Marbled Chocolate Bundt Cake

A marbled chocolate Bundt cake recipe with chocolate chips and vanilla glaze is just the cake to make for parties, potlucks, and special gatherings of any kind. Real vanilla accents the rich chocolate flavor. Marbled Bundt cakes always make a big impression!

Vanilla Chocolate Marbled Bundt Cake recipe
Emma Christensen

I do love a good Bundt cake. I feel like they're somehow less fussy and formal than layer cake, but still, you know... Cake.

That's why I zeroed right in on this recipe for Vanilla and Chocolate Marbled Bundt Cake in my friend Irvin Lin's new cookbook, "Marbled, Swirled, and Layered."

Why Marbled Bundt Cake Recipe Is a Must-Try

He makes it with a chocolate-coffee syrup swirled into the batter. Plus chocolate chips. Plus a thick vanilla glaze over top. Game, set, match.

marbled, swirled, and layered cookbook
Emma Christensen

If you've been reading Simply Recipes for the past few months, you have no doubt noticed some of the recipes Irvin Lin has shared here, like his Easy Peanut Butter Fudge and these very tempting Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies. He does good things with butter and sugar.

Where This Bundt Cake Recipe Comes From

In "Marbled, Swirled, and Layered," he takes desserts up a notch or three. Not only are all the recipes visually stunning—as you no doubt guessed, but they all incorporate some element of being beautifully marbled, swirled, or layered. Also, the flavor combinations are just out of this world.

Vanilla Chocolate Marbled Bundt Cake
Emma Christensen
Vanilla Chocolate Marbled Bundt Cake
Emma Christensen

With every recipe, I feel like I learn something new about the way seemingly very different ingredients can actually come together in interesting and unexpected ways. I especially love the way Irvin brings savory flavors into play, like that balsamic swirl in the brownies. It's never so much savory that the recipe becomes savory but just enough to make you perk up and pay attention.

Vanilla Chocolate Marbled Bundt Cake
Emma Christensen
Vanilla Chocolate Marbled Bundt Cake recipe in marbled, swirled cookbook
Emma Christensen

If you are the kind of baker who loves to mix and match and have a little fun in the kitchen, then I advise you to pick up a copy of this book immediately.

Now, let's talk about this Bundt cake.

Vanilla Chocolate Marbled Bundt Cake
Emma Christensen
inside view of Vanilla Chocolate Marbled Bundt Cake
Emma Christensen

Bundt Cakes Are the Perfect Easy, No-Fuss Recipe

I confess that I like to eat cake more than I like to bake it, and this recipe was just my speed. Low effort, high reward.

You only need to make one batter (I've seen other recipes that have you make two: one chocolate and one vanilla), and then you scoop about a third of it into a separate bowl to mix with the chocolate syrup. This chocolate batter gets sandwiched between two layers of vanilla, which then get swirled together just before going in the oven.

how to slice Vanilla Chocolate Marbled Bundt Cake
Emma Christensen
perfect Vanilla Chocolate Marbled Bundt Cake
Emma Christensen

Don't Forget: Marbling a Bundt Cake Is Easy!

I fretted over my marbling technique the entire time the cake was baking and cooling, but I didn't need to worry. It was perfect. I love that there were distinct chocolate bits and distinct vanilla bits—tasty and so very pretty. (Follow Irvin's advice to "sometimes dig deep to the bottom and lift up" as you're swirling.)

The cake itself was also incredibly moist and tender, which has me thinking that this might just become my new go-to cake for all future cake-worthy events, forever and always.

To sum up, I'm a big fan of both Irvin and his new book. I highly recommend putting this one on your wish list this year.

Get the book! "Marbled, Swirled, and Layered: 150 Recipes and Variations for Artful Bars, Cookies, Pies, Cakes, and More" by Irvin Lin

What Is a Bundt Pan?

A Bundt pan is a tube panning (meaning it has a hollow tube in the center) that has fluted sides so a cake baked in it comes out with decorative edges. Because the cake comes out with some eye appeal, cakes baked in Bundt pans usually aren't frosted as heavily as a layer cake. This cake has a glaze that allows much of the decorative edging to show through.

How to Store This Cake

Store this Bundt cake on a cake plate with a domed lid at room temperature for up to three days. You can also store it in the refrigerator for six to seven days, but as it sits in the refrigerator it will begin to dry out.

To make this cake ahead of time and store it in the freezer, leave off the glaze. Allow the cake to cool completely and then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then foil before freezing for up to three months. Defrost in the refrigerator and then make and add the glaze.

More Bundt Cake Recipes to Make!

From the Editors Of Simply Recipes

Marbled Chocolate Bundt Cake

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 60 mins
Cooling 30 mins
Total Time 110 mins
Servings 10 to 12 servings

"Growing up in the Midwest, no potluck was complete without a marbled Bundt cake. My mom made them all the time, one of only two desserts that she was known for, so when I hosted a dessert potluck at a local nonprofit community center with the theme 'Like Mom used to make,' I knew I had to replicate her Bundt cake. The secret to this recipe is the homemade chocolate syrup, which you make on the stove before adding it to the batter. Made with coffee and cocoa powder (and a touch of honey), it lends a rich, deep chocolate flavor because the cocoa blooms in the hot coffee. You don't necessarily taste the coffee or honey, but they both boost the chocolate goodness!" — Irvin

Text excerpted from "Marbled, Swirled, and Layered" © 2016 by Irvin Lin. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.


To grease the pan:

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

For the chocolate syrup:

  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar

  • 1/2 cup (55g) natural cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)

  • 1/2 cup freshly brewed strong hot coffee

  • 1/4 cup (85g) mild-tasting honey

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the cake batter:

  • 2 cups (400g) granulated sugar

  • 1 cup (225g or 2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2 3/4 cups (385g) all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup buttermilk

  • 1 cup (210g) semisweet chocolate chips

For the vanilla bean glaze:

  • 1 vanilla bean, or 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  • 1/4 cup whole milk

  • 2 to 2 1/2 cups (230g to 290g) powdered sugar

For decoration:

  • Chocolate pearls, chocolate shavings, or chocolate sprinkles, optional

Special Equipment

  • Stand mixer


  1. Preheat the oven:

    Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  2. Grease the pan:

    Place the butter in a 12-cup Bundt pan and grease the pan with your fingers, making sure to grease all the nooks and crannies. Sprinkle the flour all over the pan and knock out the excess.

    how to grease a bundt pan
    Emma Christensen
    how to flour a bundt cake
    Emma Christensen
  3. Make the chocolate syrup:

    Combine the sugar, cocoa powder, coffee, and honey in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved and the syrup starts to boil. Bring to a simmer, whisking to make sure there are no lumps. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.

    how to make chocolate syrup as a cake ingredient
    Emma Christensen
  4. Make the cake batter:

    Place the sugar and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until the butter looks light in color and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix until incorporated.

    Add the eggs one at a time, beating until completely incorporated and scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl between each addition. Add the baking powder, baking soda, and salt and beat until the dry ingredients are absorbed.

    Add the flour in 3 additions and the buttermilk in 2, alternating between the flour and buttermilk and ending with the flour. Beat until incorporated and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl between each addition. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.

    Vanilla Chocolate Marbled Bundt Cake batter
    Emma Christensen
  5. Combine one-third of the batter with the chocolate syrup:

    Stir one-third of the batter into a medium bowl and add the chocolate syrup. Incorporate completely and set aside.

    building a Vanilla Chocolate Marbled Bundt Cake
    Emma Christensen
  6. Layer the batter:

    Spoon half of the remaining vanilla batter into the prepared Bundt pan. Scrape the chocolate batter on top. Spread the remaining vanilla batter on top of the chocolate batter.

    layering Vanilla Chocolate Marbled Bundt Cake batter
    Emma Christensen
    building a Vanilla Chocolate Marbled Bundt Cake
    Emma Christensen
    Vanilla Chocolate Marbled Bundt Cake
    Emma Christensen
  7. Swirl the layers:

    Insert a butter knife or chopstick into the batter and make "figure eight" motions throughout the entire cake to marble the batter. You may want to sometimes dig deep to the bottom and sometimes lift up to make sure the batter really moves around. Just don't overmix the batters, or else they will blend together instead of marbling.

    how to swirl Vanilla Chocolate Marbled Bundt Cake
    Emma Christensen
  8. Bake:

    Place the pan on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until a toothpick or skewer inserted in the center comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed down lightly, 50 to 60 minutes.

  9. Cool for 20 to 30 minutes and then unmold:

    Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20 to 30 minutes and then invert onto a serving plate while still warm. If the cake doesn't unmold, gently slip a very thin knife between the cake and the pan all the way around to loosen it and then try again.

    fully baked Vanilla Chocolate Marbled Bundt Cake
    Emma Christensen
    unmolding Vanilla Chocolate Marbled Bundt Cake
    Emma Christensen
  10. Make the vanilla bean glaze:

    Slice the vanilla bean lengthwise, if using, and scrape the seeds into the milk in a large bowl. Chop the bean in half and toss the pod in with the milk as well. Let steep in the refrigerator as the cake cools.

    Once the cake has cooled completely (after about 2 hours), remove the vanilla bean from the milk and sift 2 cups powdered sugar into the milk. (If using the vanilla extract, add it to the milk right before sifting the powdered sugar; no need to steep it.) The glaze should be thin enough to pour, but thick enough to hold its shape on the cake, similar to honey in consistency. If the glaze is too thin, add more powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it reaches the desired thickness.

  11. Drizzle the glaze:

    Drizzle the glaze on top of the cake, making sure it drips down the sides.

    [Emma's Tip: Tuck parchment paper under the cake while you drizzle to catch the drips, then remove once the icing is set.]

    If decorating with chocolate pearls, shavings, or sprinkles, sprinkle them randomly on the cake before the glaze dries.

    glaze for Vanilla Chocolate Marbled Bundt Cake
    Emma Christensen
    icing a Vanilla Chocolate Marbled Bundt Cake
    Emma Christensen
    glazing a Vanilla Chocolate Marbled Bundt Cake
    Emma Christensen
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
686 Calories
24g Fat
113g Carbs
8g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10 to 12
Amount per serving
Calories 686
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 24g 31%
Saturated Fat 14g 70%
Cholesterol 106mg 35%
Sodium 269mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 113g 41%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 82g
Protein 8g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 78mg 6%
Iron 4mg 23%
Potassium 183mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.