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Moist Marble Cake Recipe

Make this moist marble cake! Beautiful swirls of chocolate and vanilla, a rich and buttery cake made from scratch. Go ahead and make it today; you probably have all the ingredients in your kitchen.

Slices of marble cake on a cooling rack.

I found this marble cake recipe at Martha Stewart website, I went ahead and made few changes to make this cake moist, this marble cake recipe will keep the cake moist for a long time. Coffee is the best companion to this cake, but a chilled glass of milk will make your kids ask for more cake.

I have made marble pound cake, which is a hit on Pinterest and is one of the most viewed cake recipes on my blog besides, the red velvet cake, and coconut cake with frosting. So, you might want to give it a try but if you want to go lighter on calories then stick with the recipe or marble cake I’m sharing here.

This marble cake recipe is everything you want to taste in a marble cake, the balance between vanilla flavor and chocolate, moist and tender crumbs, let’s not forget the beautiful swirls and the mind-blowing aroma that will fill your kitchen while baking this beauty!

A marble cake freshly baked.


Although you can use melted chocolate to make a marble cake, this recipe is for everyone’s convenience so that we will stick with our all-time favorite unsweetened baking cocoa powder.

To make a good tasting marble cake, we should start by pre-heating the oven properly. A good cake batter can fail miserably if the oven is not preheated and can ruin the effort you have invested in the batter.

If you don’t have parchment paper, make sure to grease and then dust the baking pan with flour covering all the edges of the pan.

Two slices of moist marble cake served.

Now the batter. When the recipe asks for creaming the butter and sugar, do not skip it or use melted butter thinking, it will make the process of creaming faster. Creaming the butter with sugar until fluffy and lighter in texture makes the cake moist. Butter has a small amount of water that creates those tender crumbs when the cake is baking. Melting the butter will reduce the water and gives you a greasy cake instead of a moist cake.

After creaming the sugar and butter, add the oil, which is another ingredient that helps the cake stays moist longer. Add the eggs one at a time and then add half the dry ingredients (the flour, baking powder, salt) and then half the milk repeat this step and mix for a few seconds. Overbeating or mixing the cake batter will make it flat and tasteless.

Showing marble cake loaf on a cooling rack with milk on the side.

In a different bowl, mix the cocoa powder, with hot water, and the third mount of the previously prepared cake batter. In the cake pan spoon in the vanilla cake batter and the chocolate batter, try to make what looks like a chess board pattern. The batter will be liquid!

Over head shot of marble cake slices.


Using cake flour works just fine; in fact, the cake will be fluffier. Don’t change the amount of flour used, so if you are using 1 ¾ cup of all-purpose flour in this marble cake recipe, keep the ratio the same when using cake flour.

Close up shot of a freshly baked marble cake.


To avoid baking a dry cake, or a cake that drops in the middle, preheat the oven and make sure that if the recipe is asking you to bake the cake at 180C/350F that your oven temperature matches the same. Some ovens at 180C/350F are almost 200C/420F! I know this was shocking to me too and that’s why I always advice to have an oven thermometer.

Do not open the oven door in the first ten minutes of baking. Cold air will make the cake drop.

Don’t skip the toothpick test, always insert the toothpick or skewer in the middle of the cake, and if it comes out clean only then your cake is fully baked.

Moist marble cake slice.

This post was originally posted in April 2012, I have updated the post by editing the text and adding new images.

Moist Marble Cake, an easy recipe for an impressive beautiful and delicious cake. #marblecake #cakerecipe #cake

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  1. This is one gorgeous and delicious looking cake, Muna! Would love a slice of it right now!

  2. ohh wow…the marble cake looks absolutely delish…loved it !

  3. that is just gorgeous Arina! I always wondered how people get those beautiful swirls and patterns! now I know how, thanks so much for sharing!

  4. Do we have to add 2 1/4 tsp baking powder. For the cake.

  5. This cake was soooo good! Thank you!

  6. If I use baking soda instead of baking powder, what would the measurements be?

  7. hello Muna,
    Your cakes and recipes are straightforward and looks simply delicious.
    Thank you for sharing. Will definitely visit your site again.

    • Arinacooking

      Hi Annie, thanks a lot for stopping by and I hope you give more of my recipes a try 🙂

  8. My new best cake. I made it 4 times. Fifth is on the way 😍

  9. Wow I love marble cake so much! This recipe looks like the one! If I wanted to make a plain cake without the chocolate can I just omit the coco powder and hot water and bake it like normal? Will it taste good? Thanks!