Follow this step-by-step tutorial for making a showstopping zebra cake! It’s more than a marble cake, with distinct layers of vanilla and chocolate topped with whipped cream and cute chocolate hearts! It’s easier than you think when you just use two boxed cake mixes!
I first saw a Zebra Cake on Half Baked Harvest about a year ago, and I have been wanting to make one ever since!
Most recipes for Zebra Cake have you make the cakes from scratch. Usually, I’m all about doing things from scratch. But I figured the easiest and quickest way to make this Zebra Cake would be to just use a vanilla and chocolate cake mix! So that’s what I did.
How to Make a Zebra Cake
I’m going to show you step-by-step how to do this. But first, a quick note: If you use the full mix for both boxes, you will have enough for four layers. Since I only have two cake pans, I just used half of each box mix and made a two-layer cake. Since the full mixes called for three eggs, I used two eggs for each half (so I didn’t have to split eggs in half!)
Now, let’s get started!
The first thing you want to do is grease your cake pans and cover the bottoms with parchment paper. To get the paper to fit perfectly in the bottom of your pan, just place your pan on top of the parchment paper, trace around it with a pencil, and cut out the paper.
Go ahead and grease the bottom of the pan before you put the parchment paper in, and then grease the top of the parchment paper as well.
The next thing you’re going to do is mix up both of your cake mixes (use half of the cake mixes along with half of the other ingredients required on the box for a two-layer cake, and the full cake mixes along with the required ingredients for a four-layer cake).
Once your cakes are mixed up, you’re going to start spooning them into your cake pans in layers.
Keep spooning the batter in alternate layers. It’s o.k. to bang the pans down on the table our counter every once in a while to get the batter to spread out. When you are done, your cake pans should look something like this:
Now bake according to the directions on the box. When your cakes come out of the oven, they will look like this:
Turn the cakes out onto a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
When it’s time to assemble the cake, you may want to cut the domed tops off the cake layers so they will stack more easily. I cut off the domes and put the bottom layer on the cake stand bottom-down. Then I covered it with whipped topping and placed the top layer on upside down. This way, I got a completely flat top for my cake.
Lastly, just cover the entire cake with whipped cream and then decorate with sprinkles or chocolate hearts or anything else you want! Click here for a tutorial on making the chocolate hearts.
Chill the cake until ready to eat. Then cut into slices and wow your family and friends!
- Boxed Vanilla cake mix (plus additional ingredients specified on the box, like oil, water, and eggs)
- Boxed Chocolate cake mix (plus additional ingredients specified on the box, like oil, water, and eggs)
- 1-2 (8 oz) tubs whipped topping
- For a four layer cake, mix up the cake mixes in separate bowls. For a two layer cake, mix up half of each cake mix (along with half the other specified ingredients, like water, oil, and eggs).
- Grease two or four round cake pans (depending on how many layers you are making) and cover the bottom of each pan with a circle of parchment paper. Grease the top of the parchment paper.
- Heat your oven to the temperature specified for your boxed cake mixes. (Usually 350 degrees F.)
- Use a spoon to alternately layer the vanilla and chocolate batter, dropping each layer directly in the middle on top of the layer underneath. Divide the batter evenly between all the cake pans.
- Bake for the time specified on the cake mix box (Usually around 25 minutes). When a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with just a few crumbs, the cake is done.
- Allow the cakes to cool in their pans for about fifteen minutes. Then turn out onto a wire rack and peel off the parchment paper. All the cakes to cool completely at room temperature.
- When cake layers have completely cooled, use a large serrated knife to slice off the domed portion of each layer.
- Stack the layers on top of each other, separating each layer with a generous topping of whipped cream, spread to the edges.
- When all the layers have been stacked, cover the sides and top of the cake with whipped cream. Decorate with sprinkles or chocolate as desired.
Be sure to scroll up and read the post for step-by-step pictures and helpful tips!