Chocolate Zebra Cake for Alice

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Inside. Do you see the strips!?!?
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Have you ever thought you completely messed up but in the end everything worked out ok? Well, when I made this cake and after it was baking in the oven I realized something. I forgot to add the oil into the batter. I suddenly started freaking out because the role of oil and butter in a cake is to add moisture and to keep the cake from being dry and crumbly. I was so worried that the cake would be a total failure and that all my hard work would go to waste and everyone would laugh at me(not really my friends are too kind for that). Luckily, things have a way of working themselves out. I guess the dessert god decided to be kind to me and my cake didn’t end up tasting like bread. Also the strips turned out beautifully just like a zebra whcih I kept on telling everyone who was sitting around. Also, I added some sugar syrup(boil 1 cup sugar and 2 cups water for 3 minutes) to my cake layers before frosting and I made my favorite chocolate frosting(Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” frosting which is very creamy and sweet to decorate the cake.

Anyways….

After seeing the recipe for zebra cake on Baking Bites I knew that Devina and Alice’s birthday party would be the perfect opportunity. This cake is for Alice(check out her blog here) They’re having a combined birthday party at BJs and I volunteered to make the cakes. It’s a perfect way to start off winter break with a bang. The zebra why its called a zebra cake is because of the way that the butter is poured into the pan and when cut, has strips like a zebra. I was excited because this was my first time making this cake and it would show off my baking skills. The party was a lot of fun, I got to hang out my favorite girls in the world, the trenchcoat/peacoat clan and we ended getting a free pizza. (See Red Velvet Cake for Devina for details)

Beating wet ingredients.
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Dry ingredients.
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Batter
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Chocolate Batter
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Making the zebra pattern. First drop a couple of spoonfuls of vanilla batter in the center of your pan.
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Then drop a couple of spoonfuls of chocolate batter in the center of the vanilla batter and let it spread.
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The batter should look like this and is ready to bake!
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Done baking. Isn’t it beautiful?
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Frosting

Mixing together the butter and cocoa powder.
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The chocolate frosting is all done!
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Spreading the frosting over the bottom layer.
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Now on to the top and covering the whole cake.
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Finished frosting the cake! This frosting is perfect for icing because its goes on so smooth and is very easy to spread.
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Decorating

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Originally I had bought a tin of Pirouettes that were on sale for $4.99, originally $6.99 and I was a little hesitant because this was very pricey for cookies. Then one day when I walked through the candy/cookie aisle at Marina (I love Asian stores!) I saw these:
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Cutting the wafers in half.
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Decorating with the wafers.
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I decided to use white buttercream (Billy’s vanilla buttercream) to make flowers around the edges and then I stuck a Nestle chocolate strip upside down to represent the center of the flower. Sorry for my crooked writing! I was really exhausted from running errands with my brother and standing on my feet all day.
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Zebra Cake

4 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk (low fat is fine)
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp almond extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9-inch round cake pan with a circle of parchment paper and lightly grease the bottom and sides of the pan.
In a large bowl, mix together eggs and sugar until mixture is light and creamy and the sugar has mostly been dissolved. Stir in milk, vegetable oil, vanilla and almond extracts.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Pour into wet ingredients and whisk to combine. Measure out just over two cups of vanilla batter and place it back in the medium bowl. Sift cocoa powder over the bowl and whisk until fully incorporated.
Put 3 tbsp of vanilla batter into the center of the pan and let it spread slightly on its own. Put 3 tbsp of chocolate batter in the center of the vanilla. It will push out the other batter and, as it sits for a moment, will also spread itself. Alternating spoonfuls of the two batters, repeat the technique until all the batter has been used up.
Bake for 38-42 minutes, until the cake is light gold and a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Let the cake cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then turn out the cake and remove the parchment paper. Reinvert on to a wire rack and let cool before slicing.

“PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE” CHOCOLATE FROSTING

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
2/3 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.

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