Moist and tender vegan marble cake

I made several versions of marble cake. Some with regular butter, some with eggs and some with both. But I ended up preferring the vegan version better. The dense yet tender texture reminds me of the buttery commercial marble cake you can buy packed into single slices. I haven’t been buying commercial cakes for so many years, I don’t even know if this still exists!

Vegan bakery can be tricky. Making a cake without using eggs or butter can be overwhelming. I feel you, I’ve been there too. Runny batter that never bakes, cakes that don’t rise, etc. But there is something fascinating about vegan cakes. When you learn how to balance wet and dry ingredients, you wonder why some recipes call for eggs. Most times, they are not necessary. Unless the recipe calls for whipped egg whites.

Since summer is around the corner, I felt like adding some lemon zest to the vanilla batter to make it a little more refreshing and interesting but you can leave it out or replace it with orange zest.

The marble design is very easy to make but it will impress your guests. You just need to alternate chocolate and vanilla batter into the pan and run a sharp knife to make some swirls. That easy!

This cake keeps well for up to 3 days on the counter, wrapped into cling film or foil. But I’m sure it won’t last that long!

I hope you guys enjoyed the recipe! As always, if you try one of my recipe, remember to tag me on your posts on Instagram or DM your pics @foodie.yuki, I’d be very happy to see your creations!

Happy baking!


Print Recipe
4.7 from 13 votes

Moist and tender vegan marble cake

Dairy-free, vegan-friendly
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Servings: 1 22 cm loaf
Author: Yukiko @foodie.yuki


Ingredients for the main batter

  • 250 g (2 cups) cake or all purpose flour
  • 7 g (2 tsp) baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 pinch of sea salt
  • 80 g light brown sugar
  • 80 g granulated sugar
  • 70 g neutral vegetable oil (I used sunflower)
  • 220 ml plant milk (I used soy milk)
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) lemon juice

Ingredients for the vanilla batter

  • zest of half a lemon or orange
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or 1,5 tsp extract

Ingredients for the chocolate batter

  • 25 g (3 tbsp) unsweetened cacao powder
  • 5 g (1 tbsp) instant coffee
  • 45 ml (3 tbsp) hot water


  • Butter and flour a 22x12x7 cm (9 x 5 x 3-inch )loaf pan; set aside.
  • Position a rack in center of oven. Preheat oven to 175C / 350 F degrees.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together cacao powder, instant coffee and hot water until completely smooth. Set aside.
  • Mix the milk, oil, salt and sugars together in a medium bowl. Add the lemon juice and whisk to combine.
  • Pour the wet ingredients over the flour mixture and whisk until just combined.
  • Pour one third of the batter into the cacao mixture bowl and whisk until just combined.
  • Add lemon zest and vanilla to the remaining batter.
  • Drop 1/4 cup of plain batter into the prepared pan, then dollop with 2 tablespoons of the chocolate batter. Continue layering both batters.
  • To create marbling, run a sharp knife through the batter in a swirling motion (like an "8").
  • Bake for 45-47 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
  • Let cool down into the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely before slicing.
  • This cake keeps well up to 3 days on the counter, wrapped into cling film or foil.

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  1. Natasha

    3 stars
    The cake was yummy but I think it needs more water for the chocolate mix.

    • yukiko83

      Hey Natasha,
      I test my recipes several times before posting.
      The amount of liquid is correct.
      If you think something went wrong you probably didn’t follow all the steps properly.
      Kind regards,

      • I’d have to agree on this! I followed every step properly and both vanilla and chocolate mixes seemed a bit thick.

        • yukiko83

          Hi Neen,

          thank you for your feedback.
          Many people tried the recipe succesfully and I also never had any issues with it.
          You can try adding more liquid if you think it’s too thick.


  2. Can we use normal plain milk

  3. Can we use ghee instead of oil

    • yukiko83

      I haven tried with ghee and I don’t think you’ll get the same results.
      Please remember that any substitution will affect the final result.

  4. Anne Ll.

    5 stars
    This Marble Cake is absolutely delightful and such a beauty! 🤩💓 It was my first time to make a marble cake and I’m so glad that I chose Yuki’s recipe and it didn’t disappoint me at all. My hubby and I enjoyed it sooo much and it won’t be the first and last because I would definitely make this cake again. BIG THANKS to Yuki for always sharing her amazing recipe. 🤗💕

    • yukiko83

      Awww you’re so sweet:)
      Thank you so much dear Anne for sharing your photo with me, the cake looks amazing!
      Hope you’ll try other recipes!
      Have fun♥️

  5. 5 stars
    I’ve just tried this recipe.
    And it’s awesome 😍
    We LOVE it soooo much.
    I’ve tried a lot of vegan marble cake recipe, and I think Yuki’s version is the best.

    Thank You so much for sharing this recipe Yuki 😊❤

    • yukiko83

      Thank you so so much for your lovely feedback! I’m so happy that you liked the recipe! 💗
      Have a great day!

  6. Shirlyn

    5 stars
    Thanks for this lovely recipe, Yuki. I’ve made many other marble cakes before but my first vegan cake following your recipe and it turned out amazing. Moist, soft and delish. I might be a convert after all! Looking forward to be trying out your other fabulous recipes x

    • yukiko83

      Hey Shirlyn💗
      Thank you so so much for your feedback and for sharing your photo with me! You did a great job! So happy that you liked my vegan marble cake:)

      • 5 stars
        Thank you so much for this recipe. I made it two times already and it‘s my favourite vegan cake recipe 😊
        Can‘t wait to try your other recipes 🌸

  7. 5 stars
    I used coconut oil, coconut sugar (turned out darker than the original one), and brewed coffee (I didn’t have instant coffee but it didn’t taste much coffee. So, highly recommend to use instant coffee as the recipe says unless you have an espresso maker) instead.
    It was easy, tasty, and looked so pretty! I shared some pieces with my friends and they also loved it!
    I’ll definitely make this again 🙂
    Thank you for the recipe!!

    • yukiko83

      Dear Haruka,

      your sweet comment made my day!
      I was very happy to see your creation on Instagram!
      You did such a great job and I love your darker version with coconut sugar!
      I hope you will get to make it again for yourself and for your friends!

      Thanks for your feedback and have fun baking!

  8. Love your recipes….you think you can make video for this recipe? Btw your lemon loaf cake was Devine. One of my favs to make.

    • yukiko83

      Hello Irish,
      Thank you so much for your kind feedback!
      I haven’t tried making videos yet, maybe in the next future?☺️

      Have fun baking

      Yukiko 😘

  9. 5 stars
    I really love this recipe. I tried it three times already and each time it was a success. I also tried your other recipes like the milk bread and your banan bread recipe. All of them are great! Thank you sooo much for your vegan recipes❤️😊

    • yukiko83

      I’m so happy to hear that you like my recipes!
      Means a lot!🙏🏻
      Thank you and have fun baking!


  10. 5 stars
    Hi Yuki!
    I really love this recipe! It is so easy and it comes out well every single time. I have also adapted it to make other cakes.

    I have linked your recipe on my blog too. Thank you very much for this recipe

  11. 5 stars
    Love this recipe!

  12. This recipe was so nice. Thank you. Can I ask you a question? I am looking for a vanilla cake recipe without the lemon or other spices. Is there a go to one for you?

  13. 5 stars
    So moist and delicious!! I decided to use 1 whole lemon rind because lemon is life. An absolute hit!!

  14. Brooklyn

    Hello, I love this recipe very much. ^-^
    In place of milk I used water, and melted margarine instead of oil; it turned out very tasty! ,< I guess that is probably because expresso is so much stronger? I don't have instant coffee powder, but I will be sure to get some if it will make that much of a difference.
    Have a great day !!

  15. Brooklyn

    Do you think I could skip the chocolate step and add raisins and swirl a cinnamon/sugar mixture in the middle?

  16. 5 stars
    So yummy, even without the instant coffee! Maybe I’ll find some next time!

    Thank you

    • yukiko83

      Hey Ellie!
      Thanks for your feedback!

      Please try with the coffee next time! it really makes the difference!you won’t be able to taste the coffee flavor, but the chocolate flavor will be so amazing.

      Have a lovely day,

  17. Hi Yuki, I see there is lemon juice. Is that to make the vanilla batter lemony or to curdle the milk? I didn’t add it as I didn’t have any lemons…

  18. 5 stars
    Hi Yuki
    I tried your recipe and the cake was delicious. It came out perfect. Just one question: can I use self-raising flour instead all purpose flour?

    • yukiko83

      Hey Vernon,

      Glad that you liked the cake!
      I haven’t tried with sefl-raising flour but I think it should work fine!

      Kind regards,


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