Zebra Cake from 2007, and Peanut Butter Cup Brownies - Parsley, Sage, and Sweet

Zebra Cake from 2007, and Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

June 17, 2012 at 11:10 am | Posted in Bars/Brownies, Cakes, Dessert | 82 Comments
Tags: , , , , ,

Dear Readers ,

First off, the above is a transitional header and name (desserts and line drives was too long).  I still haven’t decided where I’m going to go with this, but I got sick of looking at that ugly, old header.

Secondly, please excuse these old photos, but love this cake.  Not only is it cool to look at – but it’s moist, delectable and easy to make.

Love ‘n stuff,

Back in January of 2011, my computer crashed.  The hard drive was annihilated.  I lost all of my photos. Some of those photos were of several amazing and somewhat laborious, treats, two of the treats that I especially mourn to this day.  One was a beautiful Tourte Milanese – layers of colorful, roasted vegetables, serrano ham and softly scrambled, herbed eggs encased in golden puff pastry.  The other was a Gateau Basque, best described as a mix of a cake, cookie and pie, from the Basque region of France, filled with luscious almond pastry cream and homemade cherry jam.  They were both so lovely, aesthetically, and exquisite in flavor, that I did everything I could with the dead hard drive, bringing it from place to place, to see what they could retrieve from it.


Fudgy, Loaded Peanut Butter Cup Brownies.  A Peanut Butter Cup in Every Bite!

Wouldn’t you know it, they were able to get most everything off of it EXCEPT the laborious treats and the Tourte Milanese and Gateua Basque.  Why?  Why?  Why?

I still hold on to that drive with the hope that, miraculously, someone will be able to find and extract even one photo of each.  The truth is, the two that slay me, were also a little labor intensive, and I haven’t had the time or motivation to really dig into recreating either.  Plus, I don’t often get good photos, but by some stroke of luck, the photos of these two extravagant goodies, including the prep photos, were some of the best I’ve ever taken.  Again..

Why?  Why?  WHY?

Here’s the kicker, a group of photos of a zebra cake I made in 2007, were all there, well, most of them..(some of the prep photos didn’t make it)..in perfect condition.  These photos were from a time before a food blog was even a twinkle in my eye.  Back then, I took quick shots with a point and shoot, under kitchen lighting, and sometimes I used *gasp* a flash.

They were also able to pull these 2009 peanut butter cup brownies off the drive.  One problem, though..just the one photo you see above the zebra batter, when there were originally 10 full size photos.  This one had been cropped already.

Barring the photo quality, it’s a pretty cool looking cake..so I decided to post it. As I mentioned in my last post..I haven’t had the time to cook or bake anything really blog worthy, unless you consider boiled, boxed pasta with a simple tomato sauce and sloppy tuna sandwiches on wheat toast, blog worthy. In other words, I haven’t felt like spending hours sifting through 100 photos of sloppy tuna salad, and then hours of post-processing the best of the bland.

At least the ugly overnight oatmeal had a little pizzazz with the use of an almost empty peanut butter jar and the near endless possibilities of add-ins.

So, here’s my zebra cake, in all it’s ancient point and shoot glory.  I love the way the stripes came out, and it was quite moist and tasty, therefore – blog worthy.  However, for some reason I cannot recollect nor fathom why I placed the cake slices on top of a cheap cake turntable.  It looks weird. Please look at the cool, zebra stripes and blur out the weird-looking cake turntable. I’m uhh, kinda embarrassed!

I want you all to make this cake and impress everyone you serve it to  It’ll look better on your plate and table than it does in these antiquated photos. Oh, and make the peanut butter cup brownies too!  Had to add that.

Loaded Peanut Butter Cup Fudge Brownies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: One 8-inch square pan brownies, about 9 to 12 brownies
Adapted from My Baking Addiction
  • 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped..or chocolate chips
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 10 regular size Reese’s peanut butter cups, coarsely chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. I line the pan with foil or parchment paper, making sure there is overhang to use as handles to lift out the brownies, Spray/grease foil or parchment if you use this method.
  2. Microwave chopped chocolate and butter for about 45 seconds. If not mostly melted, microwave for 20 more seconds. Stir until smooth. Whisk in the cocoa powder and espresso powder. Set aside. OR, melt in a double boiler.
  3. Whisk together eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, peanut butter and salt until combined. Whisk the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture. Stir in the flour until just combined. Fold chopped Reese’s peanut butter cups into batter. Pour mixture into pan, spread evenly and smooth the surface with a rubber spatula.
  4. Bake approximately 35-40 minutes. Brownies will be slightly puffed and a toothpick inserted into the center should come out mostly clean. Cool to room temperature for about 2 hours. Cut into 1″ squares. Store in a tightly sealed container; preferably in the refrigerator.
  5. Chocolate and Vanilla Zebra Cake

Chocolate and Vanilla Zebra Cake
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: One 8 or 9-inch round cake
Recipe from my scribble scrabble on a piece of paper. I cannot remember where I found it, but I did make some changes to it at the time. UPDATE: I found the original recipe I used when I first made it. Check it out HERE.
  • 2¼ cups cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil or coconut oil.. or butter*
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons dark cocoa powder
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream (milk is fine too)
  1. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  2. * If using butter, cream it together with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, until each one is fully incorporated. Add vanilla extract. If using oil, beat together the eggs, oil, and sugar until light and fluffy, then add vanilla extract.
  3. Alternate adding the flour mixture with the yogurt or sour cream or milk, starting and ending with the flour. Do not over mix.
  4. Now - This is where it all begins with the batter to make the zebra pattern.
  5. Here's a video that shows you the zebra method, and another one using a spoon, which is how I do it, AND one more for good measure, since my step-by-step photos weren't recovered. I didn't use pastry bags, (good idea, though), just tablespoons and less batter of each color per drop than what you see in the video, to produce stripes that are closer together. The below instructions explain how I did it.
  6. Divide the batter in half, into two separate bowls, and add about 3-5 T of dark cocoa (I use Dutch Processed) to one half of the batter. If the white batter is too runny, add 3-5 tablespoons of flour to it. You want the white and chocolate batter to be close in viscosity.
  7. To start..you'll be 'layering' 1 to 3 tablespoons of each batter, right on top of one another into a lightly greased 8 or 9-inch cake pan.(I add a parchment circle, and lightly grease that too). I used an 8-inch round cake pan.
  8. Starting with the white batter drop 1-3 tablespoons on the bottom of the pan, then drop 1-3 tablespoons of the chocolate batter right on top of the white batter, in the middle, then 1-3 tablespoons of white on top of the chocolate, then repeat with the white batter in the middle of chocolate batter. Keep alternating batters in the center of each until you've used up both batters. It will look lopsided at several points..spreading more to one side of the pan, but by the time you're close to finished, it'll start to even out. It should look like a bullseye of white and dark batter, as you can see in the photo right below this recipe
  9. The less tablespoons of batter you use, the closer together the stripes will be. I used 2 tablespoons batter of each per drop..but use up to 4 for thicker stripes.
  10. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for anywhere from 35 to 45 minutes. A toothpick or skewer inserted in the center of the cake, should come out clean when it's done.
  11. Try this with other flavors/colors, like matcha with the chocolate, pistachio paste, or raspberry syrup or ground, dehydrated raspberries. You can make this cake a kaleidoscope of stripe. Let your imagination run wild!
- If you have a foolproof yellow or white layer cake recipe you love and would prefer to use, add dark cocoa powder to one half of the whole recipe, and proceed with zebra cake batter pattern. If you like using cake mixes, (I don't, personally), or want to use one in a pinch, you will do the same - dark cocoa powder to half the batter, then proceed.
butter* - I've heard that all butter prevents you from getting a tight zebra pattern like mine. It will still 'zebra', but not like what you see here.

Bookmark and Share


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

  1. I have been dying for the next part. I was so excited when I saw it in my reader! This one was SO good, I almost cried when you said goodbye! I agree with M..I love u!! This cake is crazy, crazy cool!

    • Thanks, Wendy! Glad you’re enjoying it enough to ‘almost’ cry. I wish I could ‘almost cry’ instead of constant blubbering lol xo

    1. lovin your zebra cake.
    2. i have math exams tmrw
    3. i search up your blog everyday to follow up on your bad boy story
    (and just realized i can follow your posts via email LOL)
    4. i’m hungry now :'(
    5. i love you <33
    (going to stop my "superfulous" points now.)
    last one: thank you :'')

    • Love this comment..you are too cute <3

  3. Great quote you snuck in there…and I love this cake, I have seen them and never deducted how it was done…i may attempt this pattern one day. That damn bad boy brought tears to my eyes. My hubby will tell you I cry from the moment I walk into an airport. Saying goodbye is worse than death. Can’t wait for the next!

  4. I loooooooooove this cake, and I’m saving your recipe and your instructions.
    I will definitely make it soon!
    Thanks so much

    BEAUTIFUL photos btw

  5. That is a stunner of a cake, and it looks surprisingly… within my reach… How is that possible? I’d love to make this and wow the crowd!

    What happened next, what happened next? I love how you wrote this part of the story, it’s just so… real.

  6. Oh, I can imagine how horrible it is to lose your pictures! It is for that reason that I now backup my work…

    This cake is splendid and very tempting.

    It is very sad to say goodbye to a loved one… Waiting for the next part.



  7. Amazingly cool cake and really good story telling. Nice work. :)

  8. Amazingly cool cake and great story telling too. Nice job. :)

  9. Agh! Another cliffhanger. I am really worried about the next part… can’t wait to read it.

  10. AHHHH!!!! This story, I just want it to go on and on. I’m hanging on your every word! I was getting all choked up. And now Gary’s calling?!? Can’t wait for the next part. Pleeeease don’t make us wait long ;) On another note, that came is awesome!! I need to try making that. It looks so cool!

  11. GAH. Why is Gary phoning????

    Stunning cake! The stripes are so neat & perfect – I could stare at them all day. I might do that actually.

  12. This is the BEST zebra cake I’ve ever seen. It’s been on my baking list for a while…but you’ve given me the push I needed :) Boy, you’re keeping us in suspense….

  13. The Zebra bread looks awesome! Lisa, seriously you should be a writer! It feels like I’m back in highschool reading one of those Sweet Valley High novels….waiting patiently for part 14!!

  14. Oh oh oh oh…. I thought this would be the end and I’d find out what happened. Argh! Now I have the jitters. Please hurry!!!! And tell the entire rest of the story in the next post! Please!

    Awesome, perfect cake in every way but I still don’t get how the stripes happen. xo

  15. Very cool cake – would go well with some zebra’s paintings I own : ). Your story is getting better and better. The depths of the personality descriptions is great and of course leaving everyone hanging is cruel. My question is how did Gary get your phone number? Can’t wait to see what happens next…pass some cake please!

  16. This is stunning! And so perfectly marbled….I dream of the day, I’ll be baking so beautifully!

  17. That looks awesome. I made a zebra cake once a few years ago and it did NOT look that nice. ;)

  18. This zebra cake is so cool and I can’t believe I’ve never had one. It will be one of the frost thongs I bake when I get home. Oh, love this part of the BB story…maybe we can hear how this ends and you have another one to entertain us with?;)

  19. Computers crashes are hell and feels like getting your purse stolen. Funny you have this ‘ancient’ recipe still around in pics lol. That is the best zebra or striped type of cake I have ever seen, what patience! Damn Lisa I am drenched i your tears lol. So sad I hope it ends well hopefully.

  20. I check your blog like every week because I’m so hooked on this story. Your writing style is awesome, it’s such an easy, fun read. I feel like I’m actually watching it all unfold instead of reading it. Can’t wait for Part 14!

    • Thank you, Dana! That made my day. Glad you’re enjoying it! I’ve certainly enjoyed reliving it :)

  21. One moment Dreamboat’s pheromone-saturated t-shirt is ensconcing your senses…the next moment… Gary rings?!?


    Detective Vic Mackey:…How’d he get your number??

    Well, we’ll just have to find out during part 13C…er, I mean 14A.

    You’re a chef. A baker. A writer. Aaaaah…you’re Venus.

    • Parsley, Sage, and…”Sweet”. No more “Line Drives”? Brian Cashman will be saddened…

      Did you condider, Parsley, Sage, and…Wisdom. OR, ‘Garlic, Onion, and Tic-Tacs’. LOL

      • This is just a transitional header, until I decide where I want to go with it. You have to admit, the name was TOO LONG, and I’d rather look at clean, plain white than that ugly header I had for years. Not calling Jeter ugly..just the header lol Eff Cashman!

  22. So sorry to hear about the photos how tragic. Backing up as we speak…..! This is just a beautiful cake! Love watching your story unfold.

  23. This is the best-looking zebra cake I’ve ever seen! WOW!

  24. Beautiful cake!

  25. I made tourte milanese a few times so can really feel your loss! I like your `processing the best of the bland´ phrase! And really, pictures of that era would be great, for the story of course, not that I´m curious…lol

  26. Gorgeous cake! Just stumbled upon your blog, I will have to go back to the beginning of the story line!

  27. That cake is amazing. Totally amazing. You did such a great job!!! COngrats on Top 9. Buzzed!!

  28. Sometimes genius is do simple it beggars belief. What an amazing creation.

  29. This cake is absolutely beautiful!

  30. I love the enthusiasm in your writing. It oozes from each sentence..no matter what your talking about. Great story and this cake is awesome!

  31. If you ever need the Torte Milanese recipe I have one and I love it.

    • Thank you, carol! The one I use is by Michel Richard and it’s in the book, Baking with Julia. It’s a beauty!

  32. This is the most zebra-like looking cake of all the zebra-cakes I’ve seen :-).
    I have to go now, but I will be back for the literary part of this post… Would be nice to have a slice of that zebra cake when I read…

  33. I just left a comment but I don’t see it, so I’ll try again: amazing zebra pattern!

  34. Reblogged this on Sugar & Spice Baking Guild.

  35. This is a beautiful cake> I wish I had a piece. Thanks for the great post and Congratulations on Foodbuzz Top 9:)

  36. I always wondered HOW the zebra/marble effect was created- How cool, Lisa! And congrats on making Food Buzz’s Top 9 :D

  37. This Zebra cake is just amazing! I found your blog today and I am already blown over. I have to become a disciple!

    • Thanks, Peter! I’m so glad to have you as my ‘disciple’. Your first assignment is…;D J/K, of course..glad to meet you!

  38. Of course, the zebra cake is cool, but I am so excited to read the story!! I think I need to catch up on one or two past episodes, but I wanted to hurry and read this one as soon as I could see straight after all the travel! Very exciting and looking forward to the next installment. BOOK! :-D

  39. DAMN! That is one funky cake! I can’t believe how easy it is get that pattern. I hope mine turns out just like yours!

  40. very nice..the lines are just perfect! i just made mine today with strawberries and jelly on the top. Stop by for a piece :))
    btw..I would love to see your Torte Milanese..

  41. This is the prettiest zebra cake I’ve seen. So glad you shared it. I’ve wanted to make a zebra cake for a while now but hadn’t heard good things about the taste. Now after your review I really need to move it to the top of my baking list.

  42. This cake is as mesmerizing as your story!

    (I run a hard copy of everything I want to keep from the computer…I have a love/hate relationship w/computers & I don’t trust them!)

  43. Your zebra cake looks just stunning & truly appetizing too, my friend! :)
    MMMMMMMMMMMMMM,..This is also the most pretty zebra cake, I have ever seen! You rock, girl!! xxx

  44. Can I just say I also love you?? I’ve been a fan of your blog for 2 years now. With this story, I love you even more!!! So honest, raw and real, no fake sunny “love me” crap I see all over other blogs. Also, everything I’ve made from your blog is so yummy! Please don’t ever go away!

    • Awww..thank you, Georgie, that’s so sweet.

  45. I love this cake! Pinning it!

  46. On Fridays, I share my favorite food finds in a series called Food Fetish Friday – and I love this post so I’m featuring it as part of the roundup (with a link-back and attribution). I hope you have no objections and I look forward to seeing what you create next…

    • No objections whatsoever! Thank you, Mr. Warrior – I’m flattered!

  47. Such a gorgeous cake. And how i love this saga! So romantic!!

  48. Oh my word!!!! I am in love with this cake:-) Thank you for sharing the video, it was really fun to watch:-) I love how the recipe looks hard to make, but really is not that hard. BUT I think I would want another set of hands to help me in the process! I have had the problem of losing photos, it breaks my heart every time! I will cross my fingers and toes that someday you get those photos back:-) Hugs, Terra

  49. I love this cake Lisa! I did a Japanese cheesecake version. It’s amazing how it turns out isn’t it? :D

  50. Your zebra cake looks absolutely amazing Lisa! Love the stripes and I bet it tastes delicious too :-)

  51. Reblogged this on debsthoughtstoday and commented:
    This is amazing! I hope to make it when I have a proper oven.

    • Thank you, deb! I hope you get that oven soon! It’s such a fun cake to make!

      • Thank you sweetie. :D

  52. This cake looks so fun!! I have been wanting to try this technique, but now that you have done it, I’ll just have to give it a go! :) I hate when computers do that. I hate when I delete photos, too, which seems to happen to me all the time…

  53. Oh great sage of the sweet! It totally looks luscious to me. new or old photos, doesnt matter, I would love a piece with coffee.

  54. I need the next part! I can’t take it anymore!

    • Coming the 27th…early 28th at the latest, Jennifer :)

      • OOh, does that mean you are going to dazzle us with a Daring Bakers’ creation?! Hope so. This cake is gorgeous, and I am desperate for part 14, or is that 13C?

      • Tease. :-)

        Where else can we get the best baking recipes and photos around? AND great banter and real live love-story memoirs with a healthy dose of humility to boot? Frankly, I’ve seen some of the so-called banter from other Food Bloggers and some seem a bit contrived, bless their hearts.

  55. Those look great!

  56. oh my. how cute, funny, fantastic are you? your recipes, your stories, i love it all. keep the suspense & yumminess coming… please!

  57. O dear…. so you’re making me wait another two days for the last part… It’s killing me Lisa! But in the meantime that zebra cake just looks absolutely fantastic!

  58. The zebra cake is absolutely gorgeous. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thank you, LP! :)

  59. Zebra cake rules!

  60. Wow Lis! Your zebra cake looks terrific!! I actually just made a zebra cake too!! But my pattern doesn’t show up as great as yours!! Yours is so uniform and perfect!!! I guess you’ve always had it in you even many years ago!! :)

  61. Zebra cakes are so fun to make. Your stripes came out so even. Perfect! Nice cliffhanger on the story…

  62. Wow..such a delicious cake,,,hmmm yummy,,,,nice story told…great job

  63. Nice recipe. I love a simple brownie recipe which is easy for the kids :)
    I also like the below brownie recipe.

    Thanks for sharing,

  64. […] Recette inspirée de Parsley: sage & sweet  […]

  65. […] Find the recipe at parsleysagesweet.com […]

  66. Wow your dexterity stat must be amazing :) Those look gorgeous.

    • Thanks, Page, although I can’t take any credit since all I did was drop single tablespoons of each batter into the center over and over. In other words, it was batter consistency, not me lol.

Leave a Reply

Get a free blog at WordPress.com | Theme: Pool by Borja Fernandez.
Entries and comments feeds.

Privacy Policy