Zebra cakes: Secret centres

The finished chocolate zebra cake

The finished chocolate zebra cake - Credit: Archant

Why make a plain cake when you can create one with a tasty hidden centre? Cookie Kingdom’s LAUREN CLAPP shows us how you can earn your stripes

Layering the mix

Layering the mix - Credit: Archant

This years Big Cake Show highlighted many exciting new baking trends. From cake pops to daring new flavours, the exhibiting bakers pulled out all the stops to show visitors that now is a great time to get into baking. But one trend stood out for us more than the others: the hidden centre.

Lauren pipes the mixture into the cake cases

Lauren pipes the mixture into the cake cases - Credit: Archant

Hearts, stars or simple dollops of chocolate or jam - anything goes with a hidden centre.

The key is to create a bake that looks normal from the outside, but when you bite into it the inside is a surprise.

Our favourite is the zebra stripe trend, which can be used to create a cake with two flavours or simply to add a bit of colour to your bake. It’s simple yet effective, making it a great first venture into hidden centres, or peekaboo cakes as they’re sometimes called.

Cookie Kingdom, which was set up in Sidmouth by Lauren Clapp in 2013, specialises in delicious cupcakes (and cookies) and showed us the easy method to create the perfect chocolate striped zebra cupcake.

Zebra cupcakes

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8oz butter

8oz caster sugar

8oz self-raising flour

4 medium eggs

3 tsp cocoa powder


300g icing sugar

250g butter

2tbsp milk

3 tsp cocoa powder


1. Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees (100 degrees for fan ovens), gas mark

2. Mix the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. You can do this by hand or in a mixer.

3. Add the self-raising flour and eggs and mix well.

4. Take out just over half the mixture. You can either put this into a bowl or, for Lauren’s method, into a piping bag.

5. Add cocoa powder to the rest of the mixture and stir well until mixture is chocolate brown in colour.

6. Put the chocolate mix into a piping bag if you are using this method.

7. Pipe mix into cupcake cases in layers. Begin with a layer of the plain mix, then pipe a layer of chocolate before another layer of the plain mix. Repeat until cases are three-quarters full.

8. Place into the oven and allow to bake for 20-25 minutes.

9. Wait for the cupcakes to cool - decorating too soon will melt the icing and cause it to slip off the cake.

10. Mix the icing sugar and butter together.

11. Add the milk and cocoa powder and mix well.

12. Put icing into a piping bag and pipe around the cupcake.

13. Once the icing has set slightly, take a bite and marvel over your stripey bake. Delicious!

Why not give zebra cakes a try for yourself? You can even replace the chocolate with colours for a bright, fun cake - perfect for kids’ parties.


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