Monday, July 11, 2011

Zebra (marbled) Cake

Oh the joys of cake baking.

For my birthday, I decided to make a zebra cake. The definition of the cake just looked too cool to pass up and I didn't want a plain cake this year. So I did all the pouring and alternating and the batter did look like a zebra cake. I put it in the oven thinking I got this. I rock. But about 10 minutes into it (I was peeking through the oven window), I see the outer layers melding together. UGH!! No distinct definition. But the middle looked like the stripes of a zebra. So I guess I got it half right. :)

My plan to drizzle it with chocolate ganache fell through when it came out of the oven all outer edges messed up. So I decorated it with vanilla buttercream decorated with buttercream swirled roses. Turned out pretty elegant. Gorgeous.


Zebra Cake
Adapted from Baking Bites

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup milk 
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 and 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp almond extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp black cocoa

Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Line a 9 inch round cake paper with parchment paper and grease the bottom and sides of the pan.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together four, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • Mix eggs and sugar together in mixer. Beat well until mixture is light and creamy and the sugar has mostly dissolved.
  • Stir in milk, vegetable oil, vanilla, and almond extract. Mix to combine.
  • Pour flour mixture into wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
  • Measure out just over 2 cups of batter and place it back in the medium bowl.
  • Add black cocoa to the batter in the mixer and stir to combine. 
  • Put 3 tbsp of vanilla batter in the center of the prepared cake pan. Let it spread on its own. 
  • Put 3 tbsp of chocolate batter in the center of the vanilla batter. It will push the other batter out slightly and will spread itself. 
  • Alternate spoonfuls of the two batters, repeating until all the batter is used up. 
  • Bake for 38-42 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. 
  • Let the cake cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then turn out the cake and remove the parchment paper. Re-invert onto a wire rack and let cool before serving or frosting. 
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
I am Baker
  • 1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • 6 - 8 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (clear works best)
Directions:
  • Place the butter in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add 4 cups of the sugar and then the milk and vanilla. 
  • On the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes. 
  • Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency. You may not need to add all of the sugar. 
  • Spread a crumb coat on top of the cake and refrigerate for about an hour.
  • Once frosted cake is cooled, add a second thin layer of icing to the crumb coat hiding all the crumbs. 
  • Using a 1M tip, pipe swirled roses on top of the icing. Start from the middle and swirl outward. Continue making roses on the cake until the cake is covered. If you have open spots, pipe a small swirl with the same tip.
  • If the cake gets too warm and the roses are melting, pop back in the fridge for 10 - 15 minutes to cool down. 
Here's I am Baker's tutorial on the rose cake if you want step by step pictures. :)
http://iammommy.typepad.com/i_am_baker/2011/02/rose-cake-tutorial.html


 

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