How to Swirl a Marble Cake


Classic marble cake requires combining two colors of batter just enough to get the marbling, without mixing the two colors together. You can use any two colors you'd like, if you add food coloring, but vanilla and one chocolate -- in their natural colors -- are traditional. Once you've mastered the simple technique, you can use it for different types of cakes and cupcakes.

How to Swirl a Marble Cake
(Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media)

Things You'll Need

  • Yellow cake batter
  • Small bowl
  • Large bowl
  • Cocoa powder
  • Food coloring (optional)
  • Knife
Step 1

Prepare yellow cake batter from either a box mix or a recipe. The mixture should be about the constancy of thick pancake batter.

Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media
Step 2

Pour one-third of the batter into a small bowl. For every 1 cup of batter, add 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder. Mix until the batter is a uniform brown color. If you prefer, add food coloring to one or both of the bowls, adding color and mixing until you're happy with the depth of color. Start with a few drops of food coloring.

Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media
Step 3

Pour the rest of the yellow cake batter into the baking dish. Pour the chocolate cake batter on top, drizzling it to evenly cover the yellow layer.

Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media
Step 4

Start at one side of the baking dish and drag a knife in a swirl motion until you get to the other side of the dish. Make sure the knife is going all the way through the batter. Do not go over a spot more then once, because this can result in the two colors mixing together, instead of marbling.

Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media

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