Classic Sponge Vanilla Marble Cake

Chocolate and vanilla – what could be better? Classic “marble cake” is a mix of light and dark cake batter, mixed together after pouring in layers to creating the effect of a marble pattern. This is a classic German recipe made by and passed on to me from my one and only — my favorite Schwabe. Moist, tender and irresistible, it’s often offered in cafes and bakeries across Germany. Who doesn’t love a good marble cake? Sometimes it’s topped with a chocolate glaze and other times it’s lightly sprinkled with sweet, powdery icing sugar. There is something so appealing about the beautifully marbled swirl that appears when you cut off a slice.

Classic Sponge Vanilla Marble Cake
3.34 from 3 votes

Classic Sponge Vanilla Marble Cake

Made from scratch classic German marble cake (Marmorkuchen) is a mix of light and dark swirls of batter and kids and family favorite. At Easter it's a festive treat.
Course Dessert
Category German
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 1 cake
Autor Elle


  • 250 g butter, softened to room temperature
  • 250 g fine granular white sugar
  • 6 medium-sized eggs
  • 1 package vanilla sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 300 g all-purpose flour
  • 200 g cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder
  • 1 package baking powder
  • 200 - 225 ml whole milk
  • 30 g cocoa
  • 25 g additional sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk, in case the cake mixture is too thick


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C. Grease and flour a Bundt cake pan.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar and eggs together until creamy; about 5 minutes. Stir in the vanilla sugar and a pinch of salt.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, measure out the flour, cornstarch, vanilla powder, and baking powder; whisk together to combine.
  4. Add the flour and cold milk to the creamed eggs, alternating. Add 1/3 of the flour to the batter and beat on low speed just until incorporated. Then add 1/2 of the milk and beat. Add another 1/3 of the flour, and beat, and then the last of the milk and beat. Finally, beat in the last 1/3 of the flour. Add a little more flour if the dough is too runny.
  5. Fill 2/3 of the amount of batter into the well-greased cake pan.
  6. Add the cocoa and additional sugar to the remaining batter along with 2-3 tablespoons milk. Mix together until smooth.
  7. Pour the remaining batter into the cake pan. Now with a fork (or handle of a wooden spoon), swirl the batter to create a marbled effect. This is done by moving the fork in a spiraling pattern through the cake, mixing the two dough layers, resulting in a marble pattern in the dough. Hence the name of the marble cake.
  8. Place in the oven and bake on the lower third of the oven for about 60-75 minutes, rotating the pan half way through. The cake is done when it has browned slightly and a cake tester (or toothpick) comes out clean when inserted into the middle.
  9. Allow to cool on a rack for 10 minutes. Then, gently loosen the edge of the cake with a knife from the baking pan. Give the marble cake a couple of gentle shakes, so that it releases itself from the form. The cake will come out clean and whole without sticking. Turn the cake upside down onto a wire rack and let cool completely in the pan, about 2 hours.
  10. TIP: After the marble cake has completely cooled, either dust it with powdered sugar, or cover with a chocolate glaze and serve. This classic sponge cake tastes best when cut and served one day after baking.

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