Sunday, 13 April 2014

Crouching Tiger Hidden Zebra Cake

I have had an amazing weekend, kicking it all off with a wonderful wedding on Friday and just baking, relaxing and reading all day yesterday and today. Sometimes the ultimate weekend can be having free time to get to do the things you have been dreaming about all week whilst in work. Yesterday I got a request for a very specific type of birthday cake. I had never heard of it before but always up for the challenge, scoured the internet and found the famous 'Crouching Tiger Hidden Zebra Cake'. This recipe is originally a Lorraine Pascale recipe, and after reading and researching last night was eager to get up this morning and give it a whirl (pun very much intended). The cake itself is an orange and chocolate flavoured cake, and boasts a fantastic zebra print core which is really striking. I had fun making it, and was really surprised at how a simple method could yield such beautiful results.

Crouching Tiger Hidden Zebra Cake

250ml sunflower oil
250g caster sugar
100ml semi-skimmed milk
4 medium eggs (at room temperature)
A few drops of vanilla extract
300g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
25g cocoa powder
Zest of 1 orange 
1. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Grease and line the base of a 23cm (9 inch) spring form tin.
2. Place the oil, sugar, milk, eggs and vanilla extract in a large bowl and beat together well.
    Separate the mixture into 2 bowls, placing 400ml of the mixture into a medium bowl.
3. Next, sift 175g of the self-raising flour into the medium bowl (that you placed 400g of the 
    mixture) along with 1/2 teaspoon of the  baking powder. Set aside. This is the plain vanilla 
4. Now, sift the remaining 125g of self-raising flour and 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder into the
    original bowl along with the cocoa powder. Add the zest of the orange to the bowl and mix
    everything together well and set aside. This is the chocolate mix.
5. For the zebra design, place a tablespoon of the vanilla mix in the middle of the tin. Then,
    using a clean tablespoon, put a blob of the chocolate mix in the middle of the vanilla one.
    Continue to do this, alternating between vanilla and chocolate, forming a ‘target board’ 
    appearance. Each time add a spoonful of mixture, the whole mix will spread out on the 
    base. Allow each tablespoon to expand a little after each addition to keep the pattern
    looking clean.
6. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes.
7. Insert a skewer into the centre of the cake - if it comes out clean, the cake is cooked. If not 
    return the cake to the oven for a further 5 minutes.
8. Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes in the tin, before 
    placing on a wire rack to cool completely.

E-D's Notes
  • This cake is really light and airy and packed with flavour, meaning it's perfect served with a cup of tea or coffee with no frosting needed.
  • When adding each additional spoonful of mixture, be careful not overload the spoon, allowing drop off as this will lead to an unclear pattern.


  1. It's beautiful, Emma. I'm really bad with swirls and marble cakes, but I've never actually googled how I should do it properly, now I will know. Thank you for your mini-photo tutorial.

    1. Yes Magda, delighted to report it's a lot easier than I thought it would be!!! And looks very dramatic! Thanks so much for the kind comments and for having a read.

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