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Zebra Cake? More like Marbled Horse Cake | That Skinny Chick Can Bake

Zebra Cake? More like Marbled Horse Cake

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The idea of Zebra Cake came to mind after a few moments of brainstorming. I’ve become confident enough to tackle most any dessert, candy or bread… so this zebra cake was the perfect idea for this weeks recipe.Zebra Cake? More like Marbled Horse Cake | That Skinny Chick Can Bake

Zebra Cake? More like Marbled Horse Cake | That Skinny Chick Can Bake Zebra Cake? More like Marbled Horse Cake | That Skinny Chick Can Bake

Let’s Make Zebra Cake

This week’s Sunday Supper theme is New Year’s Bucket List. I’ve baked everything on my bucket list over the past two years: homemade puff pastry, homemade croissants, brioche, macarons. Through blogging, I’ve become confident enough to tackle most any dessert, candy or bread…so it took a few moments of brainstorming before a zebra cake came to mind. But some things are just not meant to be!

You’ve all seen the images on Pinterest and food porn sites…show stopping striped zebra cakes. Their distinctive stripes of vanilla and chocolate definitely resemble a zebra’s coat…and I wanted to make my own. Reviews of the zebra cake recipes fell short on taste, so that was a priority…I used all butter, upped the flavorings, anything to make this cake’s flavor as impressive as its looks.

Well, all went fine…I made the batter and painstakingly alternated dollops of it in my prepared pan. It cracked a little when baked, this zebra cake smelled delicious. BUT, when I cut into it, the interior was barely marbled, let alone striped. And I tried it TWICE. So this zebra cake come horse cake was totally moist and yummy, just not zebra-ish… but perfect for my daughter who does not like the same rich, intensely chocolate desserts as her brothers and dad. So I’m putting this zebra cake recipe aside for now. I can check it off my bucket list, can’t I???? Scroll on down to the bottom of this post to check out what the rest of the Sunday Supper crew made from their bucket lists.

Check out Lisa’s perfect version of zebra cake on Parsley, Sage and Sweet, to see that it CAN be done. Lisa uses coconut oil in hers…maybe that’s the answer. I will give this one a rest for a while…I will update this post when and if I actually get stripes!!!! Update after a success: make sure your cake batter is quite thick. That will help prevent the “stripes” from merging together.

Zebra Cake? More like Marbled Horse Cake | That Skinny Chick Can Bake Zebra Cake? More like Marbled Horse Cake | That Skinny Chick Can Bake

These both look promising, don’t they????

This week’s Sunday Supper is all about trying something new, something that’s been on your bucket list but you have yet to tackle.  We have had so much fun with this and can’t wait to share these recipes with you!

Join us this Sunday at 7 pm Eastern Time on Twitter as we share our bucket list recipes during our #SundaySupper chat. 

Sunday Supper Specialty Breads:

Sunday Supper Main Dishes:

Sunday Supper Desserts and Snacks:

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter each Sunday. We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET and you do not want to miss out on the fun. Follow the#SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Don’t forget to also check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.


You may need these supplies to make this zebra cake recipe:


Love this recipe? Please consider rating it in the comments below. You can also follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

Zebra Cake…#SundaySupper, #NewYear’sBucketList


  • Adapted from a variety of recipes including my friend (Lisa, of Parsley, Sage and Sweet)
  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour plus 3 tablespoons to thicken up vanilla batter
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs (at room temperature)
  • 1 cup 2 sticks butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 tablespoons Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 1 cup whole milk


  1. Grease 8 or 9 inch cake pan. Line bottom with parchment and grease the top of the paper. Set aside.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well till incorporated. Add vanilla and almond extracts.
  4. Alternately add the flour mixture and milk, starting and ending with the flour. Mix till just incorporated.
  5. Divide batter in half. Add cocoa to one bowl of batter and mix till combined. You may add 3 tablespoons of flour to the plain batter if the consistency is too runny.
  6. Put contents of one bowl into a gallon zip-lock bag, remove excess air and seal. Repeat with other bowl of batter. Snip off one corner of each bag in order to pipe batter.
  7. Starting with white batter, pipe approximately 2 tablespoons in the middle of the pan (the smaller the amount, the thinner the stripes will be). Then pipe the same amount of chocolate batter right onto the middle of the white batter. Repeat with white batter, then chocolate, etc. until all the batter is gone. Or you can just alternate spoonfuls of batter. Work quickly.
  8. Bake for 35-45 minutes or till toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes then remove from pan to cooling rack.
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54 comments on “Zebra Cake? More like Marbled Horse Cake”

  1. The cakes look amazing pre and post bake, Liz. The same experience with lemon and strawberry swirled cupcakes and mini loaves has happened to yours truly. But as you stated, at least the results are delish…Coconut oil does sound intriguing…See you at #SundaySupper!

  2. Lizzy , your cake looks pretty delicious and I can some stripes , here and there 😀 Have you seen mine , right ?! No marbling whatsoever 😛 😀

  3. Your cake still looks good and I see stripes! And your lines in it look fantastic!! I think your probably just being harder on yourself.

  4. I would have to call it Tiger cake because it looks just like my brindle striped whippet Tiger. I can’t wait to see when you finally get the stripes perfected. Until then I can bake a “Tiger” cake.

  5. Lizzy…your batter (the bulls eye), in both photos, is perfect…that’s exactly how it should look! I’m puzzled as to what went on in the oven! BUT, I love the vortex swirl you got in some of your slices. It still looks very cool and lovely 🙂

  6. The second batter looks amazing. But I know how you feel, and no doubt you will try again Liz! I bet it tasted great. Now I want to make it too and see how it turns out. Bakers Royale has a few recipes, one with three colors.

  7. I agree – your batter looked right before you put it into the oven…I wonder what happened?!?! My mom made me one of those zebra cakes for my birthday last year and it was so cool to see it sliced open!

  8. look amazing!! I admire you and your patience to make the draws:))))
    just beautiful!

  9. It looks gorgeous! This has been on my to-make list too. I’m so intimidated!

  10. Oh wow that’s beautiful! Love the gorgeous swirls (zebra swirls). This recipe looks amazing!

  11. One word Liz – WOW!!!!

  12. i think it looks delicious, and i’d love a slice (even if it looks like marbled horse :))

  13. Both photos are gorgeous! And your end result still looks delicious to me! Frankly, I’d much rather have a delicious cake than a beautiful one. I’ve been to too many weddings with show-stopping cakes that taste like cardboard–no thank you! You have got to have a ton of patience to try this once, let alone twice, so hats off to you!

  14. I think it looks delicious, and that is all that matters. Sure, pretty cakes are fun, but I want to eat it.

  15. Your cake looks delicious!! Good for you to try this …. however did Lisa do this?? I’m having trouble visualizing the method but have to give this a try sometime. I love the idea of doing a baking bucket list!! Hmmm – one thing that would be on my list would be to try making cream filled “lobster tails” like the ones we almost had in Boston!

  16. That has got to be hard to do, I have not seen a lot of these cakes maybe one or two. Kudoos for attempting that and it is gorgeous!!

  17. Lovely ! Love the Zebra swirl Liz !! Love all your baking recipes ! Yumm… I would buy from you if you had a store 🙂

  18. Mhhh what a beautiful zebra cake…
    Wishing you happy new year

  19. It’s amazingly beautiful. I’m such a fail making Zebra cake

  20. Moist and yummy is good enough for me! Pretty sure I would be a fail at this recipe, mine would probably come out a lot worse! Looks delicious though 🙂

  21. Liz~ everyone knows Zebra Stripes are on their way out ….. as far as I’m concerned you’re on the cutting edge with this cake! Horses are the new black!

  22. That looks quite a work of art!!! simply beautiful – isn’t great what you learn through blogging!!
    Mary x

  23. Zebra, horse, details schemetails! LOL. Looks amazing to me! 😀

  24. Still beautiful and I bet it tastes amazing!

  25. I think they book look amazing. I’ve made one once, but it was steamed not baked. As I recall, it turned out ok, but not fantastic. From what I remember reading, the key is to not get the stripes too small. I dunno. At least they taste fantastic, right? 🙂

    • Ok, that’s supposed to be both look….I think I have books on the mind when I think of you now. 🙂

  26. That’s unbelievably disappointing. Why didn’t the stripes stay in place through the cooking process? How annoying. But the mixture in the tins does look very pretty – and perfect! I’d blame the oven if I were you – nothing to do with you at all! And I’m super impressed that you’ve made puff pastry – it’s something I think about then put to one side! xx

  27. I think it looks amazing still! I love the before baking pans… really nice. 🙂

  28. Hello Lizzy, I think your cake looks quite delicious. I’ve never tried Tiger Cake but I’ve done cupcakes with pretty good success – maybe they’re easier!

  29. I love the name. Yes, the wet batter swirls look fantastic. Sorry it didn’t come out the way you had hoped. Bet it was still scarfed down.

  30. cake looks wonderful happy new year

  31. I think it’s pretty anyway-and taste is a much bigger priority than stripedyness anyway 🙂

  32. Horse cake! Hah! Hah! Hah! Doesn’t matter as long as it taste good “)

  33. Great looking cake! And congrats on finishing off your baking bucket list – that’s a huge achievement. I really need to make my own croissants one of these days. My wife and I have been talking about how much fun they’d be – definitely something I should do. And, of course, this terrific looking Zebra cake!

  34. Lizzy,
    I see zebra lines in your cake. Delicious and moist cakes beats a show stopping presentation any day. I say well done!

  35. Wow – those zebra lines are just perfect!

  36. Liz its lovely even if it isn’t striped the way you wanted! 🙂

  37. Beautiful cake, I love the marbling!

  38. ahahah am sitting here in Israel, 5am all jet lagged loling at your title. I think the cake looks delicious regardless and I can see the pre-baked zebra lines were perfect. If it were me baking it it would have been a true disaster. Yours looks delicious!

  39. LOL Lizzy, you are too funny! I would still call this cake a huge success. Looks wonderful and your daughter obviously thought it tasted wonderful. Have a great week, my friend. 🙂

  40. It looks amazing, like a pretty inner swirl cake – I’d call that a success either way. 🙂 Your photos are stunning too and so appealing. I’d take that slice right now.

    I’ve been wanting to try making a zebra cake and a leopard cake too so I’ll have to try this recipe. I have some coconut oil in too so I guess I’ll try it with that and see what it turns out like.

  41. Well, to me it looks beautifully marbled and much better than anything I could ever do since I can barely make the tunnel in a bundt cake come out right. Much, much more important, though, is that it sounds delicious. I share your daughter’s taste for something less rich and this is right up my alley.

  42. Yummy! That looks so beautiful. Great job!

  43. This is one beautiful cake. I love the swirled effect.

  44. Liz, I still think your cake looks amazing and zebra-like. As long as it tastes fabulous, who cares what it looks like, right? And you can definitely cross zebra cake off your list – I say this is a success!

  45. Wow the batter looks amazing. I wonder what happened when it baked. It is a mystery. But hey at least it tasted good, which when it all boils down to it, is the only thing that really matters.

  46. This still is a stunning looking cake to me Liz! I love any marble cake, no matter what you call it!

  47. It’s hard to believe that you mention there are some things that you hesitate to bake! But I understand blogging give you more courage to tackle new recipes. This year I’m really hoping to bake more. I hope I can say it’s not that hard to bake… it’s my dream to say that. 😀 Beautiful zebra cake. I’ll have to put this on my list, but maybe a few years later? Hehee. By the way Happy New Year Lizzy! 🙂

  48. This is a list to write home about – I will refer to it often and won’t have to make my own bucket list of things I should be able to bake, cook, make, or fail at. I actually had never seen a Zebra cake but I HAVE seen a whole zeal of zebras (yep, a group of zebras are called a zeal). When I was in Cambria last Winter I was lucky enough to spot about 25-30 of them grazing in a field at the Hearst Ranch – from his original zoo stock . And, honestly, Liz, their stripes looked sorta like the results of your cake. So, don’t fret. It’s always about the taste, anyway.

  49. Zebra cakes are amazing. Yours might not be a vibrant zebra, but I can see the stripes, and it looks delicious. And that’s what really counts in the end! I must admit that Lisa’s really looks like a zebra. Like I said, it’s really amazing!

  50. Liz,
    I have actually never even heard of a zebra cake until this post! But I did check out Lisa’s blog and Wow! Your cake looks great to me and as long as it tasted good, to me, that’s all that matters. . but I hear you. . you’ll try again . . and it’ll be fabulous. 🙂

  51. Well I think it looks awesome! If I were to ever attempt thing I think we would just have to call it brown pony cake because everything would probably just mix together.

  52. Sounds amazing! Too bad you didn’t get the stripes you wanted, I think it looks good though!

  53. Zebra cake is my go-to dessert for everything! It looks like your cake didn’t turn out because the chocolate portion wasn’t “heavy” enough. Usually, I have thicker chocolate stripes on the bottom, and thinner white ones on the top. I also use 1/4 cup for each layer (using the measuring cup to layer in the pan), when the original recipe I used said only two tablespoons. Don’t lose hope yet! 🙂

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