Tuesday 18 February 2014

Chocolate and Vanilla Zebra Cake

Chocolate and vanilla Zebra traybake cake

When my son started nursery last month many people said to me, “All that time to yourself!” or, “You must get loads done now!” Perversely the opposite is true. By the time I drop him off, wait for my daughter to go into school and then walk back it's only two hours before I turn around and head back to collect him. After picking up every stick, climbing on every wall and examining every leaf on the way home it's lunchtime immediately and before we know it back off to school again. So bread making during the week has now gone out of the window as well as baking large cakes. I can make bread at the weekends and fill the freezer with it but frozen cake doesn't have much appeal to me even if I did have the freezer space. So, this recipe is my solution to midweek cake baking – traybakes. The simplest of concoctions can be mixed together quickly and because the cake is spread out on the tray they only take about half an hour to bake.

I've been making this traybake in various disguises for some time and find it's extremely versatile when adding flavours and toppings. It's not ingredients heavy and makes a great pudding for the kids without being too huge or sickly. For this version I have make a striped effect or should I say 'Zebra' for this month's Alpha Bakes letter is 'Z'. It is hosted by Ros The more than occasional baker at and this month's host Caroline from Caroline Makes....
The mixture doesn't give clear, defined lines as if you were making a Battenburg cake but I like the 'rustic' feel of it. Also I seem to remember reading once that no two zebras' stripes are the same (or is this just an myth?) so you will get a slightly different pattern each time.

I am also sending this to Tea Time Treats run by Jane at The Hedge Combers and this month's host Karen at Lavender and Lovage. The theme for February is Chocolate.
Tea Time Treats Challenge Logo

Equipment: Shallow baking tray 11in x 7in (28cm x 18cm)


5oz (150g) Self raising flour
5oz (150g) Caster sugar
5oz (150g) Unsalted butter, softened or baking spread
3 Large eggs
1tsp (5ml) Vanilla extract
1oz (25g) Cocoa powder
½ tsp (2.5ml) Baking powder
1tbsp (15ml) Milk


1. Line the baking tray with greaseproof paper.
2. Pre-heat oven to 170°C/Gas mark 3.
3. Sift the flour into a bowl and set aside.
4. In another bowl cream together the sugar and butter.
5. Beat in the eggs one at a time adding a little flour after each addition.
6. Fold in the flour until it is all combined.
7. Divide the mixture into two portions with a little extra in one portion.
8. In the larger portion add the vanilla extract and gently stir in.
9. In the smaller portion sift the cocoa and baking powder. Add the milk and fold in.
10. Spoon the mixtures into the tin alternating to give a striped effect.
11. Bake for 30-35 minutes until springy to the touch.
12. Leave to cool in the tin.


  1. This looks like a nice simple recipe but I can see why the distinctive stripes would be a hit with children! Thanks for entering Alphabakes.

  2. LOVE this and thanks so much for adding it to Tea Time Treats, what a LUSH and yet FUN cake! Karen


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