Zebra Cake

Annie and I were back in the kitchen together this week, and she chose an amazing cake for us to bake up – a Zebra Cake! The special part of this yellow and chocolate cake is the way the batter is added to the pan, and thus makes a zebra pattern when it is cut into. The recipe for this cake didn’t include a frosting, but let’s be honest – the frosting makes the cake and I just couldn’t imagine eating a naked cake! I added Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate frosting to the cake, and a half recipe was perfect for the size of this cake. I thought that the flavor of the cake was just alright, but the technique is really very neat. I may try to play around with this using different cake recipes.

The zebra stripe effect is achieved by dropping alternating spoonfuls of batter into the pan. The weight of each additional dollop of batter forces the ones below it to spread out, creating rings of alternating color. Here is what the batter looked like going into the pan:

Making baked goods is always more fun when you have the ability to share them with people, so I was happy to be able to bring this cake home with me for the weekend and enjoyed it with my mom and sister and two of our good friends (I’m second from left):

Zebra Cake

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 38-42 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients:

4 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk (low fat is fine)
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp almond extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
2½ tbsp cocoa powder

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9-inch round cake pan with a circle of parchment paper and lightly grease the bottom and sides of the pan.

2. In a large bowl, mix together eggs and sugar until mixture is light and creamy and the sugar has mostly been dissolved. Stir in milk, vegetable oil, vanilla and almond extracts.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Pour into wet ingredients and whisk to combine. Measure out just over two cups of vanilla batter and place it back in the medium bowl. Sift cocoa powder over the bowl and whisk until fully incorporated.

4. Put 3 tbsp of vanilla batter into the center of the pan and let it spread slightly on its own. Put 3 tbsp of chocolate batter in the center of the vanilla. It will push out the other batter and, as it sits for a moment, will also spread itself. Alternating spoonfuls of the two batters, repeat the technique until all the batter has been used up.

5. Bake for 38-42 minutes, until the cake is light gold and a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

6. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then turn out the cake and remove the parchment paper. Reinvert on to a wire rack and let cool before slicing.

(Source: Baking Bites)