I’m not sure I really like surprises. I want to know what’s coming, prepare myself and put my best foot forward. Yeah… I probably have control issues. Mr Sticky – you should cancel next year’s surprise birthday party.
This month’s Sweet Adventure’s Blog Hop theme is hosted by the gorgeous Love Swah who chose the theme – Sweet Surprise. A sweeter surprise is probably easier for this control-freak to handle.
For my Sweet Surprise I chose a cake I’ve always wanted to try – the Zebra Cake!
When I told Papa Sweet I’d made a Zebra Cake for afternoon tea he looked at me with some concern. Never fear, no zebras were harmed in the making of this cake.
A Zebra Cake is simply a chocolate and vanilla cake that’s baked with a distinctive animal stripe through the batter. I was very nervous cutting open this cake, but I was so excited by how it turned out.
You make the stripe detail by spooning in alternate batters into the centre of the cake tin one after the other. Now, there’s no two zebras that look alike so don’t worry about making the stripes too neat.
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 1 cup low fat milk
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 2 cups plain flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 3 tablespoons dark good quality cocoa powder
- Icing sugar to serve
- Preheat a fan-forced oven to 160 degrees celcius. Grease and line a 20cm round cake tin.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs and caster sugar. Using an electric mixer, beat until the mixture is creamy and light in colour.
- Add milk, oil and vanilla bean paste and beat until well blended.
- In a separate bowl, sift the flour and baking powder.
- Add the flour in stages to the batter and beat until smooth and well incorporated.
- Divide the batter between two bowls. In one bowl add the cocoa power and whisk to combine. Keep the other batter plain.
- Sccop ¼ cup of plain batter (I used a ladle spoon and eyeballed it rather than exactly measured) into the centre of the cake tin. Then scoop a ¼ cup of chocolate batter directly into the centre of the vanilla batter in the tin. Don’t stop between scoops, keep adding the batter alternately into the centre and the mixture will gently spread in the zebra layers. Keep going until you use all the batter.
- Bake in the oven for 45-55 minutes. When cooked the cake will look lightly browned on top, have come away from the sides of the tin and when pricked with a toothpick will come out clean without any raw batter.
- After it has baked, rest in the cake tin for 5 minutes and then cool on a wire rack.
- When cooled, serve with a dusting of icing sugar or a chocolate icing of your choice.
Check out all the Sweet Surprises in this month’s hop:
What’s the sweetest surprise you’ve ever had with a dessert?