Last week was Claire’s birthday, so S. and I hopped on the 401 and headed to Ottawa for the party. Claire had requested this cake and to ensure freshness I decided to make it on Saturday morning. I was to bring cupcakes too, so I got up early to get my bake on. Things were going well and I was on track with the cake in the oven by ten. As I was getting ready to work on the cupcakes, I looked at the counter thought it was odd that the sugar wasn’t out. And then it hit me, it wasn’t out because I hadn’t actually put any sugar in the cake. Ugg.
After an emergency trip to the grocery store, I set about to making it for the second time. Needless to say, my whole day was set off schedule and I was a bit late for the party. Fortunately, I came bearing baked goods. Butter and sugar heal most wounds.
The cake was amazing. I highly recommend it. My only beef was the icing. I think it had too much butter in it. Next time I would do more cream cheese and less butter (I know, hard to believe that I just wrote less butter!)
Mile High Zebra Cake (Two Dishes: Mother and Daughter: Two Cooks,Two Lifestyles, Two Takes)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups dutch process cocoa powder (Caroline and my mum used Frys)
2 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt (they used regular)
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 1/4 cups warm water
2/3 cup vegetable oil
Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz cream cheese, at room temp
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
Pinch of kosher salt
Seeds of 1/2 vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups confectioners (icing) sugar, sifted
Preheat oven to 350.
Butter three 9 inch round cake pans. Place a round parchment paper in the bottom of each pan and butter again.
For the cake, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Add the sugar and whisk together.
In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, buttermilk, warm water and oil with a mixer on low until combined.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix on low for 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl partway through mixing. Divide the batter evenly among the cake pans.
Bake the cakes for about 35 minutes, or until the cake tester comes out clean. If you cannot fit all the pans on the same oven rack, rotate the pans halfway through baking.
Let the cakes cool in the pans for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pans and remove the cakes to cool completely on a wire rack.
For the frosting, combine the cream cheese, butter, salt and vanilla seeds in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on high for about 3 minutes, or until light and creamy.
Add the confectioners’ sugar in two batches (so as not to make a mess of your kitchen with flying white powder). Beat for 2 minutes to aerate.
Once the cakes are completely cool, cut off the slightly domed centre of the cakes with a serrated knife to make the tops completely level. Frost the cakes with a thick layer of frosting between each later. (Don’t frost the outside of the cake, just between the layers and the top. The icing will softly ooze from between layers of the cake, creating alternating black and white layers).
Caroline (obvious, I think)
PS Claire really digs Delica Kitchen, the restaurant owned by one of the cookbook authors (they are a mom and daughter combo). If you are in the T-dot looking for some good eats, try a Claire recommendation