Zebra Cake

It’s time for another fun cyber-baking experience with my good friend Chelle!  As soon as I saw this cake, I knew I had to give it a try.  Such a cool looking cake but not requiring any special tools – wonderful!  All it takes to get this fun effect is some patience.  And while I was putting mine together, (because I had a lot of time to ponder) I started to wonder why I have incredible patience for cooking and baking, but almost no patience in any other area….  I’m still trying to figure that one out 🙂  I had a lot of fun layering the batter to create the stripe effect, hence the many process pictures below.  I would say this cake is definitely more about the look than the taste.  It tastes pretty good, but not any better than just an average cake.  However, the look is well worth it.  I topped mine with Hershey’s perfectly chocolate frosting, which made it taste even better.

I wish I had watched this cake a little more closely while it was baking.  Even though I baked it only 38 minutes, I felt it was a little overdone and more brown than I would have liked.  It also puffed up a LOT during baking.  Not really an issue for me, but if you wanted to make this into a layer cake (which would look REALLY cool!) you would definitely need to level the tops.  I did think the cake tasted even better after a day in the refrigerator. Chelle seemed to have a pretty similar experience to mine, but you can about her zebra cake here.

Just a few stripes…

Looking more like a zebra…

All ready to go in the oven!

Zebra Cake


4 large eggs

1 cup sugar

1 cup milk

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

2 ½ tbsp. cocoa powder



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


In a large bowl, mix together the eggs and sugar until mixture is light and creamy and the sugar has been mostly dissolved.  Stir in milk, vegetable oil, vanilla and almond extracts.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Pour into wet ingredients and whisk to combine.  Measure out just over two cups of vanilla batter and put it back into the medium bowl.  Sift cocoa powder over the bowl and whisk until fully incorporated. 


Put 3 tablespoons of vanilla batter into the center of the pan and let it spread slightly on its own.  Put 3 tablespoons of chocolate batter in the center of the vanilla.  It will push out the other 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.


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


Let the cake cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then turn out the cake and remove the parchment paper.  Reinvert onto a wire rack and let cool completely.  Frost if desired.

Source: Baking Bites

23 Responses

  1. Annie, your pictures are awesome – your cake looks great!! Thanks so much for choosing this recipe, it was such a fun technique!

  2. Annie, that is fantastic. I’m beyond impressed. I don’t think I have the patience to make something like that.

  3. This looks it is right up my alley. I can’t wait to try it. I did try the blueberries instead of choc. chips in the scones last week and they turned out grand. Thanks for the suggestions! And I make blueberry cupcakes instead of putting straberries in your recipes and they were delish as well. Blueberries are everywhere now so that’s why I’m all about.
    Thanks for the cute picture of Andrew!
    l., judy

  4. That looks awesome. I don’t know if I have the patience for it, but I’m going to give it a try!

  5. Wow, That looks great. What a neat technique!

  6. Wow! I’ve never seen a Zebra cake. That’s pretty cool!

  7. That is so impressive – You are a better woman than I – I would not have the patience to be as precise as you. My Zebra would be defective 😉 Great Great Job.

  8. That’s really cool! Haven’t seen this done before and can’t wait to try it! 🙂

  9. Holy cow, that’s GORGEOUS!!! I especially love those last pictures of the batter….amazing!! You should be proud of this cake…I am so impressed!! 🙂

  10. This looks so great! I’m amazed that it comes together like it does with such a simple (but time consuming!) technique. So glad you shared it – this would be great for a kids birthday or other fun surprise cake.

  11. Maybe you have the patience to bake because you enjoy it so much, and it’s one way you can be creative that gives you almost instant gratification. This cake is amazing, i’m going to have to bake this!

  12. Oh my goodness! You are an artist!

  13. I love the technique – it’s just fun.

  14. Fantastic! I love the look. I might have to do this with chocolate and strawberry cake for my friend’s pink and brown wedding shower. Thanks for the great idea and helpful pictures.

  15. That looks so cool! My husband is requesting that I try to make it as soon as possible!

  16. two questions:

    does this HAVE to be done with chocolate and vanilla cake or can you mix it up and use strawberry and chocolate, or is it something about the ones you used that make it work right?

    what if i wanted to make it easy on myself and use store bought mixes. would that be ok?

  17. deLa,
    Of course you could try this with other batter flavors. However, my main concern would be that if the batters were too different in consistency/density, the pattern might not layer out as it is supposed to. Because this recipe uses the same batter foundation and simply adds cocoa powder to half of it, it ensures similar consistency throughout the cake. I have only made it once so far, so I just can’t guarantee that it would work with other batters. But give it a shot!

    I don’t see why you couldn’t use a boxed cake mix (although this recipe is very simple itself), but again, I would probably recommend using one batter foundation, and then adding cocoa (or whatever) to half to achieve a similar density in both layers. Hope this is helpful.

    🙂 Annie

  18. That cake looks so cool!!

  19. such a cool looking cake! you can’t go wrong with a Hershey’s recipe for icing! Yum!

  20. What an awesome technique. I might have to give it a try sometime. Your pattern is beautiful!

  21. […] Adapted from Annie’s Eats, originally from Baking […]

  22. i’m looking for a zebra cake to finish my themed party and this looks fabulous! Thanks for the info and the technique details. Isn’t it thrilling what you can find on the NET?

  23. I am using this pattern for my husbands birthday cake tonight..hope it works out well!! looks great!

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