even hotter than it has been! (If a list of books one wants to read is a TBR list, then is a list of items you want to bake a TBB list?)

  2. says

    Both cakes look very good. I sometimes enjoy a more dense cake, but it depends on the recipe. With my chocolate obsession, I’d probably want to switch to mostly chocolate with the white cake marbled in. 🙂

  3. says

    Happy belated birthday to Fuzz! Looks like she and her friend were having a good time.
    I’ve never had a marble cake that I loved and thought I have to make this myself. I wonder why because I like all of the components.

  4. Dee says

    Yesterday was my son’s 12th birthday! We made a yellow cake from a Trader Joe’s mix. People have rved about the mixes, but I didn’t care for it. First it totally stuck to my nonstick & sprayed pan…coming out in 2 pieces 🙁 And the flavor was odd…tasted like their cornbread mix! The rest of my family loved it, however! We ended up making cake & frosting parfaits!

  5. says

    Dee, I guess the cake gods weren’t smiling down on us this week.

    Sue, maybe you can help me find a good marble cake. I’m going to try marbling Shirley Corriher’s recipe.

    Lisa, the icing will satisfy your chocolate needs.

    Cindy, zebra cake looks neat. but I want to find a good basic marble cake first.

  6. says

    Hi Anna,
    I’ve made Dorie Greenspan’s marble pound cake which was great, using bittersweet chocolate.
    Perhaps you could double the recipe to make it into a two layer cake?

  7. Nadia Mustapha says

    Would you be interested in trying Baked bakery’s marble cake recipe? I found this recipe on the net:

    Marble Bundt Cake

    Adapted from Baked – New Frontiers in Baking. This is the best homemade marble cake I’ve ever had!
    Yield : 1 (10 inch) Bundt Cake



    6 ounces, 170 grams dark chocolate (60 to 72 % cocoa), coarsely chopped
    1 teaspoon unsweetened dark cocoa powder


    3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (2 ¼ tsp. single-acting)
    1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
    8 ounces salted butter, soft but cool, cut into 1-inch pieces
    2 1/4 cups sugar
    4 large eggs
    2 cups sour cream
    1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


    MAKE THE CHOCOLATE SWIRL : In the top of a double boiler over simmering Water, melt the chocolate. When the chocolate is completely smooth, add the cocoa powder and whisk until thoroughly incorporated. Remove the bowl from the heat and set aside.

    MAKE THE SOUR CREAM CAKE : Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray the inside of a 10-inch bundt pan with a nonstick cooking spray or simply use a silicon bundt pan.

    Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together into a medium bowl.

    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until smooth and ribbon like. Scrape down the bowl and add the sugar. Beat until the mixture is smooth and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the bowl and mix for 30 seconds.

    Add the sour cream and vanilla and beat just until incorporated. Add the dry ingredients in three additions, scraping down the bowl before each addition and beating only until each addition is just incorporated. Do not over mix.

    Pour one third of the cake batter into the chocolate swirl mixture. Use a spatula to combine the chocolate mixture and the batter to make a smooth chocolate batter. Spread half of the remaining batter in the prepared pan. Use an ice cream scoop to dollop the chocolate cake batter directly on top of the plain cake batter. The dollops will touch and mostly cover the plain batter, but some plain batter will peek through. Use a butter knife to swirl the chocolate and plain cake batter together. Pour the remaining plain batter on top of the chocolate layer and smooth it out. Once again, use the knife to pull through the layers to create a swirl.

    Bake in the center of the oven for about 1 hour, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, or until a sharp knife inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

    Remove from the oven and let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Use a knife to loosen the edges of the cake and invert it into the wire rack and let cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.
    STORAGE : The cake will keep for 3 days. tightly covered. at room temperature.

  8. says

    Both cakes look good to me! I’ve never made a marble cake from scratch. Happy birthday Fuzz!!! How lucky to get 2 birthday cakes!

  9. says

    Happy Birthday, Fuzz! That frosting does look de-lish (despite what my husband would say).
    I have a marble cake that I like, but it’s more a simple French Yogurt Cake, so it’s not the same as classic yellow cake, but even good enough to eat without any frosting!

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