Similar to ribbon cake, marble cake is infamous for its mottled decoration that's literally inside out, but with a few exceptions. Firstly, this cake has a marble appearance as opposed to the more colorful variety. It also doesn't require food coloring like ribbon cake does for its patterns and instead achieves its design by slightly blending a chocolate batter with a vanilla batter before it's baked.


However, the mixing techniques to slightly combine the alternating batters for both cakes are pretty much the same; these include dolloping, streaking and twirling the batter together.

Similar to the ribbon cake recipe, this marble cake recipe will employ the dolloping technique for the two batters. To help it stand out, the cake will also be flavored with espresso and glazed with a nice chocolate fudge icing.

Cake and icing recipe


  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup brewed espresso
  • 1 tsp salt

Icing ingredients

  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 2 cups cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Cake directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a 9 x 13' rectangular sheet pan with butter and dust with flour.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
  3. Stir the milk and vanilla extract together in another bowl. Set aside.
  4. Cream together the sugar and butter in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer until light and fluffy.
  5. Beat the eggs into the mixture one at a time, fully incorporating each in between.
  6. Fold in the dry ingredients, alternating with the milk until all ingredients are fully incorporated.
  7. Separate the batter into two equal portions. Fold the cocoa powder and brewed espresso into one of the portions.
  8. Use 2 spoons to fill the sheet pan lined with a pan extender with both portions of batter; transfer both in alternating dollops.
  9. Bake the cakes for 25-30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  10. Turn over on a cooling rack to cool. The cakes can be stored for up to 3 days.

Icing directions

  1. Cream together the confectionary sugar and cocoa powder in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer until smooth.
  2. While the mixer is still on, gradually add the icing sugar and cream together.
  3. Mix together the milk and vanilla extract. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and cream together until it can be spread easily.
  4. Pour the fudge icing over the top of the cake and spread evenly over with a spatula. Serve immediately or seal and refrigerate.