One of my good friends was celebrating his birthday this week in London, so as always I offered to make a cake. For his actual birthday I made a strawberry cheese cake which was good, but not great. When it came to the actual birthday party I decided to make something that looked fun. I had wanted to try something from Annie’s Eats for some time now. That is definitely one of my favourite food blogs and her cakes look amazing. Since this was my second cake of the week I opted for one that looked pretty quick and simple to make, but would still require some attention. The Zebra cake looked absolutely amazing in her pictures; I think she had a better outcome than me. But I am still quite happy with what I managed to make. I followed the recipe as best I could although I didn’t have any almond or vanilla extract. I just omitted the almond altogether and substituted vanilla extract for vanilla sugar.
I want to point out that I found it to be very important to use big tablespoons when measuring out the batter. Preferably use proper measuring spoons, if you add too little batter at a time, you will end up with too many rings and when cooked just a light brown cake instead of white and dark brown. I had to make the cake twice to end up with a proper zebra striped cake. I took Annie’s advice and frosted with a thick layer of Hershey’s perfectly chocolate frosting. In the end, after two attempts, the cake ended up just as I thought it would! It looked amazing and was very moist and tasty. And what’s more, my boyfriend did the decorating for me J I think he did a very good job, don’t you?
As you can see from this picture the top of the cake cracked quite significantly. I didn’t mind though, once I had frosted the cake it didn’t look so bad. My boyfriend used regular store-bought icing tubes to make the stars and the writing. My hand writing is really awful so the cake would never have looked this good if I had decorated it myself!
I was pretty happy with my stripes, but they do not compare to Annie’s! I have no idea how she got her cake to look so good…
Recipe (serves 12)
4 large eggs
2.5 dl sugar
2.5 dl milk
2.5 dl vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract (or 2 tsp vanilla sugar)
1/8 tsp almond extract (this can be omitted)
5 dl all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
2 ½ tbsp cocoa powder (I used a little more, about 3 ½ tbsp)
Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a 23 cm round cake pan with a circle of baking paper. Lightly grease the sides of the pan and dust with flour.
- Mix eggs and sugar until light and creamy and the sugar is mostly dissolved.
- Stir in milk, oil, vanilla and almond extracts. If you use vanilla sugar this should be added in step 3.
- In a separate bowl mix flour, baking powder and salt.
- Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and whisk to combine.
- Measure out half the mixture, about 6-7 dl.
- Sift cocoa powder over one of the bowls and stir to combine.
- Put three tablespoons of the white batter into the centre of the pan and let it spread. Add three tablespoons of the brown batter in the centre of the white batter. Continue like this until you have used all the batter and you have some nice alternating brown and white circles.
- Bake for 38-42 minutes (my cake took a little longer, about 45 minutes) until the cake is light gold and a tester inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
- Chill for 15 minutes in the pan, then move it onto a wire rack and let cool completely.
- Frost if desired. I made one portion of Hershey’s perfectly chocolate frosting, which turned out to be way too much. 2/3 of the recipe would probably be sufficient for this cake.