Kids’ Favourite Zebra Cake aka Tiger Cake or Marble Cake

Zebra, marble or tiger cake as my girls like to call it used to be one of my favourites when I was a child. In fact it actually still is. It tastes great with coffee and tea without being overwhelmingly sweet or filling.

My mother would never make it, she used to make yeast cake with raisins for any occasion. Luckily zebra cakes were often available during home parties and family gatherings. I always admired beautiful stripy pattern but never knew how it was done until I tried to recreate this Polish recipe for my own children.

This isn’t our first or even second attempt but for some reason we were always forgetting to photograph it… probably because we were not sure if the result will be good enough.

Couple of years ago we made marble cupcakes for younger daughter’s birthday.

Polish zebra cake recipe


  • 3 cups plain flour (sifted)
  • 1 bar (250 g) unsalted butter (melted)
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup milk
  • 3 cups golden caster sugar
  • 10 eggs (egg whites separated)
  • 2 tbs vanilla extract
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 5 tbs cocoa powder

stripy cake recipe


  • two 9” (22,8 cm) round non stick cake tins with removable trays (lined with baking paper)
  • wooden skewer
  • whisk
  • two large, best same size mixing bowls
  • one smaller mixing bowl
  • sieve to sift the flour

how to make zebra cake tiger cake marble cake

zebra cake tutorial


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (356°F).
  2. Line baking tins with paper and brush with some of the butter.
  3. In one bowl beat the egg whites until stiff and leave aside.
  4. In second bowl place dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, sugar. Do not add cocoa powder yet.
  5. In small mixing bowl mix butter, oil, egg yolks, milk and vanilla extract.
  6. Add them gradually to the bowl with dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
  7. Add also previously whisked egg whites.
  8. Move half of the dough into another bowl (same size) to combine with cocoa powder.
  9. Leave the remaining half uncoloured.
  10. Pour some of the yellow cake batter into middle of each tin, then top with brown batter making sure it is more or less the same amount and it’s poured into the middle. Repeat those steps until no more batter is left.
  11. Bake for about 60 minutes. Check with the skewer if the middle of the cake is ready.
  12. Remove from the oven.
  13. Let them cool down completely before sharing.

Makes 2 large cakes / 20 – 24 servings.


Use smaller portions of batter for more stripes. Above we made 6 layers but about 10 would look better… pictured below tin filled with batter is from some other time when we were making the same cake and then forgot to take photos of the final result before it was all gone.

how to make stripy cake

This cake stores quite well, especially when wrapped in cling film to prevent drying out, but it hardly ever get a chance to survive more than 24 hours in our house.


More Polish recipes.

If you are after simple cakes to be served with tea (or coffee) take a look at Kellie’s Three-Ginger Bonfire Night Parkin (Sticky Gingerbread) with Vanilla-Apple Compote or Carrot and Marmalade Cake, Ceri’s Bara Brith, a Welsh Fruit Tea Loaf {gluten free},  Choclette’s Lime, Coconut and Cardamom Loaf Cake, our Very Fluffy Pecan & Vanilla Coffee Cake or Easy Peasy Swirled Nutella Cake.

I’m adding this to the Inheritance Recipes link-up that we co-host together with Solange of Pebble SoupSeptember Inheritance Recipes is hosted by us, please come and join us, share your inherited recipes!

traditional Polish recipes passed from generation to generation

Your thoughts…

  1. This is great Margot. I had no idea how zebra cakes were made, though I think I’m with your kids and like “tiger cake”. I’m a big fan of marble cakes, but this is a neater version. This post is also a good reminder of Inheritance recipes, thank you.

  2. Thank you Cocolette! We are looking forwarding seeing your Inheritance Recipe :)

  3. I make a mean one too but it’s not as regular as yours. Thank you so much for sharing with Inheritance Recipes

  4. Solange, we made it couple of times before and it is usually not that even… we were lucky.

  5. I’ve never tried to make a marble cake – it looks fun!

  6. Thanks Ceri :) It is fun, my girls love making it.

  7. What a beautiful cake! I have tried a similar recipe before but can never get the layers to be even. PS. Love your table cloth, so summery :-)

  8. Pebble Soup says:

    I have got one on the blog. I was so surprised when I first (and last ) made it. It seemed so easy but was nowhere near as marbled as yours. Thanks for linking to Inheritance Recipes

  9. I need to take a look at yours. I did not think the pattern was really even but now when you mention it, yes, I guess it’s not bad. I need to try more thinner layers next time for more stripes ;)

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