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Zebra Cake

Zebra Cake

Watch the video for this recipe:

Everybody is familiar with this chocolate and vanilla cake, either made in zebra or marbled style, the taste of it reminds of childhood probably for many of us. Still a bit warm, along a cold cup of milk, zebra cake always makes a delicious treat. 

Trying to recreate the taste I was familiar with I gathered more recipes and finally decided to this list of ingredients and changed some of the quantities. I chose to use butter instead of oil, didn't melt it and mix it as it with sugar. I have also reduced the sugar that other recipes seems to use. The batter is so creamy and delicious that you could just eat it as it is.
You can serve this zebra cake as it is with milk or coffee or can also make a chocolate glaze on top for a more sophisticated look. 
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  • Makes about 10 servings
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter (200 g), at room temperature
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • For the chocolate batter
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp sugar


  1. Grease and line with parchment paper, a 24 cm (9 in) round cake pan.  Preheat oven at 180 (350 F).
  2. Whisk together in a large bowl the dry ingredients, flour salt and baking powder. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl mix the cocoa powder with 1/4 cup milk and 1 tbsp of sugar.
  4. Mix butter with sugar until creamy. Add eggs one at a time and mix until well incorporated. Add vanilla extract.  
  5. With the mixer on low, alternate adding gradually milk and flour mixture until all is well incorporated.
  6. Remove two cups of the batter and mix them with the chocolate mixture.
  7. Use one tablespoon for each batter to create the layers of batter on the prepared pan. Begin from the middle of the pan, take one spoon of white batter then over it add a spoon of chocolate batter and repeat this steps until all batter has been used. (If you don't have the patience to make these layers just add one batter on top of the other and create swirls with a knife or fork to create the marbled effect)
  8. Bake for 50-60 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  9. Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes on a cooling rack before removing from the pan.
  10. Serve as it is or top with chocolate glaze.
Zebra Cake-1
Zebra Cake-2
Nutrition facts 1 Serving - Calories:430, Fat:21.7g, Saturated Fat:12.9 g, Carbohydrates:52.8 g, Sugar:23.2 g, Fiber:1.5 g, Protein:7.6 g, Cholesterol:117mg, Calories from Fat 195, Sodium 228mg , Vitamin A 14%, Vitamin C 0%, Calcium 9%,Iron 13%, Nutrition Grade D+, Daily Percent Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
On May 17, 2013 at 10:51 am, Kayle (The Cooking Actress) said...
sooooo pretty!!!! You did an awesome job!
On May 17, 2013 at 02:50 pm, Amy said...
This is the most beautiful and perfect looking zebra cake I've ever seen!!! Amazing :)

Thank you so much Amy, really appreciate your comment. Hope you will try this recipe:)

On May 17, 2013 at 06:24 pm, Tewshooz said...
My mother used to bake this cake from the Settlement Cookbook (Circa 1940) when I was a little girl. The chocolate batter called for 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves and a teaspoon of cinnamon. I always loved it and totally forgot about it until I read your recipe. The cake is baking in the oven right now and it smells heavenly! I used a springform pan. Thank you for this.

What a good idea to add cloves and cinnamon, I was thinking too to add cinnamon but finally decided not to, as I didn't't want to cover the classic taste of vanilla and chocolate. But will surely try next time. 

On May 18, 2013 at 01:50 pm, Jill said...
What a cute recipe - cannot wait to make - now I'm really craving it!!
On May 20, 2013 at 04:14 pm, Rosie said...
This looks SO good! I really love the zebra pattern!
On May 21, 2013 at 03:15 am, Rosa said...
A splendid cake! Perfect zebra pattern. Cheers, Rosa
On May 22, 2013 at 07:42 am, Liz said...
Whoa, yours is PERFECT! Such a beautiful cake!

Thank you Liz, means a lot coming from you. 

On May 23, 2013 at 11:00 am, tewshooz said...
Well, this is an update. I baked this cake the other day and it is the most yummy, moist cake I have ever made (and I have made a lot). I cut it into slices, wrapped and froze them. Now when we have coffee in the afternoons, we each have a slice and are not tempted to eat the whole thing at one sitting, which would be soooooo easy to do. Thanks for this recipe.

Thank you for your comment. I have one question, regarding freezing.. I am not too used to this and seems that we actually eat the whole thing in one day :) How much time it needs to defrost? I would like to try freezing them too, it's a good idea.  

On June 07, 2013 at 01:01 am, Nami | Just One Cookbook said...
SUPER impressive! I'm always curious how you make beautiful zebra/swirl shape, and now I know how!!
On August 19, 2013 at 10:50 pm, Abbey said...
Are you supposed to put icing on it? Is is too dry without it?

I usually like to serve it with coffee or milk, so in this case no icing is needed. Is like sweet bread, as banana bread so a little of chocolate topping or icing definitely won't hurt :) if served simple. 

On May 17, 2013 at 10:51 am, shanthikumar said...
Hi, just came across your Zebra cake on the web.Its very pretty and truly look very pleasing to the eye! I have taken a diploma in baking and during my training, I saw one of my colleagues did the same design like yours. The instructor was pleased with the results and asked her how she created the "Tiger" stripes and she refused to disclose. I too have tried numerous time creating these designs but not the results I expected it to be!! Finally Today my prayer are answered after a long ten years!! Thanks a ton for your generosity for sharing your ideas and beautiful recipes to many cake enthusiasts like me. God bless you and from today onwards I am you fan.
On February 10, 2014 at 03:03 pm, Princess said...
Hi, I am a big fan of baking and recently my grandad has died so I wanted to make something for my grandmother to make her feel better! Although I have made her things they have never been to her liking so when I came across this it was a true inspiration. I made this cake and served it to her and she adored it! Thanks again my Hrandad would be so happy to see my progress since he was into baking himself xoxo

I am really sorry for your loss. I am glad you used my recipe to make your grandmother feel better. Hope you will try some other recipes too. Keep in touch.

On May 07, 2014 at 01:54 am, jandy said...
wow,nice cake... ,now,i have only flour :) this evening,my husband going to buy, this your recipe ingradients... My hubby,like very much.... Now,My mom was cancer, she like's cake... I wanted to bake as my own..but i don't no how to made Now i know....I am very happy...for seeing your recipe.. Now,ican made for my mom.. Thanks.thanks..
On May 28, 2014 at 10:12 am, Sahar said...
I was searching for a recipe to make with my 6 year old girl and we came across your Zebra cake! It looked amazing so we made it instantly and it turned out just Yummmy! Thanks for sharing Next time I make it I'm going to increase the sugar though, I guess I have a super sweet tooth ;-)

So glad you loved the recipe. You can also add various spices like cinnamon, or almond extract or rum.... whatever you love best. As for the sugar, if you like it sweeter you can add more.  Hope you will try some other of my recipes with your daughter. Thanks for letting me know. 


On January 12, 2015 at 03:31 pm, Precioux Pearl said...
can I add more sugar in this reciepe.. Because I always use 2cups of sugar.... It seems the sugar is less... isn't ?

You can use more sugar if you like it more sweet. I do have a tendency of using less sugar as I don't like desserts  too sweet. But feel free to use more sugar, it will work good.

On February 27, 2015 at 04:01 pm, JKLMomof3 said...
Do you have a recipe for a nice chocolate glaze to go on top of this. I'm thinking of making this for my daughter's first birthday (mostly adults, and my 3 kids) But I feel like I should ice it. :D

What about if you simply use a chocolate fudge sauce like this?  or a Nutella topping like here:, or a darker glaze like here: .

On March 12, 2015 at 01:11 pm, Angelo Infante said...
Buenas tardes, Tengo una duda, para la preparación del pastel de cebra, que seria mejor para obtener una buena esponjosidad.? la harina con levadura incorporada ó harina y levadura por separados. Para permitir una buena esponjosidad en un pastel es necesario batir por cuanto tiempo la mezcla o cual seria el truco.

Buenas tardes :) Yo uso harina y levadura en polvo separados. Esta receta es fácil,  hay truco, sólo batir lo suficiente hasta que todo los ingredientes estén bien incorporados.Eso es todo. Espero que intenta esta receta.

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