Mocha Marble Cake Recipe

So you want to bake a cake but can't decide between vanilla or chocolate. Both options are delicious and both are classic crowd-pleasers, which can make it hard to choose between one flavor and the other. So why not have the best of both worlds, and make this mocha marble cake instead? Created by recipe developer Jennine Rye, this sweet treat is made from vanilla cake batter that has a chocolate-coffee batter swirled throughout, producing a beautifully moist and velvety loaf cake that everyone will be sure to love.

Best of all, this cake doesn't take any longer to make than an ordinary cake as you make one batter in a bowl and then portion it out, mixing cocoa powder and coffee into some of the ready-mixed batter. It really couldn't be simpler and depending on how you choose to swirl your batters together, each cake will be entirely beautifully individual.

Gather the ingredients for this mocha marble cake

To begin this mocha marble cake, you will want to gather the ingredients. You will need butter, ready-made and cooled espresso, flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, buttermilk, and cocoa powder.

If you are unable to find buttermilk, or simply haven't got any at home but want to get baking, there are plenty of buttermilk substitutes you can use such as milk and lemon juice or milk and vinegar.

Cream the butter and sugar

To prepare the cake batter, first you will want to cream the butter and sugar together. To do this, place both ingredients into a stand mixer and then allow them to be beaten for 3 to 4 minutes. It can seem like a long time, but the length of time you beat the butter and sugar together at the start of the recipe will directly impact the lightness and fluffiness of the resulting sponge, as creaming these ingredients for longer introduces more air to the batter.

Make the vanilla batter

Once the butter and sugar mixture is light and fluffy, it is time to mix in the eggs one at a time, along with the vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, thoroughly whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt, before adding half of the dry ingredients to the main bowl. Mix the flour into the sugar, butter, and egg mixture until it is just combined, before adding the buttermilk to the bowl and mixing that in as well. Finally, add the remaining flour and fold it in until everything is just combined to form a cake batter.

Make the mocha batter

To create the mocha batter for your mocha marble cake, add the cooled espresso and the cocoa powder to a bowl and mix them together to form a loose paste. Then, scoop some of the finished cake batter from the big mixing bowl into the bowl with the mocha mixture, and gently fold the ingredients together until your mocha cake batter has formed. You are now ready to create the marble cake.

Marble the batter

The best trick for creating perfectly marbled cakes is to not overdo it. It can be easy to get carried away swirling the batters together, but less is actually more:The less you actually agitate the batters, the cleaner the resulting distinction between the colors, giving you a beautiful and strikingly contrasted marble loaf. To marble your cake, add alternating scoops of the vanilla and mocha cake batters to the prepared loaf tin until both of the batters are used up. Then, gently swirl the batters together with a knife or a skewer, using your judgment to decide when to stop. Then place the loaf cake into the oven to bake for 50 minutes.

When the cake has risen and a skewer inserted into the sponge comes out clean, the marble cake is ready. Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes in the tin, before gently removing it and setting it on a wire rack to cool. As much as it is tempting to slice into your mocha marble cake to see will want to wait for the cake to cool completely before cutting and serving, as it will be easier to slice and will not fall apart. Store your cake at room temperature in an airtight container.

Mocha Marble Cake Recipe
5 from 51 ratings
Learn how to make this mocha marble cake that will stun your guests with its gorgeous swirls of chocolatey espresso flavor.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Slice of mocha marble cake
Total time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
  • 2 packed cups flour, sifted
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons espresso, cooled
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F, and grease then line a 2-pound loaf tin.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt until they are well combined, then set to one side.
  3. Add the room temperature butter and the sugar to a mixing bowl or stand mixer, and then beat on a medium-fast speed for 3 to 4 minutes until the mixture is lighter in color and creamed. Pause the beaters and scrape down the bowl partway through to make sure that all of the butter and sugar are fully incorporated.
  4. Add the eggs to the bowl one at a time and beat them until they are thoroughly mixed in, along with the vanilla extract.
  5. Add half of the flour mixture to the bowl and mix everything on a low setting until just combined, then mix in the buttermilk, and finally the remaining flour.
  6. In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the cocoa powder and the cooled espresso until a paste has formed. Then scoop roughly 1 ½ cups of the cake batter into the bowl with the cocoa powder-espresso paste, and proceed to gently mix everything together until thoroughly combined.
  7. Alternate dropping scoops of the vanilla batter and the chocolate batter into the prepared loaf tin, until all of the batter has been used. Then, using a skewer or a knife, swirl the batter around to mix the chocolate and vanilla batters together in a pretty pattern.
  8. Place the loaf tin in the oven and leave the mocha chocolate loaf cake to bake for 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the cake comes out clean.
  9. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool for 10 minutes before removing the cake from the tin and leaving it to cool fully on a wire rack. Once cool, store in an airtight container at room temperature, and consume within 3 days.
Calories per Serving 365
Total Fat 15.8 g
Saturated Fat 9.4 g
Trans Fat 0.6 g
Cholesterol 93.1 mg
Total Carbohydrates 51.1 g
Dietary Fiber 1.1 g
Total Sugars 31.1 g
Sodium 230.6 mg
Protein 5.4 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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