Learn how to marble a cake so you can turn any basic cake into an impressive treat perfect for guests! You’ll want to marble everything you bake!
This is one of those little baking tricks that really comes in handy when you want a little bit of a nicer presentation for whatever it is that you’re baking. It seems like it should be easy enough, but there’s definitely a trick to getting a perfect marble effect throughout your whole cake or loaf! I was surprised to find that there were a few extra steps that I didn’t expect the first time I tried to make a simple marble loaf, but I was also really delighted at how well it turned out. I definitely recommend learning how to marble a cake. It’s fun and it really does make your baking that much more tempting. My kids aren’t usually all that excited when I bake a basic cake, but they were all over this marble loaf!
Supplies Needed to Marble a Cake
- A loaf or cake pan
- A butter knife
- Two bowls for your two colors of cake batter
- A prepared marble cake batter recipe (I’ll share an easy trick for this as well)
- Two tablespoons, or slightly larger metal serving spoons if you have them
It really doesn’t take any fancy tools to marble a cake, just a few extra minutes of your time!
How to Marble a Cake: Trick for Using a Cake Mix
If you have a cake recipe that you want to use for your marble cake, excellent. I’m hoping to make a chocolate raspberry marble cake this summer using raspberries from our garden, but they aren’t ready yet. Another easy trick though is to just use a boxed cake mix or a batch of homemade cake mix, if you prefer.
All you need to do is grab a yellow or white cake mix and measure out how much of it there is. Divide that in half and put half in each of your two bowls.
Add two heaping tablespoons of cocoa powder to one of the bowls of cake mix, then prepare each half cake mix as directed on the box, using half of the wet ingredients called for in each bowl. So if your cake mix calls for two eggs, place one egg in each bowl, for example. You can also use chia seeds like I always do instead, of course! 🙂
Actually, the chia seeds are perfect in this recipe because they just make it seem like there are little pieces of vanilla bean in the white cake portion of the marble cake. The chia seeds actually make a plain cake mix better in this case, I think. 🙂
And then you’re ready to marble!
How to Marble a Cake
To lay the foundation for the marbling process, you need to create two levels of checkerboard pattern with your cake mixes. So you’ll drop in a pattern like this for your first layer:
Then drop in an opposite pattern like this for your second layer:
For your second layer, make sure you switch your colors. So if you used white batter in a particular corner, place a dollop of chocolate batter directly on top. This will ensure even, professional-looking marbling later on.
Each of my “squares” of batter in my checkerboard pattern was about two tablespoons, by the way.
Once you’ve filled your cake pans this way, it’s time to marble!
First, take your butter knife and place it down into the batter, reaching all the way to the bottom.
Next, draw your knife back and forth in a zig-zag pattern horizontally through the batter.
Finally, draw your knife back and forth in a zig-zag pattern vertically through the batter.
Don’t over do it or you’ll just end up with blended colors and muddy-looking cake rather than the marble effect that you’re going for!
How to Marble a Cake: The Results!
Bake your cake according to your recipe’s instructions, then it’s time for the fun part!
Cutting into a marble cake to see how it turned out just never gets old!
Do you have a different method to marble a cake? What two flavours would you marble together?
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Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.