Wednesday, July 20, 2011

TCS: Zebra Cake

Zebra Cake
 This months winning cake over at The Cake Slice was Zebra Cake. Which in theory, means that there should be even or semi even stripes of alternating chocolate and white cake.

Alas, not in my case.

 I have some serious cake envy right now after having looked over the posts of those who had baked early. My poor sad mutant cake looks nowhere near as pretty as theirs. I had a suspicion that something might be amiss when the chocolate batter seemed thick but somehow, despite the fact that the regular batter was thin, somehow I rationalized that this was how it was supposed to be..that there had been some culinary magic thanks to a little cocoa powder. In hindsight, I realize now that this was really nothing more than my sad math skills trying to eyeball what a third of the batter meant and missing the quantity completely. And sure enough, when the cake baked up, there was a core center of chocolate and a uneven ragged outer portion of plain cake and that was about it. Fortunately, the cake was tasty enough between all that butter and oil so it was still eaten even if is the ugly stepsister of cakes.

I thought briefly of trying to re-bake to see if it would turn out any better, but with the heat wave we're having in the Midwest, I just could not make myself turn on the oven.  And although the cake was tasty, it wasn't so "wow, this is the cake of cakes" for me so I don't see myself making this again. So I'm hoping for a better result with next months cake.

Please check out the other bakers over at the Cake Slice who made their cakes look so much prettier and stripey than I did.

Zebra Cake
From: Cake Keeper Cakes by Lauren Chattman

2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
4 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup whole or 2% milk
½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted and cooled
½ cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp unsweetened Dutch cocoa powder

Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 9 inch pan, line with a circle of parchment paper, grease the parchment and dust with flour. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
Combine the eggs and sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on high speed until thick and pale, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, stir in the milk, butter, oil and vanilla, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice as necessary. Stir in the flour mixture, ½ cup at a time.

Transfer a third of the batter into another bowl and whisk in the cocoa powder.

Place a quarter cup of the vanilla batter into the centre of the pan and let it stand for a few seconds so it spreads out slightly. Place 2 tablespoons of the chocolate batter right on top of the vanilla and wait another few seconds until it spreads. Continue alternating vanilla and chocolate until you have used up all the batter and it has spread to the edges of the pan.

Bake until the cake is set and a toothpick comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Run a sharp knife around the edge of the pan and invert the cake onto a cutting board. Peel away the parchment paper. Re-invert onto a wire rack and cool completely. Slice and serve.
Store uneaten cake in a cake keeper or wrap in plastic and store at room temperature for 3 days.


  1. I had the exact same problem! My first one looked exactly as your one looks. I adjusted for my second attempt by keeping back some flour to mix into the vanilla portion to even up the consistencies and it worked much better. Don't worry - it wasn't just you!

  2. Sorry your stripes didn't turn out. :( I'm looking forward to next month's cake too. :)

  3. Oh dear and sorry that it didn't turn out as it should. Maybe when the weather gets a bit more cooler you could try the recipe again. In the meantime, great job on the effort.

  4. I was going to suggest what "Do Not Feed" suggested- adding a littlemore flour to the plain batter to thicken it up but she beat me to it. You could always just call it a marble cake :-) But I agree with you...I've made a zebra cake and it was just so-so.

    SO looking forward to next months' cake :-)

  5. It may not have been stripy but as least it was tasty. You probably got more destinctive choc and vanilla flavours this way too. Its interesting how the same recipe can produce such different results.

  6. My chocolate batter was thicker, too, so I smooshed it a bit...which shows in the cake but it was still fun to make. Yours looks very arty and lucious.