Wednesday, 20 July 2011

The Cake Slice Bakers - Challenge 10 - July 2011 - Zebra Cake.

Ha ha - that's going to be confusing - a picture of an owl cake with the title 'Zebra Cake'.  I had to make an owl cake for Rufus' 3rd birthday and since I had to make a zebra cake for The Cake Slice Bakers, I thought I would combine the two.  

I have never made a zebra cake before.  My first attempt didn't work at all.  I must have put too much cocoa powder in the chocolate layer so the batter was much more dense than the vanilla layer and consequently just sunk to the bottom instead of spreading out to form the stripes.  For the second attempt, I kept back some of the flour from the original batter and mixed it into the vanilla half when I mixed the cocoa into the chocolate half.  This worked much better.

My stripes weren't as defined as I would have liked so next time I make it, I will do larger dollops of the mixture to make each stripe.  I did about 3 tbsp vanilla to 2 tbsp chocolate in this one and you can see it makes the stripes too thin to be very distinct.

I was very pleased with the cake.  It had to compete with a layer of chocolate ganache and then fondant as it ended up being a party cake.  It was moist and light, though, and I preferred it to my usual chocolate cake that I do for novelty cakes.  It seemed to go down well with guests at the party too.  I didn't manage to get any pretty pictures it sliced as we were obviously busy with the party.  I would be happy to make it again, though, and certainly want to try making bigger, more defined stripes next time.

Recipe - Zebra Cake - adapted from Cake Keeper Cakes by Lauren Chattman.

Ingredients - 
2 cups plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled (113g)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp cocoa powder

Method - 
1. Preheat oven to 350F/180C.  Grease a 9" round cake pan, line with a circle of parchment paper, grease the parchment, and dust with flour.  Combine the flour (keep back 2 tbsp of flour to add to the vanilla portion later to keep the batter consistencies similar), baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
2. Combine the eggs and sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until thick and pale, about 5 mins.  With the mixer on low speed, stir in the milk, butter, vegetable oil and vanilla, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice as necessary.  Stir in the flour mixture 1/2 cup at a time.
3. Transfer 1/3 of the batter into another bowl and whisk in the cocoa powder. (Whisk the extra 2tbsp flour into the vanilla portion).
4. Place 1/4 cup of the vanilla batter into the centre of the cake tin and let it stand for a few seconds so it spreads out slightly.  Place 2 tbsp 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 of the batter and it has spread to the edges of the pan.
5. Bake until the cake is set and a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean, about 40 mins.  Cool in the pan for 10 minutes.  
6. Store uneaten cake in a cake keeper or wrap in plastic and store at room temperature for up to 3 days. 

Click here to see the CSB blogroll.

And click here to see how it should look! Beautiful. 


  1. Wow !What an amazing blog.
    One of the best blog.
    Its awesome.
    Nice blog on cake supplies.
    Keep going...

  2. You cake is a real wow! Your owl looks fantastic!!

  3. OH MY GOSH! That is truly fantastic! If I weren't so full of cake right now I'd be on the next train up! :)

  4. Great job on your Zebra Cake, it looks gorgeous. Now what would you get if you pair a Zebra with an Owl ... hmmm!

  5. I love owls and zebras, so this cake is perfect for me! Do you deliver to Mexico? LOL :)

    That owl is gorgeous and your Zebra Cake came out great. :)

  6. I'm totally bowled over with how incredible your owl cake looks- did Rufus absolutely love it? Silly question- of course he must have!

  7. KJ - thanks - I was quite pleased with him too. And see below.

    Victoria - ha ha - I could do an owl/zebra cake if there was ever an Aberdeen Cake Ladies Event. Kelly-Jane - would you be up for that?

    Jo - oooh, a stripey owl - would be gorgeous!

    Leslie - I could hand deliver to Mexico in return for a wee holiday!! Thank you.

    Kate - awww, thanks so much. Yes, he did love it. Sometimes they can be a bit blase about things I make. Like I'm sure they really have no idea how much time and effort goes into making the cake pops. But, they were both appropriately appreciative of the owl cake. :-)

  8. The stripes are great. I love the owl more.

  9. Your owl/zebra cake is adorable. Talk about an identity crisis. ha!

    Seriously though, your stripes look just fine to me and even better that you even liked the taste of it too. Seems as though this one had mixed reviews.

  10. Your cake looks amazing!! I love that your owl cake is a zebra cake hehe. You are so talented

  11. Rachel - thanks - owls are wonderful!

    Monica - yes, a real mixed bag of reviews. I think using this cake for a novelty cake is a good idea. It doesn't have to stand alone as it obviously has chocolate ganache and fondant icing on top so you don't really want to use your best cake for that. But, it is actually a fairly decent cake and I love the lightness to balance the icing.

    Katie - Thank you - but is it an owl zebra cake or a zebra owl cake?

  12. Congratulations on a very successful zebra cake! All those stripes of chocolate and vanilla look so cool. I bet the cake was definitely a hit!

  13. Congratulations on surviving the zebra cake...I think your stripes look perfect. And the owl design is fabulous.

  14. WOW that's a great looking cake! Stunning owl :D

  15. Your cake looks amazing - both the zebra stripes and the fabulous owl decoration - you're so talented!!!

  16. Clever to combine the owl party and the zebra cake...sort of zooey but cute. This cake looks perfect for a party.

  17. I love the zebra owl cake!!! The decoration is really perfect and your zebra cake is awesome!

  18. The owl cake is absolutely gorgeous. Made me smile! It is making me think all sorts of owly ideas for future birthday cake decorating :)

  19. Wow...both cake look so professional! Sigh.... I wish I could bake!

  20. Lou would you mind if I adapt this recipe if I link back to your post? I have something special in mind for the We Should Cocoa Birthday Cake challenge & I've had this beauty bookmarked for a while. x

  21. Alex - you are 100% welcome to use anything from my blog anytime. Can't wait to see what you come up with. Lou.

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  23. So I tried but all of the chocolate sank to the bottom & the stripes vanished. Was the batter quite runny? I think I had too little flour in mine. x