December 19, 2011

A Christmas Zebra

Since it is only one week until Christmas, I thought it necessary for my first recipe post be very festive. Enter: Christmas Zebra Cake!!

Now, those of you who are new to baking, not to worry because although this cake looks amazing, it is really simple to make! For this cake I used a simple white cake recipe, because white cake is easily dyed and the colors will be vibrant. 

So, first thing first, prepare your cake batter. I used a recipe I found online from King Arthur Flour, but you can use whatever recipe you want to. Even boxed cake mix if you're in a rush.

If you want to use I recipe I did click here! Now go gather your ingredients.

Now you have them? Great! Mix all of the dry ingredients together (including the sugar) on low speed with a mixer until it looks light and fluffy like this:

Now make sure your butter is softened, and mix it into the dry ingredients until it looks a little mealy, like so:
Next add your egg whites and eggs one at a time, until they are fully incorporated into the batter. It will be pretty thick. 

Mix, mix, mix as well as you can. Then add the milk + vanilla into the batter into 3 installments. Be sure to NOT over-mix! Over-mixing will make a tough cake, and not a light fluffy one... and no one wants that!
Now that you have a finished batter, divide the batter into two bowls. Dye the separated batter green and red. Add as much food coloring until you reach your desired color. (For a deep red color, you will need a LOT of red food coloring. So now, it should look like this:

Now is the fun layering part. Get two 1/4 cup measures. And make sure you have two - 8'' round prepared cake pans. (FYI: "Prepared" cake pans = buttered + floured) Take a 1/4 cup of green batter and add it to the center of one of the cake pans.
Next you take a 1/4 cup of the red batter and pour it in the pan directly on top of the green batter, like this:
Repeat this process multiple times. I usually repeat this until I get 12 - 14 layers in one pan.
Repeat the process in both pans until it looks like a Christmas bulls-eye. 

Bake your pans in a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes. Check them with a toothpick to make sure they are done! They will look like this:
The last thing you have to do is wait for them to cool, and frost with icing! 

Note: Make sure the cakes have COMPLETELY COOLED before you ice with frosting. There have been too many times that I have become impatient and frosted my cakes before they have fully cooled... BAD IDEA.
Ice and slice!
Another Note: Check the expiration dates of your chemical leaveners!! You may think this cake looks a little flat... well it is. After the cakes had baked, I noticed they hadn't really risen at all. And that was a problem considering I put in one tablespoon of baking powder in the mix. Old baking powder = no rise = less fluffy. The cake was good, but it would have been better if I had noticed the expiration date. DO NOT LET THIS PROBLEM HAPPEN TO YOU!

Happy Christmas!


  1. Love it! Great idea for a dessert for holiday parties. Can't wait to see more posts!

  2. I was just wondering myself what harm could come from using old baking powder! Good to know!