Pastel Zebra Layer Cake ~ Nik Snacks

Bite it and write it. That's what I do.


On 8:00 AM by Nikki @ NikSnacks in , , , , , , , ,    3 comments

This post and recipe was created for #EasterSweetsWeek. I was sent samples by some of the sponsor companies but as always, the opinions and words I post here are mine.

I've always been intrigued by the zebra cake. The concentric designs of chocolate cake layered with vanilla cake has always mesmerized me. 

My mother's sister got married the summer I was between first and second grade. One of her wedding gifts was a checkerboard cake pan. If you followed the directions, your cake would look like a chess or checkerboard, with vanilla and chocolate cake squares baked right next to one another. The "enlarged to show detail" photos were amazing! 

I tried to read the directions order to use my mental spacial skills to figure out how it could be done. TRUE STORY: I  STILL don’t know how that cake pan worked, but I don't have to worry now, because I've got this sweet new square springform pan from Analon to help me out. Not only is it non-stick, I figured out that the base is perfect for taking the cake directly to the table without any flimsy pieces to get in the way of the cake eating.

I normally make my own cake from scratch (I really enjoy creaming butter, sugar and eggs) but because so much mixing is involved with adding the food coloring, box mix is a safe bet that the cake won't be too tough or rise too much.

This cake turned out more marble than zebra, partly because the chocolate cake batter was heavier than the vanilla cake batter, but I'm not complaining because it was still delicious and looked PRETTY.

I think this cake will go down in 2018 history and be added to the family dessert table for holidays to come.

Pastel Zebra Layer Cake

Serves 8-10

All measurements vary, according to the manufacturer's directions on each box of cake mix

1 vanilla or white box cake mix

1 chocolate or devil's food box cake mix
flour, for dusting
4-6 colors of food coloring

Tricks to make your box cake taste homemade:

Use salted melted butter in the place of vegetable oil for richer taste
Use sour cream or whole milk instead of water
Use 3-4 eggs instead of 2 for a richer taste
For chocolate cake, add a few tablespoons of strong brewed coffee or espresso powder to deepen the flavor.
Use 1-2 teaspoons of vanilla to accentuate the flavor of the cake


Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush 1 9-inch square cake pan with butter. Omit this step of using a non-stick pan.

Add your dry and wet ingredients into an electric mixer to make the vanilla box cake mix. Repeat for chocolate box cake mix.  Transfer batters to separate mixing bowls. Follow the instructions on the back of the box. Make both batches at the same time.

Place half of the vanilla batter into a large bowl. Distribute the rest of the batter into five small bowls. Put slightly more batter in 3 of the bowls, and slightly less in the remaining. For the 1 bowls with slightly more batter, leave it plain. Pick your choice of colors: red for pink, yellow and red for orange; green and blue for teal, and red and blue for purple.

Place black food coloring into the bowl with the chocolate cake batter to achieve an authentic zebra pattern, if desired, but it's not necessary.

Dollop a large spoonful of chocolate batter into the center of the springform pan. Keep the shape of the batter as circular as possible.Then, dollop half of the plain vanilla batter directly over the chocolate circle in the pan.

Occasionally tap pan firmly on your work surface to ensure even distribution, until all batter is used (batters should appear as concentric rings).

Dollop your choice of color directly over the vanilla batter circle in the pan. Add a dollop of an additional color. Repeat the previous two steps with yellow, green, blue and pink into the pan. Place one last chocolate dollop in the center of the batters.

Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until cake is puffed slightly and a tester inserted into centers comes out clean, 35 to 45 minutes. Let cool completely before opening the springform. Turn cake out or let sit on the cake pan base in order to decorate with flat icing.

Check out the amazing #EasterSweetsWeek recipes from our bloggers today!

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Welcome to this year's #EasterSweetWeek event hosted by Angie from Big Bear’s Wife. We’re so glad that you’ve joined us for this week long event of Springtime and Easter dessert recipes! We're sharing tons of treats this week plus a few fantastic giveaways! You’re going to love what we have in store for you.
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This year we have are 28 fantastic bloggers participating in this year’s Easter dessert event! Throughout the week we’ll be share tons of great Springtime and Easter themed dessert recipes with you. With over 75 sweet dessert recipes being shared this week we just know that you’re going to want to save some of these recipes to make again and again! We even hope that some of these recipes end up in your Easter recipe keepsake collection! Plus, don’t forget that we have 5 (five) great giveaways for you this week thanks to our amazing sponsors!
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Prize #1 — Dixie Crystals is giving away one (1) Instant Pot (8 Qt) to one lucky winner!


Prize #2 — Adam’s Extract is giving one (1) winner 5 different extracts including a bottle of Pure vanilla and a color pack.


Prize #3 — Rainier Fruit is giving one (1) winner a box of Apples and some wonderful Apple themed goodies from Sur La Table


Prize #4 — Anolon is giving one (1) winner a Anolon® Vesta™ 9-Inch Square Baker in Cobalt Blue


Prize #5 — Microplane is giving one (1) winner a Twist & Zest, grip & strip and a classic zester/grater

Giveaway open to US Residents 18 years or older.. All entries will be verified. No PO Boxes Please. Prizes will be sent directly from sponsors to winners, bloggers are not responsible for prizes. This giveaway runs from Marh 26th - April 1st at 12AMEST. Winners will be selected soon afterwards and contacted by e-mail. Winners will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. There are a total of 5 (five) prizes and therefore we will have a total of 5 (five) winners. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law.

Disclaimer: These posts and recipes are part of the week long event, #EasterSweetsWeek but all opinions are 100% mine! We would like Thank our amazing sponsors: Dixie Crystals, Adam’s Extract, Rainier Fruit, Anolon and Microplane! These wonderful sponsors provided the prize packs for our giveaways and also sent samples and products to the #EasterSweetsWeek bloggers to use in their recipes.


  1. I definitely enjoy using boxes mixes to doctor up into something fun like this cake!

  2. Alright, I need you and this cake in my life!!


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