That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Slice of zebra cake on two stacked plates

Striped Zebra Cake

The idea of a Striped Zebra Cake came to mind after a few moments of brainstorming on what bucket list recipe to make. I’ve become confident enough to tackle most any dessert, candy or bread so here’s my first attemp!

Unfortunately, my baked zebra cake looks more like a marbled horse cake. Pretty and tasty, yes, but the distinct markings were lacking!

Slice of zebra cake on two stacked plates

Striped Zebra Cake

This striped zebra cake recipe was on my New Year’s Bucket List. I’ve baked nearly 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!

Striped Zebra cake slice on a white dessert plate

How to Make a Zebra Cake

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???? 

Zebra Cake on a cake plate

How to Make a Zebra Cake

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???? 

Update after a success:

The layering of the batter below is spot on. But it ended up the problem with my recipe was easily remedied!

PRO-Tip: Make sure your cake batter is quite thick. That will help prevent the “stripes” from merging together. Here are my Mini Zebra Bundt Cakes to see my eventual success in making a striped zebra cake recipe!

Zebra Cake batter in a cake pan Zebra cake batter in a cake pan

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

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Yield: 8 servings

Zebra Cake

Zebra Cake

A striped chocolate and vanilla cake made to resemble a zebra!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

 

  • 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

Instructions

  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.

Notes

Adapted from a variety of recipes including my friend (Lisa, of Parsley, Sage and Sweet)

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1 slice

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 556 Total Fat: 27g Saturated Fat: 16g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 9g Cholesterol: 157mg Sodium: 547mg Carbohydrates: 71g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 39g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 8g
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54 comments on “Striped Zebra Cake”

  1. 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.

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

  3. 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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