Recipes: 10.24.13

Martha Came Calling

Jeff Bezos’s Favorite Zebra Cake
    I have never heard of “Zebra Cake” but correctly assumed it might be a marbled vanilla and chocolate cake. This recipe is from the King Arthur Baking Company.

    Makes one nine-inch round cake.

1 cup sugar
4 eggs
1 cup milk, whole, 2-percent, or 1-percent
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. double-dutched cocoa powder


    Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9-by-2-inch round cake pan with baking spray. Lay a circle of parchment paper on bottom and spray again.

    Blend sugar and eggs in mixer on medium speed until light, about two minutes. On low, blend in oil, milk, and vanilla until well combined and smooth. Scrape down bowl occasionally.

    In separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to remove lumps. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Combine on medium speed for one to two minutes until smooth and lump-free. Scrape bowl often.

    Remove two cups of batter and place in bowl or previously used measuring cup. Sift cocoa over this and stir well.

    Spoon three tablespoons of vanilla batter into center of cake pan, then three tablespoons of cocoa batter into the center. Continue to layer in bull’s-eye fashion, until batter is used up. You will now have thin rings of each batter on the outer edges of pan, thicker rings towards the center.

    Bake 35 to 45 minutes, until lightly browned and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes, then turn out on wire rack to finish cooling. Frost as desired.

Lemon Fig Cake
    This recipe is from Martha Stewart’s “Cakes.”

    Serves 8 to 10.

1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for pan
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg
11/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
10 oz. dried figs, stemmed and coarsely chopped, about 11/2 cups
11/2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest


    Preheat oven to 350. Brush a nine-inch tart pan with a removable bottom with oil.

    In medium bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together oil, milk, and egg. In a larger bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add milk mixture and stir with a flexible spatula just until smooth. Do not overmix. Gently fold in figs and lemon zest.

    Transfer batter to prepared pan. Set pan on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until golden and cake tester comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes, then turn out cake onto rack to cool completely. Cake can be stored at room temperature, wrapped in plastic, up to one day.