Marble Cupcakes

These marble cupcakes are my kids’ absolute favourite treat when they magically show up on the counter. Made using a luscious vanilla cake batter swirled with chocolate These simple and moist cupcakes pair perfectly with chocolate or vanilla frosting, or even with a little bit of both.

The supermom’s answer to when you have more than one kid who don’t like the same flavour!

Today’s post is  dedicated to my new friend, Oliver. He is an 8 year old boy I was lucky enough to get to know because he was a huge fan of The Great Canadian Baking Show. His Mom reached out to me after he was devastated at my departure. Me too Oliver, me too!

Anyway, I knew I had to send my heartbroken new friend some cookies to try and cheer him up. Much to my surprise, his mom sent me a great video of his surprise and the look on his face and response to the cookies made me tear up.

A few weeks later a parcel showed up and it was a framed Oliver original that he had made just for me. This picture now has a place of honour in my kitchen and it makes me smile every time I see it.

This is just one of the many reasons why I believe baking brings people together. It is an expression of love and kindness, in a time when we need it the most.

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How To Make Marble Cupcakes

Preheat your oven. Adding boiling water, cocoa powder, and espresso powder into a small bowl. Whisk so it is well combined then set to the side to cool while you make the cupcake batter.

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In a stand mixer, with the paddle attachment, add the butter and whip until it has lightened in colour. Then add the granulated sugar and mix again until light and fluffy.

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Next add the eggs, one at a time. Mix well until egg is fully incorporated before adding the next egg.


Once all the eggs are added it’s time to prepare the dry ingredients.

Add the cake flour, baking powder, and salt to a bowl whisking to combine then set aside. In another bowl add milk, heavy, cream, and vanilla whisking to combine. Add the dry ingredients and milk mixture into the butter and eggs.


Add the flour mixture, in three additions, alternating with the milk mixture in two additions. Basically add the flour and mix well, add half the milk and mix well, second addition of flour mix well, other half of the milk mix well, and then the third addition of flour and mix well. This will give you a creamy and luscious vanilla cake batter.


Now get the bowl that has the cocoa powder, espresso powder, and boiling water mixed together. Add some vanilla cake batter into the cocoa powder mixture and using a spatula stir until its combined.

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Now you have vanilla and chocolate cake batter. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners, this recipe makes about 16. Evenly divide the vanilla cake batter through all 16 muffin tins. Then repeat this step with the chocolate cake batter.

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Then use a toothpick to swirl the chocolate and vanilla cake batters together. Don’t over mix or you will just have pale chocolate cupcakes instead of the swirl pattern.

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Once all the cupcakes are swirled place in the preheated oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Now also feels like a great time to mention that I do in fact WASH my cupcake tins its just that they used to be my Grandma’s and really that is just years of baking that has seasoned these pans.

Once they are baked remove from the oven and cool on wire racks before icing.


Once they cool, frost with your favourite icing, Ive added my fluffy vanilla butter cream and chocolate buttercream below…or try a few with both.

How to Make Fluffy Vanilla Frosting

For the easiest fluffy vanilla frosting, place butter into a bowl and beat with an electric mixer. Once the butter is fluffy add the icing sugar and beat until its fully combined, it will feel a little stiff. Add the heavy cream and vanilla and whip on high speed until airy and fluffy.


How To Make Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Place butter in a bowl and with an electric mixer whip until fluffy. Add the icing sugar, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla, and heavy cream then whip until well mixed and the icing is fluffy. Tip: Adding a bit of light corn syrup helps the chocolate icing not look dull.


Now that you have the icing and the marble cupcakes are cooled its time to frost. I like to fill one pipping bag with vanilla, and one with chocolate. Then I use a third pipping bag to put the tip in, this way I can easily switch between the chocolate and vanilla with no mess.

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After Ive done as many of each flavour I like to then do a few with both. So I pipe vanilla frosting down one side, and chocolate down the other then pipe away.


Once you’ve frosted all your cupcakes dig in and enjoy, I suggest one of each flavour…you know for research purposes.

I also really wish I could share one of these with Oliver đŸ™‚

How To Store Them

The cupcakes and icing will stay well about 1 week at room temperature in an airtight container. The cupcakes also freeze really well, without the frosting, for about 3 months, again in an airtight container.

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Marble Cupcakes:


  • 1 3/4 cups cake flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup butter room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated
  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/3 cup dutch process cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder, or instant coffee
  • 1/4 cup boiling water


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl add the cocoa powder, espresso powder, and boiling water. Whisk to combine then set aside.
  2. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment add the butter and mix on medium-high until lightened in colour.
  3. Add the sugar and mix again and fully incorporated.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, making sure to mix well and scrape down the bowl between each egg addition. Once all eggs are added set aside.
  5. In a small bowl add the flour, baking powder, and salt whisk to combine.
  6. In another small bowl add the milk, heavy cream, and vanilla.
  7. Now add the flour mixture into the bowl of the stand mixer in three batches, alternating with the milk mixture in two additions. Start, and end, with the flour.
  8. Take one cup of the prepared cake batter and add it to the bowl with the cocoa powder and boiling water and stir until its fully combined.
  9. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners. Fill each liner with alternating spoonfuls of chocolate and vanilla batter until they are about 3/4 full.
  10. Use a toothpick to swirl the chocolate and vanilla together then place in the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
  11. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely on wire rack before frosting.

Fluffy Vanilla Frosting


  • 1 cup butter at room temperature
  • 3 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream


  1. Place butter in bowl and whisk, using an electric mixer, on medium-high until lighter in colour.
  2. Add icing sugar and mix, starting on low working up to high, until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the vanilla and 2 tbsp. of heavy cream and mix on medium-high for about 2 minutes.

Chocolate Buttercream:


  • 1 cup butter at room temperature
  • 3 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 1/2 cup dutch process cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp. heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tbsp. light corn syrup.


  1. Place the butter into a bowl and mix until fluffy using an electric hand mixer on medium-high.
  2. Add the icing sugar, cocoa powder, heavy cream, vanilla, and salt. Whisk on high until well combined and fluffy.
  3. Add the light corn syrup and whisk on high until the frosting is glossy.






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