This gluten free marble cake is light and airy with a delicious chocolate swirl. One batter made into two flavors for the best of both worlds!
I love marble cake because I love to add chocolate whenever possible. This cake recipe came out perfect. The texture is light and airy and not dense at all. It's just a simple recipe with no special techniques like whipping egg whites and it tastes delicious. I've included a chocolate frosting recipe but you can certainly frost it with vanilla if you prefer.
What is marble cake?
Marble cake is essentially a chocolate and vanilla cake "marbled" together. It is made with one batter that is separated after it's made. Cocoa powder is added to part of the batter to make it chocolate and then both are poured into cake pans and swirled together to get a marble look.
- Oil - Oil keeps this cake moist and although I love butter I don't miss it in this cake!
- Sugar & brown sugar
- Bob's Red Mill 1:1 All Purpose Gluten Free Flour - This is my favorite gluten free flour blend for it's taste and texture. There are other good ones out there but I have not tested this recipe with any of them.
- Baking powder - A whole tablespoon sounds like a lot but trust me on this one. It will come out perfect.
- Baking soda
- Kosher salt
- Buttermilk - Buttermilk adds moisture as well as flavor. Don't substitute it with homemade buttermilk. I know this is not what most bakers will say but buttermilk made from whole milk and lemon juice does not get as thick as regular buttermilk and therefore the end result is different. Sometimes I will do this for my buttermilk pancake recipe but I have to alter the other ingredients as well.
- Dark cocoa powder - I feel like a walking advertisement for this stuff. Dark cocoa powder is far superior to the regular kind. It imparts a darker and richer flavor to desserts. I use Hershey's dark cocoa powder and it can be found right next to Hershey's regular cocoa powder.
Equipment for this cake
- Two 8-inch round cake pans - You will need two of these for a layer cake.
- Stand mixer with the paddle attachment - You will make the batter in this. You can use a hand mixer and a large bowl if you don't have a stand mixer.
- Mixing bowl - You will measure part of the batter into the bowl and add cocoa powder to make the chocolate batter.
- Parchment paper - This is optional but recommended. I like to cut out parchment circles slightly smaller than the bottom of the cake pans. I then spray the bottom of the pan with nonstick cooking spray and place the parchment circle on it. Spray the inside of the cake pan again and pour the batter in. This way the cakes will come easily out of the pans. It's definitely worth your time.
How to make it
Super simple recipes are super awesome. And this one really is simple! Here is how to make the batter for this gluten free marble cake.
- Preheat the oven. Spray the cake pans and set aside.
- In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir together and set aside.
- Simply combine both sugars and the oil. Beat together for 1 minute on medium speed.
- Add the eggs one at a time beating after each addition. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
- Add the flour mixture and beat until a smooth batter forms.
- Scrape the bowl with a spatula and add the buttermilk. Mix on low at first and then on medium speed until it's completely combined.
- Scoop two and a half cups of the batter into a large bowl. Add 1 tablespoon and 2 teaspoons of cocoa powder to the bowl and mix until a chocolate batter forms.
- Pour some vanilla batter into each cake pan then the chocolate batter and then more vanilla batter. Swirl with a knife.
- Bake until the tops are golden brown and the insides are done.
Tips & Tricks
- Make parchment circles like I mentioned above so the cakes come out of the pans easily. I do this for all layer cakes I make.
- Don't swirl the batters too much or they will mix together.
- Don't refrigerate cake. It dries it out and it won't taste very good.
- Cake freezes well though. I like to cut it into slices and place them on a lined sheet pan. Once the slices are frozen I put them into a zip top gallon freezer bag and freeze for later. Simply pull one out and let it come to room temperature before enjoying.
- If you prefer more vanilla batter than chocolate you can scoop only 2 cups of batter into a bowl and add 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon of cocoa powder to it.
Other Gluten Free Cake Recipes You Might Love
- Gluten Free Chocolate Pound Cake (This one is amazing!!)
- Gluten Free Italian Cream Cake
- Gluten Free Sour Cream Pound Cake
- Gluten Free Spice Cake
- Gluten Free Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Maple Frosting
Gluten Free Marble Cake with Chocolate Frosting
- Two 8-inch cake pans
- Stand Mixer with the Paddle Attachment
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 t. vanilla extract
- 4 eggs
- 2 ⅓ cup Bob's Red Mill 1:1 All Purpose Gluten Free Flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 t. baking soda
- ¼ t. kosher salt
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- 1 tbsp + 2 t. dark cocoa powder
For the chocolate frosting:
- 8 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips
- 3 tbsp milk
- 2 tbsp dark cocoa powder
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut out two parchment paper circles slightly smaller than the round 8-inch pans. Spray the bottom of the pans with nonstick cooking spray and place the parchment circles on the bottoms of the pans. Spray the insides of the pans as you normally would.
- In a medium sized bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir then set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the oil, vanilla and both sugars. Mix for 1 minute on medium speed and then add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Scrape the bowl with a spatula.
- Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and start the mixer on low so it doesn't poof out of the bowl. Beat on medium until a smooth batter forms.
- While the mixer is on low speed gradually add the buttermilk to the batter until it's completely combined, scraping the bowl with a spatula halfway through.
- Scoop 2 ½ cups of the batter into a large bowl and add 1 tablespoon and 2 teaspoons of dark cocoa powder. Stir until combined.
- Pour some vanilla batter into each cake pan and then pour the chocolate batter equally into both pans and then the rest of the vanilla batter to both pans. Use a knife to gently swirl the batters together. Don't swirl too much or the cake batters will mix together.
- Bake the cakes until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean around 32 to 35 minutes.
- Wait until cakes are warm to remove from the pans. Wait until they are completely cool before frosting.
For the chocolate frosting:
- Melt ½ cup of dark chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon of milk in a small bowl in the microwave and stir then set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer beat together the room temperature butter and 1 cup of powdered sugar for 1 minute on medium speed.
- Add 1 more cup of powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon of milk. Beat again for 1 minute on medium speed.
- Add 1 more cup of powdered sugar and 1 more tablespoon of milk and beat for 1 minute on medium speed.
- Add melted chocolate and 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder and mix for 30 more seconds.