Saturday, April 2, 2011

Zebra Cake

If you're a reality show junkie like me, you would have known that Top Chef All Stars (one of my favorite shows) had finished up its season this past Wednesday. Glad to say, my top favorite since the very beginning of the season, Richard Blais, won!! He's extremely creative as a chef. Who would have thought liquid nitrogen had so many uses in the foodie world? Oh man, do I aspire to be like him. He's just so cool!! ha.

Now, it's my turn to be creative. Cake is well....cake. Sometime's they all look the same no matter what flavor it is. You slice it and it's one color. But oh, is this cake different. With the colors of a chocolate and vanilla cake, it takes cake to a whole new level. It's more sophisticated that a marbled cake and extremely innovative. Not to mention, it's just so creative!

-Instead of scooping 3 tablespoons of batter each and every time for the layers, I decided to use my 1/4 cup measuring cup to make quicker work.

-When layering the batters, don't wait for the batter to spread. Keep adding batter to the center. Look at AZ Cookbook's Pictures!

-Try to rotate the cake pan around after each addition of cake batter. I found that by doing this, you get a more uniform looking cake whereas if you don't, you'll get parts of thick layers and parts of thin layers of the cakes (which I had). Look at the last picture above. Thin layers on the bottom right whereas the top left was thicker.

-I would have liked the cake to be a tad sweeter. I would add another half cup of sugar (for a total of 1 1/2 cups) next time and see how that goes.

Taste: Hints of vanilla and chocolate flavor. Has more of an egg-y flavor than something that is buttery. Not sweet at all either

Texture: Almost a mixture between a sponge cake and oil cake in texture. Not as soft as a sponge cake but softer than a regular oil or butter cake.

Zebra Cake (Makes one 9-inch (23 cm) cake)
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Recipe via AZ Cookbook

4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup (8 oz / 250 g) granulated sugar
1 cup (8 fl oz / 250 ml) milk, at room temperature
1 cup (8 fl oz / 250 ml) oil (corn, vegetable or canola)
2 cups (10 oz / 300 g) all-purpose flour
1/3 teaspoon vanilla powder
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons dark cocoa powder

1. Preheat the oven to 350F (180C).

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs and sugar. Using a hand-held electric mixer or wire whisk beat until the mixture is creamy and light in color

3. Add milk and oil, and continue beating until well blended.

4. In a separate bowl, combine and mix flour, vanilla powder and baking powder. Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and beat just until the batter is smooth and the dry ingredients are
thoroughly incorporated. (DO NOT OVERBEAT to prevent air pockets from forming in the batter.

5. Divide the mixture into 2 equal portions. Keep one portion plain. Add cocoa powder into another and mix well.

6. Lightly grease the pan with oil. If you don’t have non-stick baking pan, grease whatever pan you have then line it with parchment paper (baking paper).

7. The most important part is assembling the cake batter in a baking pan. This is what you do. Scoop 3 heaped tablespoons of plain batter (you can also use a ladle that would hold 3 tablespoons) into the middle of the baking pan. Then scoop 3 tablespoons of cocoa batter and pour it in the center on top of the plain batter. IMPORTANT! Do not stop and wait until the previous batter spreads - KEEP GOING! Do not spread the batter or tilt the pan to distribute the mixture. It will spread by itself and fill the pan gradually. Continue alternating the batters until you finish them.

8. Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes. Do not open the oven door at least the first 20 minutes or the cake will shrink and will not rise. To check if the cake is ready, insert a toothpick into the center. It should come out clean when ready. Remove from the oven. Immediately run a small thin knife around the inside of the pan to loosen the cake, then invert the cake onto a cooking rack. Turn the cake back over and let cool. You can sprinkle the top of the cake with some powdered (confectioner’s) sugar or leave it plain.

-Aaron John


  1. Looks great Aaron. My kids are gonna want to try this one.

  2. This is really neat! I really appreciate cake that doesn't need to hide behind any kind of frosting.. can't wait to try this! Thanks for posting!

  3. I love all the swirls :) AJ, I believe your passion will have you great in the are already on your way. I'm so impressed with you and it makes me smile to see your passion here!

  4. That looks so cool! I like that you say it's a less sweet cake, totally works for me!

  5. That looks superb. Love the stripes.

  6. Oh! Your cake look so pretty and tasty as well. Beautifully done! Have a great day!

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  8. Torviewtoronto: Thanks!! :D

    Barry: Def. try it with your kids! So fun to make!!

    Lauren: Definitely no frosting needed. The cake can really stand on its own. But, it would be even more surprising for people if you did frost it slice it in front of them! :)

    Rick: Haha. I tried my best.

    Shelby: Thank you so much!! That means so much to me :) I'm so glad my passion for food is translating off the screen.

    Jess: Definitely not a sweet cake!! I felt it could have used a tad but more sugar but it still tasted fine.

    Michael: Thanks!!

    Juliana: Thank you!!

    Eva: Thanks for the award. I'll check it out!

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Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment! :)

-Aaron John


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