Zebra Cake

Zebra Cake-1-19 copyI got married way before Pinterest (11 years happily married, yay!), so at that time I had to store recipes in an actual physical notebook instead of pinning it to a Recipe board. When Sergi and I got engaged, I bought a notebook and started my handwritten recipe collection. I started it by copying all of my favorite recipes from my Mom’s handwritten recipe books, as well as copying down all the other recipes I had tried from other people, magazines, and cookbooks.

This Zebra Cake is a gem from that book, a recipe that Mom had gotten from someone else and became a favorite in our family. Of course, it gets the name from its signature zebra stripes. It sort of reminds me of a coffee cake. It’s tender, chocolaty and perfect to enjoy with a hot beverage or a cold glass of milk. This was one of the first recipes that my sister and I made by ourselves as young teens, so it’s easy enough for novice bakers. However, it looks stunning, so you’ve got the presentation as well as the simplicity here going for you. 

Ingredients:

Cake:

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

5 large eggs, room temperature

3/4 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Chocolate Glaze:

3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

4 Tablespoons sour cream

6 Tablespoons sugar

1 Tablespoon butter

Instructions:

Zebra Cake-1 copyPreheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease or butter a 9-inch springform pan.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes, using a standing mixer or hand-held mixer.

Zebra Cake-1-2 copyAdd eggs, one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Zebra Cake-1-3 copyZebra Cake-1-4 copyAdd the sour cream and vanilla and mix to combine.

Zebra Cake-1-5 copyCombine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Zebra Cake-1-6 copyAdd the dry ingredients to the batter and mix just until combined, be careful not to overmix it. Zebra Cake-1-7 copyDivide the batter in half and set aside half of it in another bowl. Sift the cocoa powder into the batter still in the mixing bowl and mix to combine.

Zebra Cake-1-8 copy

Zebra Cake-1-9 copyScoop out a portion of the vanilla batter and put it in the center of the baking pan. Scoop out an equal portion of the chocolate batter and put it directly on top of the vanilla batter. Zebra Cake-1-11 copyContinue interchanging the different batters, always spooning batter into centers of pans, and occasionally tapping pan firmly on the work surface to ensure even distribution, until all batter is used (batters should appear as concentric rings).

Zebra Cake-1-12 copy

Zebra Cake-1-13 copyDoesn’t this look awesome? Bake in the preheated oven for 40-50 minutes, until the cake is baked through, or a toothpick comes out clean if you poke it in the center of the cake. Cool for 5 minutes and then take it out of the baking pan and onto a wire rack to cool.

Bake in the preheated oven for 40-50 minutes, until the cake is baked through, or a toothpick comes out clean if you poke it in the center of the cake. Cool for 5 minutes and then take it out of the baking pan and onto a wire rack to cool.

Zebra Cake-1-14 copyMeanwhile, make the chocolate glaze.

In a small saucepan, whisk together all the ingredients EXCEPT the butter, while they are still cold.

Cook over medium heat until it comes to a boil, simmer for a few minutes, until the sugar dissolves and the glaze thins out to a syrupy consistency. Whisk in the butter.

Zebra Cake-1-15 copyPour the warm chocolate glaze over the cake, letting it drizzle down the sides. Zebra Cake-1-16 copyThis cake is an extra level of perfection if you enjoy it while it’s still warm. It’s extra flavorful and SUPER tender.

Place it on a serving plate and store at room temperature.

This cake freezes really well too. Wrap it well, without the glaze, in the freezer, for up to 6 months.Zebra Cake-1-21 copy

Zebra Cake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Sweets
Serves: 1 cake
Ingredients
  • Cake:
  • ½ cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Chocolate Glaze:
  • 3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 Tablespoons sour cream
  • 6 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease or butter a 9-inch springform pan.
  2. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes, using a standing mixer or hand-held mixer.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the sour cream and vanilla and mix to combine.
  4. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Add to the batter and mix just until combined, be careful not to overmix it. Divide the batter in half and set aside half of it in another bowl. Sift the cocoa powder into the batter still in the mixing bowl and mix to combine.
  5. Scoop out a portion of the vanilla batter and put it in the center of the baking pan. Scoop out an equal portion of the chocolate batter and put it directly on top of the vanilla batter. Continue interchanging the different batters, always spooning batter into centers of pans, and occasionally tapping pan firmly on the work surface to ensure even distribution, until all batter is used (batters should appear as concentric rings).
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 40-50 minutes, until the cake, is baked through, or a toothpick comes out clean if you poke it in the center of the cake. Cool for 5 minutes and then take it out of the baking pan and onto a wire rack to cool.
  7. Meanwhile, make the chocolate glaze.
  8. In a small saucepan, whisk together all the ingredients EXCEPT the butter, while they are still cold.
  9. Cook over medium heat until it comes to a boil, simmer for a few minutes, until the sugar dissolves and the glaze is a syrupy consistency. Whisk in the butter.
  10. Pour the warm chocolate glaze over the cake, letting it drizzle down the sides. Place it on a serving plate and store at room temperature.
Notes
This cake freezes really well too. Wrap it well, without the glaze, in the freezer, for up to 6 months.

15 Comments

  • Laura

    That is amazing, thanks for sharing the recipe, I have seen it before but I never thought of the method that is easy as that ( I am sure it’s not easy )

  • Yana

    This is the best zebra cake that I’ve made! Thank you so much for the recipe and the thorough directions. It wasn’t dry and very flavorful. The chocolate glaze was perfect!

    • olgak7

      I’ve never done it any other way besides this or making the cake into 2 bread loaves. You would have to experiment, Kristina. I’d love to hear how it turns out if you try it.

  • Christine

    Is this supposed to be a fairly low cake?
    I just took the cake out of the oven and it is pretty low.
    I noticed in one of your photos, it appears you may have used double acting baking powder, I am in Canada and used regular baking powder. Could that be the reason for the difference?

    • olgak7

      Hi Christine, I’m not sure that the type of baking powder should have made a significant difference unless you made the batter and then didn’t bake it for a few hours.
      I used a 9-inch springform pan, which was filled about halfway up before it baked and the cake rose in the oven to about 3/4 of the 3-inch sides. It’s about the same height as most other coffeecakes that I make, I’m not exactly sure how high you were expecting it to be. Did the cake turn out tender or more on the denser side? It should be light and tender, not dense at all.

  • Mariyka

    Thanks for posting this recipe
    I have 11-year-old daughter and want to bake something new with her since she enjoys it so much…. she made some cookies and brownies before but This would be her first cake 🍰I’m sure she will enjoy it thank you Olya again 😊😘
    Maybe one day she will become as famous as YOU😉

  • Sveta

    This cake turned out just perfect! Moist and very flavorful. My family enjoyed it very much. It exceeded my expectation. Thank you, Olga, for your hard work😄😆😋

  • Vera

    Hi Olga, I did not bake this yet but I read through the recipe and I was thinking of making this into a cake with frosting or a buttercream instead of just the chocolate, what do you think? Would it work? And what kind of cream would go well with it? Thank you.

    • olgak7

      I’m sorry to hear that, Lana. Every oven is different, so it probably needed a bit more time to bake through. I recommend using a toothpick and inserting it into the center of the cake to make sure it is completely baked through before taking it out of the oven.

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