Marble Layer Cake

Marble Layer Cake.

I loved creating this one!Marble Layer Cake

It was my friend’s birthday, and she likes marble cake.

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Well I actually ended up making two cakes this time. I made an extra one just like hers so I could photograph the inside of the cake. They are 6″ cakes, so not that big of a deal.

The sponge is marble, as you can see.

Marble Layer Cake slice

We brush each layer with simple syrup, to keep our cake moist.

Fill them with Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream.

Cover with one layer of Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream, that will act as a crumb coat.

Then, frost the cake with the Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream. Let it get hard in the fridge. Frost with another layer of the Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream.

Chill cake again. You want the cake to be very cold when it’s time to do the ganache drip.

Marble Layer Cake

For the drip, make sure you have the ganache at the proper consistency.

The perfect ganache for drip cakes shouldn’t be too runny, or too stiff. Make sure to drip some on the back of the cake, to see how it drips, before you start.

If the drop goes all the way to the half of the cake or so, and stops, you’re usually good to go. Then you can control your drips, making them longer or shorter, depending on the amount of ganache you pour.

Marble Layer Cake slice

For the bicolor frosting piped on top, simply lay out a piece of plastic wrap on the counter. spread one layer of chocolate frosting crosswise. Right next to it, spread one layer of the vanilla frosting. Roll the plastic wrap into a tube. Insert tube into piping bag fitter with the tip you are going to use. This is the one I used.

For troubleshooting with Swiss Meringue Buttercream, please refer to my Macadamia Coconut Cupcakes. I explain in detail how to troubleshoot your Swiss Meringue Buttercream and give you tips on how to succeed at making this delicious frosting!

I hope you like my Marble Layer Cake! I made it with a lot of love. And it was a delicious cake! I brought the some of it to my job (whatever wasn’t eaten by my son and husband). If I had kept it at home, I would probably have eaten the whole thing!

You might want to check out some more of my cakes.

Have a great day! Thanks for reading!

Marble Layer Cake

Marble Layer Cake

Marble Layer Cake. Inside, marble cake. The filling is a Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream, and outside, Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream, topped with chocolate ganache.
4.93 from 13 votes
Prep Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 50 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 10 people
Calories 350 kcal


Vanilla Cake
  • 169 grams unsalted butter softened 3/4 cup, 6 oz
  • 200 grams granulated sugar 1 cup sugar, 7 oz
  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 331 grams all-purpose flour 2 2/3 cups, 11.7 oz
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 245 grams buttermilk room temperature 1 cup, 8.6 oz
Chocolate Cake
  • 73 grams all-purpose flour 1/3 cup, 2.6 oz
  • 31 grams unsweetened cocoa powder 1/4 cup, 1 oz
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 eggs
  • 100 grams granulated sugar 1/2 cup, 3.5 oz
  • 26 grams canola oil 2 tablespoons, 1 oz
  • 26 grams milk 2 tablespoons, 1 oz
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 60 grams hot brewed coffee 1/4 cup, 2.1 oz
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  • 240 grams egg whites 6 egg whites, 8.4 oz
  • 300 grams granulated sugar 1 1/2 cups, 10.5 oz
  • 510 grams unsalted butter cold 36 tablespoons,18 oz
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Chocolate Ganache
  • 340 grams chocolate of preference 12 oz
  • 340 grams heavy cream 12 oz


  • Grease and flour 3 6” cake pans, or 2 8” cake pans.
  • Pre-heat oven to 350F.
  • Start by making the vanilla cake
  • Cream butter in the bowl of a stand mixer for 2 minutes, on medium speed. Gradually add sugar and cream for 3 minutes until mixture is fluffy and lighter in color.
  • Add eggs to the mixture, one at a time, mixing on medium speed. Scrape bowl and add vanilla. Mix on medium-low speed until incorporated.
  • Sift flour, baking powder and salt.
  • Add half of the buttermilk to butter/egg/sugar mixture. Mix on low for 30 seconds. Add half of sifted flour mixture. Mix on low for 30-45 seconds until almost entirely incorporated.
  • Add remaining buttermilk and mix on low for 30 seconds. Add remaining flour and mix on low until incorporated.
  • Divide batter evenly between your cake pans.
  • Time to make the Chocolate Cake
  • Notes: If you don’t want to use coffee, you can use boiling water. Just mix 1 teaspoon of espresso powder in with the dry ingredients or skip it all together.
  • Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder, if using it instead of coffee. Set aside.
  • Whisk egg in a bowl for about 30 seconds.
  • Add sugar and keep whisking for about 1 minute, until brightened in color.
  • Add oil to the bowl. Whisk until combined.
  • Add milk and vanilla extract.
  • Pour dry ingredients over wet mixture.
  • Fold with a spatula slowly, until ingredients are just combined.
  • If you see big clumps of cocoa powder, you can use the whisk to try to smooth the batter out.
  • Once batter is incorporated, pour hot coffee in the bowl. Whisk until combined.
  • Batter will be very thin and runny.
  • With the back of a spoon make holes in your vanilla cake batter. Spoon Generous amounts of filling inside these holes, being mindful to spread them evenly between all the cakes.
  • Grab a knife and run it over your batter, creating a swirl effect, to make the beautiful marble.
  • Bake cakes in pre-heated oven for about 20-25 minutes. Smaller cake pans will take less time to bake.
  • Remove cake from the oven when a toothpick comes out clean once inserted in the cake.
  • Let cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes and flip it over in a wire rack to let it cool completely before proceeding with frosting and filling.
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  • Right before you start to make your buttercream, remove butter from the fridge. Cut it into thin slices, about 1/4 inch thick. Set aside.
  • Place egg whites and sugar in a heat-proof bowl or in a double boiler pan.
  • Bring a pot of water to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer. Set bowl on top of the pan with simmering water.
  • Whisk constantly until egg whites and sugar reach 138F temperature. This ensures that the egg whites will have reached a safe temperature. The temperature of pasteurized egg whites is actually 140F, however, if you bring it up to 138F, the temperature will raise a couple degrees even after you take it out of the heat source.
  • Keep whisking mixture for about 30 seconds after you take it off the heat.
  • Pour mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer. Be sure to wipe dry the bottom of the bowl to get rid of the condensation that formed before you transfer mixture. Because if a drop of water gets in contact with your egg white/sugar, it will ruin your meringue.
  • With the whisk attachment, beat meringue on medium-high speed.
  • You are going to beat the meringue until stiff peaks form. Now, this might take a while. Usually takes me about 10 minutes. The reason for that is that the egg whites have to cool down first and then they will be able to reach stiff peak.
  • Just let the mixer do its job and cool down the meringue as it whisks it.
  • Once your meringue has reached stiff peaks, start adding butter, with the mixer on medium-high speed.
  • Add one slab of butter at a time. Waiting a few seconds before adding the next one.
  • At times, you will question yourself if your meringue will ever form, the answer is mostly likely: yes it will form. Just be patient. Keep whisking it.
  • Add vanilla once you’re done adding the butter.
  • At this point, you should see your meringue having hardened up and formed into a smooth cream.
  • If not, there are a few troubleshooting tricks you could try.
  • Please refer to the post above for troubleshooting.
  • Now, divide your Swiss Meringue Buttercream into two different bowls.
  • In one bowl, add 340 grams (12 oz) of the cooled chocolate ganache (recipe below), which is half of it, beat with the paddle attachment until creamy and incorporated. Use a spatula to help.
Chocolate Ganache
  • Chop the chocolate finely. Extremely finely.
  • Bring heavy cream to a simmer over medium heat in a small sauce pan.
  • Once you see the first bubbles emerging, pour hot cream over chocolate.
  • Mix with a spatula to combine. Make sure all chocolate melts. If you see little pieces of chocolate that aren’t melting, microwave for about 10 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until all little specs of chocolate have melted.
  • Set ganache aside to cool.
  • Half of the ganache will be used in Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream. The other half will be used to be poured on top of the cake. You might have leftover ganache. Store ganache in the fridge for up to 1 month, covered.
  • You want the consistency of the ganache to be just perfect. You don’t want the ganache to be even slightly warm when you add it to the Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream, because that will melt the butter in the frosting.
  • Make sure your ganache is 100% cooled. I also like to insert the ganache in the fridge for about 1 hour before I add it to the Swiss Meringue Buttercream.
To frost the cake
  • I like to brush my cake layers with simple syrup. Simple syrup is basically equal amounts of water and sugar brought to a boil and then cooled down. I keep a container of simple syrup in my fridge. You will use about 1 cup of simple syrup for this cake, so boil together 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of sugar, let it cool down and brush it in each layer before frosting it.
  • Fill cake layers with the Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream.
  • Cover with one layer of Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream.
  • Let it cool in the fridge until solid.
  • Now cover cake with a layer of the Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream.
  • I like to let the cake chill again, and then cover it with one more layer of the Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  • Follow instructions bellow for the ganache drip.
Ganache Drip
  • You are going to use half of the ganache to add to the Swiss Meringue Buttercream frosting. The other half, will be used to be poured over the cake, for the drip effect.
  • The ganache has to be at a very particular consistency to be poured over the cake. Test a few drops on the back of the cake. You want the drip to go almost all the way to half of the cake once you pour it on the edge of the cake. If it’s not reaching the middle of the cake height, you might want to microwave the ganache for a few quick seconds (3-5), and stir in between, until you have achieved the perfect consistency.
  • If ganache is dripping way too fast to the bottom of the cake means it’s too runny. Simply place ganache in the fridge for a few minutes, stir, test again. Repeat.
  • It’s all a matter of having the perfect consistency where the ganache won’t be too runny, or won’t be too hard.
  • After doing the drip on the cake, top with the bicolor frosting!
Keyword cake, layer, marble

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  1. 5 stars
    What a gorgeous marble cake and you make it look so easy to prepare. My mom made marble cakes when I was growing up and they didn’t look as good as yours do.

  2. This looks delicious! I want to make this for a baby shower later this month. Can I sub the coffee out for something so the Mom to be can have a slice? Thank you!

    1. Absolutely! You can sub for hot water it will work just fine and it will be delicious!!! Thank you so much Kathleen!!! Have fun at your baby shower!

  3. Looks amazing! I’m going to use this recipe for a layered half sheet cake. How many cups of batter does this recipe make? Thank you!

  4. 4 stars
    So I was upset with myself because I read eleven half cups of sugar and not one and a half cups of sugar and completely screwed up my frosting, cake would’ve been a lot better if I was a lot smarter.

  5. 5 stars
    It’s a truly brilliant recipe. Made this for my daughters bday yday n everyone loved it. Truly yumm!!! Thanks a tonne for d truthful recipe!

  6. I have made this twice, using 9″ round pans. Second time I doubled the vanilla cake recipe, because the first time it cake out too short. This seemed to work perfectly! My only problem is both times I made it, the cake layers are very dense/heavy. I noticed yours looks light and fluffy. What am I doing wrong? Also, my buttercream comes out more yellow-white than white. Might this be the type of butter I used?

    1. about the buttercream coming out yellow could be the type of butter, or just that you arent whipping the butter enough. The longer you whip the butter the lighter in color the buttercream will be. and about the cake coming out dense or heavy could have something to do with overmixing once you add the flour in.

  7. 5 stars
    This Marble Layer Cake was a total hit at my friend’s birthday! The marble sponge was moist, and the Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream with Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream was heavenly. The ganache drip added a pro touch. Thanks for this amazing recipe!

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