One of my favorite scratch marble cakes is this Triple Layer Mocha Marble Cake, but last week I had to pull something together quickly for a Girl Scout pot luck and felt like using cake mix. Since I’d had good luck with the enhanced Orangesicle cake, I decided to push that luck a bit by using a different flavor mix, different proportions of flour, sugar, eggs and milk, and adding cocoa and sour cream to make a cake mix marble cake.
For the cake mix additions, I used a quarter of a recipe for the famous 1234 cake, a cake that traditionally calls for 1 cup of butter, 2 cups of sugar, 3 cups of cake flour and 4 eggs along with milk, baking powder and vanilla. But unlike 1234 cake where you have to pay careful attention to your creaming method, temperature of ingredients, how fast you add the eggs and type of flour, with this cake you just dump everything in! To be safe, I did add the flour last so I wouldn’t rough up the extra gluten. For this cake I used a 15.25 oz box of Pillsbury Moist Supreme Classic Yellow, but feel free to substitute your favorite brand of 15.25 oz vanilla, butter or yellow cake mix. Betty Crocker Golden Vanilla is particularly good. For the icing, I used my favorite scratch recipe.
Enhanced Marble Cake
- 1 box 15.25 oz of Pillsbury Moist Supreme Classic Yellow cake mix or Betty Crocker Golden Vanilla (two good flavors with pudding added)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/3 cup canola oil or any vegetable oil
- 4 tablespoons melted butter I used unsalted
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1 cup water
- 2/3 cup 3 oz all-purpose flour or 3/4 cup (3 oz) cake flour
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 1/2 oz unsweetened chocolate chopped
- 1 1/2 oz semisweet chocolate chopped
- 1 1/2 sticks 6 oz unsalted or salted butter, softened
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened natural cocoa powder
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons room temperature whole milk plus more if needed
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- Pinch or two of salt if using unsalted butter
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray two 9 inch round cake pans with sides that are at least 2 inches high, with flour-added baking spray.
- Combine cake mix, sugar, salt, eggs, vanilla, oil, butter, milk and water in a large bowl (do not add flour yet). Beat with an electric mixer for two minutes, scraping sides of bowl well. Add the flour and stir until mixed.
- In a small mixing bowl, mix together cocoa powder and sour cream. Stir in 1 cup of the vanilla batter.
- Divide vanilla batter evenly among pans. Drop globs of chocolate batter over the vanilla batter.
- Bake for 30 minutes on center rack or until cakes test done. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes, then carefully invert. Let cool completely.
- To make the frosting, melt both chocolates in microwave or double boiler and set aside to cool for about 30 minutes. Beat the butter until creamy. Stir in the cocoa power, about a cup of the powdered sugar, and the slightly cooled (it can be a little warm) melted chocolate. Scrape sides of bowl and beat well. Add remaining powdered sugar, then add milk, vanilla and salt, beating and scraping until you get the consistency you like.