Homemade Zebra Cakes

Homemade Zebra Cakes with vegan vanilla cake, fluffy cream filling, and classic chocolate stripes. A nostalgic sweet treat made healthier!

Homemade Zebra Cakes (vegan + gluten-free)

SPONSORED BY SUNBUTTER


Heads up! This post is going to be full of fluffy/creamy/sweet layers and very very full of nostalgia. I don’t know about your childhood, but zebra cakes were a favorite occasional treat of mine and creating this recipe brought back all the happy lunchbox unzipping memories. We are of course doing things a smidge different than Little Debbie did, but I promise they are similar enough to still be deliciously reminiscent.

Homemade Zebra Cakes (vegan + gluten-free)

How To Make Copycat Zebra Cakes

There are four components to the zebra cake: vanilla cake, vanilla cream filling, white chocolate coating, dark chocolate drizzle. This recipe is quite easy (and pretty fun to assemble I think!), but there are quite a few steps…

Vegan Grain-Free Vanilla Cake Recipe

We are already switching things up from the packaged original with a vegan cake recipe, but I decided to go all in and make it gluten and grain-free too. The cake batter is loosely based on these Chai Cupcakes that I adore for their ultra fluffy texture, because zebra cakes deserve a fluffy cake base with a yummy crumb texture. You will need…

  • almond milk (or any non-dairy milk)
  • apple cider vinegar
  • coconut flour
  • cassava flour
  • cane sugar (I didn’t use coconut sugar for color purposes)
  • maple syrup or agave
  • coconut oil
  • baking powder, salt, and vanilla

To make these mini cakes easily two layers, it works best to bake the cake in a very thin layer and then use a cookie cutter to cut out perfect sized circles. I used a quarter sheet pan, which is about 9×13 inches, but a similar sized casserole dish would work too. Just be sure to line with parchment paper for easy removal, and chill your cake before cutting into circles as it will be less fragile and easier to stack/coat that way.

Homemade Zebra Cakes (vegan + gluten-free)
Homemade Zebra Cakes (vegan + gluten-free)

Dairy-Free Fluffy Cream Filling

I attempted to make a marshmallow filling, but whether you go the aquafaba or store-bought vegan marshmallow route it got to be too complicated and time consuming. I went with a simple dairy-free vanilla buttercream instead, and it was the perfect delicious decision. I do recommend a piping bag (or just a ziplock with one corner cut off!) for the easiest swirling and cake-stacking.

White Chocolate Coating

It wouldn’t be a zebra cake without that creamy white coating, and the easiest dairy-free option is vegan white chocolate chips. Melted and thinned out with a little coconut oil to an easier cake coating consistency, then spooned and spread on all sides of your cake stacks. There is no secret here, this step is going to be a bit messy.

Dark Chocolate SunButter Stripes

And this is where my favorite ingredient comes in and creates the classic chocolate zebra stripes: Chocolate SunButter! You don’t need much, just a few tablespoons, so their on-the-go pouches work perfectly here. You can drizzle straight on the cakes or again thin it out with a touch of coconut oil for easier drizzling. The flavor is perfect, and unlike plain ol’ melted chocolate it hardens to this just barely soft, ganache-like glisten!

Homemade Zebra Cakes (vegan + gluten-free)

More Nostalgic Recipes You’ll Love

Homemade Zebra Cakes (vegan + gluten-free)

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Homemade Zebra Cakes

  • Author: Natalie
  • Prep Time: 3 hours
  • Cook Time: 22 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours 22 minutes
  • Yield: 6 cakes
  • Category: cake
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: american

Description

Homemade Zebra Cakes with vegan vanilla cake, fluffy cream filling, and classic chocolate stripes. A nostalgic sweet treat made healthier!


Ingredients

Vegan Grain-Free Vanilla Cake

  • 1 cup (120g) cassava flour
  • 3 tbsp (23g) coconut flour
  • 1/3 cup (80g) cane sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup (105g) maple syrup or agave
  • 3/4 cup (180g) almond milk
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup (67g) coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Dairy-Free Cream Filling

  • 1/2 cup (113g) vegan butter
  • 1 1/2 cups (180g) powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp almond milk

White Chocolate Coating

Chocolate Drizzle


Instructions

Vegan Grain-Free Vanilla Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Stir the apple cider vinegar into the almond milk and set aside.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together the cassava flour, coconut flour, cane sugar, baking powder, and salt to eliminate any lumps.
  4. Add maple syrup/agave, almond milk mixture, coconut oil, and vanilla. Whisk until smooth.
  5. Line a quarter sheet pan (9×13″) with parchment paper and spray the edges with nonstick spray.
  6. Spread batter into a thin layer on the pan and smooth the top.
  7. Bake 20-22 minutes at 350°F.
  8. Cool 15 minutes, then flip onto a cooling rack and place in the fridge to chill for 1-2 hours
  9. Once chilled, use a round cookie cutter to cut 12 circles of cake.

Dairy-Free Cream Filling

  1. Use a hand mixer to beat the softened butter until fluffy and light.
  2. Add vanilla, almond milk, and 1 cup of powdered sugar. Continue beating.
  3. Add remaining powdered sugar slowly and continue to beat until light and fluffy.
  4. Transfer to a piping bag with a large round tip.

Assembly

  1. Pipe a thick layer of frosting onto half of the cake rounds, top with another piece of cake, smush lightly, and chill.
  2. Melt white chocolate with 2 tablespoons coconut oil. Stir until smooth and drizzle-able (if its too thick add a little more coconut oil). Spoon on top of each cake stack and down the sides to coat.
  3. Whisk Chocolate SunButter with one tablespoon coconut oil. Whisk until smooth and drizzle-able.
  4. Drizzle chocolate stripes on top of each cake, chill 10 minutes until chocolate hardens.

Keywords: gluten free, grain free, little Debbie, nostalgic, kid, lunchbox, chocolate, white chocolate, dairy free

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Homemade Zebra Cakes (vegan + gluten-free)

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Homemade Zebra Cakes