I’ve never attempted a marble cake before, but it has always looked good to me. So when I saw a recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction where she actually made like 2 dozen cakes trying to find the very best marble cake recipe ever I was totally sold and had to try it.
Verdict: this recipe is the bomb.com. It is a rich, buttery yellow cake swirled with chocolate cake made with real Lindt chocolate bars- not cocoa powder, and it is completely amazing. I topped mine with chocolate fudge frosting, but you could top it with vanilla if you are going for a little less chocolate.
Notes from Sally: no substitutions. You have to use cake flour. You have to use buttermilk. You have to use room temperature ingredients. You have to use a real, good quality chocolate bar- not chocolate chips or cocoa powder.
One of my favorite things about this was the discovery that I did not need to make two different batters. You make one yellow cake batter and stir melted chocolate into part of it to make the chocolate part. Easy peasy.
Sally’s recipe post has a ton of tricks and tips and info about how and why this recipe came to be. I love her site, and this was one of her best posts ever.
If you want your cake to be soft and cakey, leave it out at room temperature. If you want it to be more dense/fudgey cover it and put it in the fridge overnight (this is how I like my cakes.)
This cake is too dangerous to keep in my house. I saved one slice each for my husband and kids, and the rest is going to a friend! It’s so good!
Original recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction
2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
4 large egg yolks, at room temperature
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
4 ounces bittersweet, milk, or semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped – good stuff, like Lindt or Ghiradelli or Cadbury.
Milk Chocolate Frosting:
1 and 1/4 cups (2.5 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cup natural unsweetened or dutch-process cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup heavy cream, half-and-half, or whole milk
optional: chocolate or rainbow sprinkles for decorating
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray or lightly butter two 9-inch cake pans. Set aside.
- Make the cake: Sift the cake flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.
- With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed in a large bowl until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the granulated and brown sugars and beat on high speed for 3-4 minutes until creamed. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed. With the mixer running on low speed, add the eggs then the egg yolks one at a time, then add the vanilla extract. Beat on medium-high speed until combined. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed. With the mixer running on low speed, add the dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with the buttermilk and mixing each addition just until incorporated. Be careful not to overmix.The batter will be slightly thick.
- Remove 1 cup of yellow batter and pour into a bowl. Melt 4 ounces of chocolate in the microwave, stopping and stirring every 20 seconds until completely smooth. Pour chocolate into the 1 cup of yellow batter you set aside and stir until combined.
- Pour an even layer of the yellow batter into each cake pan. Spoon chocolate batter on top. Using a knife, swirl the two batters together. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect.
- Bake the layers for 22-27 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one cake comes out clean. During bake time, loosely cover the cakes with aluminum foil if you find the tops are browning too quickly. Remove cakes from the oven and allow to cool completely in the pans set on a wire rack.
- Make the frosting: With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the butter on high speed in a large bowl until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla, and cream with the mixer running on low. Once added, increase to high speed and beat for 3 full minutes. Add 1-2 more Tablespoons confectioners’ sugar if frosting is too thin or 1-2 more Tablespoons of cream if frosting is too thick. Taste the frosting and add a pinch more salt if it’s too sweet.
- Frost and assemble cake: If needed, level cakes to create a flat surface. Place 1 cake layer on a cake stand or large serving plate. Evenly spread about 3/4 cup frosting on top. Top with 2nd cake and spread the remaining frosting all over the sides and top. I do a very thin layer at first for a crumb layer, stick the cake in the freezer for 10 minutes, and then do a thicker layer. Decorate with sprinkles if desired. Slice and serve.
- Cover any leftover cake and store at room temperature for 2-3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Make ahead tip: To prepare 1 day in advance, keep baked cakes covered at room temperature and refrigerate prepared frosting in an airtight container. Bring frosting to room temperature before spreading. Frosted cake can be frozen up to 2 months; thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving.