When I first discovered this impressive looking cake on AZ Cookbook, I was so amazed and thought it must takes years of practise to perfect such good looking cake! But after reading the recipe, it is actually a very very easy cake to make! And I think this cake is a sure win to impress others!

ZEBRA CAKE (recipe from AZ Cookbook)

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Makes one 9-inch (23 cm) cake

Ingredients:

  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (8 oz / 250 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (8 fl oz / 250 ml) milk, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (8 fl oz / 250 ml) oil (corn, vegetable or canola is fine)
  • 2 cups (10 oz / 300 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons dark cocoa powder

Method:

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs and sugar. Using a hand-held electric mixer or wire whisk beat until the mixture is creamy and light in colour.

2. Add milk and oil, and continue beating until well blended.

3. In a separate bowl, combine and mix flour, vanilla powder and baking powder. Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and beat just until the batter is smooth and the dry ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.  (DO NOT OVERBEAT to prevent air pockets from forming in the batter.)

The consistency of the batter should either be too thick not too loose. If the mixture is too thin, add a little more flour.

4. Divide the mixture into 2 equal portions. Keep one portion plain. Add cocoa powder into another and mix well.

5. Preheat the oven to 350F (180C).

6. Lightly grease the pan with oil. If you don’t have non-stick baking pan, grease whatever pan you have then line it with baking paper.

7. The most important part is assembling the cake batter in a baking pan. This is what you do. Scoop 3 heaped tablespoons of plain batter (you can also use a ladle that would hold 3 tablespoons) into the middle of the baking pan. Then scoop 3 tablespoons of cocoa batter and pour it in the center on top of the plain batter. IMPORTANT! Do not stop and wait until the previous batter spreads – KEEP GOING! Do not spread the batter or tilt the pan to distribute the mixture. It will spread by itself and fill the pan gradually. Continue alternating the batters until you finish them. The pictures below will guide you through.


8. Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes. Do not open the oven door at least the first 20 minutes or the cake will shrink and will not rise. To check if the cake is ready, insert a toothpick into the center. It should come out clean when ready.

9. Remove from the oven. Immediately run a small thin knife around the inside of the pan to loosen the cake, then invert the cake onto a cooking rack. Turn the cake back over and let cool.

NOTES:

  • In the original, it says “if baking powder not available, substitute with 1 teaspoon baking soda”. I didn’t have any baking powder so I used baking soda instead, unfortunately the cake didn’t turn out as fluffy and light as it should be. So make sure you use baking powder and DON’T substitute it with baking soda!
  • I am having a hard time finding dark cocoa powder here in Australia. I used normal cocoa powder to make the cocoa batter, but the batter looks fairly light and I don’t think it will have a great zebra contrast, so to darken the cocoa batter, I grated some dark chocolate into the mixture! 🙂
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