Marble Cake Recipe {From Scratch}

Best, classic, old fashioned, quick, easy marble cake recipe, homemade with simple ingredients from scratch. Soft, moist, tender but firm vanilla cake with chocolate swirls.

If you can’t decide between a chocolate cake or vanilla cake, then this is the recipe for you. It has the perfect balance of both flavors. Top it off with smooth and creamy chocolate ganache and that really takes it over the top.

This dessert is great to serve at parties and even brunch and would also be lovely for birthday parties and weddings. It’s just as delicious as my Best Pound Cake and this Sour Cream Pound Cake Recipe.

What is chocolate marble cake?

It’s a traditional cake that has a streaked appearance through the combination of chocolate and vanilla cake batters. It’s dense and firm but still very soft and moist and the texture is very similar to a pound cake.

How to make marble cake or marble pound cake or marble bundt cake?

This batter is so versatile that is works in a bundt pan, loaf pan and round pans. The process and ingredients are the same for all.

  1. Cream together butter and sugar.
  2. Mix in eggs and vanilla extract.
  3. Separately, whisk together flour and baking powder.
  4. Add this to the wet mixture, alternating with buttermilk.
  5. Scoop a third of the batter and mix in cocoa powder.
  6. Pour half vanilla batter in pan. Top it off with spoonfuls of chocolate batter.
  7. Pour remaining vanilla batter. Top it off with remaining spoonfuls of chocolate batter.
  8. Swirl batter.
  9. Bake.
  10. Let it cool.
  11. Pour ganache.

How to marble a cake (marble cake design/chocolate swirls)?

The best way to do that is to start off by alternating chocolate and vanilla batter in the cake pan. Then, use a skewer to swirl the two batters together into a beautiful design. Make sure your skewer is reaching all the way through the batter but not scraping the bottom of the pan. Don’t “over-swirl” your cake because it will look muddy and messy and the swirls won’t be as clear and prominent.

Moist Marble Pound Cake

Tips and Techniques

  • All ingredients should be at room temperature– That’s because they blend together smoothly and evenly.
  • You must use cake flour- Because it creates the best firm but tender texture.
  • Use full-fat ingredients– Because they add a lot of moisture and richness to this cake.
  • Homemade buttermilk– I know this is not something we have on hand all the time but no worries. Make great buttermilk substitute at home by mixing together 1 cup whole milk with 1 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice. Let it sit for 5 minutes. Mix and then use in this recipe.
  • Don’t over-mix cake batter– Because this will yield a tough and it can also cause the cake to collapse/sink during baking.
  • Quality matters! Use best quality of vanilla extract you can find for best flavor. Rodelle and Nielsen Massey are both great brands.
  • Use unsalted butter- This prevents the cake from becoming too salty.
  • Temperature is key– Do not pour ganache over the cake until it has fully cooled down or else it will melt all over the cake and make a sticky mess.
  • Get creative! Add different extracts and zests to change the flavor of this cake slightly. The texture will still remain the same but a small change like that can give this classic cake more character. Try a little orange extract and zest or even a bit of almond extract.
  • Loaf pan vs. Round pan– The classic look obviously comes from a loaf pan but a round pan can also be used, which can be used to make a layer cake.
  • Preparing the pan– Generously, grease the pan with softened butter, using a pastry brush. Sprinkle pan with flour and toss it around until the entire pan is covered in a thin layer of grease and flour. Invert the pan over a sink and dump the excess flour. This prevents the cake from sticking to the pan and it allows it to be removed easily.
  • Decorate it! I didn’t decorate this time but after you have drizzled ganache, you you can toss some mini chocolate chips or sprinkles or even chopped nuts to make it very beautiful.
  • Marble cake icing- I prefer ganache but you can enjoy it with a dusting of powdered sugar or even Homemade Whipped Cream or Chocolate Buttercream Frosting.
How to Make Marble Cake With Chocolate Ganache

Other Classic Cake Recipes

Easy Marble Cake Recipe
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Easy Marble Pound Cake Recipe

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 50 mins
Total Time: 1 hr
Best, classic, old fashioned, quick, easy marble cake recipe, homemade with simple ingredients. Soft, moist, tender, firm vanilla cake with chocolate swirls.
Yield: 9 Slices



  • 1/2 cup Butter, Unsalted, Room temperature
  • 1 cup Granulated sugar
  • 3 Eggs, Large
  • 2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups Cake flour
  • 1.5 tsp Baking powder
  • 2/3 cup Buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup Cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp Water, Hot

Chocolate Ganache

  • 1 cup Chocolate chips, Semisweet
  • 1/2 cup Heavy cream


  • In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. This takes about 5 minutes.
  • Add eggs and vanilla extract and mix until smooth.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder.
  • Add the dry flour mixture into the wet mixture, alternating with buttermilk and mix until just combined.
  • Remove 1/3 of the batter into a separate bowl. Keep aside. 
  • In another small bowl, add cocoa powder and water and mix until smooth.
  • Pour this chocolate mixture to the bowl of reserved batter and mix until smooth.
  • To assemble this cake, pour half the vanilla cake batter in a greased/floured loaf pan (Dimensions: 9×5). 
  • Drop spoonfuls of the chocolate batter on top. Don’t spread it.
  • Then, pour the remaining vanilla batter on top of the chocolate layer. 
  • Drop spoonfuls of the remaining chocolate batter on top.
  • Use a skewer or knife to swirl the two batters together. 
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until an inserted toothpick in the center comes out clean. Rotate the pan halfway through for more even baking.
  • Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes. Then, remove it from the pan and place it on a cooling rack and let it cool completely. 
  • While the cake is cooling, prepare the ganache icing: Add chocolate chips and heavy cream in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in 20 second increments and mixing often until icing is silky smooth. 
  • Drizzle this on top of the cooled cake. Enjoy!


  • Read all my tips above.
  • Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days. 


Calories: 451kcal, Carbohydrates: 56g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 22g, Saturated Fat: 13g, Cholesterol: 104mg, Sodium: 150mg, Potassium: 199mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 35g, Vitamin A: 665IU, Vitamin C: 0.1mg, Calcium: 106mg, Iron: 1.1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Calories: 451
Author: Abeer Rizvi

Until next time, tata my lovelies!

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