A couple posts ago, I shared about my first bundt cake experience. While I was still high on fumes from successfully extracting it from the pan without marring it, I saw something that took my breath away – the zebra bundt cake.
Apparently, zebra cakes had been all the rage or something a while back, but this was the first time I had seen anything like it. I had to make it. It was beautiful. I didn’t care that there was a good chance mine would come out lumpy, misshapen, marbled instead of zebra-lined compared to the elegant, beautiful, exotic pictures I had seen.
I had to try.
Visions of zebra bundts haunted me as I lived through a haze of teaching, prepping, and grading.
I couldn’t shake it.
After living in this tortured manner for several weeks, I finally found an excuse to make it. Before doing so though, I wanted to make sure the experience of eating it would be just as good as that of looking (hopefully) at it. According to Baker’s Royale, while the cake had visual oomph, it lacked in the flavor and moisture department. After scouring the internet and poring over tips ranging from increasing sugar content to adding milk to adding extra eggs, I settled on adding sour cream.
It kind of reminded me of Sara Lee pound cake (at least the way I remember it from the last time I had it, ~15 years ago). The flavor of the cake itself was good enough that I could have actually done without the chocolate ganache. I know. Whaat. In fact, I think the ganache actually overpowered the cake (Did I really just say that?).
I guess I did kind of load it on though, huh?
I would suggest a light drizzle if you must…and then eating the rest of the ganache separately :) Another option if leaving out the ganache is to dust with powdered sugar. Just don’t try sifting it through the tines of a fork like I did (A fine mesh strainer, or even a foil-covered cup with fine holes poked into the foil works a whole lot better).
CHOCOLATE ZEBRA BUNDT
Adapted from Bakers Royale
Makes one 10-inch bundt cake
- 3 cups cake flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2¼ c. granulated sugar, divided
- ½ c. natural (not Dutch-processed) cocoa powder
- 6 Tbsp water
- pinch of salt
- 1½ c. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1½ tsp vanilla extract
- 5 large eggs
- 2/3 c. whole milk (or heavy cream)
- ½ c. sour cream
Chocolate Ganache Ingredients
- 6 oz. bittersweet chocolate
- ⅔ c. heavy cream
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
- Sift flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl; set aside.
- In a separate medium-sized bowl, add ½ c. sugar, the cocoa powder, salt and water. Whisk until mixture is smooth; set aside.
- Place melted butter and rest of sugar in a stand mixer bowl. Beat on medium high with paddle attachment, until mixture is blended.
- Add vanilla and beat until combined.
- Add and beat eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Once eggs are all added, beat mixture until it becomes light and fluffy (it will resemble pancake batter, but slightly thinner).
- Turn mixer speed down to low, and add the flour in three additions, alternating with milk in two additions and mixing until just blended.
- Mix in the sour cream.
- Add 2 cups of the batter to the cocoa mixture and stir until blended.
- For this next step, Bakers Royale has really helpful visuals. Using an ice scream scoop, pour two scoops of vanilla mixture into pan. Now alternate and pour one scoop of chocolate mixture on top of vanilla mixture. Continue to alternate between vanilla and chocolate layers until bundt pan is full.
- Bake zebra cake for about 50-60 minutes.
- Combine chocolate and cream in a pan over low heat. Stir until the chocolate is melted.
- Set aside to cool for 10 minutes before using.
- Optional: Sprinkle cake with powdered sugar. (Do this right before serving, otherwise the sugar will dissolve.)
- Pour the glaze on top and let the glaze set for ~30 minutes.