Marble cake with coffee on the side
Baked desserts International

Recipe for Marble Cake: Caribou Coffee Copycat

One of my kids fell in love with the marble cake from the Caribou Coffee in Riyadh and bugged me to recreate its recipe. We know how kids (young or old) can sweetly nag you if they want something. We had visited Caribou Coffee more than once after that (of course, for their marble cake as one of the reasons), but I had accepted the challenge in between those visits.

I have done this recipe several times since then. Oooopss, kiddoe’s belly had grown! He liked it the first time, and everytime, so I say “mission accomplished.” My first attempt, though successful, could have qualified as “tsamba,” (a Filipino term to mean “luck,”) so there were second and third attempts to ensure that the cake came out the same every time. No tsamba! The rest of the time after that are testaments that this recipe for marble cake works. And I am sharing the recipe here with you.

A Caribou Coffee copycat? Yeah, we can call it that.

First, What is Marble Cake?

A marble cake is a vanilla cake with streaks of chocolate swirled throughout. It gets its name from the marbled appearance of the finished product, which looks like streaks of marble [Wikipedia].

Here’s a bit more detail about marble cake:

  • Flavor: Marble cake is proud of the tastes of vanilla cake and the richness of chocolate.
  • Swirling: There are two batters in the marble cake which are not fully combined. Instead, they are spooned into the cake pan and then gently swirled together with a knife or a wooden skewer to create the marbled pattern.
  • Decoration: Marble cake is often simple and beautiful as is, but you can also frost it with chocolate, vanilla, or other frosting flavor of your choice.
Marble Cake slices

Ingredients and Process for Marble Cake

Here’s what you’ll need for your marble cake:

marble cake recipe ingredients

For the Vanilla and Chocolate Batter:

  • all-purpose flour
  • unsweetened cocoa powder
  • semi-sweet chocolate
  • granulated sugar
  • vanilla extract
  • buttermilk
  • unsalted butter
  • eggs
  • water
  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • salt

For the glaze:

  •  unsalted butter
  • sugar
  • water
  • vanilla extract

Below are the basic steps for this marble cake recipe. More details instructions are in the recipe card at the end of this post.

  • Prepping the bundt pan by greasing it and sprinkling it with flour.
  • Tenderly mixing and boiling the chocolate mixture for the chocolate batter.
  • Mixing the dry ingredients and separating them into two to have the vanilla batter and chocolate batter separately/
  • Pouring the two batters one after the other onto the baking pan.
  • Creating the swirl using a wooden skewer or knife. Baking them for 50-60 minutes.
  • Preparing the glaze while the cake bakes.
  • Glazing the cake.
Step-by-step process for marble cake

Additional Baking Tips for Marble Cake

  • Unsalted butter, since already handy, is suggested in this recipe to grease the 9-inch round pan. However, you can replace that with shortening. The difference: butter will turn out a more evenly brownish color when the cake is done shortening will turn out a palish brown — just a matter of choice.
  • As baking times vary, do check after 50 minutes for doneness, and bake further as necessary.
  • At serving time, you may want to sprinkle the cake with powdered sugar to enhance its appeal. Or design the cake with chocolate frosting. If you’re looking to up the ante, top with chocolate shavings or curls, fresh berries, or a dollop of whipped cream.

Proper Storage Techniques

Proper storage techniques are essential to prevent your marvelous marble cake from turning dry. Store leftover cakes in an airtight container to maintain moisture. If you don’t have an airtight container, wrapping the cake tightly in plastic wrap can also do the trick.

For optimal freshness, follow these simple steps:

  • Allow the cake to cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Transfer the cake to an airtight container or wrap it in plastic wrap.
  • Store at room temperature if consuming within a couple of days. For longer storage, refrigerate. Remember, refrigeration can sometimes dry out cakes, so consume within a week. If you’ve frosted your cake, check if the frosting requires refrigeration, as some types do need to be kept cold.
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Marble cake with coffee on the side

Marble Cake: Caribou Coffee Copycat

  • Author: Magida
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x
  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: International


This recipe for marble cake is a copycat of Caribou Coffee’s in Saudi Arabia. Moist though crumbly, this is an ultimate indulgence.



For the cake:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 115g semi-sweet chocolate
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt

For the glaze:

  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  2. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan with unsalted butter or shortening. Then lightly dust the pan with flour. Shake out any excess flour to avoid any thick, floury areas on the finished cake.
  3. In a smaller cooking pot, combine the cocoa powder, ½ cup sugar, and water. Whisk while bringing to a slow boil. Add the semi-sweet chocolate and stir until melted. Set aside.
  4. Using an electric mixer, beat the softened butter, buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla together. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and remaining 1-1/2 cups of sugar. Beat on medium speed for a couple of minutes. Transfer half the vanilla mixture to the prepared bundt pan.
  5. Add the chocolate mixture to the remaining vanilla cake batter that is still in the electric mixer and mix until smooth. Pour this mixture into vanilla batter.
  6. Using a butter knife or a wooden skewer, swirl the batters together. Do not over-swirl.
  7. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until it passes the toothpick test. Transfer to a wire rack.
  8. While waiting, make the glaze by combining all the glaze ingredients in a saucepan and bringing them to a soft boil. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
  9. Insert a toothpick numerous times (between 25-30 pokes) on the cake. Make sure to gently push the toothpick deep enough to accommodate the glaze. Brush the cake evenly with half the glaze. Leave the cake to cool for at least half an hour.
  10. Invert the cake onto a serving plate. Brush with the remaining glaze over the top and sides of the cake.
  11. Leave to cool further until ready to serve.

Keywords: recipe for marble cake

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating