Marble Cake

Use this recipe to make our Marble Wedding Cake. For batter amounts for pans, see below; this recipe can be multiplied. You will need to fill and bake one of each size of pan for tiers. To make tiers of alternating flavors, fill two pans with chocolate-swirled batter, and two with mocha-swirled batter. Split cakes in half horizontally, and trim layers to be one and a half inches thick.

  • Yield: Makes 3 1/2 cups batter

Photography: Dana Gallagher

Source: Martha Stewart Weddings, Summer 2004


  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pans
  • 1 3/4 cups cake flour (not self-rising), plus more for dusting
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup milk, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup best-quality unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder, for mocha layers
  • Batter for each 3-inch-deep pan: 7 3/4-inch-by-5 5/8-inch, 7 cups; 10 3/4-inch-by-7 5/8-inch, 10 1/2 cups; 13-inch-by-9 7/8-inch, 14 cups; 16 1/2-inch-by-12 3/8-inch, 17 1/2 cups.


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter pans; line with parchment paper. Butter lining; dust with flour, tapping out excess. Set aside. Sift together cake flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

  2. Combine milk and cream in a small bowl; set aside. Cream butter and sugar on medium speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time; mix well after each addition. Mix in vanilla. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the milk mixture and beginning and ending with flour.

  3. Combine cocoa and the boiling water in a medium bowl; for mocha cake, add espresso powder. Stir in 1 cup cake batter.

  4. Fill prepared pans with spoonfuls of vanilla and chocolate batter to form a checkerboard pattern. Run the tip of a paring knife or a wooden skewer through batter in a figure-eight motion to make swirls. Bake until tops are golden, and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. Let cakes cool completely in pans on wire racks.


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