July 12, 2009

Eggless Orange And Chocolate Zebra Cake

The zebra cake needs no introduction to most food bloggers. It's one of those cakes that scores pretty high on what my daughter calls the "wow" factor but requires no frosting/ icing or any such form of decoration. The cake itself provides all the glamour.

I first saw the zebra cake on Farida's Azerbaijani Cookbook. In fact, I discovered Farida's blog soon after that particular post. This is probably the cake I have made the most number of times since, and the last few times I have made it without eggs too.
So it would only be fair to blog about this cake which has always got rave reviews for its appearance and taste.

I made this particular orange and chocolate version for my daughter's birthday and covered it with chocolate ganache. It was a good thing I took the pictures of the cake before Akshaya's friends arrived, or else I would have had only cake crumbs to show you all.

Farida's recipe makes a great cake as most of my daughter's and my friends would be happy to tell you. However, if you have problems with an "eggy" smell/ taste (I do, and my daughter has an extra sensitive nose for "egginess"), then you would probably be thrilled to have your cake and eat it too but without eggs.

Substituting 4 eggs successfully is a tall order and egg replacer isn't something that's available here. Even if it was, I'm not sure egg replacer would work well to replace 4 eggs.
Then I came across a Vegan Zebra Cake at Caffeine Heartbeats. She uses a vinegar cake recipe, which is something I've made before so I knew this one ought to work.

So I adapted her recipe a bit and it's no longer vegan. So now you have the option of a zebra cake with eggs, a vegan zebra cake or this eggless vegetarian cake! I have made all three versions, and personally this one is my favourite. This particular cake is also very easy to make because the ingredients are just mixed up together with a spoon.
If you would prefer a plain vanilla and chocolate zebra cake, just use milk in place of the orange juice and vanilla extract instead of the orange essence.


For the orange batter:

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2/3 cup sugar

2/3 cup unsweetened orange juice

1/2 tsp orange essence

1 tsp vinegar

4 tbsp oil

For the chocolate batter:

1 cup all purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 tbsp dark cocoa powder (otherwise the stripes will not show up well)

2/3 cup sugar

2/3 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla essence

3 tsp vinegar

4 tbsp oil


Take two separate bowls. In one put all the ingredients for the orange batter and mix well with a wooden spoon. You don't have to beat the batter.
In the other bowl, do the same with all the ingredients for the chocolate batter.

Butter and flour an 8" cake tin. Starting with the chocolate batter, slowly pour a ladleful of batter right in the middle of the cake tin. Do not spread the batter. It will slowly spread out on its own eventually.

Now slowly pour a ladleful of the orange batter in the centre of the chocolate batter. Again, do not attempt to spread the batter. Next pour a ladleful of chocolate batter in the centre of the orange batter.

Keep alternately pouring the batters in a similar fashion till the batters are used up. For a detailed step-by-step explanation of this procedure, please refer to Farida's post.

Getting the layers right needs a steady hand and a little bit of practice. If your layers don't come out right, just run a knife/ skewer through the batter randomly and you will have a marbled cake. So you see, you really can't lose with this cake!

Slowly, without disturbing it, place the cake tin in the oven and bake at 190C for 45 minutes to an hour till a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
Cool for 10 minutes in the tin. Remove from the tin and cool on a rack.

Cover with chocolate ganache if you prefer. This cake really doesn't require anything else and is perfect as it is.


Sunshinemom said...

Scrumptious! Thanks for all those links. When I read the title 'Farida' flashed in my mind:)

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

I lovee this cake! I'd seen this on Farida's blog long ago, and was blown away by how good it looked! Your variation looks great :D

Ivy said...

The cake looks lovely Aparna. I made Farida's recipe several months back but haven't posted it yet. Great idea to add chocolate on top.

A2Z Vegetarian Cuisine said...

Nice delicious one. Looks lovely.

aquadaze said...

yeah even i've made farida's cake often can't wait to try your eggless version!!

Ashwini said...

That looks so delicious. Will try this eggless version.

Ria said...


Divya Kudua said...

Eggless cakes always catches my attention and this ones quite a feat..:).I have made the original version sometime back.Can we use orange juice out of cartons or maybe Minute maid? Would surely give this a try..:)

Nags said...

i havent even tried the original version yet n you tempt me with variations?? unfair!

Suparna said...

The cake looks gorgeous!!! both the versions are worth trying!! I made the 'egg version' sometime back, the eggless version too seems very promising.
Happy week ahead!!

Home Cooked Oriya Food said...

Lovely cake and so many options - wow!

roma said...

Looks really perfect! I've bookmarked this recipe. Thanks for sharing.

Priya Narasimhan said...

I am so happy to see the eggless version of this very popular cake. Now I will definitel bake this cake. Thanks for sharing Aparna..

jayasree said...

The layers have come out well. Shall try ur version too. I got thin layers probably becoz i used a tablespoon to scoop the batter.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Hehe you learn something new every day! I hadn't heard of this Zebra cake before. But I'm earmarking it for an African themed party! ;)

Curry Leaf said...

May I come over Aparna.Looks scrumptious.

Hari Chandana said...

looks soo delicious and soft... lovely presentation... :)

Sumi said...

quite a lot of effort and research into it, but the cake looks like its worth all that.
A must try recipe.

Jacqueline said...

It looks wonderful!

Barbara said...

This cake looks beautiful, Aparna, plus I just bought some orange oil. Is that the same as orange essence? Can't wait to give this recipe a try, without the eggs.

Aparna said...

Harini, the word "zebra cake" has very strong association with Farida for me too. :)

Thanks for all your comments.

Divya, I used unsweetened orange juice from a carton. You could use fresh orange juice too, if its available.

Now you have no excuses, Nags. This version just mixes up in a couple of bowls! :)

Yes, Jayasree. Using a tablespoon gives you very thin layers which looks good too. I used a ladle here (what we call "aappey" - a smaller one).

I thought everyone knew about the zebra cake. Happy to have introduced you to this one, Lorraine.

You're most welcome, Sweatha. Just say when.

Barbara, what we refer to as "essence" is the same thing as "extract". I believe orange extract is orange oil diluted with alcohol.
Your orange oil should be much stronger. You can use that (I think), but in a smaller amount.
I used The "essence" here just to make the orange flavour a little more noticeable, that's all.

Bergamot said...

Looks fabulous, the layers have come out well. Orange and chocolate is my fav combination. I had seen this zebra cake earlier too and it is on my list of must try cakes.

Madhuram said...

That's such an easy recipe to bake such an extraordinary cake. Thank you so much for sharing this with us Aparna.

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kitchen queen said...

Hi ur cake recipes are wonderful, mouth watering and tongue tickling keep it up. I shall try out all of them. In the meanwhile u can visit my blog if u wish to and view my recipesand pass ur comments.

kitchen queen said...

Hi ur cake recipes are wonderful, mouth watering and tongue tickling keep it up. I shall try out all of them. In the meanwhile u can visit my blog if u wish to and view my recipesand pass ur comments.

kitchen queen said...

Hi ur cake recipes are wonderful, mouth watering and tongue tickling keep it up. I shall try out all of them. In the meanwhile u can visit my blog if u wish to and view my recipesand pass ur comments.

priyanka said...

Hi Aparna, I am very much tempted to bake this cake, as i don't eat eggs.
though i have few questions:
1) You said, i don't need to beat it. will it come out fluffy then without beating?
2) i want to make vanilla and chocolate zebra cake. what do i do for that?
3)which vinegar should i use? is white vinegar fine to use?

your response will be very much appreciated and awaited.

Aparna said...


1. You really do not need to beat the ingredients together. I didn't and still got a fluffy cake. In fact, beating might work against the cake.

2. Just follow the directions for the chocolate batter. For the vanilla batter, follow the instructions for the "orange" batter, but use 2/3 cup milk instead of orange juice and 1 tsp vanilla extract instead of the orange extract.

3. Yes, white vinegar is fine. That's what I used.

priyanka said...

thanks a lot aparna, i will surely try this.

farida said...

So glad you made a zebra cake:)) Yours looks very good! thank you for linking to me too.

Anushruti said...

I made this cake yesterday and it was great! I'm a huge big fan of eggless cakes and this one is going to be a keeper. Thank you for posting this wonderful recipe and introducing me to the visual delights of a "Zebra Cake".