Crouching Tiger Hidden Zebra Cake

Just before Christmas it was my boyfriend’s birthday and after the amazing birthday cake he had made me the previous month I had a lot to compete with. So I had spent quite a long time trying to think of the ultimate cake to surprise him with for his birthday. To be honest my brain storm was failing until I was watching Lorraine Pascale’s show on BBC and I knew that was the cake that I just had to make! Here is the recipe that I used for my Crouching Tiger Hidden Zebra Cake;


  • 250ml of Sunflower Oil
  • 250g of Caster Sugar
  • 100ml of Semi-Skimmed Milk
  • 1tbsp of Vanilla Extract
  • 4 Eggs
  • 475g of Flour
  • 2tsp of Baking Powder
  • 2tsp of Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 50g of Cocoa
  • Zest of an Orange
  • 4tbsp of Orange Juice
  • 100g of Icing Sugar


Mixture dolloped to form Rings
Mixture dolloped to form Rings


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C
  2. In a large bowl mix the sunflower oil, caster sugar, semi-skimmed milk, vanilla extract, eggs and 175g of flour and stir until combined
  3. Once combined split the mixture into 2 separate bowls
  4. To one of the bowls add 175g of flour, 1tsp of baking powder and 1tsp of bicarbonate of soda
  5. Stir well and pour into a jug and set aside
  6. To the other bowl add 25g of the cocoa, the final 125g of flour, 1tsp of baking powder, 1tsp of bicarbonate of soda, 2tbsp of orange juice and the zest of half the orange
  7. Combine well to form the chocolate side and pour into another jug
  8. Firstly pour a dollop of the chocolate mix in the centre of a greased cake tin (I used a 26cm spring form tin)
  9. Then inside the chocolate mix pour a dollop of the vanilla mix to begin to form rings
  10. Repeat this process gradually adding dollops into the centre of the other to form rings in the cake tin until you use all of the mix – this is time consuming but the effect is worth it
  11. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes
  12. Allow to cool thoroughly before preparing the frosting
  13. Once cool, place icing sugar, 25g of cocoa, 2tbsp of orange juice and the zest of half an orange in a bowl and mix together thoroughly until smooth
  14. Then using a palette knife or an icing bag cover the cake with the frosting
  15. Allow to set then serve
Frosted Cake with its pattern hidden within
Frosted Cake with its pattern hidden within

The wow factor of this Crouching Tiger Hidden Zebra Cake when we cut into it was amazing and I could not have been more pleased with how it looked and it bemused the boyfriend so desired affect was achieved!

Crouching Tiger Hidden Zebra Cake
Crouching Tiger Hidden Zebra Cake

It was a big cake too so it was great for a party of people and is definitely a discussion point. However, the only downside to this cake was that in fact the sponge was very dry, the original recipe was not frosted but for my cake it would have been far to dry without the frosting. The frosting was also to die for delicious and reminded me of Terry’s Chocolate Oranges!

Have you made this cake before? I would love to hear your feedback on the final outcome or what you think I could do from preventing it from being dry next time.


8 Comments Add yours

  1. Minifig Fun says:

    What a beautiful cake! I will have to make this some time

    1. I think the look of this cake was definitely the best bit! If you do let me know what you think of the sponge itself 🙂

  2. What a great idea! Loving that zebra pattern. May try this one out soon.

    In terms of dryness, cut down on the flour and add more of the liquid ingredients. I generally like to leave out the oil all together and use either apple sauce or yogurt (neither affect the overall taste of the cake). That way I can use more of it and not worry about calories as much either 😉

    1. The pattern was great, especially if you don’t tell anyone before it is cut into!

      Thanks for the advice, I always use butter/buttermilk not oil so just stuck to the recipe, but maybe next time I stick to a recipe I am more familiar with.

  3. Espirational says:

    Love the zebra stripes in the cake!

    1. I was so pleases when we cut into it! Love the idea of the stripes, might try it with food colouring!

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