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Marble cake is easy and festive–and the decorating is really not hard. Sometimes, when we have groups of kids who have a strong preference for chocolate or white cake, we leave the batter in a checkerboard square pattern without swirling it, so each piece is one flavor–though you can have half chocolate and half white if you cut the cake just right.

  • 2/3 Cup butter, room temperature
  • 13/4 Cups white granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 21/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 11/4 Cup milk
  Click image to view a Step-by-Step movie of this recipe.

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 9x13 pan. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy on medium speed with an electric mixer. Don’t rush this step, as the fluffiness of the finished cake depends upon it. Add the eggs and PURE VANILLA EXTRACT and mix well to blend. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt together. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk to the butter mixture. Beat on low speed after each addition until smooth. Pour half of the batter into a separate bowl and sift all of the NATURAL COCOA POWDER into the batter and blend well on low speed, so that you have one bowl of chocolate batter and one bowl of yellow batter. Spoon the batter into the baking pan, alternating between the chocolate and white batter. Swirl the batter with a spoon to create the marbled effect. 1 Make sure your spoon is in firm contact with the bottom of the pan. Pulling the spoon with the bowl facing you makes thick stripes, turning the spoon sideways will make thinner ribbons. Bake the cake for 30-40 minutes. It is done when a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let the cake cool, then frost. Decorating the cake is easiest when it is still slightly warm.

Yield: 6 servings.
Prep time: 15 minutes.
Cooking time: 20 minutes or so total.

Delicious frosting for any cake, not just for decoration. The regular liquid dyes from the grocery store can be used, but are not as good for vivid colors like the flag. We used Wilton royal blue and Wilton non-flavored red paste color (regular red has quite a strong flavor). Wilton paste colors are available at Mart-style stores and craft stores.

  • 2 sticks butter, room temperature
  • 4 Cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 6 TB. milk, divided

To decorate, divide the frosting and color:

  • 11/2 Cups Buttercream frosting, for the cake
  • 1/2 Cup blue frosting
  • 1/2 Cup Buttercream frosting, for the stars
  • 11/2 Cups red frosting

To make the Buttercream frosting, cream the room temperature butter and PURE VANILLA EXTRACT together on medium speed with an electric mixer. Alternate adding powdered sugar and milk, mixing well on low speed after each addition.
To decorate the cake, frost the entire cake smoothly with 11/2 Cups of plain white Buttercream frosting 2. Divide the remaining frosting into 3 separate bowls - 11/2 Cups for red, 1/2 Cup each for blue and plain. To color the frosting, dip a clean toothpick into the blue or red paste and stir into the frosting , mixing well with a spoon 3. If you need to add more for the perfect color, use a clean toothpick. You will need quite a bit of red for the perfect color–we used about 1/3 of a large jar. Start with the blue frosting, thin with 1 TB. milk. Using a round tip (we used a #4 - the standard round tip that comes with a grocery store frosting kit) on a pastry bag, make a blue square in the upper left corner of the cake. The blue square should be fairly large–four red stripes will touch the blue square and three red stripes will be below it. By thinning the frosting, the lines of frosting will blend together to cover the corner evenly. The trick is to squeeze the pastry bag with your right hand and guide the stream of frosting with your left hand. For the corner, make an outline of the blue square and then, squeeze the bag continuously, drawing along the square and working your way to the center. 4 For the red stripes, use a medium star tip (we used a #18 - again, about the same as a grocery store kit) on a pastry bag and carefully make 7 red stripes made of stars. This is a bit time consuming, but not hard. Practice a few stars on a piece of paper before moving to the cake. We made each red stripe 3 stars wide 5. For the flag’s stars, use 1/2 Cup of the buttercream frosting and a round tip. If you have a smaller tip, it is a bit easier (we used a #3). Thin the frosting with 1 TB of milk and squeeze to make the stars. Draw the stars just like you would on a piece of paper–they don’t need to be perfect 6. As you can see, our cake doesn’t have 13 stars, and it still looks as good as it tastes.

Serves: 12-18.
Prep. time: 15 minutes.
Baking time: 30-40 minutes.
Frosting time: 20-30 minutes.

Single Strength Vanilla 4 oz. Bottle
Natural Cocoa Powder 2.1 oz. 1/2 cup jar

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