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

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

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.

PrintPrint SaveSave

Ultimate Marble Cupcakes

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

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes, plus cooling

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 (32g) unsweetened cocoa power

Milk Chocolate Frosting

  • 1 and 3/4 cups (210g) confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup (32g) 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.

*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:

Death by Chocolate Cupcakes

Death by Chocolate Cupcakes

 

Funfetti Cupcakes

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

 

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes with Cinnamon-Swirl Frosting

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes with Cinnamon-Swirl Frosting

 

Cookies ‘n Cream Cupcakes

Cookies 'n Cream Milk Chocolate Cupcakes

 

Chocolate Cupcakes with Mint Chocolate Chip Frosting

Simple Homemade Chocolate Cupcakes with Mint Chocolate Chip Frosting

 

Chocolate White Chocolate Cupcakes

Chocolate White Chocolate Cupcakes

 

 

See more cupcake recipes!

 

 

 

   

120 Responses to “Ultimate Marble Cupcakes.”

  1. #
    61
    Cate @ Chez CateyLouposted February 21, 2014 at 10:15 pm

    I am so bad at choosing, so these would be perfect for me! I love how the marbling in the icing and the cake looks – so pretty!

    Reply

  2. #
    62
    katherineposted February 21, 2014 at 11:50 pm

    Hi Sally, I really want to make this cupcakes right now, but I don’t have any yoghurt at home. Can I use buttermilk instead?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on February 22nd, 2014 at 11:00 am

      Certainly can! Instead of 3/4 cup milk and 1/4 cup buttermilk, use 1 full cup buttermilk. Enjoy, Katherine!

      Reply

  3. #
    63
    Helen @ Scrummy Laneposted February 22, 2014 at 5:48 am

    Aw, these are so neat and pretty! I’m sure you are going to have 2 very happy girlfriends when they receive them later! I especially love the swirly cake – it totally matches the swirly top! You are really inspiring me to get a piping bag and have a go at these wonderful well-tested recipes you post!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on February 22nd, 2014 at 10:57 am

      Yeah! Good luck with your frosting swirling/piping, Helen. Practice practice practice – that’s the only way to learn!

      Reply

  4. #
    64
    Nicolaposted February 22, 2014 at 9:04 am

    When I was a little girl I used to inflict marble cakes (layered ones) on my family – I say inflict because they always tended to be dry. Luckily my favourite marble Bundt cake recipe is very moist, as I expect these are! It’s lovely when your posts evoke nostalgia!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on February 22nd, 2014 at 10:56 am

      Thanks Nicola. :) Sounds like you gotta make these cupcakes for your family!

      Reply

  5. #
    65
    Tina @ Tina's Chic Cornerposted February 22, 2014 at 10:34 am

    Haha…this is exactly why I love marble cakes because it’s perfect when I can’t decide between chocolate or vanilla! You never disappoint…these look a-maz-ing!! :)

    Reply

  6. #
    66
    Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love.posted February 23, 2014 at 12:32 am

    These are a work of art, Sally!

    Reply

  7. #
    67
    Tenns @ New Mama Diariesposted February 23, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    These looks delicious! I’ve never made marble cupcakes before, so I’ll have to give these a go!

    Reply

  8. #
    68
    Cateposted February 23, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    Oh yum! These look amazing, and perfect for those i can’t make up my mind moments, thanks for sharing! x

    Reply

  9. #
    69
    Allisonposted February 23, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    Marble cake is my favorite!! I ask for it every year for my birthday–marble cake with chocolate frosting. Thank you for coming up with a recipe! The cupcakes look delicious! Love your site and am always looking forward to seeing what you come up with next!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on February 23rd, 2014 at 6:00 pm

      Thank you Allison! Sounds like you gotta try these cupcakes!

      Reply

  10. #
    70
    Amyposted February 23, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    Sally, these are SO cute!! And perfect for me, the world’s most indecisive girl. I don’t crave vanilla more than chocolate very often, but when I do, it’s a very intense craving! Kevin is so cute, to tell you to bake both so you didn’t have to choose. It’s something my guy would do too, but I love your best-of-both-worlds solution!

    Reply

  11. #
    71
    miss messyposted February 24, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    This is absolutely stunning! Like i can’t even believe how pretty they are! :) Yum!

    Reply

  12. #
    72
    Laurenposted February 24, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    What a fun look! Love doing swirled frosting, it always looks so impressive!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on February 24th, 2014 at 8:09 pm

      Thanks Lauren!

      Reply

  13. #
    73
    Anna (Hidden Ponies)posted February 24, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    I love this idea since I hate choosing one or the other! And both frostings too…best cupcakes ever.

    Reply

  14. #
    74
    Mariaposted February 26, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    Hello:) I need to make diabetic friendly cupcakes tomorrow, and I cant find a recipe that looks half appetizing ANYWHERE! Could I use a sugar substitute (splenda, stevia) in these cupcakes without making them lumpy and gross?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on February 26th, 2014 at 8:18 pm

      I do not recommend using a sugar substitute for this cupcake recipe. Sorry, Maria!

      Reply

  15. #
    75
    Kelseyposted February 28, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    These are cooling on my counter right now! I just have to make the frosting. I’ll report back once they’re finished and eaten :D But I was wondering: how do you get the frosting to be that tall on your cupcakes? I also use the 1M tip, but I just end up with a single, short layer.

    Thanks for sharing your recipes! I also made your chocolate cupcakes, chocolate frosting, and white chocolate frosting. All of which have been fantastic!

    Reply

    • Kelseyreplied on February 28th, 2014 at 10:06 pm

      Cupcakes are finished and they are delicious! I followed the recipe exactly, cupcakes and frosting. I had some frosting leftover, and I couldn’t stop eating it! Every recipe I’ve made from your blog has been fantastic. You’re my go-to baking blog :)

      Reply

  16. #
    76
    Laura Dembowskiposted March 2, 2014 at 8:30 am

    That frosting is beautiful, Sally! It makes me want to grab one through the screen.

    Reply

  17. #
    77
    Kimposted March 3, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    I made these for a family lunch yesterday – LOVE them! The cupcakes themselves are just outstanding, such a great balance of sweetness and flavours. And? Not, at all, terrifyingly difficult. Lady – you are amazing. I cannot wait to own your cookbook!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on March 3rd, 2014 at 3:22 pm

      Thank you very much Kim! Love these cupcakes. :)

      Reply

  18. #
    78
    Catherineposted March 4, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    Again, YUMYUMYUMYUMYUM!

    Reply

  19. #
    79
    Jessica @ Sprinkle Some Sugarposted March 6, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    Yum! These cupcakes look amazing. Love how the icing is swirled together like that, what a great technique. If you can’t choose between chocolate and vanilla, make both! Great idea. :) Pinned!

    Reply

  20. #
    80
    Alissaposted March 13, 2014 at 11:36 am

    Sally, these are gorgeous. I think this is my all time favorite cupcake photo!

    Reply

  21. #
    81
    Myshellposted April 3, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    Hey Sally! I was wondering if this recipe would go good as a cake??

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on April 4th, 2014 at 12:52 pm

      Yep! Those instructions are at the bottom of the recipe in red.

      Reply

  22. #
    82
    Gauriposted April 11, 2014 at 12:19 am

    Hi Sally! I made these cupcakes yesterday for my cousin’s birthday because I wanted to try making something special. Initially I wasn’t planning on frosting them since I’ve actually never used a piping bag before, but after pulling the cupcakes out of the oven, I kept looking at your picture and thinking how pretty they would look with the frosting so I gave it a shot! It worked beautifully and everyone loved them! The double frosting is such a cool idea. I’ve never commented on here before but your blog is one of my favourites, I’ve been following it for a while now (I live in India) and I’ve tried so many recipes -the chocolate chip cookies, the triple chocolate layer cake (SO good!), the banana streusel muffins, garlic bread etc. And the guides are so helpful! Keep up the great work and thanks for sharing your creations :)

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on April 11th, 2014 at 8:47 am

      Hi Gauri! Thanks so much for taking the time to say hi. So nice of you! I appreciate it. And I’m very glad you gave the frosting a shot. It’s easy to swirl the frostings – just takes some practice! Love that garlic bread. We make it a lot!

      Reply

Leave a Comment