Bek’s Birthday / Zebra Print Cake

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Zebra Print Cake

This was a cake I made for my friend Bek.

She is a single, fun, sassy girl and I told her I would make her a fun single tier cake to cut for dessert at her birthday lunch. Animal print and hot pink was the answer!

Baking the Cake

I started with a tall 20cm (8″) vanilla buttercake using 2 cake batters. To add to the surprise I added some Wilton Rose coloring to make the inside cake hot pink. Once it cooled I covered it in my buttercream icing recipe and covered the whole cake in smooth white fondant.

Creating the Zebra Pattern

The next part was when the fun began. I had seen this technique on YouTube and everyone seems to have different ideas on how they like it to look.  Zebra stripes are just black ‘ready to roll’ fondant cut in creatively abstract stripes.

The trick is to use a pizza cutter. It’s really simple.

Just roll out the fondant so it’s quite thin and use your pizza cutter wheel to cut strips that have some curves. The wheel will naturally weave side to side if you are not aiming in a straight line so just let it flow and create the strips. Some people like really thin ones, some like wide – it’s completely up to you. The only tip is just don’t make them to uniform or strategically placed. Each stripe should be unique just like a real zebra in nature!

I adhered stripes to the white with a pastry brush or my finger for smaller pieces and a tiny amount of water placing them in random order. I tired to keep some coming down from the top centre of the cake and some working upwards from the base of the cake.

Finishing the look…

I wasn’t too worried about the messy finish on the top of the cake. I planned to cover that up with some other decorations. To seal and finish the bottom edge of the cake to the cake board I rolled balls of hot pink fondant (Wilton Rose) and glued them on with sugar glue. Water will also work just fine. For tips on how to roll even balls, check my FREE e-book.

On the top of the cake I needed to hide all the workings of the zebra stripes ends. If I had been more experienced and planned, I could have made the stripes neat and continuous over the top of the cake but as this was my first time of trying this technique I wasn’t that planned! I simply cut a circle with a round cutter of white fondant and surrounded the edge with the same hot pink balls as the base of the cake.

how-to-make-a-zebra-print-cake

Topping the Cake

Prior to the actual cake covering and decorating, I had made several 3D decorations to pop from the top of the cake. I made a “25” simply by rolling a snake of fondant then shaping it and squeezing it in the bends then allowing it to dry flat. To speed up this process, you can use CMC powder or Tylose powder but if you have the time to allow it to dry you don’t need to add these things…

I also made some stars using a cookie cutter, in black, white and the same hot pink as the balls. They were put on thin wires and the wires were twisted around a pencil to create the spring / coil effect.

A little tip I had found about inserting these wires into the cake was also helpful for me. I inserted a couple of drinking straws into the top of the cake where I wanted the stars to spring out from. I then cut them to the level height of the cake and inserted the wires into them.

Why?

  1. This prevents the wires from tearing into the fondant when they move. Especially if they are bouncing under the weight of the decorations while in transit;
  2. it stops the wire leaching from the cake creating a stain that travels up and out of the cake;
  3. it ensures the wires stick straight up and not come out on an angle; and it allows you to bunch the decorations in clusters by having multiple wires exploding from the same point.

The cake was a hit and my friend Bek loved it!

Image of Christine Martin, Author of Cake Decorating Queen

Hi, I'm Christine!

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