How to Make a Pink Zebra Cake
February 4, 2014 by Jenn
It is sunny and warm in LA!! We are in LA again for a week of filming and workshops at Space LA, and it has been so nice to escape the dreary winter weather we’d been having up in Canada. It feels paradise right now . . . short sleeves, bare legs . . . American Target.
Life is good! All I need now is a sprinkle covered cupcake and it would be complete. As I alluded to last post, it’s not all happiness right now, my friend on-screen and off, Beth from the channel CookingandCrafting, is going through some very challenging times with a sick family member.
If you know Beth you will know how close she is with her family. They need your help. If you can donate any amount, please consider sending it to her brother Scott to help him on his road to recovery. The link to the medical fundraiser is here- http://www.youcaring.
I’ve had a day to reconnect with colleagues who are now my friends I’m happy to say. It has been so exciting to be a part of something that has had this much time to develop real relationships.
I think that if this had been a one week program instead of the 6 month/3 week program that it is, we definitely wouldn’t have been able to learn so much from each other.
I’ll get to post more about that later as the week goes on! I’m even going to get to meet a real life cyber friend on Thursday! I’ve invited Miki from Miki’s Pantry to come and join us at our wrap party! She’s the soothing voice behind the channel Miki’s Pantry.
We’re bound to each other in person as we’ve been having conversation via computers since 2011 . I’ll post more about that later too. Anyway, that’s the update that is happening in LA . . . so . . . on to the cake!
I set out to make this cake in traditional black and white zebra pattern, but while I was practicing version one (there’s usually 3-4 versions of a cake prior to a video) something about it screamed PINK PINK PINK to me! The black and white looked too, well, black and white.
I started with putting a pink border around the outside. Yep, that definitely added the punch of colour I was looking for, but it still wasn’t PINK enough.
When I sliced into the cake to see how the stripe effect worked out, I realized THAT was it!! I had to somehow get pink in the middle too! So I started baking version two . . .
by the time it was ready for filming I had version three mastered as well.
Pink Zebra Cake
2 ½ cups all purpose flour (300 g) 2 cups sugar (400 g)¾ cups vegetable oil (180 mL)1 teaspoon vanilla (5 mL) 2 ¼ teaspoons baking powder (~11 mL)1/2 teaspoon salt 4 eggs1 cup milk (240 mL)white, pink, and black gel paste
black fondantpink buttercream
Wilton tip 1A
*white colouring is optional if you wish to have a lighter batter, you can use the batter as is
*you may also choose to omit the pink portion, and just use it as black
Procedure:Preheat oven to 350F/170F. In the bowl of a stand mixer combine, flour, sugar, baking powder, vegetable oil and vanilla on low/medium until ingredients are mixed together. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing on low in between additions.
Slowly add the milk while the mixer on and mix until all ingredients are completely combined. Divide batter into three different bowls with one bowl having half of the batter and the other two have a quarter each. Colour the large bowl with white colouring, and the smaller two with black and pink respectively.
Mix colouring until no light streaks remain. Spray two 8” pans with non-stick spray and line bottom with parchment/baking/wax paper. Place four tablespoons of white batter into the center of each pan. Then, directly into the middle of the white batter, place two tablespoons of black batter.
Directly into the centre of the black batter, place two tablespoons of pink batter. Repeat white/black/pink batter additions until all the batter is used up or pans are ⅔ full. Place pans into oven and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Allow to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, remove from pan, and cool completely on a wire wrack.
Once cake is cooled, level, stack and cover in white buttercream.
To cut the fondant pieces, roll fondant out very thinly and using a rolling cutter (pizza or pastry) slice long, narrow stripes and arrange on white cake as desired. To finish the cake off, using the pink buttercream with Wilton 1A tip, pipe a small beaded border along the bottom of the cake.
Filed Under: Cakes With: black, black and white cake, black cake, black white pink cake, cake, fondant cake, how to make, how to make zebra cake, jungle, jungle cake, pink, pink cake, pink zebra cake, striped cake, surprise cake, Vanilla Cake, white, white cake, zebra cake
There’s a zebra loose in our kitchens!!
You’re looking at chocolate and vanilla cakes baked together in a striking striped pattern. Pretty, right? Much easier than you think to pull off, too. marble cake but a little more flashy. Zebra cake is often baked as a single layer cake or a bundt cake, but I needed a fun and towering cake for our friend’s birthday. And an excuse to make chocolate cream cheese frosting.
And if you came here looking for a Little Debbie zebra cake, so sorry! Man those little things are good.
Let me walk you through my mindset as I was preparing and testing this zebra layer cake. Beware: my mind is a very jumbled space.
I started by looking at my marble cake recipe. It’s a wonderful base recipe for yellow layer cake, but pure convenience, I didn’t want a cake that called for extra egg yolks. And I just ran cake flour from testing out strawberry cake. I also envisioned a 3 or 4 layer cake for my zebra-ing. So let’s start somewhere else.
Moving on to another and more recent cake recipe: checkerboard cake. I ADORE this cake. Somewhere between a mega buttery yellow cake and light vanilla cake, I’m really proud to have a base cake recipe that’s as moist as box mix cakes. And you can make it 3 layer or 4 layer, just adjust the baking time slightly.
But if I’m not careful, I can overcream the butter + sugar or over-mix the batter (since there’s so much of it). This can leave me with a denser tasting cake. I wanted to avoid all that, so I slightly reduced the flour and added a little more baking powder for lift + airiness. Does this make sense? To see if I could get away with it, I added some sour cream too.
Just for a little extra moisture. Totally worked. This cake is so moist!
Made From 1 Batter
So now I have a solid starting point for my zebra cake, let’s figure out how to make the chocolate portion.
The chocolate cake is made from the vanilla batter, so you don’t have to prepare two completely separate batters. YAY! I wanted a suuuuuper dark chocolate stripe for contrast. I was going to use chopped chocolate, in my marble cake, but that never gives me a very dark chocolate batter.
And if I added *more* chocolate to darken the shade, the texture of the chocolate batter would be compromised. So let’s use cocoa powder. How about a dark cocoa powder Hershey’s special dark? Gorgeous! But since we’re adding a dry and bitter ingredient to the chocolate batter, it will dry out the cake. A little sugar and milk solved that problem.
Both the vanilla cake and chocolate cake are so moist. We did it!
Oh and one more thing! I added a little espresso powder to the chocolate batter. Just to help bring out the chocolate flavor. This is an optional ingredient.
You’ll end up with about 8 cups of vanilla batter. Pour 4 cups of it into a separate bowl for the chocolate batter. Add the cocoa, sugar, milk, and espresso powder. You’ll have some little lumps– that’s ok.
Now here’s where the zebra shows up! We create a zebra stripe pattern by layering the batters on top of each other. Start with a spoonful of 1 batter in the center, place a spoonful of the other batter on top, then alternate until you’ve filled the pans. I did a horrible job explaining this, so here’s a fancy iPhone video to show you.
Give the pans a shake every now and then to level the batter off. And, after the cakes are baked, level them off with a knife to create flatter tops. Why? So your layer cake isn’t all topsy turvy! You want nice flat-topped surfaces.
Moving onto the frosting. Let me show off my latest obsession: chocolate cream cheese frosting. Regular cream cheese frosting is one of my favorites because it’s not as cloyingly sweet as buttercream. It’s the creamiest of frostings with a silky smooth and velvet-y mouthfeel. With carrot cake, red velvet cake, hummingbird, banana, spice cake, and pumpkin cake… it’s just the best!!!
But if we think regular cream cheese frosting is the best, we’re definitely backwards. Because this chocolate cream cheese frosting is, in fact, the best in the biz.
Now the moment of truth. Let’s cut into the cake to see how our zebra stripes look!!
Noelle’s nursery is all jungle animals, so I can see myself making zebra cake for her 1st birthday this Fall. Maybe a whole zoo animal theme. Getting ahead of myself. She’s only 3 and 1/2 months!