For my birthday, I couldn’t decide between chocolate and vanilla.  I solved the problem by making a marble cake.  That way I didn’t have to choose!  Orange juice and orange zest added a special brightness to this treat.  Instead of a layer cake with lots of frosting and lots of extra calories, I made a Bundt cake and topped it with thin layer of orange glaze.  The results were yummy.

Now, here’s the best part.  I made this from chocolate and a vanilla gluten-free cake mixes.  Quick, delicious and such a nice gift!

Orange Marble Birthday Cake 
Serves 10 to 12

1 box (15 ounces) Gluten-Free Yellow or White Cake Mix*
1 box (15 ounces) Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake Mix*
2 sticks unsalted butter or dairy-free alternative, softened, divided
4 large eggs, divided
3 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
2 cups buttermilk, divided (a tad less than 2 cups, really)
Juice and zest of one orange

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly oil a 10-cup Bundt cake pan.

Make the Yellow Cake. Cream 1 stick of butter until light and fluffy.  Add yellow cake mix and beat until crumbly.  Add 2 large eggs and beat until smooth.  Beat in 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla and 1 cup buttermilk.  Beat until smooth.  Set aside.

Make the Chocolate Cake. Cream 1 stick of butter until light and fluffy.  Add chocolate cake mix and beat until crumbly.  Add 2 large eggs and beat until smooth.  Pour orange juice into a 1 cup measure.  Add enough buttermilk to measure 1 cup.  Add 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla and 1 cup buttermilk mixture to the cake mix. Fold in zest.  Beat until smooth.   Set aside.

To Assemble.  Start with dollops of yellow cake batter, then chocolate cake batter and keep alternating until both batters are used up. Use a sharp knife, swirl the batter to create a marble effect.  Set on middle rack in preheated oven.  Bake 50-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Rest 10 minutes on rack then invert, remove pan, and cool completely.

Orange Glaze
3 tablespoons orange juice
¾ to 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
Grated peel of half an orange

Combine juice and sugar and blend until smooth.  Add grated peel and mix to combine.  Drizzle over the top of the cake before serving.

*Hodgson Mill, Betty Crocker, and Gluten-Free Pantry cake mixes are all good choices as they all weigh 15 ounces.  Many other gluten-free cake mixes will work, too.  Just weigh out 15 ounces of each mix before using.


Post filed under Uncategorized and tagged , , , .


  1. ELEANOR REICH says:


  2. Hi Beth, I am vegan (dairy free) and gluten free. Can this recipe be adapted for my needs? Also do you know of some good vegan/gluten free/dairy free recipe books. I am finding it a bit frustrating. Thanks.

    • Hi Connie, Try replacing the eggs with flax gel and use Earth Balance Non-Dairy Butter sticks instead of butter. In place of milk, use only orange juice. (Flax gel formula. For each egg use 1 Tbs. flax meal + 3 Tbs. boiling water. Mix and let sit for 5 minutes or until thickened.)

      As for vegan recipes, I know that we try to give dairy and egg free alternatives for every recipe in Living Without Magazine. Take a look at their web site, too. Beth

  3. Hi Beth:

    THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH!! I made this yesterday and my husband and I loved it. I am lactose-intolerant and then had to go gluten-free about 4 years ago and this is the FIRST thing I’ve made that wowed me. And believe me, it’s not for lack of trying. I’ve accepted “not bad” and “it’s edible” as end-results of my gluten-free baking. But this cake – WOW! So moist and soooo not obviously gluten-free.

    Just as FYIs for anyone who is lucky enough to land upon this recipe in the future, I had to make a few minor changes/substitutions to suit our other issues.
    1) I used the Kinnikinnick Foods gluten-free cake mixes – white and chocolate. (Main ingredients are sugar, potato starch, rice flour and pea protein. It was the only dairy-free brand in my grocery store in Ontario, Canada.)
    2) I substituted unsweetened apple sauce for half the butter.
    3) I used unsweetened plain SOY milk instead of buttermilk.
    4) I decreased the vanilla in the chocolate cake by 1 tsp., only using 1/2 tsp. For some reason I thought it would overwhelm the orange flavour. Now I wonder if it would have enhanced it?

    Other comments:
    The orange flavour was not at all prominent in the cake or glaze. Perhaps my oranges were too old… (For any imbibers out there, splashes of Grand Marnier would probably rectify this.)
    The chocolate part was definitely much more moist than the white. Could this be because of the use of the thinner OJ as part of the 1-cup of liquid in the choc. cake?
    The glaze recipe as written above was far too thin and just ran off my cake leaving a very thin clear layer. I thickened what was left, dumping in more icing sugar and a bit of juice until the consistency seemed better. Not sure how much I used in the end but it worked out.

    This was my very first Bundt cake. I saw the recipe, felt inspired and bought a pan. This recipe is a KEEPER! I am planning to experiment with some different flavours – thinking of a pumpkin and white one for our upcoming Thanksgiving dinner. I’m so tired of eating pumpkin pie without the crust. (Yes, I did see your crust recipe which I will try in the future – I just find pie crust so very messy.)

    On another note, I don’t know whether you’re still maintaining this blog (as the comments are not recent) but I certainly hope so as I would love to send you my grandmother’s tea biscuit recipe (aka baking-powder biscuits). 😛


    • Hi Christa, Glad you liked the cake. I think adding applesauce makes it even more moist. Great idea and healthier, too. Mine was quite orange-tasting so it might have been your oranges. I think I used orange juice rather than squeezing oranges.

      I am still maintaining this blog, but not very often right now. I am just polishing the manuscript for a book that is coming out in April and trying not to get too distracted. I’ll be back soon. Meanwhile, do send your recipe and I’ll give it a try. Beth

  4. Oh, boy! I can hardly wait to try this recipe! I don’t bake cakes much anymore, since my diagnosis of Celiac Disease 30 years ago, but this one looks truly special!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *