Sunday, July 24, 2011

Late But A Zebra Anyway

Good intentions are great but sometimes even with the best of intentions I neglect to do something I want to do. This month it was baking the wonderful Zebra Cake so that I could post with the Cake Slice Bakers on the 20th. Maybe it's because its summer, maybe its because of CS visiting, maybe its because I've been trying to eat foods that are better for my bod...for whatever reason the recipe sat in the kitchen unused until yesterday.

Never at a loss for ideas, once I did decide to bake the cake I also made a change and an addition. When the two batters get separated, I did whisk cocoa powder into the smaller amount, but I also added dried orange peel and some orange oil to the plain batter. Once the cake was baked and cooled, I gilded the lily with a ganache icing. Unfortunately I over heated the ganache and didn't start until 7:30 in the evening, so it was fully dark by the time we enjoyed the Zebra Cake, hence the not-so-great photos.

This was a fun cake to make and delicious, but the texture was not as tender as I would have liked. The chocolate/orange combination was lovely and it made an impressively tall slice...I'm glad I baked it in my 2 inch tall cake pan. The chocolate batter was thicker than the orange batter which might be why my zebra stripes ended up looking more like marble cake. Glad I made this one, even if it was late.

If you haven't already done so, do check out the other Cake Slice Bakers' versions of the Zebra Cake. They are mostly better than mine.

July’s Cake: Zebra Cake
Makes one 9 inch round cake

Zebra Cake
(Recipe 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 loved the look of my Zebra Cake (off the King Arthur's site) but I was disappointed in the flavor and texture.
    Like you I was really happy I did it but somewhere in the back -really far back - of my mind there lurks an idea to try it again and get flavor & texture along with the fun visual.

  2. Wow it sounds delicious. Love the idea of making a choc orange zebra and the ganache topping - yum!

  3. Your cake tooks lovely. I think your changes you made would make it taste better, the orange would have been good :)

  4. Very clever adjustments! Love that ganache topping!

  5. Hi Elle! Thank you for stopping by my blog :)
    I started out the recipe just like it said then when I came to layering the strips, I ran out of chocolate batter. I had to take from the vanilla batter and mix in more chocolate. Next time I make this recipe I know ahead of time to evenly divide both batters :)