This homemade zebra cake recipe is simple yet stunning. The chocolate and vanilla layers create a beautiful swirl effect, sure to impress.
This impressive homemade Zebra cake recipe is super simple and fun to make. You won’t even need to prepare two separate batters!
All you have to do is whip up one base batter and divide it equally into two portions. Then, simply mix in some cocoa powder and milk into one portion, and voila!
Now you can create a delightful zebra pattern by pouring the batter into the center of the pan, alternating the chocolate and vanilla layers. As you keep adding more batter, the rings of alternating colors expand outward.
When you finally slice into this bicolor pound cake, you’ll see the amazing striped or marbled pattern that looks just like a zebra! Trust me, it tastes as good as it looks!
The flavors of vanilla and chocolate layers come together in such a delightful way! If you want a dessert that gives you the best of both worlds, this simple homemade Zebra cake recipe is the way to go!
And to further indulge in the delights of chocolate and vanilla, don’t miss out on these Ukrainian dual-flavored cookies. They are absolutely fantastic!
The fluffy Zebra sponge is perfect for any occasion! Whether it’s a potluck, birthday celebration, or a casual family gathering, this striped dessert is a great choice. It’s guaranteed to impress your guests!
Zebra cake vs Marble cake
Zebra cake and marble cake have a lot in common because they both bring together the delicious combination of vanilla and chocolate batters to create stunning patterns. But here’s where they stand apart: Zebra sponge is characterized by the carefully layered or side-by-side placement of vanilla and chocolate batters, resulting in distinct stripes or a zebra-like pattern. On the other hand, the marble sponge takes a different approach, swirling the vanilla and chocolate batters together throughout the cake.
You can use this recipe to make marbled dessert as well.
Instead of relying solely on cups for measuring ingredients, I suggest using a kitchen scale. It can give you more accurate measurements, especially when it comes to flour. Using too much flour in your batter can lead to a dry and tough sponge, and we definitely don’t want that, right?
Follow these simple tips and tricks to make a perfect swirl dessert:
- Make sure to use the right pan size – a 22cm (9 inches) round baking pan works perfectly for this recipe. Using a different size might affect how the stripes look. If possible, go for a springform pan with a removable bottom as it makes taking out the dessert hassle-free without any damage. Alternatively, a Bundt pan can also be used.
- Use ingredients at room temperature to achieve a perfectly blended and smoother batter.
- Use cake flour. It’s lower in protein and finer in texture than all-purpose (or plain) flour. Your homemade Zebra cake will be perfectly tender, light, and fluffy.
- Don’t overmix the batter. Otherwise, it will become dense and tough. Mix just until all ingredients are combined.
- Thoroughly grease and flour the baking pan, including the corners and sides. This ensures that the sponge doesn’t stick to the pan when it’s removed. You can use either butter or a non-stick cooking spray for this step.
- After pouring the batter, give the pan a gentle tap on the counter a few times to evenly distribute the batter.
Lastly, make sure not to overbake your homemade Zebra cake to avoid it becoming too dry. Also, be mindful that leaving it in the oven for too long can cause the top to dry out and crack.
How to create a perfect zebra pattern
Creating the perfect zebra pattern can seem a bit tricky, but the technique is surprisingly simple. With a few useful tips, you can make a perfectly striped homemade Zebra cake that looks as good as it tastes in no time!
- First, make sure to spoon the batter into the pan gently to avoid mixing the two batters together.
- Make sure to use equal amounts of batter for each layer to ensure an even distribution of the chocolate and vanilla layers.
- When pouring the batter into the pan, aim for the center and let it naturally spread on its own. Avoid using a spoon to spread it out, as this can disrupt the desired zebra pattern.
- Alternate between the vanilla and chocolate batters. Begin by pouring a small amount of vanilla batter into the center of the pan, followed by an equal amount of chocolate batter on top of it. Repeat this process until all of the batter is used up. By doing so, you’ll create a beautiful and distinct zebra pattern in your cake.
Variations to the recipe
While the classic chocolate and vanilla homemade Zebra cake recipe is undeniably delicious, there’s a world of possibilities for creating unique and delightful variations.
Here are a few interesting ideas to spark your creativity:
- Use a different flavor extract, such as mint or almond, to add a refreshing twist to the dessert.
- Adding chopped nuts and chocolate chips to the batter is a great way to introduce a satisfying crunch and enhance the texture of your homemade Zebra cake.
- If you’re looking for a citrusy flavor, grate 2 teaspoons of orange or lemon zest into the batter for an orange and chocolate bicolor dessert.
- To enhance the flavor profile, add ½ teaspoon of ground cloves. It will give your dessert a more robust and interesting taste.
- Mix in 2Tbsp of espresso powder into the chocolate batter to create an incredible Mocha Zebra cake recipe. The coffee will intensify the chocolate flavor and make it truly irresistible!
These are just a few ideas, but the possibilities are truly limitless. So unleash your creativity and enjoy the process!
Zebra cake ingredients
The ingredients for a classic homemade zebra cake recipe are simple and can be found in most kitchens:
- 250g (2 cups) cake flour
- 125g (½ cup) unsalted butter (softened)
- 250g (1¼ cups) granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup + 2Tbsp milk
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- 2Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
How to make homemade Zebra cake from scratch
1. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Then, add ½ cup milk and beat until combined.
2. Gradually add flour, baking powder, and vanilla extract. Stir until fully incorporated. Divide the batter in half. To one half, add cocoa powder, 2 tablespoons of milk, and ground cinnamon. Mix until well combined.
3. To create the zebra pattern, scoop 2 tablespoons of vanilla batter into the center of the prepared cake pan. Then place two spoonfuls of chocolate batter on top of the vanilla batter.
4. Continue alternating the chocolate and vanilla layers until you have used up all the batter.
5. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F) and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Let the sponge cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing. If you remove it immediately, it may fall apart. Once cooled, slice and serve.
Enjoy it as is, paired with a refreshing glass of cold milk or homemade lemon syrup. It also makes a delightful accompaniment to a cup of tea or coffee.
And if you’re feeling adventurous, here are a few creative serving suggestions to try out:
- Dust it with some powdered sugar on top.
- Drizzle caramel sauce over the baked and cooled dessert before serving.
- Top it with whipped cream and garnish with fresh fruit, berries, or chocolate chips.
- Frost it with your favorite buttercream or cream cheese frosting.
- Make a chocolate glaze or a chocolate ganache and pour it over the dessert for a decadent finish.
You can also slice it and serve it alongside a scoop of your favorite ice cream.
No matter how you decide to serve it up, this homemade Zebra cake is going to be the star of the show!
Absolutely! You can make this cake a day ahead and store it in an airtight container at room temperature.
To keep this delightful dessert fresh and soft, store it in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
If you want to freeze the Zebra cake, wrap it securely with a few layers of plastic wrap followed by aluminum foil. It can be frozen for up to 3 months. Whether you choose to freeze the entire sponge or individual slices, make sure to thaw them overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
There may be several reasons why it has cracked on top. Firstly, if the oven temperature is too high, the cake may rise too quickly, causing the top to crack. Therefore, make sure that your oven temperature is accurate. Secondly, take care to measure your ingredients accurately, especially the flour. Thirdly, the dessert may have been overbaked. Finally, if there isn’t enough batter in the pan, the cake may rise too high and crack on top. Make sure to use the correct amount of batter for the size of the pan you’re using.
In any case, if your cake is cracked on top, don’t worry. You can easily cover up the cracks by garnishing it with whipped cream or your favorite frosting. Alternatively, you could simply sprinkle powdered sugar generously over the top to add a touch of sweetness and hide any imperfections.
If you are a fan of chocolate and vanilla cakes, then this simple homemade Zebra cake recipe is just the thing for you. Happy baking!
Homemade Zebra cake recipe
- 250 g (2 cups) cake flour
- 125 g (½ cup) unsalted butter softened
- 250 g (1¼ cups) granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup + 2Tbsp milk
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Then, add ½ cup milk and beat until combined.
- Gradually add flour, baking powder, and vanilla extract. Stir until fully incorporated. Divide the batter in half. To one half, add cocoa powder, 2 tablespoons of milk, and ground cinnamon. Mix until well combined.
- To create the zebra pattern, scoop 2 tablespoons of vanilla batter into the center of the prepared cake pan. Then place two spoonfuls of chocolate batter on top of the vanilla batter.
- Continue alternating the chocolate and vanilla layers until you have used up all the batter.
- Preheat the oven to 180C (350F) and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the sponge cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing. If you remove it immediately, it may fall apart. Once cooled, slice and serve.