The first day I saw a zebra cake on Pinterest, I knew it had to be mine. Although this story ends with a somewhat happy ending, (come on, it’s cake) there were some bumps along the way.
The concept isn’t really that hard. You tint half of the batter black and layer it in. To do this you need to spoon in about 1/4 cup at a time. (Tip: grab two 1/4 cup measuring cups. It will save your sanity.) Make sure to wipe off your measuring cups so one color doesn’t leak into the other. Once you scoop it out, it looks like this:
The result in the pans (pre-baked) only got me more excited because it was so cool. I mean, look at that. How can you resist? While it baked I worked on the frosting. I decided to try the swiss meringue buttercream technique with this recipe from Sweetapolita. I’ve heard it’s tough, but supposed to be more than worth it. I’ve tried this frosting once before (a different recipe) and had a terrible mess on my hands. Wasted tons of butter. How much butter you ask? Well, here’s a picture in the middle of this success frosting making process.
See all that butter in the background? Don’t get too freaked out, this recipe makes 3 cakes worth. But I have to admit, it worked, tasted, spread much easier on the first go around. Trying to bring it back was not very easy for me. So I tinted the frosting a hot pink to go with my zebra and I ended up with this:
Isn’t it beautiful? Everyone was right. The swiss meringue buttercream makes the best ruffle I’ve ever done. I pretty much fell in love with this cake. And I wish this was the end of the story. But a zebra cake is only as cool as its middle when you cut it open. This is where my excitement fell. The colors weren’t as defined as I hoped. I think it may have been better off to do fewer layers with bigger proportions. I’m not sure. People knew it was a zebra, but it wasn’t the pop Pinterest had promised.
Maybe I expected too much or I wanted the vanilla cake to shine white instead of an ivory. I’m not too sure. What I do know is I love the ruffle cake.
Have you tried the zebra cake? How did it work for you? Have you seen that cheetah cake and do you have the guts to do it?