Tiger Print Surprise Cake

This cake is really light and airy and packed with flavour, meaning it’s perfect served with a cup of tea or coffee with no icing needed. With hints of chocolate, vanilla and orange, you won’t be left disappointed. A handy one to have at arms reach in a tin during the week when you need a little pick me up. What looks like a pretty average cake on the inside has a hidden tiger print inside which will get kids ‘wild’ with excitement!

Tiger Print Cake Recipe

250ml sunflower oil
250g caster sugar
100ml semi-skimmed milk
4 medium eggs (at room temperature)
A few drops of vanilla extract
300g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
25g cocoa powder
Zest of 1 orange


  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Grease and line the base of a 23cm (9 inch) springform tin.
  2. Place the oil, sugar, milk, eggs and vanilla extract in a large bowl and beat together well. Separate the mixture into 2 bowls, placing 400ml of the mixture into a medium bowl.
  3. Next, sift 175g of the self-raising flour into the medium bowl (that you placed 400ml of the mixture) along with 1/2 teaspoon of the baking powder. Set aside. This is the plain vanilla mixture.
  4. Now, sift the remaining 125g of self-raising flour and 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder into the original bowl along with the cocoa powder. Add the zest of the orange to the bowl and mix everything together well and set aside. This is the chocolate mix.
  5. For the zebra design, place a tablespoon of the vanilla mix in the middle of the tin. Then, using a clean tablespoon, put a blob of the chocolate mix in the middle of the vanilla one. Continue to do this, alternating between vanilla and chocolate, forming a ‘target board’ appearance. Each time add a spoonful of mixture, the whole mix will spread out on the base. Allow each tablespoon to expand a little after each addition to keep the pattern looking clean.
  6. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes.
  7. Insert a skewer into the centre of the cake – if it comes out clean, the cake is cooked. If not return the cake to the oven for a further 5 minutes.
  8. Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes in the tin, before placing on a wire rack to cool completely.

Just to note, when adding each additional spoonful of mixture, be careful not overload the spoon, allowing drop off as this will lead to an unclear tiger print pattern.

For more family-friendly recipe inspiration click here.


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