Marble Cake! A moist marble sheet cake slathered with a rich and creamy double chocolate buttercream frosting. This marble cake recipe is easy to make and quick to disappear!

three pieces of marble cake

An Easy Marble Cake Recipe

Marble Cake with chocolate frosting. This was the birthday girl’s request this year. 

Today is Tessa’s 12th birthday. And little did I know, that she likes marble cake. Tessa completely surprised me when I asked what kind of treat she’d like for her birthday post this year. 

“Marble cake, Mom.”


“I always like marble cake with chocolate frosting.”

(another pause)

“And I think there will be lots of people who will want your recipe.”

Ahhhhhh…sweet girl. She’s always thinking of others. (you!!) 

Marble Cake – this is an easy sheet pan recipe with a sinfully delightful (do those two adjectives rightfully belong next to each other?!) double chocolate buttercream slathered over the top. You’re going to love it, too!

Today also marks the 9 Year Anniversary of! Thank you so much for hanging out with me here and for making my recipes. It’s been a very delicious ride!

girl with a malt

My parents stayed with us this past weekend, to celebrate Tessa’s First Communion and twelfth birthday, and Easter. The weather was beautiful, letting us enjoy our first meals out on the patio this year.

The warm temps were also quite fitting for ice cream.

Tessa chose to celebrate Birthday #12 at Leo’s Grill & Malt Shop, our family’s favorite local spot for malts. Leo’s is one of those places that serves their malts all fancy in a tall glass malt cup, topped with whipped cream and a stemmed cherry. AND they give you the tin malt cup with a bit of extra malt, on the side. It’s just too much fun. 

marble cake being assembled before baking

How to make marble cake

You know what a marble cake looks like. It has an intriguing streaked or mottled appearance, with separate light and dark batters subtly blended in the same cake pan. The cake is mainly vanilla, with streaks of chocolate.

This cake is easy (and fun!) to make. You start out with one yellow batter, and then the smaller portion of chocolate batter is made from the yellow batter. 

Spread the yellow batter into the sheet pan and then dot the top of it with spoonfuls of the chocolate batter. 

marble cake batter swirled in a pan

Then grab a butter knife and swirl it through the contrasting batters to create that signature marbled effect. 

baked marble cake without frosting

Marble Cake with Sour Cream

This cake bakes up very moist, partly due to the incorporation of sour cream.

I’m a big fan of using sour cream in baking recipes, as you might already know from my Sour Cream Banana Bread, Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Cinnamon Ripple, and Rhubarb Sour Cream Coffee Cake. These are some of my favorite recipes.

And I love what the sour cream does for this recipe as well. The cake has an almost pudding-like texture to it. It’s dense and moist and does not dry out easily.

marble cake with chocolate frosting

And then let’s talk about that frosting. 

This is a double chocolate buttercream. A FANTASTIC double chocolate buttercream, I must emphasize, using both melted semisweet chocolate chips and unsweetened cocoa powder. The chocolate frosting is thick and creamy and easily spreadable, plus rich and chocolatey in flavor.

It’s literally THE icing on the cake!

pieces of marble cake on plates

And now it’s ready to serve!

The cake slices up and removes from the pan like a dream. No frustrations here. 

piece of marble cake with a yellow candle

Tessa’s marble birthday cake hits all the marks. Easy. Tasty. Pretty. And FUN. What more could a birthday girl ask for?!

Like this recipe? Save it to Pinterest!

pinterest image of Marble Cake

A few more sheet cake recipes I’d like to try: Coconut Sheet Cake from She Wears Many Hats, Lemon Sheet Cake from TidyMom, and Fresh Strawberry Cake from The Cookie Rookie. 

two pieces of marble cake

Marble Cake

Yield: 24 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

A moist marble sheet cake slathered with a rich and creamy double chocolate buttercream frosting. It's easy to make and quick to disappear!


for the marble cake:

  • 1 oz. good quality semisweet chocolate - I use this
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 c. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 c. sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 T. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c. whole milk
  • 1/2 c. + 1 T. sour cream, divided
  • 3 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/8 tsp. baking soda

for the double chocolate buttercream:


  1. for the marble cake: Preheat oven to 350° F. Very lightly spray bottom and sides of a 15" x 10" x 1" rimmed pan with cooking spray. This is the pan I use. Set aside.
  2. In a small cup or bowl, gently melt the semisweet chocolate. Take care to not let it scorch. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
  3. In small bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In large bowl, beat butter and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally, until fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, just until smooth. Beat in vanilla. On low speed, beat in one-third of the flour mixture, then the whole milk, beating after each addition, just until smooth. Repeat with flour mixture and then 1/2 cup of the sour cream, ending with flour mixture, scraping side of bowl occasionally. Spread 3-1/2 cups of vanilla batter evenly into pan.
  5. In a small cup or bowl, whisk together cocoa powder and baking soda. Add to remaining vanilla batter along with remaining 1 tablespoon of sour cream and cooled melted semisweet chocolate. Fold until thoroughly combined into a chocolate batter. Spoon chocolate batter by generous tablespoonfuls evenly onto vanilla batter. Cut through mixture several times with a butter knife for marbled design. Firmly tap pan on counter several times to eliminate air bubbles and settle the batter evenly into the pan.
  6. Bake 20 to 22 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Set on baking rack to cool completely.
  7. For the double chocolate buttercream: In medium microwavable bowl, gently microwave chocolate chips uncovered until they are about halfway melted. Take care to not scorch the chocolate. Remove from microwave and stir until smooth. Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes, until just barely warm. In small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, baking cocoa, and kosher salt. Add butter to melted and cooled chocolate, along with powdered sugar mixture, half and half, and vanilla. Beat with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy, scraping side of bowl occasionally. Spread on top of cooled cake. Cut cake into pieces and serve.


adapted from

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 361Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 66mgSodium: 93mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 1gSugar: 39gProtein: 3g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.

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two pieces of marble cake on plates