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sliced vegan zebra cake

Easy MOIST Vegan Zebra Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 3 reviews
  • Author: Britt Berlin
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 35
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 16 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


You won’t believe this vegan zebra cake is entirely eggless, dairy free and easily made gluten free! With a super rich and moist chocolate cake swirled with tender and fluffy vanilla cake in an easy zebra pattern (tutorial included!), this incredible marbled zebra cake is an absolute showstopper and overall crowd pleaser!



Base vanilla cake batter:

  • 1 1/4 cups (300 mL) vegan buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cup (250 g) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (170 g) salted vegan butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (190 g) unsweetened dairy free yogurt or applesauce, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 2/3 cups (460 g) all purpose flour*

Chocolate cake batter:


  1. Prep: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease two 8″ cake pans with cooking oil, and line them with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Prepare the vegan buttermilk: Combine the dairy free milk with the apple cider vinegar, and set aside to sit for 5-6 minutes. You can weigh and measure the remaining ingredients during this time. 
  3. Make the vanilla batter: In a stand mixer with paddle attachment or a large bowl with whisk, whisk together the vegan butter and sugar. Then add in the dairy free yogurt, vanilla extract, and sea salt, followed by the baking powder and baking soda. Whisk again until combined, scraping down the sides and at the bottom of the bowl as needed. Add in about half of the dry mixture, along with half of the vegan buttermilk, and whisk until just combined. Add in the remaining dry mixture and vegan buttermilk, and whisk until there are just no more dry streaks. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl as well as the sides.
  4. Make the chocolate batter: divide half of the vanilla cake batter into a separate bowl. Add in the cocoa powder and additional dairy free milk into one of the bowls. Use a whisk and stir the ingredients gently into the batter until it becomes a chocolate cake batter.
  5. How to make a zebra pattern in the batter: now we’ll divide the batter into the cake pans in a zebra pattern. Be sure to read the above post to see the visuals. Take a large spoon and spoon about 1/4 cup of vanilla batter into the middle of both cake pans. Then take another large spoon and spoon about 1/4 cup of chocolate batter directly on top of the vanilla cake batter. Repeat, alternating between vanilla and chocolate cake batter until the batters are finished. Gently tilt the cake pans to get the batter to touch the edges of the pan if they aren’t already. Do not tap the cake pans onto countertop. This will release any air bubbles that will help the cake rise.
  6. Bake the cakes immediately after creating the zebra pattern. Bake for 30-33 minutes in 8″ cake pans, or until the toothpick comes out clean. (for two 6″ cake pans, bake for 37-40)
  7. Cool: Remove from the oven and allow the cakes to cool in their pans for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely. Once cooled completely (there is absolutely no warmth to the touch!), then you can prepare your buttercream.
  8. When ready to frost: make the frosting according to the instructions in the post. Frost the cake as desired, slice and enjoy!


Gluten free: I recommend using King Arthur Measure for Measure Gluten-Free Baking Flour.