Saturday, July 14, 2007

Zebra Cake

Today, we had some friends over to celebrate my wife's 40th. So, I wanted to do something a little bit special when it came to the cake. I kinda got the idea from one of the teams in the Eagle Mountain cookoff. But I ran with it in a different direction.

It's called "Zebra Cake", for reasons which will be obvious when you look at the pictures.

There really isn't a "recipe" per se, since I used boxed cake mixes. It's really just a set of instructions. If you really want to go from scratch (and I'm going to try this someday), you could do that instead.

Zebra Cake

2x 12" Dutch Ovens (I actually had to borrow one, since my two deep 12" dutch ovens are currently out on loan).

8-9 coals below each oven
15-16 coals above each oven

Begin by lighting up the coals and letting them start, then mixing up a bowl of chocolate cake mix according to its directions. After that, mix up a bowl of white cake mix according to its directions.

Give your two dutch ovens a good blasting of PAM or some other good coating of oil, maybe some flour. I just used PAM. Using a soup ladle, I put in alternating stripes of chocolate mix and white mix until I had used all of the batter and divided it pretty evenly between the two dutch ovens. Then, I took a wooden spoon and gently swirled the two batters together in each oven. NOT mixing, but just a little bit of swirling.

I took both dutch ovens out and set them on the coals, as I set out above. They both only cooked about 35 minutes until I was able to do the toothpick test with each one. I pulled them off the coals and brought them inside.

While they were cooling, I took a sheet of foamcore board and cut two circles (a little more than 10" diameter). I put one of the circles directly onto the cake in one of the dutch ovens, and then carefully flipped the oven over, while holding onto the foamcore circle. I tapped the oven lightly on the countertop until I could feel the weight of the cake on the circle, then lifted the oven off. the cake was neatly perched on the circle, completely and smoothly removed from the dutch oven.

This was all last night. I wasn't sure how to handle them at this point, but my wonderful wife clued me in. I wrapped them in aluminum foil and put them in our big freezer.

The next morning, I got them out, and opened up a tub of white vanilla frosting, and dark chocolate frosting. I laid down some stripes on the top of one cake, then set the other cake right on top of it (without the foamcore, of course). Then I laid some stripes in frosting all over the now layered cake. When I do this next time, I'll do all the white frosting first. I did the chocolate first this time, and the frosting knife tended to pick up the chocolate and "brown up" the white frosting.

Finally, I broke open bags of white chocolate and regular milk chocolate chips and meticulously hand placed the chips on the stripes on the top of the cake.

It was quite a hit at the party. I often got that reaction I'm looking for, you know, that "You did that in a dutch oven?" Really, though, it's much simpler than it looks. You mix the mixes, bake the cake, and then stack it and decorate it. Here in this final picture, you can see the marbling in the cake itself.

Really, sometimes it's in the cooking, and sometimes it's in the presentation.


  1. I love it-

    So sorry to have missed your party- I really wanted to attend.

  2. I am happy to find this post very useful for me, as it contains lot of information.



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