Mar 8

How to Make the Best Birthday Cake EVER


I’ve always been of the belief that everyone should have two things in their baking arsenal: a really great chocolate chip cookie recipe (here’s mine!), and a go-to birthday cake. I’ve been on the hunt for the later myself for years and you guys? I think I’ve found it. It’s a marbled nuttella birthday cake that is so fantastic it would make you weep. It may just be the best birthday cake in the world. And my favourite part of all, aside from the nutella of course, is that it looks (and sounds) significantly more complicated than it is – which automatically gives you bonus points. In reality though, it’s a standard marble cake with the world’s most delectable nutella buttercream frosting poured overtop. It’s heaven in cake format, and I assure you most everyone will be asking for the recipe. Enjoy! 
Marbled Chocolate Nutella Cake | Photo by Ruth Eileen Photography

Marbled Chocolate Nutella Cake | Photo by Ruth Eileen PhotographyMarbled Chocolate Nutella Cake | Photo by Ruth Eileen PhotographyMarbled Chocolate Nutella Cake | Photo by Ruth Eileen Photography

Marbled Chocolate Nutella Cake
Serves 12
A delicious chocolate & nutella cake with a surprisingly simple marbled effect
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Prep Time
1 hr 15 min
Cook Time
35 min
Prep Time
1 hr 15 min
Cook Time
35 min
618 calories
95 g
45 g
27 g
4 g
16 g
140 g
313 g
54 g
1 g
10 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 618
Calories from Fat 237
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 27g
Saturated Fat 16g
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 45mg
Sodium 313mg
Total Carbohydrates 95g
Dietary Fiber 3g
Sugars 54g
Protein 4g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
For the cake
  1. Marble cake mix
  2. 2 tbs cocoa powder
  3. Toothpick
For the nutella buttercream frosting
  1. 1 cup butter (room temperature)
  2. 2 cups powdered sugar
  3. 2/3 cup nutella
  4. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  5. 2 tbs heavy whipping cream
  6. pinch of salt
For the marbled chocolate icing
  1. 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  2. 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  3. 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  4. 1/4 cup warm water
  5. 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
For the cake
  1. Mix the cake batters according to the box directions, except add some extra cocoa powder to the "vanilla" portion of the mix until it becomes a lovely light brown.
  2. Pour the batter into the pans and marble the batters with a toothpick (you can see the steps we followed to make a beautiful marble pattern in the notes below).
  3. Bake the cakes according to box directions and let cool completely.
  4. Trim the cake tops with a knife so that they are completely flat and even.
For the nutella buttercream frosting
  1. Use a paddle attachment on your stand mixer to beat together butter and powdered sugar. Beat on low until well blended.
  2. Add the nutella, vanilla extract, and salt, and mix on medium for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the whipping cream and beat for about one minute until the color and texture are nice and even.
  4. Set one layer of cake on a cake round and frost the top with a thick layer of nutella buttercream. Place the second cake layer on top, and lightly frost the sides and tops of the cake to form a crumb coat.
  5. Go back and spread a thick second layer of frosting on the cake, making sure the top is flat and level.
  6. Then use the back of a knife or a frosting tool to smooth the frosting as much as possible. For an extra-smooth frosting base, you can follow the steps in the notes below.
  7. Place the cake in the fridge and let the buttercream set.
For the marbled chocolate icing
  1. Mix all the ingredients except the cocoa powder together in a stand mixer with whisk attachment until thoroughly blended and there are no lumps of powdered sugar.
  2. Pour about a half cup of white icing mixture into a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Add the cocoa powder into the remaining icing mixture and mix thoroughly until icing is smooth and even.
  4. Place the cake on a cooling rack over a cookie sheet to catch frosting.
  5. Pour a small amount of white icing into the bowl of chocolate icing. Don't mix it- it will marble as it is poured.
  6. Pour the icing over the top until the cake is completely covered. You may need to do a few rounds to get the marbling to really show on top.
  7. Let the icing dry, and place the cake on a cake stand before serving.
  1. ">Here'show to create the beautiful marble pattern
  2. And here's how to smooth-frost buttercream
Lark & Linen Interior Design and Lifestyle Blog
Photography: Ruth Eileen Photography

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  1. I have another marbled cake for you. We don’t eat Nutella or other spreads because they’re full of transfats. If I’m going to eat something naughty, it’s going to be homemade naughty.
    I recently posted the recipe for zebra brownies, which also work in cake form (I provide a half-portion that can be baked in a round pan). They’re the lovechild of very rich brownie with very rich cheesecake. Easy to make from scratch.

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