Vanilla-Mocha Marble Cake

I am doing cupcakes and cake for a wedding in a few months, and I have been using that as an excuse to try tons of new recipes. The last time I attempted a marble cake I stirred far too much and ended up with a light brown cake and no marble at all. Huge bummer. This time I gently dragged a spoon through the cake pans just a few times, and I was really excited to cut into the cake and see the pretty marbling I was hoping for!

This recipe was supposed to make a 2-layer 8″ cake but I made 2 6″ layers and 2 cupcakes. I like thick layers, so next time I might skip the cupcakes and just make the 6″ layers. The frosting is simple but rich, and plays nicely off the vanilla-mocha cake

This cake was also my first experience working with marshmallow fondant. I realize marshmallows are not vegetarian, but since I’m more in the not-eating-meat camp than the strict-vegetarian camp, I tasted a bite, and it was actually better than I was expecting. I think it really helped that it was right on top of a layer of rich chocolate frosting! My biggest piece of advice when working with fondant is to not be shy with the powdered sugar. I had it all over my counter and hands, but it definitely kept it form becoming a sticky mess. With the right amount of powdered sugar, it’s incredibly easy to work with. I found the recipe for the fondant at About.com.

Recipe:
(adapted from Zoe Bakes)

cake
2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 full-fat plain yogurt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 tablespoons milk
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder

frosting
3 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 stick butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
milk

Preheat the oven to 350 F and line the bottom of two 6″ round pans with parchment.

Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt, and set aside.

Cream the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, yogurt and vanilla, and mix well. Add the milk 2 tbsp at a time, alternating with the flour mixture (mix until smooth after each addition).

Combine the chocolate and espresso powder and stir until smooth.

Divide the batter in half and add the chocolate mixture to one half. Spoon some of the vanilla batter into the bottom of each pan, then top with a few spoonfuls of mocha batter. Add more vanilla batter, then gently drag a spoon through to create a marble pattern.

Bake for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean. Cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edges and invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Once the layers are completely cool, make the frosting. Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler, then let cool slightly.

Beat the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer for about 1 minute. Add the chocolate, powdered sugar, and vanilla, and beat until creamy and smooth. If the frosting is too stiff, add milk 1/4 tsp at a time, until the frosting is spreadable.

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6 comments to Vanilla-Mocha Marble Cake

  • i’m glad i’m not the only one who can’t always get the marble right… i can’t help that i’m a little too ambitious sometimes! :-) although you nailed it this time! this looks delicious! you did a great job!

  • Great job working with the fondant, the cake looks beautiful! I also want to add that I normally despise marble cake – I’d rather have a really good straight up yellow cake OR chocolate cake. However, the fact that this is a mocha marble cake seems to make all the difference! yum!

  • So pretty inside and out! Sounds a lot like a description of you. :)

  • Fantastic job on the fondant. I’ve always wanted to try it but worry about the sticky mess thing with our heat.

  • Wow!! What a lovely cake. You did a fantastic job. I love the marble effect.

  • [...] Schedule and recipes: I had 120 cupcakes plus a 6″ cake to bake and decorate. I started on Thursday night by baking, cooling, and wrapping the layers for the cake (I made this marble cake). [...]

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