Rose and zebra birthday cake

Zebra rose birthday cake whole

So last Friday I turned 27. It’s one of those crappy 20’s birthdays when I realise I am hurtling towards 30. Still, I fared better than last year where I totally freaked out about suddenly having to say I was in my late twenties. I was treated to brunch at Betty’s tea toom in Ilkley, then we popped to the sugarcraft supplies shop so I could pick up some new sugarpaste to make the flowers on my cake and also stopped by the lovely Swillington Organic Farm where I picked up some rind-on bacon (my favourite) and a rack of organic lamb. In the evening we went for a v. tasty meal at Pinche Pinche mexican restaurant who catered for a blogger event I ran at work.

The day before I was at a web design conference with Mr LTT and as he’s self employed and had taken both that day and my birthday off, I was left to my own devices for most of the weekend so I had full time to devote to making myself a birthday cake. I had loads of ideas what I wanted to do but I knew I wanted to try a few things like making a proper zebra cake, using swiss meringue buttercream (a year since I made it for my last birthday cake) and having a play with sugarpaste flowers which I hadn’t done since I did my course a while back.

Sugarcraft rose

I started making the flowers and quickly realised there was no way I was going to be able to make enough in time, so I cut it down to three although I would’ve liked more, but I saw the light fading and realised I was going to have to act fast if I wanted to capture the light to take the photos.

Sugarcraft roses on top

The cake itself was quite easy. I initially made one following the recipe I first found for zebra cake but it used olive oil which I’m not especially keen on and even though I cake tested it and it seemed fine, once it’d cooled and I went to slice it, it turned out it wasn’t cooked in the middle. So I sighed, cleared down the kitchen and started again. This time I used my usual sponge cake recipe (x4) but I melted the butter to make it a bit more runny and it worked out great! When I split the batter to colour, I used bright pink gel food colouring and blue gel food colouring. I used two 9 inch tins by the way. I used a cake wire to slice the cakes in half.

Zebra rose birthday cake sliced open

For the buttercream I used Sweetapolita’s swiss meringue buttercream but even though we both have KitchenAid mixers she must have a much bigger one by the look of the photos, because halfway through making it my egg whites were nearly overflowing the bowl! I took half the mix out and slowly added it back in as I added in the butter. I then mixed in blue food colouring (Sugarflair). I then filled between two of the layers with buttercream and also some apricot jam for a bit more flavour and apricot jam is totally my favourite. Let’s face it, if you can’t have what you want on your birthday then when can you?

I used my Wilton 1M star tip to pipe the roses like on I am baker’s rose cake tutorial. Then I used some white normal buttercream to pipe in the gaps and add another colour to the cake. I popped the sugarpaste flowers in the top too.

Zebra rose birthday cake slice out of cake

I think the best thing about this cake was taking it to work today – everyone ooohed and aahed and couldn’t believe I’d made it. There’s such excitement in having a pretty buttercream and having a more exciting colouring inside I think! It was great because everyone managed to have a slice and as the swiss meringue buttercream isn’t nearly so sweet, it was possibly to have a slice without questioning whether it would leave you with type II diabetes. I didn’t use all the buttercream by the way, I used about ⅔ of it and put the rest in an airtight tub in the freeer.

Do you want to know how much of the main ingredients I used? OK, this will make me feel a bit ill but I’m going to!

  • 1.356kg butter
  • 1kg sugar
  • 225g flour
  • 4 eggs plus 15 egg whites

On that note, I’m going to return to diet…


  1. says

    Whoa this cake is crazy! I love the zebra effect inside it. Happy birthday!!! Hope it was a lot of fun. I’m turning 26 this year and trying to ignore it. My solution is to date someone older than me thus making me ALWAYS younger haha. 

  2. Miss South says

    Wow! This is the prettiest cake I have ever seen. I am swooning in admiration and wishing I worked with you!

    By the way, 27 was the scariest of all my birthdays. By the time I hit 30 I wasn’t so bothered in fact. But 27 led to a major freak out and a half. Probably because there was no cake come to think of it…


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