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A marble loaf cake cut to show the beautiful vanilla and chocolate swirls inside.

Easy Marble Loaf Cake

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 17 reviews
  • Author: Asha
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 1 loaf 1x
  • Category: cakes
  • Cuisine: American


This easy marble loaf cake is fluffy and moist, deliciously swirled throughout with buttery vanilla and rich chocolate flavours.



1 1/2 cups (195g) cake flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons dutch-processed cocoa*

2 tablespoons hot water

3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, room temperature

3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar

2 large eggs, room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup (118ml) buttermilk, room temperature

fresh cherry frosting


Note: It's very important to make sure that your butter, eggs, and buttermilk are at room temperature. Plan to set them out well ahead of time before making this marble loaf cake.

Preheat your oven to 350°F/180°C with the rack centred, and grease a nine-by-five inch loaf pan with butter before lining it with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set it aside for now.

In another medium bowl, mix together the dutch-processed cocoa powder with the hot water. Mix well then set it aside for now as well.

Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, whip the butter until smooth, about 2 minutes. **

Add in the sugar and beat together on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Don't skip this step as it is crucial to achieving the cake's light and delicate texture.

Lower the speed and add the eggs in one a time, mixing well after each. Add in the vanilla extract and mix well.

Alternately mix in the flour mixture and buttermilk in the following order: flour, buttermilk, flour, buttermilk, flour. Make sure to fully incorporate after each addition, but be careful to not overmix the batter.

Transfer 1/3 of the cake batter into the bowl with the cocoa powder mixture. Gently stir until the cocoa is fully incorporated into the batter, while being very careful to not over-mix.

Spread the remaining vanilla batter over the bottom of the stand mixer bowl or large mixing bowl.

Spoon the chocolate batter into several dollops over the top of the vanilla batter.

Using a rubber spatula, carefully fold the batter over itself 2-3 times. Move the batter from the bottom of the bowl and flip it over the top. Don't overdo it or it will lose the marble look.

Gently transfer the batter into your prepared loaf pan and use the rubber spatula to smooth down the top. Smack the bottom of the pan on your countertop a couple times to help release any air trapped in the batter.

Bake the cake until an inserted toothpick comes out almost clean but with a few sticky crumbs, about 40-45 minutes. Don't over bake it or the cake will lose its soft and tender texture. Start checking at 35 minutes.

Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring it to a cooling rack to cool completely before decorating with frosting.

I used a Wilton 4B tip to pipe 1 batch of fresh cherry frosting in puffs over the top of the cake and a ring around the bottom.


*Dutch-processed cocoa powder has been treated with an alkaline solution to neutralize the cocoa's natural acidity. This makes it react differently than natural cocoa powder in baking.

**Or, you can mix up this recipe with a hand mixer or by hand. Just be sure that you mix the butter and sugar together well enough so that they have become pale and fluffy. This is important to get a tender cake texture.


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 465
  • Sugar: 32.5 g
  • Sodium: 279.6 mg
  • Fat: 27.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 52.3 g
  • Protein: 4.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 110.6 mg
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