Ultimate Marble Cupcakes.

For when you can’t decide if you want a chocolate cupcake or a vanilla cupcake!

Ultimate Marble Cupcakes! Chocolate and vanilla swirled frosting on top of chocolate and vanilla swirled homemade cupcakes!

Tuesday was my friend Kristin’s birthday and Saturday is my friend Erin’s birthday. Going out tonight and Saturday night to celebrate my two best gals.

But first… cupcakes. Very confused cupcakes. Are they chocolate? Are they vanilla? Who cares! Have both flavors and eat them too because today you don’t have to choose!

It’s party time. 

Ultimate Marble Cupcakes by @sallybakeblog. For when you can't decide if you want a chocolate cupcake or a vanilla cupcake!

I have a few kitchen-tested, reader-approved, very trusty cupcake recipes on my website. Two favorites? These vanilla funfetti cupcakes and these chocolate cupcakes. I knew I wanted to make one of them, but was having trouble deciding which. Kevin told me to just make both, but that sounded like too much work– even for bakeaholic me.

So I decided to jazz things up. Throw a curveball and surprise everyone with an irresistible medley of both chocolate AND vanilla. Ladies and gents, I bring you…

Ultimate Marble Cupcakes.

Ultimate Marble Cupcakes by sallysbakingaddiction.com. Surprisingly simple to make!

Lucky for both you and me, these cupcakes are a snap to make.

What You’re Gonna Do:

First, you do NOT have to make a vanilla cupcake batter and a chocolate cupcake batter. Thank goodness! Rather, you’ll simply make my trusted vanilla cupcake recipe and add cocoa powder to part of its batter. Less dishes, less time, less headache!

The vanilla batter is all mixed together by hand in under 5 minutes. Once mixed, measure 3/4 cup of the batter and add to a medium mixing bowl with cocoa powder and a touch of milk. Since you’re adding more dry ingredients to this portion of the cupcake batter (the cocoa powder), you’ll need a touch of milk to thin it out.

The marbling part is not tricky at all. You’ll simply spoon some vanilla batter into your cupcake liners, then some chocolate batter, then some more vanilla batter on top. Take a toothpick and gently swirl it all together a couple times. I only swirled a few of my cupcakes because I wanted to see how each (swirling vs no swirling) turned out. The swirling looked the prettiest when baked up! Here are some visuals:

How to make Homemade Marble Cupcakes - get the recipe at sallysbakingaddiction.com

Now, let’s talk frosting. No cupcake is complete without it. If you’re anything like me, you like a little cupcake with a lot of frosting.

You’re going to make two frostings. My favorite vanilla frosting and my favorite chocolate frosting. There are a few options for frosting these cupcakes:

  • Make both frostings and spread them each on your cupcakes however you’d like.
  • Make either the vanilla frosting or the chocolate frosting (double the frosting recipes below to make sure there is enough for all 12 cupcakes) and frost the cupcakes with a knife or piping tip.
  • Make swirled frosting using my How to Make Swirled Frosting page as a guide.

You’ll need a Wilton 1M piping tip and a piping bag if you choose the third option. All you do is spoon some vanilla frosting into one side of your piping bag and chocolate frosting into the other side. Then, pipe onto cupcakes in a swirl pattern:

How to Make Chocolate and Vanilla Swirled Frosting by sallysbakingaddiction.com

Again, here’s a page with more visuals to help guide you with the swirl frosting.

I also include how I use the Wilton 1M swirl piping tip. If you’re ever curious about how I frost my cupcakes, that’s a handy page to read!

Ultimate Marble Cupcakes by @sallybakeblog. For when you can't decide if you want a chocolate cupcake or a vanilla cupcake!

So there you have it. A simple one-batter marble cupcake with velvety rich chocolate and vanilla frostings on top. Buttery vanilla paired with swirls of chocolate throughout every super-moist bite. Does it really get any better than this?

Oh yes, it does.

Top with a sparkly pink candle and celebrate your ultimate awesomeness.

Ultimate Marble Cupcakes. Super-moist, super simple, and super swirled chocolate and vanilla cupcakes!

I can hardly wait for the birthday girls to taste their marbled treats!

*Don’t be overwhelmed by the ingredient list! A lot of the ingredients are just repeated for each part of the cupcake/frostings.

Ultimate Marble Cupcakes

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes, plus cooling

Print Recipe

Chocolate and vanilla marble cupcakes with chocolate and vanilla swirl frosting on top! These cupcakes are perfect for when you can't decide between a chocolate or vanilla treat!

Yield: 14 standard cupcakes or 28 mini

Ingredients:

Cupcakes

  • 1 and 2/3 cups (210g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (60g) yogurt*
  • 3/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon (195ml) milk, divided*
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (21g) unsweetened cocoa powder

Milk Chocolate Frosting

  • 1 and 3/4 cups (210g) confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup (21g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) heavy cream or half-and-half*
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • salt, to taste

Vanilla Frosting

  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 and 3/4 cups (210g) confectioners' sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) heavy cream or half-and-half*
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • salt, to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line muffin pan with 12 cupcake liners and an additional pan with 2 liners. This recipe makes about 14 cupcakes. Set them aside.

Make the cupcakes: in a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt butter in the microwave. Whisk in sugar - mixture will be gritty. Chill in the refrigerator for 1 minute. Stir in egg, yogurt, 3/4 cup milk, and vanilla extract until combined. Slowly mix in dry ingredients until no lumps remain. Batter will be thick. Transfer 3/4 cup of batter to another medium bowl. Mix in cocoa powder and 1 Tablespoon milk until combined. Chocolate batter will be extremely thick.

Spoon 1 Tablespoon of vanilla batter into each cupcake liner. Top with a spoonful of chocolate batter, then more vanilla batter on top until all batters have been used up. At this point you may swirl the batters together very lightly using a toothpick or leave them as is, as I explained in the post. Bake the cupcakes for 20-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (Bake for 8-9 minutes if making mini cupcakes.) Allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.

For the chocolate frosting: sift together the confectioners' sugar and cocoa powder to assure there are no lumps. Set aside. With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy - about 2 minutes. Gradually add the sifted sugar/cocoa powder alternately with the heavy cream and vanilla. Beat on low speed after each addition. Once all added, beat on high speed until creamy and combined for at least 2 minutes. Add a pinch of salt if frosting is too sweet.

For the vanilla frosting: With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy - about 2 minutes. Add confectioners' sugar, cream, and vanilla extract with the mixer running on low. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 full minutes. Add more powdered sugar if frosting is too thin or more cream if frosting is too thick. Add a pinch of salt if frosting is too sweet.

Frost cooled cupcakes with a knife or with a piping bag/tip. If you'd like to just make 1 kind of frosting and not both, make sure you double the frosting recipe of your choice to make sure there is enough for all cupcakes. To swirl the two frostings like I did, here is how I made the swirl frosting. There may be leftover frosting depending how much you use on each cupcake.

Store cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days and in the refrigerator up to 5.

Additional Notes:

*To make into a single-layer cake, simply layer the chocolate and vanilla batters into a 9x2 inch cake pan or 9 inch springform pan. Fill the pan 2/3 of the way full. There will be leftover batter for an additional cupcake or two. Bake the cake for 30-35 minutes. 

*For the cupcakes, you may use any kind of yogurt you like - Greek, regular, vanilla, plain, nonfat or low fat. You may use any milk you like - buttermilk, skim, 1%, 2%, almond, soy, etc.

*For the frosting, heavy cream or half-and-half will give your frostings the creamiest texture. You may use milk instead, keeping in mind the frostings won't be as creamy.

© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

 

A few more cupcake recipes you’ll love:

Classic Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting

Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting

Funfetti Cupcakes

You will never make boxed Funfetti Cupcakes again after you try this homemade recipe! sallysbakingaddiction.com

 

Death by Chocolate Cupcakes

My Favorite Chocolate Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Frosting

 

See more cupcake recipes.

Ultimate Marble Cupcakes by @sallybakeblog. For when you can't decide if you want a chocolate cupcake or a vanilla cupcake!

 

 

 

   

213 Responses to “Ultimate Marble Cupcakes.”

  1. #
    121
    Sondosposted January 15, 2015 at 6:03 am

    Can i use any tip or the one you mentioned only ?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on January 15th, 2015 at 9:48 am

      Any piping tip is fine.

      Reply

  2. #
    122
    Saposted January 16, 2015 at 9:19 pm

    Does this frosting stay. I would like to use wilton 1 M tip for making roses

    Reply

    • Luisa Hernandezreplied on May 25th, 2015 at 8:18 pm

      Yes! I just made these today and the frosting is pipeable and it does hold it shape. But for some reason if you live in a hotter climate you can always add an extra half cup of powdered sugar to thicken the consistency. :) Hope this helps.

      Reply

  3. #
    123
    Melissa Costonposted January 18, 2015 at 9:51 am

    Can I use salted butter or is unsalted one of those necessary imgredients?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on January 18th, 2015 at 6:52 pm

      You may use salted; reduce salt down by 1/4 teaspoon.

      Reply

  4. #
    124
    Aislynnposted January 30, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    For this recipe, is it mandatory to have yogurt in the cupcake mixture?

    Reply

    • Luisa Hernandezreplied on May 25th, 2015 at 8:22 pm

      I have made this recipe multiple times and if I didn’t have yogurt, I would use sour cream or greek yogurt. But if you don’t have neither, you can just substitute the yogurt for an extra  1/4 cup of milk. The yogurt however makes the cupcakes more moist.

      Reply

  5. #
    125
    Danitraposted March 14, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    Hi! Thanks for sharing your recipe. Would it be possible for this recipe to be baked in a bundt pan as well? Or do you suppose it would not cook thoroughly ?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on March 14th, 2015 at 2:27 pm

      It could, yes. But you’d likely have to 1.5x or double the recipe for a bundt pan. Not sure of the outcome, Danitra. I’ve never tried it before.

      Reply

  6. #
    126
    Maggieposted March 19, 2015 at 10:55 am

    I made these yesterday for an upcoming baby shower and hands down this is the best cupcake I have ever tasted (and there has been a lot). I couldn’t scrape that bowl once they were in the oven quick enough. These will be a forever go to recipe. And super easy! I did add a little instant coffee powder to the milk you add into the chocolate batter. I don’t have anything to compare it to…all in all just fantastic!

    Reply

  7. #
    127
    Britanyposted March 19, 2015 at 7:17 pm

    Dear Sally I love your recipes and enjoy making them. Do you think I can double this marble cakes recipe and prepare it in a bunt pan ? Thank you :)

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on March 19th, 2015 at 8:08 pm

      Hi Britany. Doubling the recipe will yield a little too much batter. You’d likely have to 1.5x or double the recipe for a bundt pan. Not sure of the outcome because I’ve never tried it as a bundt before. I simply recommend cupcakes or the single layer cake recommended in the notes.

      Reply

  8. #
    128
    Linthaposted March 20, 2015 at 4:46 am

    Hey… i was just wondering.. can we use any neutral oil instead of butter for the cupcakes?? If so what would be the measurements??
    Thanks

    Reply

  9. #
    129
    Ashleyposted March 24, 2015 at 9:07 pm

    Hi, Sally, I was just wondering if it’s possible to complete the cupcake part of this recipe without an electric mixer?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on March 24th, 2015 at 9:50 pm

      You do not need a mixer for the cupcake batter.

      Reply

  10. #
    130
    Jennposted April 1, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    Hi Sally,

    I have a question regarding frosting in general, have you ever made a swiss meringue buttercream? I’ve noticed on a lot of your cupcake recipes, it is usually some modification of an American Buttercream and I was just curious what your thoughts were/are on a swiss meringue in terms of taste and texture.

    Thanks again!!

    Jenn

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on April 1st, 2015 at 4:41 pm

      I love swiss meringue buttercream but much prefer simple vanilla or chocolate frosting over it. Especially on cupcakes. I don’t have a perfected recipe for it at this time either.

      Reply

      • Jennreplied on April 1st, 2015 at 4:48 pm

        Hi Sally! Thanks for your response. I’ve never made a swiss meringue and see that different recipes for it do differ quite a bit, I plan on trying my hand sometime in the near future. I just keep hearing about this silky heavenly texture so I feel have no choice but to test it out!

        Thanks again!
        Jenn

  11. #
    131
    Aneesahposted April 25, 2015 at 5:09 am

    I plan on making these a day before and then icing them in the morning.
    Have you got any tips on keeping the cupcakes moist and fresh?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on April 27th, 2015 at 9:29 am

      Just keep them covered tightly… that’s the best way.

      Reply

  12. #
    132
    Olivia K.posted April 30, 2015 at 11:15 pm

    HEY SALLY! I LOVE LOVE LOVE your recipes! For this recipe, can I not use yoghurt? Or can I at least have a substitute? Thanks in advance!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on May 1st, 2015 at 7:20 am

      Sour cream works too!

      Reply

  13. #
    133
    Lilianposted May 11, 2015 at 8:23 am

    Hiiiee sally!! I really love ur recipes :* i tried this once but i changed the flour to cake flour since i only have that at that moment. The cupcakes didnt rise properly. Do u think thats the reason why?

    Reply

  14. #
    134
    Nikkiposted May 24, 2015 at 10:06 am

    Hi Sally! I made these and they tasted great! But my marbling didn’t quite work. Instead, the chocolate batter sunk, so the cupcakes had a massive chocolate blob at the bottom. Did I use too much chocolate batter? Because you do mention that the chocolate batter is thicker than the vanilla batter, so it’s not really that surprising… Should I use more milk to thin the chocolate batter out?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on May 24th, 2015 at 10:43 am

      Nikki, you could try to thin the batter out with a little milk, yes. Try to use a little more vanilla batter in each cupcake. Maybe you’ll have a little extra chocolate batter leftover to make plain chocolate cupcakes then. Enjoy!

      Reply

  15. #
    135
    Elizabethposted June 7, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    I made these cupcakes a few weeks ago and they were a lot of fun, but I found they were dry.  Can you tell me what I would need to alter to avoid that in the future? It seems the review are primarily that they are moist so I think it’s baker’s error…..

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on June 8th, 2015 at 9:44 am

      Do you think you overmeasured the flour by chance? Always try to spoon and level. Meaning, do not scoop your flour. Spoon it into the measuring cup. This prevents it from packing into the cup, which often results in a dry baked good.

      Reply

  16. #
    136
    Kristinposted June 17, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    Hi!

    These cupcakes are so delicious! I’m not really a cake or cupcake fan, but I definitely suggest these :)

    Reply

  17. #
    137
    Monicaposted June 21, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    Hey, is it necessary to use an electric blender for making the frostings ? 

    Reply

  18. #
    138
    Cynthiaposted June 24, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    Love your recipe, just made it for my daughter birthday ….the recipe so good !! Thank you for sharing ….

    Reply

  19. #
    139
    Melissaposted June 26, 2015 at 8:39 am

    These look wonderful!  I was hoping to bake the cupcakes inside plain cake ice cream cones so they end up looking like twist ice cream cones in the end.  Do you think that work work with this cake recipe?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on June 26th, 2015 at 1:49 pm

      I can’t see why not!

      Reply

  20. #
    140
    quiannaposted June 30, 2015 at 11:25 am

    Cant wait to try one of your recipes with real ingredients! For your yellow cupcakes you say cake flour is ok to use if you up it a little. Would the same hold true for these marbled ones? Thanks!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on June 30th, 2015 at 2:43 pm

      Yes! Cake flour produces a slighter softer cake crumb.

      Reply

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