5 Secrets to More Color at Home

Lisa Frank Zebra Cakes


Lisa Frank Zebra Cakes |

We were talking about childhood summer treats the other day but if we want to talk about Jeff’s most nostalgic treat, overall, it would be Zebra Cakes. Remember ’em? Well, we gave ’em a technicolor makeover and made Lisa Frank zebra cakes today!!! Or I guess they would be Lisa Frank tiger cakes. IF WE ARE BEING TECHNICAL! The best news is, they are Jeff Mindell taste test approved. And I quote, “They taste like Zebra Cakes.” He has a such a way with words, that one. 😉

Lisa Frank Zebra Cakes |

Lisa Frank Zebra Cakes |
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Lisa Frank Zebra Cakes

Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr 10 mins
Total Time1 hr 40 mins
Servings: 10 -15 Zebra Cakes


  • For the cake:
  • <br>
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • Food coloring
  • White candy melts about 4 cups + Colored or Black Candy Melts
  • <br>
  • For the buttercream filling:
  • <br>
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk


  • For the cake: Butter and flour two 9-inch baking pans. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add eggs one at a time, mixing completely between each egg. Add in vanilla.
  • Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Add flour mixture and milk alternately to the butter and sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Scrape down sides of bowl and mix just till combined.
  • Divide batter into bowls depending on how many colors you are using. You want one base color (like black or white) and then a few bright colors. For the rainbow one, use a white base with bright pink, orange, yellow, neon green, bright blue, and purple. The other has a black base with bright pink, purple, yellow, and orange. You want a little less than half of the batter for the base color and the rest divided evenly.
  • Place a scoop of your base color into the center of each pan. Place a slightly smaller scoop of a brighter color on top. Repeat with another scoop of the base color right in the center. You can drop the pan on the counter to help flatten out the batter. Keep repeating this process (it will look kind of like a target; base color, bright color, base color, another bright color, etc.) until your batter is gone.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove and allow to cool for about 10 minutes, then remove from pans and cool completely.
  • For the frosting: Cream the butter till smooth. Add in the vanilla, powdered sugar, and milk. Beat for about 3 minutes till fluffy. Add food coloring if desired.
  • To assemble: Using a knife or a cookie cutter, cut out hexagons from the cooled cakes. Carefully slice the hexagons into 2 layers. Pipe/spread a couple tablespoons of the buttercream filling on the bottom layer and place the second layer back on top, making sure the sides match back up.
  • Melt the candy melts over a double boiler, in a bowl set over hot water, or in the microwave for 30 second intervals until melted but not too hot. You may need to keep reheating throughout this process if the candy melts begin to harden.
  • Place the hexagons on a wire rack over a cookie sheet. Pour the melted candy melts over the tops of the cakes. Use an offset spatula or small knife to help make sure the candy melts cover all the edges. Drizzle the different colored candy melts, or black candy melts, over the tops of the cakes.
Tried this recipe?Mention @studiodiy or tag #studiodiy!

Lisa Frank Zebra Cakes | studiodiy.comLisa Frank Zebra Cakes |

Photos by Jeff Mindell | Recipe by Theresa Rountree

Were you into zebra cakes as a kid!? I actually never had one before! Guess I was too busy eating chipwiches

p.s. Tie dye smores!


  • Jayne

    Omg. These are amazing! Lisa Frank! Zebra cakes! Life is complete.

  • Lici

    I love the hexagon shape! And you look at these pictures and become happy at once! Yaaay, take all the colours and bake some cake… 😀

    Yours Lici, who is currently looking for her food colouring 😉

  • Diane

    This looks so delicious! Even if I’m on a diet, I’d eat it all! lol

  • Abel

    I came here via the Lisa Frank facebook page and this made my day! They look amazing and yummy!!

  • micaea

    Looks so creative and yummy!!!❤????

  • micaea

    Looks so creative and yummy!!!❤????
    Can’t wait to made some

  • Tayler

    Where did you find food coloring for these?

  • Eden Passante

    These look way more fun than the ones we had as kids! So cute!

  • samanatha

    what temperature should the over be at?!

    • Kelly

      350 degrees! Sorry, the recipe tool we use didn’t populate that for some reason!

  • Vicky

    I remember Lisa Frank! Love these cakes.


  • Ashley

    Omg Lisa Frank AND zebra cakes?! Just beautiful!!

  • Bethany

    We made this last night … it was interesting! I’m sad I can’t upload a picture. They turned out decently, though we only used 4 different colors and the base. There were a few things thought- first of all, 3 cups of sugar in a cake mix??? It’s a really weird recipe … super super sweet, almost like a dense angel food cake … I guess I haven’t had a zebra cake in a while but I’m pretty sure a regular cake recipe would have been a better fit. Next, you should vary the amount of batter that you spoon into the pan. We did the same 1 cup of each and the stripes turned out super thin and kinda ran together. So if you want them to look like the picture, use different sized scoops. Then, the wilton candy melts melt like white chocolate- not super liquidy! It doesn’t just run down the sides. You can put it on top and use a spatula like it says but it gets all crummy. If you have the time, you should def put the cakes in the freezer for a bit so they don’t crumb when you frost them with the candy melts. Finally, it’s really hard to free hand the hexagons if you make them as small as regular zebra cakes, and it’s hard to get uniform pieces for top and bottom, even if you do cut one hexagon and cut it in half, because of the way cakes rise in the middle. All in all, fun to make, cute, super messy and time consuming (make sure you have 1234981 bowls on hand), don’t really taste like zebra cakes and are crazy sweet, but fun to try making once.

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