Saturday, November 19, 2016

Zebra Cake, Using Two Half Boxes of Mix



Last month, I wrote up "Zebra Cake, Using Marble Cake Mix", which differs from this zebra cake only slightly. While the marble cake method has the convenience of using one box of cake mix (marble), the two-half-box method provides flexibility in varying flavors and brands. Try different varieties of chocolate (fudgy, devil's food, …) and lighter color cake (white, yellow, vanilla).
My pixstrip shows the following image areas:
  1. ingredients
  2. equipment
  3. preparing pans (spray oil with parchment paper)
  4. separate bowls for chocolate and white cake mixes
  5. mixing of wet ingredients
  6. mixing of white cake batter
  7. mixing of chocolate cake batter
  8. start of dispensing of batters into the pans, alternating colors
  9. batters in pans, kitchen scale
  10. baked cakes
  11. parchment paper removal
  12. frosted cake with slice showing zebra effect
Ingredients
  • 1/2 box chocolatey cake mix (I used Duncan Hines Devil's Food.)
  • 1/2 box lighter color cake mix (I used Duncan Hines Classic White.)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 egg whites
  • 3/8 C cooking oil
  • 1 1/8 C water
  • spray oil
  • frosting of your choice (I used mocha frosting. Scroll down for EZ instructions.)
Implements
  • electric mixer
  • 3 mixing bowls, 1 for mixing wet ingredients, the other two for mixing the batters
  • 2 round cake pans
  • cooling rack(s)
  • measuring cups
  • rubber spatula(s)
  • 2 1/4-cup measuring cups for dispensing different color batters
  • measuring cup or pitcher that holds more than two cups
Additional (straggler) items
  • parchment paper as desired
  • knife for spreading frosting
  • cake plate
Instructions (Have the cake mix box handy! And watch the YouTube video for more details.)
  1. Prepare baking pans. (I used parchment paper and cooking spray.)
  2. Pour the cake powders into separate bowls.
  3. In the third mixing bowl, mix the wet ingredients together, then measure. (Mine measured about 2 cups.)
  4. Pour half of the liquid into the lighter color cake powder, then mix (about 30 seconds on low, then 2 minutes on medium).
  5. Preheat the oven (350°).
  6. Pour the other half of the liquid into the chocolatey cake powder, then mix (about 30 seconds on low, then 2 minutes on medium).
  7. Use the two 1/4 C measuring cups to alternate pouring light and dark batters into the two pans. (Afterward, if desired, weigh the two filled pans to confirm the amounts are close to equal. Adjust as desired.)
  8. Bake for about 24 minutes. YMMV
  9. Test cake(s) for doneness with toothpick.
  10. Remove the pans of cake and place on cooling rack(s) for about 15 minutes for cooling.
  11. Decorate as fancy as you wish. Conventional, not-too-fussy decorating is as follows:
    1. Place one layer upside down on a plate and decorate the exposed side
    2. Place the other layer right side up on the first layer.
    3. Frost the sides.
    4. Frost the top.
Mocha frosting:
o 1/2 can white frosting
o 1/2 can choco frosting
o 2 tsp instant coffee dissolved in 1 tsp just-boiled water or just-brewed coffee

If necessary, microwave the frostings a few seconds for stirrability, then stir all ingredients together.
Post-recipe Thoughts
This two-half-box method for zebra cake yielded only slightly less batter than the marble-cake method, but final cakes looked and tasted similar. (I'm not a pro.) For the marble-cake method, the wet ingredients were 3 eggs, 1 cup water, and 1/3 cup oil; baking time was two minutes shorter. Anyway, for future zebra cakes, I need to improve my aim in pouring batters in concentric circles.

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