How to Create a Marble Drip Cake

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If you are looking for a fun and pretty way to decorate a cake for a party, this marble drip cake is for you! Follow this decorating tutorial for and easy drip cake with a marble effect, and you’ll have a stunning cake in a matter of minutes! Also check out our marble candy apples!

marble cake with blueberries and gold leaf and a marble drip title.

We’re sharing a deliciously easy way to create a marble drip cake! Drip cakes can be so intimidating to make, but to be honest, they’re actually a fairly simple way to frost a cake!

Two marble drip cakes on a work surface

As long as you’re comfortable using fondant to cover the cake, the frosting part is easy peasy! Fondant isn’t difficult either, it just takes some strength and time to roll it out!

We used a simple icing recipe and added a little corn syrup to keep some of the shine.

A close up of the side of a marble drip cake.

How to Make a Marble Drip Cake

Supplies to Make a Drip Cake

Fondant – Homemade or store-bought. You can try our marshmallow fondant recipe too!

Rolling Pin – Used to roll out the fondant.

Fondant Smoother – To get a smooth texture.

Baking Sheet and Cookie Rack – Used to place the cake so the icing can drip down and not create a mess.

Measuring Cup with Spout – To pour the icing over the cake.

Fondant being rolled out.

Directions

Bake a homemade cake. We love this vanilla recipe and this is our favorite chocolate cake. We also love our funfetti cake too!

Bake the cake in a standard 8″ round cake pan. Lightly frost the cakes before adding the fondant.

Knead and roll out the fondant to about 1/4 inch thick. Then place it over a lightly frosted cake.

The reason you frost the cake is so the fondant will stick to it and hold. Frost all the way down the sides, top, etc.

Fondant being smoothed over the cake

Place the fondant on top and then smooth it out using the fondant smoother. This will remove any bumps, it doesn’t have to be perfect!

If you need, store these cakes in the refrigerator for one day.

3 cakes covered with fondant.

Place a rack on a rimmed cookie sheet and place the cake on top. This way the frosting will fall beneath.

A fondant covered cake on a metal rack

Make the frosting (recipe below) and add in drops of desired food coloring. We used food coloring gel for this recipe.

Don’t stir it, it will marble as you pour. Since we love blue so much, we did different shades of it to create our marble effect. You can use any colors to make this cake!

A jug with icing and food coloring in it

Pour the icing over the top of the cake and watch it drip down the sides. It’s awesome to see the colors blend together and make such stunning patterns!

marble icing being poured over the cake

In about 30 minutes, your marble drip cake will harden and keep its shape!

Top shot of the cake with marble icing covering the surface

A Fun Decorated Cake

This cake is perfect for any occasion.

This is great for a birthday cake, and you can make it with the person’s favorite color.

Tips for Decorating

  • Make sure your cake has cooled to a warm temperature before decorating.
  • Once the cake is covered in fondant, you can let it cool in the refrigerator for 30 minutes if needed.
  • Remember to place the cake on a rack over a cookie tray before pouring the icing over. This will ensure you don’t end up in a mess!
  • For the marbling, try to stick to different shades of the same color. It will give the marble drip cake a marble look.
  • To make it even easier, call your local bakery and order an 8″ round cake covered in white fondant. Then all you need to do is add the icing.
Shot of a marble drip cake on a tray

When to Serve a Marble Drip Cake

This cake is perfect for parties or special occasions. Here are ideas when you can serve a marble cake:

Birthday Party it’s also perfect for a last-minute birthday party!

Carnival Party

Garden Party 

Tropical Party

Graduation Party

Baby Shower

Bridal Shower

A marble drip cake decorated with blueberries and gold leaf

More Recipes You’ll Love!

Looking for more? Here are some of our top cake recipes!

Super Moist Pumpkin Bread

Neapolitan Sheet Cake

The Best Coconut Loaf

Ice Cream Sundae Cake

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Classic Banana Cake Recipe

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Blue tie-dye frosting dripping from the side of cake

Marble Drip Icing

An easy and pretty cake decorating technique
4.62 from 54 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 1 large cake
Calories: 1468kcal
Author: Eden

Ingredients

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • food coloring, gel or drops

Instructions

  • Cover a round cake in fondant.
    Laying out fondant on a cake
  • Add all of the ingredients, except the food coloring, in a bowl and whisk until smooth.
  • Add in drops of food coloring, or use a wooden popsicle stick to add drops of gel food coloring to the icing. Do not mix it. It will give it’s own marbling effect when it’s poured.
    Food color dripped on fondant covered cake
  • Place the fondant cake on a cooling rack with a cookie sheet underneath.
    White fondant cake
  • Pour the icing over the top and let it dry.
    Blue marble icing dripping off of cake

Notes

Nutritional values are based on the whole recipe.
Use any colors of food coloring you like. 

Nutrition

Calories: 1468kcal | Carbohydrates: 376g | Protein: 0g | Fat: 0g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 24mg | Sugar: 369g | Iron: 0.2mg
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61 thoughts on “How to Create a Marble Drip Cake”

  1. Hi I was wondering what is the experience with using this method on a wedding that will be stacked. My bride wants the marble look but no fondant. Does this stiffen into a regular buttercream or does it stay liquid/sticky?

    Reply
    • Hi Kelli – I would recommend trying this first. To be honest, we’ve never done it on buttercream so I can’t say if it will work or not. There might be some comments from others you have, you can read through and see. I’m sure it would be fine stacked with fondant.

      Reply
  2. Super excited to try this! Has anyone tried it without corn syrup (which doesn’t seem to be available in the UK?) I suppose it won’t be as shiny, which isn’t the end of the world, but I’m wondering whether it will create issues with consistency and pouring.

    Reply
    • Living in IRE here and the syrip isnt popular here either try mix the cornstarch with the cold water; place in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring while cooking. When it becomes clear, add the sugar. Boil down until it is the thickness of prepared corn syrup. It will thicken some as it cools

      Reply
    • We haven’t tried it with homemade marshmallow fondant but I think it could work. Just make sure to put the covered fondant cake in the refrigerator before so it’s cold too.

      Reply
  3. 5 stars
    I’ve always loved the look of this kind of cake! I can’t believe how simple you make it seem. I’m excited to try this for EASTER. So pretty with springtime colors and some candy eggs (I have some gorgeous ones from Williams Sonoma!). Thank you. I LOVE your website!

    Reply
  4. 5 stars
    Wow, your cakes are stunning! I’m glad other readers have shared tips for pouring it over buttercream. We aren’t big fans of fondant, so I am going to try that method.

    Reply
  5. Can someone clarify ‘pouring’ to get the swirling river look please. Did you start at one side & pour in a zig zag across the cake?

    Reply
  6. I saw a few comments asking about using buttercream instead of fondant and wanted to share my experience.
    I used a standard buttercream frosting recipe, used half in between my layers, then very slightly thinned the remainder with +/- 1 Tablespoon of milk (amount may vary depending on your recipe and humidity). I then microwaved it on 50% heat for about a minute to make it pourable. I poured this mixture over my cake and let it cool and dry for about 30 minutes. This created a soft “shell” that allowed the top swirl frosting to go on and look smooth.
    I used the recipe above BUT used hot water instead of warm and mixed it with the corn syrup separately to fully dissolve the corn syrup, let that mixture cool to room temperature, THEN added it to my powdered sugar. I also don’t care for almond extract so used vanilla. I used Wilton Color Right food coloring, then poured.
    OMG, I wish I could share a picture. It looked amazing. Like Italian glass. It had a beautiful sheen and tasted just like “regular” frosting. My buttercream “shell” did not budge.

    Reply
    • Hey, I’m attempting this effect with buttercream tomorrow and was wondering if there was any particular reason you choose to air-cool your “shell” instead of putting it in the fridge for a bit? Thanks!

      Reply
  7. will the marble effect still come it right if I use regular, store brand food coloring? I’m trying to make the drip frosting pond for an alligator cake

    Reply
  8. For those who would rather use buttercream with this, the warm water would definitely melt the buttercream. However, I’m assuming the warm water is to help incorporate the corn syrup properly. If you mixed it all first, and then chilled a little, I wouldn’t think it would make the corn syrup seize up since it is already well incorporated. I think I will definitely try this with buttercream, make the glaze mixture and chill until it is totally cool as to not melt the buttercream (without food gel of course).

    Reply
    • Let me know how it works with buttercream, I love buttercream more than fondant but didn’t think it would work. I will be interested in hearing!!!

      Reply
      • I tried it, and I was surprised at how well it worked! No melted buttercream over here! I mixed the warm water and the corn syrup together first, and then I let it chill in the fridge. It didn’t take long to cool. Then I added the rest of the ingredients, added my food coloring and drizzled away. Although, here are a few things I would definitely do differently next time.
        1) With the cooler corn syrup/water mixture, the mixture had thickened quite a bit since it was cold, making it not as pourable. Next time I may try just having the corn syrup mixture slightly cooled as to where it isn’t cold, or just warm enough where I know it wouldn’t melt the buttercream. That or I would add less powdered sugar (probably my preference) so it wouldn’t be nearly as thick.
        2) Don’t use food coloring gel. I think I’d rather add liquid as the gel was difficult to really get in the mixture without slightly stirring.
        3) Research what the heck I’m doing! ???? While the method I used did work, mine did not look nearly as pretty as yours because I just winged it lol. I should have watched videos or something on the technique first.

        The glaze also tasted so phenomenal with buttercream! It was a surprisingly nice compliment. Thanks for the awesome idea! I 100% will try this again to hopefully perfect it!

      • Yay! Thank you so much for sharing all of your tips for this! I love buttercream WAY more than fondant so now I’m going to try this!! I am so happy it worked for you!

      • I also should add that my cake was completely chilled in the fridge for a good bit before I poured the glaze on. That way the buttercream was totally set and hard, just in case it may have made the buttercream run or something.

  9. Hi there, you don’t say how big a cake this amount of icing will cover and also no mention of how much food colouring? How do you know how when there’s enough colouring in the mixture? Once you start pouring it’s too late to add more… Are we talking 10 drops per colour maybe?

    Reply
      • You can really use as many as you like. It depends on the color you want and how deep of a color you want. Just start with a few drops and add more as needed to your liking.

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