Marble Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Frosting!

Merry Christmas!


Well, perhaps I’m a bit early. But my holiday baking started last week! It was two of my coworkers last day before the holidays, so I had to send them home with something sweet – so I decided on Marble Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Frosting – and some with North Pole decor!

Both the cupcake recipe and the dark chocolate frosting recipe are Martha Stewart’s (probably time for me to get a new cookbook!) while the white is just your basic butter cream with the Wilton’s Icing Whitener added.



  • 1 3/4 Cups cake flour (not self-rising), sifted
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup milk, room temperature
  • 1/3 heavy cream, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup boiling water


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Stir together cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Combine milk and cream.

2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and granulated sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of milk mixture, and beating until combined.

3. To make chocolate batter, measure out 1 cup batter, and transfer to another bowl. Combine cocoa and the boiling water in a bowl. Stir into reserved 1 cup batter.

4. Fill prepared cups with alternating spponfulls of vanilla and chocolate batter, filling each three-quarters full. Run the tip of a paring knife or wooden skewer through batter in a figure-eight motion to make swirls. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until tops are golden and a cake tester (i.e. toothpick) inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight container.

5. when cooled, sprinkle cupcakes with powdered sugar or frosting.


  • I skipped the icing sugar and decided to use icing – it’s just so pretty!
  • The swirling portion was easier if I held down the paper cup lightly using two fingers
  • Don’t be afraid to get in there and really swirl in those figure 8 motions – otherwise you just end up with layered cupcakes
  • This made 18 cupcakes for me! (16 was the estimated)



  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon boiling water
  • 2 1/4 cups (4 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds best-quality semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled


  1. Combine cocoa and the boiling water, stirring until cocoa has dissolved. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter, confectioners’ sugar, and salt until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low. Add melted and cooled chocolate, beating until combined and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in the cocoa mixture.


  • Martha always recommends melting your chocolate over a pot of boiling water – me, I stick it in the microwave and stir it every 30 seconds…
  • It’s definitely a good idea to have more icing sugar on hand, while the first time around would have had a good consistency for a cake, I felt I needed my frosting to be a bit stiffer for piping


Something to note is that this is probably the best icing I’ve ever made. It was just SO chocolatey and good! Definitely a must for any chocolate lover in your life.

The North Pole signage was made by “gluing” a North Pole sign to the broken candy cane with icing – while the sign itself isn’t edible, it’s still a cute way to decorate! To package these, I used holiday themed cupcake boxes picked up at my local Homesense, and tied a ribbon with a name card around them.

Happy Holidays!