Marble Cupcakes

Marble Cupcakes

I have always been a big fan of marble cakes. They satisfy cravings for both chocolate and vanilla cake, and always please everyone if you need to serve a crowd. They’re also not difficult to make, even though they make for a really beautiful presentation when you slice into them. All you really need to do is add some chocolate – either cocoa powder or melted chocolate – to half of a vanilla cake batter and swirl everything together.

These marble cupcakes work the same way as full sized marble cakes, just in a smaller package. The only drawback to making them this way is that you can’t really swirl them as much as you can swirl a large cake with a large amount of batter. You could try to swirl the batter in the bowl before portioning it out into the cupcake cups, but this generally leads to over-combing the chocolate and vanilla and you don’t end up with a distinct marble pattern. I prefer to measure out the chocolate and vanilla into each cupcake cup, then give the batter a quick single swirl with a knife before baking. Every cupcake ends up with the right amount of chocolate and vanilla this way, and the very distinct black-and-white swirling layers make for a beautiful contrast.

The cake is the same basic recipe that I used for my Rainbow cupcakes, except that instead of dividing it up into many small portions for food coloring, I simply added some melted chocolate to half the batter. One ounce of dark chocolate (semisweet will work, too) adds just the right amount of chocolate flavor to the mix. I used a similar technique on the icing, dividing a basic recipe and adding cocoa powder to half. I put both icings into the same piping bag so that the frosting would have a marble look to it. The wider your pastry tip is, the clearer the effect will be.

Marble Cupcakes
1 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-oz semisweet or dark chocolate, melted

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease line 10 cups from a 12 cup muffin tin with paper cups liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, vegetable oil, buttermilk and vanilla extract. Pour in dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
Remove 1 cup of the batter to a small bowl and stir in melted chocolate.
Evenly distribute batters into prepared pans, adding a spoonful of vanilla, followed buy a spoonful of chocolate, followed by a little more vanilla. Gently run a knife through the batter to give them a swirl.
Bake for about 15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool cupcakes on a wire rack before frosting.

Makes 10

Marble Buttercream Frosting
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
approx 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder

In a large bowl, beat together butter, milk and vanilla. Gradually blend in about 2 cups confectioners sugar until smooth, then divide frosting evenly into two bowls. Blend 2 tbsp cocoa powder into one portion of the frosting and beat until smooth. Add additional confectioners sugar to each bowl as needed, until frosting reaches a thick, spreadable consistency.
Add both colors of frosting to a piping bag, scraping one down each half of the bag to ensure that both colors come out at the same time. Pipe or spread frosting onto cooled cupcakes.

15 comments

  1. I love a good marble cake. Let’s you feel like you’re getting the best of both worlds. And that buttercream looks fantastic, too. Great job!

  2. Always looking for a great cupcake and these look great

  3. Great idea! Love both the concept and your implementation!

  4. Awesome marble colored cupcakes. I know for sure this tastes good because the processed you applied was the same as how you make your cake. But care to use natural food coloring for health purposes.

  5. Nice, love the look with the marbled icing.

  6. The only drawback to making them this way is that you can’t really swirl them as much as you can swirl a large cake with a large amount of batter.

  7. Glad I found this. I wanted to do marble cupcakes for my son’s birthday. Decided to go for a blue and green swirl buttercream frosting! THanks!

  8. Thanks for sharing these! My boyfriend and I have very different tastes (the sweeter and more chocolatey, the better for me, and just the right amount of sweet and chocolate or vanilla for him) and these were an excellent compromise!

    I thought the cupcakes themselves could have been a little sweeter, but no actual complaints because the icing was the balance to that. My boyfriend thought they were excellent. :)

  9. Hi , i made these cupcakes today and trust me these were a big hit . Thank you for sharing an awesome recipe. Just wanted to know if the recipe can be X2 or X3 for making a two layer 10″ cake ? Have you or anyone tried doing it ? Plz let me know . Thank you !

  10. Sam – This would make a fairly thin 10-inch layer cake. You could try doubling it, or this recipe could be divided into two pans, too: http://bakingbites.com/2007/05/black-and-white-marble-sheet-cake-with-chocolate-fudge-frosting/

  11. Instead of buttermilk I did half a cup of marg. and half a cup of milk, and it worked perfectly fine. Very good recipe.

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