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Marble Cake for Wave Assembly Cake

For batter amounts and baking times, see Cook's Note below; this recipe can be multiplied.

  • Yield: Makes 3 1/2 cups batter

Source: Martha Stewart Weddings, Summer 2006


  • 1/2 cup (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 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup best-quality unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup boiling water


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter pans. Line bottoms with parchment paper; butter parchment. Dust with flour, and tap out excess; set aside. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl; set aside.
  2. Put butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing until combined after each. Mix in vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the milk and cream.
  3. Stir cocoa powder and boiling water in a small bowl until smooth. Stir in 1 cup cake batter. This will make about 1 cup batter; to make larger amounts of chocolate batter, repeat with additional cocoa powder, boiling water, and cake batter using the same amounts.
  4. Fill prepared cake pans by alternating spoonfuls of vanilla and chocolate batters in a checkerboard pattern. Run a skewer through batter in a figure-eight motion to create a marble pattern. Bake until a cake tester inserted into centers comes out clean. Let cool completely in pans on wire racks. Run a knife around edges to loosen, and turn out cakes onto racks.

Batter amounts and baking times for hexagonal pans

  1. 9-inch, 4 1/2 cups vanilla batter, 1 cup chocolate batter, 50 minutes; 12-inch, 7 cups vanilla batter, 2 1/4 cups chocolate batter, 1 hour; 15-inch, 9 1/2 cups vanilla batter, 3 1/2 cups chocolate batter, 1 hour 20 minutes

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