Sunday, April 28, 2013

Vanilla and Chocolate Zebra Cake

So this was an experience. I found the zebra cake tutorial here:, however that site calls for cake mixes, which I wasn’t about to use. I took two cake recipes and halved them, but I ended up not quite having enough batter. I think part of the problem is that the chocolate cake batter I used wasn’t as liquid-y as the vanilla batter. I stuck them in the oven anyway, and everything turned out better than expected. Not that they look perfect - the stripes aren't as stripey as in the tutorial, but at least it wasn't a complete disaster.

Vanilla Cake:
1 cup (7 ounces/200 grams) sugar
6.875 ounces (195 grams) ap flour
1 ¼ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
3 ounces unsalted butter, soft
5 ounces milk, room temp
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs

Mix together the sugar, flour, baking powder and salt in the bowl of your mixer. Mix together with a fork/whisk. Add the butter and mix on low speed, until the butter is the size of pebbles. Combine the milk and vanilla extract, and add to the flour mixture. Mix at low speed for 30 seconds, then increase the speed to medium and beat for an additional 30 seconds. Scrape the bottom of the bowl.

Add the eggs, one at a time, with the mixer running on low speed, then increase to medium and beat for 30 seconds. Repeat with the second egg. After both eggs are added, beat at medium high heat for an additional 30 seconds. Transfer to a bowl.

Chocolate Cake:
0.875 cups (6 ounces) sugar (170 grams)
1 cup (4.4 ounces) ap flour (125 grams)
1/3 cup cocoa powder (27 grams)
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ stick of butter (3 ounces)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
½ cup milk (4 oz)

Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl (not the mixer). In your mixer bowl, add the butter, sugar and vanilla extract and beat until creamy.  Add the egg, and beat well.

Add the flour mixture and milk, alternating, half of each at a time.

Butter and flour two 9 inch cake pans. Add ¼ cup of the vanilla batter to the center of a pan. Directly on top of the batter, add ¼ cup of the chocolate batter. Continue alternating vanilla and chocolate between the 2 pans. Bake in a 350°F oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.


Chocolate frosting:
3 cups powdered sugar (300 grams), sifted
2/3 cup baking cocoa (55 grams)
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
6 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beat 1 cup/100 grams powdered sugar, all the cocoa, all the butter, 2 tablespoons milk and the vanilla extract in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until creamy. Add the remaining powdered sugar and milk in 2 additional, beating until smooth. Beat on medium high until smooth and fluffy. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a star tip.

Vanilla frosting:
3 sticks butter room temp
1 lb./4 cups/400 grams powdered sugar, sifted
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium-high speed until pale and creamy. Add the confectioner’s sugar, ½ cup at a time, mixing on low to incorporate, then increasing the speed to high for 10 seconds, to incorporate air into the frosting. Repeat until all the sugar has been added. Add the vanilla extract and mix until smooth.

Spread a layer of chocolate frosting on the top of one of the cake rounds. Place the other half on top, and cover the top and sides of the cake with vanilla frosting. Pipe the remaining chocolate frosting along the top of the cake.


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