Marble Everyday Cake

Marble cake gives you the best of both worlds: dense & fudgy chocolate balanced by the light sweetness of vanilla.

This cake was inspired by one of my favorite Midwestern traditions  - having something sweet ready to serve if company drops by unexpectedly. This is the sort of everyday cake that is quick, easy, & universally liked (who can say no to plain old chocolate and vanilla?)

Marble Everyday Cake

Yield: 8-10 slices

Total cook time: 1 1/2 hours


  • Unsalted Butter (at room temperature): 6 tablespoons + extra for pie plate
  • Flour: 1 1/2 cups (192g)
  • Baking Powder: 1 1/2 teaspoons (9g)
  • Salt: 1/2 teaspoon (3g)
  • Granulated Sugar: 1 1/4 cups (255g)
  • Large Egg: 1
  • Milk: 3/4 cup (177ml) + 1 tablespoon (15ml), divided
  • Vanilla Extract: 1 teaspoons (5ml)
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder: 2 tablespoons (15g)


A Few Notes:

  • Important: Don't make this cake in a standard 9 inch pie plate - it's not big enough! Make sure you're using a 9 inch deep dish or a 10 inch. If you don't have either of these, make it in a 9 inch standard cake pan.
  • The batter is very thick - it's okay!


Pairs Well With:

*Special equipment: 9 inch deep dish pie plate, or 10 inch pie plate

The How To:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease your pie plate with butter. 

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Beat in your milk, vanilla extract, and egg on low speed until combined. Add the flour mixture all at once, then mix just until combined.

Scrape slightly less than 1/2 of the cake batter into a small bowl and stir in the cocoa powder + 1 tablespoon milk (the mixture will be very thick, this is okay!). Alternate large spoonfuls of the vanilla and chocolate mixtures until pie plate is filled. Using a skewer or chopstick, marble the swirl in using a figure 8 motion. Don't over-marble - you want distinct bites of vanilla and chocolate! Lightly tap the pan on the counter a couple of times to eliminate air bubbles. 

Bake cake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes, then lower the temperature to 325 degrees F and bake for 35-40 minutes more, until cake is golden all over and a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Your house will smell amazing (almost exactly like chocolate chip cookies). Let cake cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into wedges and serve - this cake is great plain, or with ice cream!

*Keeps at room temperature (covered) for up to 3 days.