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For the July Daring Baker’s Challenge, we were challenged us to bake a cake. But not just any cake; she asked us to add in a special surprise for our eyes as well as our taste buds! Since cakes are really my specialty I was pumped about this challenge. I had just looked over my 33 while 33 list and realized there were several desserts on there, including a zebra cake, that I hadn’t made yet.
Since my cousin’s birthday is today, I made this cake for her. I actually made it 2 weeks ago for our birthday parties (my birthday is 2 days after hers) and I made a vanilla and red velvet zebra striped cake. I was really worried about this cake because I’ve seen many others that haven’t turned out so well. The biggest part was piping the cake batter into the center and making sure it wasn’t running into the other color. I found that by putting the batter into piping bags, I was able to do this easily.
As this cake baked up it looked great. I made a light cream cheese buttercream frosting to go along with it. When my cousin cut it at the party I could hear the reaction from everyone in the room and was thrilled to see how well the zebra cake turned out! The stripes were totally prominent and the cake looked incredible. I bet I explained at least 5 times how to make the cake. People thought it was really cool.
- 2 1/4 c. flour + 3 Tablespoons flour for later
- 1 Tablespoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 eggs
- 2 sticks butter, softened
- 1 1/2 c. sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon Ameri-Color Red gel food coloring
- 3 Tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 c. milk
For the frosting:
- 12 Tablespoons butter (1 1/2 sticks)
- 4 oz. cream cheese
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla
- 3-4 c. powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 inch cake pan with cooking spray and place a piece of parchment paper in the bottom.
- In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar together. Add in the eggs, stirring well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla.
- Add half of the flour mixture and stir well. Slowly add in the milk, mixing until incorporated. Add in the remaining flour and mix until combined.
- Divide the batter in half. Add the additional 3 tablespoons of flour to one batter and mix. Add the cocoa powder and red food coloring to the other bowl of batter. Mix well.
- Place the batters into 2 different piping bags (or zip top baggies). Pipe 2-3 tablespoons of vanilla batter into the center of the prepared cake pan. Pipe the same amount of red velvet batter in the middle of the vanilla batter. This should cause the vanilla batter to move outward in a circular pattern. Continue this pattern, piping alternating batters into the center of the cake, until the rings are thin. I had leftover batter but didn't want to damage the stripes.
- Carefully place the cake in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and place on a wire cooling rack for 10 minutes.
- Run a butter knife around the edge of the pan and remove the cake from the pan. Place it back on the wire rack to cool completely.
- While the cake is cooling place the butter and cream cheese in a bowl. Beat with a hand mixer on high speed until it is fluffy. Add in the vanilla and mix well. Add the powdered sugar, a half cup at a time, until desired consistency is reached.
- Frost the top and the sides of the cake. Decorate if desired.
Source: Adapted from The Whimsical Cupcake