Zebra Cake

Last time I wrote about some of my goals for the blog this year, and since then I thought of another one.  I’d like to try out more of the many interesting cooking and baking techniques that I often read about.  With that thought in mind, the inspiration for this entry was born.

With my son’s 8th birthday approaching, I wanted to try something fun with his cake.  I had at some point in the past read about how to make a cake that looked like it had zebra stripes when you cut into it.  The technique seemed fairly simple, so I decided to give it a try. My son is a Kansas City Chiefs fan (as you’d expect with his dad being a Giants fan, and his mom a Steelers fan), so instead of going with the more obvious choice of a white and chocolate cake combo, I took a little artistic license and decided to try for yellow and red stripes with white icing.

Let’s talk a bit about the method to make this cake. The idea is to have either two different flavored or colored batters that you pour into round pans in alternating batches. Each batch is poured into the center of the pan, one on top of the other. The weight of each new round of batter in the center helps push the batter already in the pan out toward the edges of the pan. When you are done, the batter in the pan should look like a series of rings.

When I completed filling the pans, I could tell right away that one of the two layers was not going to come out as well as the other. I’m not sure why it is, but for some reason I kept on messing up the pan on the left in the pictures above. It didn’t really matter though, because once you start to pour the batter, you’re all in, and unless you want to start over, there’s no turning back! Good or bad, the pans were done being filled and off they went to the oven.

Baked cakes cooling on a rack

They baked up nicely and the pattern held its shape well, but how did it look when we cut into it?

Slice of cake

As you can see, I was right – one layer definitely turned out better than the other! The color wasn’t bad, but I could have probably made the red a little darker. Looking back at the whole process, the next time I try a zebra cake I will probably spend a little more time making each ring of batter. Using less batter with each ring in order to create more stripes would have probably created a nicer end result when the cake was sliced.

All of that aside, we still had fun slicing into the cake and my son enjoyed the fun surprise that was waiting for him inside. Eating it wasn’t too bad either! 🙂 Overall, this was really a fun technique to try and one that I would like to get better at by trying it again at some point in the future.

Until next time, I hope you all have a great week!

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