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An overhead view of a sliced marble pound cake placed on a wooden cutting board.
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5 from 3 votes

Marble Cake Recipe

Super moist marble cake recipe that has been in my family for generations.Fill and frost for an amazing birthday cake.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Diet: Halal
Servings: 24 slices
Calories: 305kcal
Author: Amira


  • 2 cups unsalted butter 4 sticks/ 454g room temperature
  • 2-3 cups granulated sugar 400-600 grams, check notes.
  • 6 eggs room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
  • 1 cup milk. 235ml
  • 4 cups all purpose flour 528g
  • 1 Tablespoon backing powder
  • A dash of salt.
  • 4-6 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder.


  • Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Spray or lightly butter two 9x5" loaf pans.

Make the cake:

  • Using a handheld or an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the butter for about a minute until smooth and creamy.
  • Add the granulated sugar and beat on high speed for 3-4 minutes until the mixture is pale yellow.
  • Beat in the eggs one at a time then mix in the vanilla extract.
  • Pour in milk and mix well.
  • In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Add the dry ingredients, 1 cup at a time and mixing after each addition until just incorporated.
  • Divide the batter in two equal parts. Divide one of the parts into your prepared baking pans.
  • Mix the cocoa powder with the other half of the batter using a wooden spoon.
  • Spoon the chocolate batter equally into the two loafs, on top of the white batter.
  • With a stick/wooden spoon or a butter knife make waves in the batter so as to create the marbling.
  • Bake in the oven until done, will take anywhere from 35-50 minutes.
  • Cake is donw when a toothpick is inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Remove cakes from the oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes in the pan then take it out and let it cool completely.


  • You will need to use room temperature ingredients so plan ahead.
  • If you are short on time, cut the butter into 1 inch cubes so it comes to room temperature quicker.
  • Do not over-mix the batter, this can make your cake sink in the middle.
  • Divide the batter however you want it does not have to be 50-50. If you like more chocolate then feel free to increase the chocolate batter.
  • Do not over do it with the butter knife to marble the cake, you might end up with mixed batter that is not chocolate nor vanilla.
  • Try not to open the oven door before 30 minutes mark.
  • Check your cake after 30 minutes have passed. loosely cover the cakes with aluminum foil if you find the tops are browning too quickly while the center is still runny.
  • Storage:
    • Leftovers can be stored sealed in a container on your countertop for up to 3 days. I do not like putting it in the fridge for over 5 days as it dries out. My best advice is wrapping it in plastic wrap then foil and keep it in the freezer.
  • Make ahead:
    • This cake freezes very well. Bake the cake and wait got it to cool down completely, wrap in plastic wrap then double wrap with foil and place in a zip lock bag and freeze for up to 2-3 months.
  • Variations:
    • The original recipe calls for 3 cups (600g) of granulated sugar. I've played with the recipe content of sugar, so I've decreased the sugar to 2 cups and even 1 cup. The 2 cups were really good and did not affect the texture and structure of the cake. When I reduced it to 1 cup it was too bland and we did not like it and that's why in the ingredients list I've put 2-3 cups of sugar. I suggest you start with three and if it is too sweet scale back to 2 cups.
    • My sister, on the other hand, played with the fat content. She actually made this recipe with all oil and half oil and half butter. She reported it was still delicious and rich. I did try the half oil and half butter and it was ok , I am a butter girl though.
    • I've baked this recipe in a bundt pan and it turned out beautiful, just adjust the baking time.
    • Make your favorite chocolate frosting, fill and frost the cake for a delicious no fail birthday cake.


Calories: 305kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 83mg | Sodium: 76mg | Potassium: 69mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 556IU | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 1mg