Blogging is an international thing I understand, but I still want to extend a happy thanksgiving day to everyone that’s reading this and celebrated turkey day. And yes, I did :) I cooked something on this wonderful holiday, and I will be posting in the upcoming days. I really want to post about the zebra cake, because every time I find a post that is inspiring and makes me wanna try new things, and makes me wanna find the time and dedication to execute it, it’s a wonderful experience. I really dig finding recipes when I least expect it, specially recipes from fellow bloggers. Fae, who runs a beautiful blog, fae-magazine.com, an incredible collection of recipes that show her passion and personal style for cooking, photography and writing. I’m not well versed in the art of baking cakes, I’ve only made a few (and not very successfully) but following Fae’s instructions, I was able to pull off a pretty decent version of a zebra cake. To find more about the history of this cake, better go to Fae’s post and find out the details! My post won’t be as entertaining, and mainly just a collection of photos I took during the making of! Hope you enjoy!
I’m not gonna lie. This cake requires patience and a bit of precision… patience I think I have. Precision.. as you can see, not so much. The rings are not as even as I would have wished they were, but hey, this is the first time trying this so I’m not entirely embarrassed. The rings are the result of pouring 2 different batters intermittently, always pouring at the center of the baking pan. The more even the pouring and the closer to the center each pour lands on the center, the better the results. I didn’t have a cake pan, which complicated things a bit for me, so I used a cast iron dutch oven, lined with parchment paper to prevent any sticking. Anyways, this is a fun looking cake, perfect for special occasions, like kid’s birthdays. Since I don’t have kids, I will try this again for when my little nephew Sebastian is visiting and his birthday is up, maybe for when he’s visiting aside from birthdays!
Ingredients (Fae’s recipe):
2 1/3 cups (10.5 oz / 300 g) sifted unbleached all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
4 large eggs – at room temperature
1¾ cups (12 wt oz/350 g) granulated sugar
1 cup (8.5 fl oz/250 ml) whole milk – at room temperature
½ cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) vegetable oil
½ cup (4 wt oz/113 gr) unsalted butter – melted but cool
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
3½ Tbsp natural unsweetened cocoa powder (Hershey’s)
Fae’s instructions (and I quote!!!):
- Position rack in middle of oven and preheat to 350F.
- Slightly spray 9”/23 cm round by 1.5”/4 cm deep non-stick cake pan (or spring form pan) with non-stick spray and line with parchment paper cut to size.
- In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine eggs, sugar, and beat (with electric beater) on high until foamy, light creamy color (2 minutes). Add oil, butter, milk, vanilla, and continue beating until well combined.
- Turn the beater speed to low and as it is beating, sprinkle flour mixture tablespoon at a time, and blend well.
It should make about 7 liquid cups of flowing-consistency batter.
- To split the batter into two, pour half of the batter (about 3.5 liquid cups) into a different bowl. In the beater’s bowl (with half of the batter), add cocoa powder and beat until well dissolved/mixed.
 Hints to read before assembly (I’m still quoting!):
- Place the prepared baking pan on flat surface.
- Place one regular tablespoon for the white and another for the dark batters.
- Scrape bottom of the spoon on bowl’s edge each time, to avoid dripping. Periodically, stir each batter with its own spoon for consistency.
- Starting with the white batter, pour 2 Tbsp (up to 3 Tbsp, no more) of each batter alternatively into exact center of baking pan. The key is not stopping and keep-on going, pouring alternatively, the same amount of batter on top of each other, only in the center. Batter will spread on its own, gradually filling the pan, with multi-rings. For the very last two pourings (most probably the cocoa/dark batter/bull’s eye at the end), only pour 1 Tbsp each.
When completed, batter in the baking pan should look like a fine-lined dartboard.
- Note: While alternately pouring, if the bull’s eye (last dark batter poured) is shifting from the center, gently/slightly lift edge of the baking pan and adjust the bull’s eye back to the center of the baking pan and then continue the process. No other movements of the baking pan to be made.
- With 2 Tbsp each pouring, there will be about 14~15 rings/stripes of each color.
Batter assembly/layering process (yep… is all Fae’s instructions):
- Start with the plain/white batter, pour 2 Tbsp, aiming at the exact center of baking pan. Follow this with 2 Tbsp of cocoa batter, right over the white batter, at the exact center of the baking pan. Repeat this 13~14 more times until both batters are finished.
- Place baking pan in oven and bake for 50~60 minutes or until poked wooden skewer in the center comes out clean.
- Cool the cake in its pan. When cooled, if needed, slide plastic knife along the sides of the baking pan to loosen the cake. Invert cake onto a plate, pull off the parchment lining, and invert onto the serving platter.
(End of Fae’s instructional) So, back to me! I honestly thought I would not be able to pull this off. I had to keep telling myself to “breath, relax, it’s only 11pm, it will soon be over” but it was so worth it, learned a few cake related things, and I took the cake to work the next day and everybody it, I even took the leftovers to my sister’s birthday… yes, I did this.. and it gets worse… she celebrated her birthday at a restaurant, and I’m not the restaurant reviewer type, but I have to say that Gjelinas was one of the best trendy restaurants restaurants in west LA I’ve been to…, ok, so yes, I took leftover cake and the guys at the restaurant paired it with amaretti gelato, we stuck a candle on it… it was pretty epic. They went with it, how cool is that… That’s all I got tonight! Cheerios!