Marble Cake with Buttercream Frosting

Super moist chocolate and vanilla swirled marble cake frosted with vanilla bean buttercream frosting and dark chocolate ganache! 

Hello friends, it’s been like a whole month since I posted a cake recipe! I’ve been wanting to make a marble cake recipe for you guys for the longest time but I feel like there are so many recipes out there. One thing I did notice is that most of them are made with chocolate buttercream so I changed it up a little with vanilla bean frosting! 

Ok, let’s talk about the details. We have a fairly dense vanilla and chocolate marbled cake. It’s frosted with a vanilla bean buttercream frosting and each layer is also topped with a dark chocolate ganache. It really is the best of both worlds here. 

How to make a marble cake? 

Marble cakes are much simpler than you would think. Some recipes may have you make two separate cake batters for the vanilla and chocolate but I’m not that cruel. I made a basic vanilla cake recipe, using C&H Golden Brown Sugar for extra moisture and flavor, of course. Then I separated the batter in half and added the last ¼ cup of flour to one half and a ¼ cup of cocoa powder to the other half. 

To create the marble cake layers, just place globs (I used a 2 Tbsp scoop for this) of the vanilla and chocolate batter into the cake pans, filling it about halfway. Then use a toothpick to go back and forth, creating swirls. Make sure to get close to the edge of the pan as well, you want the batter to blend well. 

Important ingredients for chocolate and vanilla bean marble cake with buttercream frosting:

  • Flour: I use all-purpose flour for this recipe, I wouldn’t swap it for cake flour. 
  • Cocoa Powder: I use a high quality dutch-process cocoa powder because the flavor is more intense and pleasant and it also doesn’t change the acidity of the cake. 
  • Sour Cream: I have tested SO MANY cake recipes lately and the best flavor and texture came from a combination of milk and sour cream. 
  • Butter and Oil: I use a combination of unsalted butter and oil because butter gives good flavor but oil helps keep the cake more moist for a longer period of time. 
  • Vanilla Bean Paste: kind of necessary for the vanilla bean buttercream, unless you have real vanilla beans.

How to make vanilla bean buttercream frosting?

Alright friends, we need to chat about this for a second. If you bake cakes occasionally or frequently, I HIGHLY recommend vanilla bean paste for the buttercreams. It is a total game changer. It’s certainly more pricey than an imitation vanilla extract but it’s really not that much more than a high quality vanilla extract. 

I ran out recently and started using some cheap vanilla (that just smelled like alcohol) and my desserts were bleh. The second most important step in this vanilla bean buttercream is whipping. Make sure to whip the frosting for a solid 5 minutes on medium high speed after adding in the C&H Confectioners Sugar. 

This chocolate and vanilla bean marble cake with buttercream frosting is definitely one of my favorites. It doesn’t get much better than combining chocolate and vanilla in such a beautiful way.

If you make this, make sure to rate and leave a review. Don’t forget to tag me @baranbakery on instagram and let me know what you think. As always, have a blessed and happy baking!

Love, B

[mv_create key=”75″ type=”recipe” title=”Marble Cake with Vanilla Bean Buttercream” thumbnail=””]

This post was sponsored by C&H Sugar, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Baran Bakery possible!

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  1. Hi there, can the cake be made 48 hours in advance and frosted the day before serving? Will it dry out the cake? Thanks

    • Hi! If you make it 48 hours in advance it will still be good but it would stay more fresh if you let them cool for an hour, wrap them in plastic wrap, place them in a freezer bag and freeze them.
      Then you can frost it while they’re frozen and leave it at room temperature until serving.

      • Thanks so much. I want to make a 5 layer cake. So if I was to double this recipe and make 2 separate batters, adding 2/3 cocoa to one batter and 1/2 cup to the other, this should be OK?

      • Thanks so much. I want to make a 5 layer cake. So if I was to double this recipe and make 2 separate batters, adding 2/3 cocoa to one batter and 1/2 cup of flour to the other, this should be OK?

      • Hi Sonja, theoretically yes but I haven’t tried it 🙈 you can also just try making my 6 inch vanilla cake and my 6 inch chocolate cake and swirling the two. You would get 6 layers if you did that though but I know for sure it would work lol

    • Hi jade! I haven’t tried it with this specific one but I have tried it with similar recipes and it always works fine 🙂 I use the bobs red mill or King Arthur 1:1 substitute!

  2. Hi! If I wanted to make this into a 3 layer 8 inch cake how much cocoa powder would I add? I would think it would be more than 1/4 cup ; maybe 1/3? Thanks in advance!

  3. This was fantastic! I made it for my boy’s 6th Birthday and it was absolutely amazing. Got me many compliments! I did not get a lot of swirl in my cake but i think it’s because i didn’t want to over do it lol nevertheless it was brilliant and easy to make!
    Ps: I paired it with Swiss Vanilla bean Meringue cream .
    Keeping this recipe!

      • Wanted to make this but with coloring the buttercream frosting and the chocolate ganache, so I wanted to change it to a white chocolate ganache (coloring it yellow). Someone said it might need to be thinned out with coconut oil since white and dark chocolate are different. How would you go about doing this?

  4. Hi! I want to make this cake for my boyfriend’s birthday but I’m not sure about how you did the border on top? You said you used a bench scraper, and I don’t have one, but I do have a offset spatula. Can I do it with the spatula? And how?
    If not is it better to let the chocolate come down?
    Thank you in advance and kisses from Portugal

    • Hi Sofia, yeah you can totally use an offset Spatula or anything with a flat edge. If you can’t get the border high enough to hold the chocolate, just let it drip off the edge, it will still be beautiful and delicious!

  5. This is the most delicious cake my daughter and I have made for the family. We carefully read the recipe (3-6″ cake pans needed) and bought all the necessary ingredients but we kicked quality up by buying Droste cocoa (amazing!) and vanilla bean paste which made all the difference in flavor. Easy cake to make – we used a Bundt pan and baked it for about 45 minutes – perfect color!

    • Hi yes it can, baking time may be around the same time. Once the tops don’t look wet anymore, press on the center slightly and if it springs back it’s done baking! If not give it a few minutes before trying again

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