Zebra Cake

This is a variation on the rainbow cakes Mum use to make with dollops of coloured cake mixture which was swirled into each other for a pretty effect. Instead of dolloping the cake mixture into the bottom of the cake, the mix (which is slightly runnier) is carefully added to the pan, one scoop on top of the other.


  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups self-raising flour
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • Parisian essence (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to moderate heat (180C).
  2. spray or grease a 23cm (9") round cake pan. Line the bottom with a circle of baking paper and use strips of paper to line the sides of the pan. Spray or grease the paper.
  3. combine eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat on medium speed until the mixture is light and creamy. Add milk, oil, and vanilla extract and beat until well combined.
  4. reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour until just incorporated.
  5. divide batter equally into 2 separate bowls.
  6. add cocoa powder into one half and mix well. Add Parisian Essence until you have a dark chocolate colour. Leave the other half plain.
  7. pour 1/4 cup of plain batter into the middle of the cake pan. Allow the mixture to spread but don't tilt the pan to encourage it. Then slowly pour 1/4 cup of cocoa batter into the centre of the plain batter. Notice that the dark portion pushes the light portion outwards.
  8. Continue to alternate 1/4 cup portions of batter, pouring it in the centre right on top of the previous portion until you use up the batters.
  9. bake about 40 minutes, until golden or until a cake tester comes out clean.
  10. Cool the cake for 15 minutes in pan and then remove cake from pan to cool on a wire rack.
  11. dust with icing sugar or top with icing if you prefer.


You can divide the mixture into 3 equal portions to achieve three alternating coloured stripes. Dividing the mixture into 6 and colouring with gel rainbow colours makes a spectacular birthday cake.