Zebra Cake • کیک گورخر؟

Over the last few years, I have seen varieties of zebra cake being posted on the internet. I mean all kinds. If you need to laugh be amused, Google ‘photos of baked zebra cake’.  All  well intended, and proudly displayed for the world to see. I never considered attempting it, because if it does not turn right, not only can I not show it to anybody, but must throw it away,  or worse,  I  have to eat it all!  Don’t tell me you haven’t gone through that! Especially, you Foodie Bloggers?

Well, I went into detective mode, studying all of them, 5 years of records!  Strangely, while researching, within only the past few weeks, at least 7 bloggers on WordPress alone posted zebra cake, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Bloggers, have you noticed that when we want to post something, suddenly, everyone else is on the same wave? This gave me more incentive to get to the bottom of this before the wave subsides!

As far as  www  in the English speaking world is concerned, the very first person to post this recipe is none other than Azerbaijani Feride of AZ Cookbook, Food From Azerbaijan and Beyond on February 15, 2008.  Feride’s zebra cake was even featured in the Desserts Magazine (USA), Issue #4,
“A Journey Around the World Through Cakes: Zebra Cake – Azerbaijan“!

Not only did I find the little-known history of zebra cake, but also discovered Feride’s food blog, which is ‘a real treat’, and close to home, as my Father was a Persian-Azerbaijani, who in his youth, grew-up in what is now the country of Azerbaijan. I also found some similarities in Iranian/Persian and Azerbaijani cultures and cuisines!

Zebra Cake | Fae’s Twist & Tango

This is a straight forward, easy cake to make… until it gets to the point of  pouring the batter into the baking pan. One needs patience and due diligence during the batter assembly/layering process!

Important information for all baked desserts:
– Especially when baking desserts, ingredient weight is of utmost importance for success.
– I have become a firm believer in using the metric instead of American measuring system.
– When a recipe provides ingredient ‘weight’, that takes precedence over cup-measurements.
– If you do not own a kitchen scale, you are encouraged to obtain one.
– For those who do not have a kitchen scale, I have weighed the flour and sugar to give you the closest possible measurement by dry and liquid measuring cups.
– For those who do not have fluid milliliter measuring cups, I have measured the liquid to give you the closest fluid ounce measurements.
– It is also important that when flour is called for, the flour must be sifted, just before it is measured in a measuring cup.
– For more information on measuring, go to Conversions & Measurements.

Adapted from Feride’s recipe, I humbly present zebra cake with my twist & tango.

Zebra Cake

  • Servings: 8
  • Time: 2½ Hrs
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Print

Recipe by:   Fae’s Twist & Tango   (fae-magazine.com)

Zebra Cake | Fae’s Twist & Tango


•   2 1/3 cups (300 gr/10.5 oz) sifted unbleached all-purpose flour
•   1 Tbsp baking powder
•   ¼ tsp salt
•   4 large eggs – at room temperature
•   1¾ cups (350 gr/12 wt oz) granulated sugar
•   1 cup (250 ml/8.5 fl oz)  whole milk – at room temperature
•   ½ cup (125 ml/4 fl oz) vegetable oil
•   ½ cup (113 gr/4 wt oz) unsalted butter – melted and cooled
•   1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
•   3½ Tbsp natural unsweetened cocoa powder (Hershey’s)


◊  Position rack in middle of oven and preheat to 175°C/350°F.

◊  Slightly spray 23 cm/9” round by 4 cm/1.5” deep non-stick cake pan (or spring form pan) with non-stick spray and line with parchment paper cut to size.

◊  In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and set aside.

◊  In a large bowl, combine eggs, sugar, and beat (with electric beater) on high until foamy, light creamy color (2 minutes). Add oil, butter, milk, vanilla, and continue beating until well combined.

◊  Turn the beater speed to low and as it is beating, sprinkle flour mixture tablespoon at a time, and blend well. It should make about 7 liquid cups of flowing-consistency batter.

◊  To split the batter into two, pour half of the batter (about 3.5 liquid cups) into a different bowl. In the beater’s bowl (with half of the batter), add cocoa powder and beat until well dissolved/mixed.

Important to read before assembly:
◊  Place the prepared baking pan on flat surface.
◊  Place one regular tablespoon for the white and another for the dark batters.
◊  Scrape bottom of the spoon on bowl’s edge each time, to avoid dripping. Periodically, stir each batter with its own spoon for consistency.
◊  Starting with the white batter, pour 2 Tbsp (up to 3 Tbsp, no more) of each batter alternatively into exact center of baking pan. The key is not stopping and keep-on going,  pouring alternatively, the same amount of batter on top of each other, only in the center. Batter will spread on its own, gradually filling the pan, with multi-rings. For the very last two pourings, only pour 1 Tbsp each (most probably the cocoa/dark batter/bull’s eye at the end).
◊  When completed, batter in the baking pan should look like a fine-lined dartboard.
◊  Note: While alternately pouring, if the bull’s eye (last dark batter poured) is shifting from the center, gently/slightly lift edge of the baking pan and adjust the bull’s eye back to the center of the baking pan and then continue the process. No other movements of the baking pan to be made.
◊  With 2 Tbsp each pouring, there will be about 14~15 rings/stripes of each color.

Batter assembly/layering process:
◊  Start with the plain/white batter, pour 2 Tbsp, aiming at the exact center of baking pan. Follow this with 2 Tbsp of cocoa batter, right over the white batter, at the exact center of the baking pan. Repeat this 13~14 more times until both batters are finished.

◊  Place baking pan in oven and bake for 50~60 minutes or until poked wooden skewer in the center comes out clean.

◊  Cool the cake in its pan. When cooled, if needed, slide plastic knife along the sides of the baking pan to loosen the cake. Invert cake onto a plate, pull off the parchment lining, and invert onto the serving platter.

~    Nuş Olsun!    ~

Zebra Cake | Fae’s Twist & Tango

Zebra Cake | Fae’s Twist & Tango

Zebra Cake | Fae’s Twist & Tango

So, what’s cooking in your kitchen?

→  Look, I made it!

July 18, 2013 I decided to take the challenge and try to make the Zebra Cake... Check out step-by-step process on >  'A Zebra-twist'! ~~ Now At Home!

July 18, 2013
I decided to take the challenge and try to make the Zebra Cake…  Check out step-by-step process on >  ‘A Zebra-twist‘!
~~ Now At Home!

September 12, 2013  Indeed zebras are several species and united by their distinctive black and white stripes, but no two alike. This is another patterned zebra cake!  ~~ Rabbit Can Cook   &   Rabbit Can Bake

September 12, 2013
Indeed zebras are several species and united by their distinctive black and white stripes, but no two alike. This is another patterned zebra cake!
~~ Rabbit Can Cook   &   Rabbit Can Bake 

November 30, 2013"I really dig finding recipes when I least expect it, specially recipes from fellow bloggers... This cake [Fae's Zebra Cake] requires patience and a bit of precision… I didn’t have a cake pan, which complicated things a bit for me, so I used a cast iron dutch oven, lined with parchment paper to prevent any sticking. Anyways, this is a fun looking cake, perfect for special occasions, like kid’s birthdays."~~That Other Cooking Blog

November 30, 2013
“I really dig finding recipes when I least expect it, specially recipes from fellow bloggers… This zebra cake requires patience and a bit of precision… I didn’t have a cake pan, which complicated things a bit for me, so I used a cast iron dutch oven, lined with parchment paper to prevent any sticking. Anyways, this is a fun looking cake, perfect for special occasions, like kid’s birthdays.”
~~That Other Cooking Blog


  1. says

    I woke up to see that you had visited my blog. Thank you so much for liking what I do. Then I dropped by to look at what you do and I am so glad that I did. Your Zebra cake is totally stunning! You are a brilliant cake maker and I loved the photo of the Zebra too.-Karen.

  2. says

    Dear Fae, what a nice surprise to see yet another beautiful zebra cake on your blog and to discover we have Azerbaijan as our common tie :) I am glad you enjoyed the cake. Tesekkur edirem :)

    • says

      Hello Dear Feride, As you can tell, I posted the zebra cake in July/2013, thanks to you. Yesterday, I was trying to refresh my post with a printable recipe feature and became aware that the links I had for your site have all changed. To update them, it gave me the chance to see your wonderful website with the new beautiful look!
      I congratulate your success with your blog since 2008. I appreciate the content, many of which are nostalgic stories and foods we learned about through our father. Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving me a lovely comment. I too, tesekkur edirem! (in Farsi, tashakkor mikonam) 😀

  3. says

    Thanks for the great tutorial for the zebra cake! I’ve been planning on making this for my son’s birthday party all year, but couldn’t find a site with good description. Your post made it super easy and the cake was amazing! This time I used two cake recipes from one of my favorite cookbooks and they were great, but a little too thick to make the rings easy. Next time (I’m already plotting for when) I’ll try your recipes and see how it turns out. Either way the cake was delicious and the perfect look for my son’s animal-themed birthday party. Cheers!

  4. says

    So beautiful! What patience you must have. It’s always nice when something so complicated turns out well enough for photos and for sharing — I know what you mean!

  5. says

    I just love the look of this cake – I have seen numerous versions of it but you have provided detailed instructions so a baker has more of a chance at succeeding. I can see patience is needed and a steady hand. Thanks for all of the info – I like to research recipes too :)

  6. says

    Wow! This is amazing. I’m going to try making it sometime.
    Speaking of “the same wave” , so I guess its not just me noticing it. I’m just a begginner in all this blogosphere, but every time when I’m ready to post something, someone posting it literary 5 minutes earlier. Lol

  7. says

    this is mind boggling, how… how does this work? :) I so want to try it but really need to think this through, but it so happens that I have all the ingredients at home, everything and i need to practice my cake baking skills which I rarely use. this is so amazing Fae, thanks for this great find. And the history behind it, also fascinating.

  8. says

    Thanks for stopping by my blog, Fae. I think your’s is pretty awesome especially this post on the zebra cake. I must confess I’ve never been inspired by the pics of the zebra cake I’ve seen before, but now I’m smitten. I’ll give it a go and if it works and looks anywhere as good as yours does, I’ll post it and tag you in it. Thanks for the instructions too! I’ve always been baffled by the technique but you make it sound much simpler than I’m sure it is.
    Cheers and look forward to staying in touch!

  9. says

    What a great idea for a party! Looks totally difficult though, even with your instructions. Several from our church are planning a short term work-missions project for spring. This would be so cool to use at the send off party.

  10. says

    I always knew these as ‘marble cake’ but ‘zebra cake’ is a kinda cute name too! It’s great how those slices look, i’d love to take a bite :) smiles, Bipasha

  11. says

    Hello Fae, I am very intrigued by this lovely zebra cake and had put this in my thing to bake list, just wonder if someone else had participate in Look I made it using this recipe, can I still participate or should I choose other recipe? thanks.

    • says

      Hello Beautiful Rabbit!
      – If you want to participate in ‘Look, I made it!’ and make zebra cake, I am delighted.
      – Yes, one lovely lady has made it… however, multiple entry per recipe is alright.
      – You can participate in either category as many times as you wish, and I will post every one of them. 😀

  12. says

    Always wanted to try this cake…..I really like the unique Zebra lines in this cake….you have really explained it well will try this recipe soon. Thanks for sharing

  13. says

    I made your very festive zebra cake a few days ago & my mom, Dad, me & my husband all loved it so much, sweet Fae! MMMMMMMM, it was!!!!xxxx

  14. says

    Wow what a creative cake, and it looks delicious too! This looks like it takes a lot of skill to make the rings/stripes.Will give this recipe a try–hopefully it can turn out as nice looking as yours!

  15. says

    Hi Fay, that is such a gorgeous looking cake, and easy enough with patience!! I’ve printed this and will give it a try, not sure if it will come out as beautiful as yours but I’m sure it’ll taste good anyhow :-)

  16. says

    Great post, Fae! I have to admit that I have never heard of zebra cake before your post. After all, I believe I’m an … unusual foodie blogger. 😉
    This is one of the cutest cake I have ever seen and your execution is perfect! I’m sure my daughter will love it! I’ll follow your instructions and hints to the letter.

  17. Katherine says

    Hi Fae, I baked the zebra cake tonight! The cake texture was good. However, it was not ‘zebra’ like when cut :( I did follow your recipe to T! Measured by scale & patiently poured the mixture… The result was I only got 2 stripes… Will hope to try again :) Katherine

    • says

      Oh, Katherine, I wonder what happened!? :( I was so surprised and yet, I must confess, I laughed when I read your “I only got 2 stripes”.
      Let’s see if we can solve the issue(s) so others can benefit from it.
      – Were both batters flowy… meaning… they spread slowly, gradually and evenly to the edges of the baking pan when poured in the center?
      – Were the batters too liquidy that it spread quickly?
      – Were the batters too thick so that help of a spoon was needed to spread them?
      Appreciate your input so we can all learn how to correct when we face an issue
      (i.e. add less liquid or add more flour???). Thank you, Fae.

      • Katherine says

        Hi Fae,
        Both batters were just right! Easy to pour in. I did use the extra spoon for taking out excess batter when poured. I got about 95% image of the cake just like yours before baking. Still very mystery to me. Will take a break & redo again :)) Thanks Katherine

  18. says

    This cake looks amazing. I wonder if I can be patient enough to reproduce it! Thanks for sharing such a wonderful piece!!!

  19. says

    Your zebra cake looks so pretty and whimsical. But I think I get a little dizzy looking at it for too long. Better to hide it in my tummy quick before I faint! hahaha….Thanks for sharing such a cute cake.

  20. says

    I can not imagine attempting this work of art. Fae, this is a very soulful cake and I feel like I couldn’t even eat it after slicing into it. I would really want to…because I am sure it is so delicious.

  21. says

    I’d like to believe I’m a patient person…… okay, maybe I’ll try that. I hope I succeed. It’s vacation now, so maybe i can find time to bake . I did bake a marble cake once.

  22. says

    I have so many things to say about this post I don’t know where to begin. 1) who in the world was the first one who thought, hey, let’s make a zebra cake? I mean … 2) BRAVO on constructing a beautiful gorehkhar cake that is certainly not a feat for the faint of heart bakers, 3) Why can’t I come over and eat some of your cake? Life is not fair. 4) You nailed it re the topic-de-jour among bloggers … there must be something in the blogging zeitgeist 5) There’s no way I will even dream of attempting to construct this but I throughly LOVED reading about it and seeing it and finally, (yes, I AM about to shut up finally) 6) thank you for introducing Ferida and off to read about her and her cookbook … showing myself out the door now. 😉

    • says

      Guess what Fae? We finally made this beautiful cake over the weekend. Only it didn’t turn out as beautiful as yours. I made it with one of my daughters and we were not using a measuring tablespoon. Therefore, I think that we were adding different amounts, possibly more than 3 tablespoons. Nonetheless, it tasted fabulous! And that’s what matters most, no? My mum-in-law was impressed regardless, as you could just make out tiny markings throughout the cake. Thanks Fae!

  23. says

    your cake looks fabulous! I made this exact recipe like a year ago and it awesome! The only issue I had was that my stripes were too thin, so I think next time I might use a little bit more batter for the rings. I love how cute yours looks!


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