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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.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword cake, layer, marble
Prep Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 50 minutes
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


  1. Grease and flour 3 6” cake pans, or 2 8” cake pans.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 350F.
  3. Start by making the vanilla cake
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Sift flour, baking powder and salt.
  7. 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.
  8. Add remaining buttermilk and mix on low for 30 seconds. Add remaining flour and mix on low until incorporated.
  9. Divide batter evenly between your cake pans.
  10. Time to make the Chocolate Cake
  11. 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.
  12. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder, if using it instead of coffee. Set aside.
  13. Whisk egg in a bowl for about 30 seconds.
  14. Add sugar and keep whisking for about 1 minute, until brightened in color.
  15. Add oil to the bowl. Whisk until combined.
  16. Add milk and vanilla extract.
  17. Pour dry ingredients over wet mixture.
  18. Fold with a spatula slowly, until ingredients are just combined.
  19. If you see big clumps of cocoa powder, you can use the whisk to try to smooth the batter out.
  20. Once batter is incorporated, pour hot coffee in the bowl. Whisk until combined.
  21. Batter will be very thin and runny.
  22. 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.
  23. Grab a knife and run it over your batter, creating a swirl effect, to make the beautiful marble.
  24. Bake cakes in pre-heated oven for about 20-25 minutes. Smaller cake pans will take less time to bake.
  25. Remove cake from the oven when a toothpick comes out clean once inserted in the cake.
  26. 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

  1. 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.
  2. Place egg whites and sugar in a heat-proof bowl or in a double boiler pan.
  3. Bring a pot of water to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer. Set bowl on top of the pan with simmering water.
  4. 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.
  5. Keep whisking mixture for about 30 seconds after you take it off the heat.
  6. 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.
  7. With the whisk attachment, beat meringue on medium-high speed.
  8. 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.
  9. Just let the mixer do its job and cool down the meringue as it whisks it.
  10. Once your meringue has reached stiff peaks, start adding butter, with the mixer on medium-high speed.
  11. Add one slab of butter at a time. Waiting a few seconds before adding the next one.
  12. 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.
  13. Add vanilla once you’re done adding the butter.
  14. At this point, you should see your meringue having hardened up and formed into a smooth cream.
  15. If not, there are a few troubleshooting tricks you could try.
  16. Please refer to the post above for troubleshooting.
  17. Now, divide your Swiss Meringue Buttercream into two different bowls.
  18. 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

  1. Chop the chocolate finely. Extremely finely.
  2. Bring heavy cream to a simmer over medium heat in a small sauce pan.
  3. Once you see the first bubbles emerging, pour hot cream over chocolate.
  4. 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.
  5. Set ganache aside to cool.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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

  1. 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.
  2. Fill cake layers with the Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream.
  3. Cover with one layer of Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream.
  4. Let it cool in the fridge until solid.
  5. Now cover cake with a layer of the Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream.
  6. I like to let the cake chill again, and then cover it with one more layer of the Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  7. Follow instructions bellow for the ganache drip.

Ganache Drip

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. It’s all a matter of having the perfect consistency where the ganache won’t be too runny, or won’t be too hard.
  5. After doing the drip on the cake, top with the bicolor frosting!
Nutrition Facts
Marble Layer Cake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 350
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.