Marble Cupcakes With Swirled Chocolate-Vanilla Frosting

by Ala
12 cupcakes
30 min

Feeling conflicted about whether to grab a fork, or a spoon, or a knife? Why not grab a SPLAYD instead? (Yes, this was invented by an Australian in the 1940s and actually exists.) There are Goldendoodles for dog lovers, hybrid baby stroller-scooters for impatient parents, and now, for the cupcake lovers in the room: these incredible Marble Cupcakes with Swirled Chocolate-Vanilla Frosting!

I recently made these for a friend’s birthday because I couldn’t decide whether he would like vanilla or chocolate cupcakes more–so I ended up making both! For inspiration, I turned to an easy Marble Cupcake recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction and made a few small changes, like subbing oil for butter for a moister crumb and doubling the recipe to create a dozen generously-sized cupcakes–but my favorite part is that you only need to create ONE batter here. (Hint: You’ll simply divide the batter in half and add some extra cocoa powder to one half at the end before baking!)

The result was an extraordinary combination of rich vanilla flavors balanced by the dark, cocoa-y notes of chocolate spiraling throughout. I also topped these with a swirl of my favorite vanilla and chocolate cream cheese frostings, which I love so much that choosing between them would be like deciding whether to trade a first edition Mewtwo Pokemon card for an equally rare Charizard holo…

And the best part? I didn’t have to decide, after all.

Marble Cupcakes With Swirled Chocolate-Vanilla Frosting
Recipe details
  • 12  cupcakes
  • Prep time: 15 Minutes Cook time: 15 Minutes Total time: 30 min
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For the cupcakes:
  • 3 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup oil (vegetable or canola)
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons milk (or soy milk), divided
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
For the frostings:
  • 2 (8 oz.) packages of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons milk, as needed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12 cupcake molds with cupcake liners and set aside.
In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and sugar. Stir in oil until combined (mixture will be gritty). Blend in eggs, vanilla, and yogurt. Add 1 1/2 cup milk and carefully blend into mixture until incorporated.
Divide batter into two separate bowls. To one bowl, stir in cocoa powder and remaining 2 tablespoons milk.
Scoop a heaping tablespoon of vanilla batter into each cupcake liner, then do the same with chocolate batter. Repeat once more until all batter is used, then take a toothpick and swirl through each of the filled cupcake liners to create a light "marbling" effect. (Don't worry too much about how you swirl--just a few zigzags will create a beautiful result!)
Bake cupcakes for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out mostly clean with moist crumbs clinging to it. Set aside to cool completely before frosting.
For the frostings:
In a medium bowl, cream together cream cheese, vanilla yogurt, lemon juice, and vanilla. Carefully mix in powdered sugar half a cup at a time. If mixture is too thick, add a teaspoon of milk as needed.
Divide frosting into two bowls, then add cocoa powder to one mixture--this is your chocolate frosting.
Once cupcakes are cooled, carefully spoon vanilla frosting into one half of your piping bag and chocolate frosting into the other half, so that the two frostings are vertically side by side. Pipe frosting as you normally would to create a "swirl" frosting effect!
Alternate option: Frost half of your cupcakes with vanilla frosting and the other half with chocolate frosting.
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