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Zebra Cake Recipe

The zebra cake, named for its distinct zebra-like stripes, is a treat that looks fancy, but is surprisingly simple to make. This recipe uses household staples to create a visually stunning and delicious dessert. The alternating vanilla and chocolate layers create an appealing look and a delightful flavor contrast.

Zebra Cake Recipe
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Photos of Zebra Cake Recipe

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The ingredients for this zebra cake recipe are common and should be easily found in your local supermarket. However, you may need to look for plain yogurt in the dairy section, which is essential for the moistness of the cake. Similarly, cocoa powder, used to create the chocolate layer, is usually located in the baking aisle.

Essential Ingredients for Making Zebra Cake

All purpose flour: This is the base of the cake, providing structure and texture.

Sugar: Adds sweetness to the cake.

Baking powder and baking soda: These are leavening agents that make the cake rise.

Plain yogurt: Adds moisture and a slight tang to the cake.

Oil: Helps keep the cake moist.

Vanilla extract: Provides flavor and aroma.

Water: Used to adjust the consistency of the batter.

Cocoa powder: Used to create the chocolate batter for the zebra effect.

One reader, Hildagarde Clarke says:

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This zebra cake recipe is a game-changer! The combination of vanilla and chocolate layers creates a stunning visual effect, and the taste is simply divine. The recipe is easy to follow, and the end result is a moist and delicious cake that's perfect for any occasion. I highly recommend giving it a try!

Hildagarde Clarke

Techniques Required for Making Zebra Cake

How to prepare the cake batter: Mix all the dry ingredients together, then add oil and yogurt and mix well. Add water in small increments to make a batter of medium consistency, then incorporate the vanilla extract.

How to create the chocolate paste: In a separate cup, mix cocoa powder with 2 tbsp water to make a chocolate paste, then add it to the portion of the batter to make chocolate-flavored cake batter.

How to layer the cake batter: In a cupcake mold greased with oil and all-purpose flour, add one layer of vanilla batter, followed by one layer of chocolate batter, then repeat.

How to make designs in the cupcakes: Use a toothpick to create designs in the cupcakes before baking.

How to bake the zebra cake: Preheat the oven to 200°F for 15 minutes, then bake the cupcakes for 20-25 minutes until done.

How to serve the zebra cake: Serve and enjoy!

How To Make Zebra Cake

This zebra cake recipe is perfect for children parties! The chocolate and vanilla cakes make pretty zebra patterns that also taste delicious.

Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: 25 minutes
Total: 45 minutes



  • 1cupall purpose flour
  • 1/2cupsugar
  • 1tspbaking powder
  • 1/2tspbaking soda
  • 1/2cupplain yogurt
  • 1/4cupoil
  • 1tspvanilla extract
  • 1/4cupwater
  • 1tbspcocoa powder


  1. Preheat the oven for 200 degrees F.

  2. Mix all the dry ingredients together. Then, add oil and yogurt and mix well.

  3. Add water in small increments to make a batter of medium consistency. Once incorporated, add vanilla extract.

  4. Separate the batter into 2 equal portions. Keep one as vanilla.

  5. In a separate cup, mix cocoa powder with 2 tbsp water to make a chocolate paste: add this paste to your second portion of mix to make chocolate-flavored cake batter.

  6. Now take a cupcake mold and grease it with oil and all-purpose flour.

  7. Add one layer of vanilla batter, followed by one layer of chocolate batter, then repeat.

  8. Use a toothpick to create swirls in the batter to make zebra patterns. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when you insert it at the center.

  9. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and let them cool.

  10. Serve and enjoy!


  • Calories: 356.31kcal
  • Fat: 15.11g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.80g
  • Trans Fat: 0.05g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 8.98g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 4.00g
  • Carbohydrates: 51.46g
  • Fiber: 1.35g
  • Sugar: 26.62g
  • Protein: 4.56g
  • Cholesterol: 3.98mg
  • Sodium: 264.02mg
  • Calcium: 128.97mg
  • Potassium: 103.59mg
  • Iron: 1.80mg
  • Vitamin A: 8.27µg
  • Vitamin C: 0.15mg

Technique Tip for Achieving Perfect Zebra Stripes

To ensure a perfect zebra pattern in your cake, it's crucial to pour the vanilla and chocolate batter alternately in the center of the pan. Each subsequent pour pushes the previous one out, creating concentric circles. Also, the batter should be of the right consistency, not too thick nor too thin, to maintain the distinct layers.

Time-Saving Tips for Making Zebra Cake Recipe

Prep ahead: Prepare all the ingredients and measure them out before starting the recipe to streamline the cooking process.

One-pot wonders: Opt for recipes that require minimal pots and pans to reduce cleanup time.

Batch cooking: Make larger quantities of the recipe and freeze the extra portions for quick and convenient meals in the future.

Efficient tools: Utilize kitchen gadgets like food processors and slow cookers to simplify the cooking process and save time.

Time-saving ingredients: Incorporate pre-cut vegetables, canned beans, and pre-cooked grains to cut down on prep time.

Substitute Ingredients For Zebra Cake Recipe

  • all purpose flour - Substitute with gluten-free all purpose flour: This substitute is suitable for those who are gluten intolerant or have celiac disease. It provides a similar texture and structure to the baked goods.

  • sugar - Substitute with honey: Honey can be used as a natural sweetener and adds a unique flavor to the cake. It also provides moisture and helps in browning.

  • baking powder - Substitute with baking soda: Baking soda can be used as a leavening agent, but it requires an acidic ingredient such as yogurt or buttermilk to activate it.

  • baking soda - Substitute with baking powder: Baking powder can be used as a substitute for baking soda, but it may affect the texture and flavor of the cake.

  • plain yogurt - Substitute with buttermilk: Buttermilk can be used as a substitute for yogurt to add moisture and a tangy flavor to the cake.

  • oil - Substitute with applesauce: Applesauce can be used as a healthier substitute for oil, reducing the fat content while adding natural sweetness and moisture.

  • vanilla extract - Substitute with almond extract: Almond extract can provide a nutty and aromatic flavor to the cake, offering a unique twist to the traditional vanilla flavor.

  • water - Substitute with milk: Milk can be used to add richness and flavor to the cake, enhancing its texture and moisture.

  • cocoa powder - Substitute with carob powder: Carob powder can be used as a caffeine-free alternative to cocoa powder, providing a similar chocolate flavor to the cake.

Best Way to Present This Delightful Dessert

  1. Elevate the plating: When presenting the zebra cake, focus on creating an elegant and visually appealing presentation. Use clean lines and precise placement of the cupcakes to showcase the contrasting layers.

  2. Incorporate edible garnishes: Add a touch of sophistication by incorporating edible garnishes such as delicate chocolate curls or dusted cocoa powder to enhance the visual appeal of the zebra cake.

  3. Utilize negative space: Embrace the concept of negative space on the plate to allow the zebra cake to stand out. Ensure that the presentation is not overcrowded, allowing the beauty of the dessert to shine through.

  4. Consider the use of a mirror glaze: For a modern and luxurious touch, consider incorporating a sleek mirror glaze to add a glossy finish to the zebra cake, creating a stunning visual effect.

  5. Precision in plating: Pay attention to the precision of each element on the plate, ensuring that the zebra cake is presented with finesse and attention to detail, reflecting the standards of a top-tier culinary presentation.

  6. Balance of flavors and textures: When plating the zebra cake, consider the balance of flavors and textures, ensuring that each component complements the other, creating a harmonious and delightful culinary experience.

  7. Use high-quality serving ware: Select elegant and refined serving ware that complements the sophistication of the zebra cake, elevating the overall presentation to align with the standards of a Michelin-starred dining experience.

  8. Incorporate artistic elements: Infuse artistic elements into the plating, such as delicate chocolate drizzles or intricate patterns, to showcase creativity and attention to detail in the presentation of the zebra cake.

Essential Tools for Making Zebra Cake

  • Mixing bowl: A large, deep bowl used for combining ingredients and mixing batters or doughs.
  • Whisk: A kitchen tool used for whipping and mixing ingredients such as eggs, sauces, and batters.
  • Measuring cups and spoons: Essential for accurately measuring ingredients in both liquid and dry form.
  • Spatula: A versatile tool used for scraping, spreading, and smoothing batters and frostings.
  • Cake mold: A container used to shape and bake cake batter into desired forms.
  • Toothpick: Used for testing the doneness of baked goods by inserting it into the center and checking for any batter residue.

How To Store and Freeze Zebra Cake

  • Allow the zebra cake to cool completely before storing or freezing. This will prevent condensation from forming and making the cake soggy.

  • To store the cake at room temperature, place it in an airtight container or wrap it tightly with plastic wrap. The cake will stay fresh for up to 3 days.

  • If you want to store the cake in the refrigerator, place it in an airtight container or wrap it tightly with plastic wrap. The cake will stay fresh for up to 5 days in the fridge.

  • To freeze the zebra cake, follow these steps:

    1. Wrap the cake tightly with plastic wrap, making sure to cover all sides and edges.
    2. Place the wrapped cake in a freezer-safe container or freezer bag, removing as much air as possible.
    3. Label the container or bag with the date and contents.
    4. Freeze the cake for up to 2 months.
  • To thaw the frozen zebra cake, remove it from the freezer and let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Once thawed, remove the plastic wrap and let the cake come to room temperature before serving.

  • If you want to freeze individual slices of the cake, wrap each slice tightly with plastic wrap and place them in a freezer-safe container or freezer bag. This way, you can easily thaw and enjoy a single serving whenever you like.

How To Reheat Zebra Cake Leftovers

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the leftover zebra cake on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover the cake loosely with aluminum foil to prevent it from drying out. Bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until the cake is heated through. This method works best for larger pieces of cake.

  • For individual slices, you can use a toaster oven. Set the toaster oven to 350°F (175°C) and place the cake slice on a small baking tray. Heat for 5-7 minutes, or until warmed to your liking. Keep an eye on the cake to ensure it doesn't overheat or dry out.

  • If you're in a hurry, you can use a microwave to reheat your zebra cake. Place a slice on a microwave-safe plate and heat it in 15-second intervals until it reaches the desired temperature. Be careful not to overheat the cake, as it can become rubbery or tough.

  • For a moist and flavorful reheating method, try steaming your leftover cake. Fill a pot with a few inches of water and bring it to a simmer. Place the cake in a steamer basket above the water, cover the pot, and steam for 5-10 minutes, depending on the size of the piece.

  • If you want to add a crispy texture to your reheated zebra cake, consider using a waffle iron. Preheat the waffle iron and place a slice of cake inside. Close the iron and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until the cake is heated through and has a crispy exterior. This method works best for smaller, thinner slices of cake.

Random Fact about Zebra Cake:

The zebra cake is named after the zebra due to its striped appearance, which is created by alternating layers of vanilla and chocolate batter. This unique pattern is achieved by pouring the batters on top of each other, creating a visually striking effect once the cake is sliced. The zebra cake is a fun and eye-catching dessert that is sure to impress your friends and family.

Is Making Zebra Cake at Home Economical?

This zebra cake recipe is quite cost-effective for a household. The ingredients are simple and commonly found in most kitchens, making it an affordable option. The use of basic pantry staples like flour, sugar, and cocoa powder keeps the cost low. Additionally, the recipe yields a decent quantity, making it suitable for a family of four without breaking the bank. The approximate cost for this delightful treat would be around $5, earning it a solid 8 out of 10 for cost-effectiveness.

Is Zebra Cake Healthy or Unhealthy?

The zebra cake recipe, while delicious, is not particularly healthy due to several factors:

  • The recipe uses all-purpose flour, which is refined and lacks the nutrients found in whole grain flours
  • Sugar is the second ingredient, indicating a high sugar content in the cake
  • The recipe calls for oil, which is likely a refined vegetable oil high in unhealthy fats
  • There is no mention of any nutritious ingredients like fruits, vegetables, or nuts

However, the recipe does include some redeeming qualities, such as the use of yogurt, which provides calcium and protein, and the relatively small portion size of cupcakes compared to a full-sized cake.

To make this recipe healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Replace half or all of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat pastry flour or almond flour for added fiber and nutrients
  • Reduce the sugar content by 25-50% and replace it with natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, or pureed dates
  • Use a healthier oil like coconut oil or olive oil, or replace some of the oil with unsweetened applesauce for moisture
  • Add in some grated zucchini or carrots for extra nutrients and fiber without compromising taste
  • Top the cupcakes with a Greek yogurt frosting instead of a traditional buttercream for a protein boost and lower sugar content
  • Experiment with adding spices like cinnamon or nutmeg, which can enhance flavor without adding calories

By making these adjustments, you can transform this zebra cake recipe into a more nutritious treat that still satisfies your sweet tooth. Remember, moderation is key, and even healthier desserts should be enjoyed in reasonable portions as part of a balanced diet.

Editor's Thoughts on This Unique Cake Recipe

This zebra cake recipe is a delightful and visually stunning treat. The combination of vanilla and chocolate batters creates a beautiful striped pattern, making it a fun and eye-catching dessert. The use of yogurt adds moisture and a subtle tanginess, while the cocoa powder provides a rich chocolate flavor. The method of layering the batters in the cupcake mold allows for a unique and attractive presentation. Overall, this zebra cake recipe is a playful and delicious addition to any gathering or celebration.

Enhance Your Zebra Cake Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Grilled Vegetables: Create a colorful and flavorful medley of grilled vegetables to complement the zebra cake. The smoky char and natural sweetness of the veggies will be the perfect contrast to the rich and decadent dessert.
Fruit Salad: Prepare a refreshing and vibrant fruit salad with a variety of seasonal fruits. The juicy and tangy flavors will provide a refreshing balance to the zebra cake, making it a delightful combination for your taste buds.
Creamy Soup: Whip up a creamy and velvety soup to serve alongside the zebra cake. The warm and comforting soup will add a savory element to the meal, creating a well-rounded dining experience.
Roast Chicken: Roast a succulent and tender chicken to pair with the zebra cake. The savory and juicy meat will offer a satisfying contrast to the sweet dessert, making it a satisfying and indulgent meal.
Chocolate Fondue: Indulge in a luscious chocolate fondue to accompany the zebra cake. Dip fresh fruits and marshmallows into the velvety chocolate for a luxurious and decadent dessert experience.

Other Recipes Similar to Zebra Cake

Stuffed Bell Peppers: A delicious and healthy recipe that combines bell peppers with a flavorful filling of ground meat, rice, and spices.
Mango Salsa: A refreshing and tangy salsa made with fresh mango, red onion, cilantro, and lime juice. Perfect for dipping or topping grilled fish or chicken.
Butternut Squash Soup: A creamy and comforting soup made with roasted butternut squash, onions, garlic, and a hint of nutmeg. Perfect for a cozy night in during the fall or winter months.

Suggested Appetizers and Main Courses to Accompany Zebra Cake Recipe

Spinach and Artichoke Dip: Combine creamy cheese, flavorful spinach, and tender artichokes for a rich and indulgent appetizer that will leave your guests wanting more. Serve with crispy bread or crunchy tortilla chips for the perfect combination of flavors and textures.
Stuffed Mushrooms: Create a savory and satisfying appetizer by filling tender mushroom caps with a delicious mixture of herbs, cheese, and breadcrumbs. The earthy flavor of the mushrooms pairs perfectly with the savory filling, making it a crowd-pleasing option for any gathering.
Main Courses:
Chicken Alfredo: Create a creamy and indulgent pasta dish with tender pieces of chicken and a rich, cheesy Alfredo sauce. Pair it with your favorite pasta for a comforting and satisfying meal.
Beef Stir Fry: Whip up a flavorful and colorful stir fry with tender strips of beef and a variety of fresh vegetables. Toss it all together in a savory sauce and serve over steamed rice for a delicious and nutritious dinner option.

Why trust this Zebra Cake Recipe:

This recipe offers a delightful twist on the classic cake, combining the richness of chocolate with the subtle sweetness of vanilla. The use of plain yogurt ensures a moist and tender crumb, while the addition of cocoa powder creates a decadent chocolate flavor. The step-by-step instructions provide clear guidance, making it accessible for both novice and experienced bakers. With a perfect balance of flavors and a visually stunning zebra pattern, this recipe is sure to impress and satisfy any sweet craving. Trust in the quality of the ingredients and the method to achieve a delectable zebra cake that will be a hit at any gathering.

Want to share your experience making this mesmerizing Zebra Cake or have any tips to perfect the recipe? Join our Recipe Sharing forum and let's discuss!
What is the best way to mix the batter?
The best way to mix the batter is to first combine all the dry ingredients, then add the oil and yogurt and mix well. Gradually add the water to achieve a medium consistency batter, and then incorporate the vanilla extract.
Can I use any other type of flour instead of all-purpose flour?
Yes, you can use cake flour as a substitute for all-purpose flour. However, the texture and consistency of the cake may vary slightly.
How can I create the zebra pattern in the cake?
To create the zebra pattern, alternate layers of vanilla and chocolate batter in the cupcake mold. Then, use a toothpick to create swirls or zig-zag patterns in the batter before baking.
Can I use Greek yogurt instead of plain yogurt?
Yes, you can use Greek yogurt as a substitute for plain yogurt. However, the cake may have a slightly different texture and tanginess.
How should I store the zebra cake?
Store the zebra cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. If you need to store it for a longer period, refrigerate it for up to a week.

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