It’s pink. It’s got black stripes. Here’s a clue: there’s a zebra standing on it! It’s a Pink Zebra Cake!
I recently got a commission to do a cake for a 60th birthday girl. The person who asked me to do the cake is an old friend of mine and she had specific ideas for the theme of the cake, as she did when her husband turned 60 a few years ago. For him, I made the Piano Man Cake.
For this Pink Zebra Cake, the zebra theme goes back to the time the birthday girl was a kid and her brother (the piano man) made up a rhyme that he used to tease her silly with. The rhyme had the phrase Debra the Zebra in it and just like the childhood red trousers on the piano man, the zebra had to be in on the fun! Besides that, Debra is also quite the girly girl and loves to paint and leads a rather fun and glitzy life. How to bring it all together? Not to worry, just another day at the office!
While we were chatting about the cake, I knew immediately what sort of cake I was going to make, the pink and the zebra stripes were a bit of a no brainer, it was the finishing touches that needed some planning and thinking. But luckily…
Some years ago, I’d made a triple tiered birthday cake for a 90 year old that incorporated her love of gardening and painting. So I fell back on the old miniature easel on a cake trick but this time got the help of the little artist in the house, my 12 year old. She drew the zebra on the easel for me because I cannot draw to save my life. Or so I claim! You’ll find a range of cakes that I’ve made over the years and remembered to photograph (!) on the Cake Decorating Page.
How to make the Pink Zebra Cake
Everything you need is on the Cake Decorating Page, you can either cover the cake with a Pink Buttercream Icing (as I did here) or Pink Fondant or Sugarpaste. Pink fondant will give a smoother finish but that’s a whole lot of sugarpaste to be eaten!
I suggest that you read the following pages, especially if you are new to cake decorating:
What you will need to make the Pink Zebra Cake
But this time, before filling the cake tin, we’ll be dividing the batter into 3 and colouring one pink and the other black. The darker and the more concentrated your black colouring the better.
We’ll be layering the batter into the cake tin, dropping a large spoonful into the middle; one, exactly on top of the other in this order: plain batter, black, pink. As you can see, it’s not an exact science, so don’t worry about overlaps.
We will colour this pink for inside and out. If you are covering the cake with pink fondant, then you’ll only need half the amount of buttercream, for the filling, and the crumb coat.
You’ll need 500g of this to cover an 8″/20cm cake. Unless you really, really love making everything at home, use a shop bought fondant/sugarpaste to make it easier on yourself!
A small amount, about half a cup, slightly warmed up so it’ll spread easily.
For the black stripes.
Props – optional
These are optional, the cake looks perfect unadorned, with just the stripes but you could customise accordingly. In this instance, I have a miniature easel, a sugarpaste zebra, a miniature sugarpaste artist palette and brush and a sugarpaste lady lounging with a drink in hand.
Black Cake Board
1 x Piping Bag
1 x Piping Nozzle – star or regular tube
- 1 x Madeira Cake
- 1 x pink Buttercream Icing
- 180g/6oz raspberry jam, no bits
- 250g/about 8oz black fondant/sugarpaste
- 1 9"/22cm black cake board
- Props as mentioned above
- Cut the cake in half and fill it up.
- Apply a layer of pink icing all over the cake as a crumb coat.
- Roll out the pink fondant/sugarpaste icing to about 4mm thick and cover the cake. Please read the page on how to do this, link above.
- After applying the crumb coat, leave in a cool place for the icing to crust, about 30 minutes. I like to place mine in the fridge for 15-20 minutes, especially on a warm day.
- Apply the second coat of pink buttercream icing.
- While waiting, roll out the black icing fairly thinly, and cut into stripes, as you can see in the picture. This can be done with a pizza cutter or a sharp knife.
- The stripes don't want to be too long, cut some fairly short, to fill in gaps between linger stripes, as you can see in the picture.
- If you've cut your stripes too long, you can easily just think and shorten them.
- Place the longer stripes on the cake, starting from the base of the cake and ending with the pointy ends in the middle.
- Fill in any gaps with shorter and thinner stripes.
- Finally, pipe pink buttercream icing all around the base of the cake. You can use any nozzle for this, creating any shape: beads, using just a regular nozzle, stars, rope, that's up to you.