Swirling cake batter is a technique used to make marble type cakes. Over the years I’ve read many recipes for cakes that require you to swirl two types of batter together, but I’ve always found that they never really explained a good technique on how to swirl the batters together. The method I’ve been using for years I first learned from one of my first cake decorating instructors, and I found it works better than any other technique I’ve tried.
While working on my next Cakes Without Borders book, which has a recipe that requires swirling cake batter together, I realized how hard it is to explain the technique in words. So instead I thought I would make a quick video demonstrating how I do it!
Step 1: Start with half your main batter
Any time you have a cake recipe that combines two or more types of batter that must be mixed together you can use this method. Usually there is more of one batter than the other. I call the larger quantity batter the main batter and the smaller quantity the swirl batter. To start off fill your pan with about half of your main batter. You can always use a scale to be as accurate as possible, but estimating half the batter works just fine too!
Step 2: Add your swirl batter
Next, add all of your swirl batter to the pan and smooth it out with a spatula.
Step 3: Top with remaining main batter
Top the swirl batter with the remaining main batter and smooth it out.
Step 4: Fold over the batter
Now you are ready to “swirl” the batter, or in this case we are really folding the batters together. Using a rubber spatula start toward the center of the pan, dip the spatula down to the bottom of the pan as you bring it towards you and come back up.
Continue to fold the batters together going all the way around the pan. I recommend doing this two full times (so once you’ve gone around the entire cake pan, do a second pass). That will make sure the batters are well “swirled” together.
Smooth the top of the batter one last time. I also always recommend tapping the pan on the counter a few times to get out any air bubbles and settle the batter into any crevices (this is especially needed for ornate bundt pans). That’s all there is to it!