Marble/Zebra Cake, Vegan. 2 versions, And baking with whole wheat flours. A guest Post for Sudha, the Green Crusader.

Thank you Sudha for sharing your space with me today! Sudha has 3 different blogs to showcase many of per passions. If you are into unique items, vintage, design and gorgeous finds, head on over to The Design Enthusiast. She chronicles Indian comfort food and her experiments at Avial and Rasam.
And the best of the lot, her constant efforts to keep this world greener and pollutant free at The Green Crusader. For eg, check out her post on Starbucks and how what they tell you is not always the pretty and perfect picture. Keep on with your green efforts Sudha, and hopefully we all will slowly bring about the needed change.
Today I am taking over Sudha’s space and talking about baking with different types of flours. I made 2 versions of this marbled Zebra cake. One had been sitting in my drafts waiting for the second version. The first version has all purpose flour and whole wheat pastry flour, pantry items easily available in the US. The second version uses freshly milled soft white wheat berries flour. The lighter pictures are the AP version, and the deeper light brown layers are whole wheat version. Dont let the write up scare you, the recipe is short and sweet.:) If you dont want to ladle the batters to make perfect rings, just pour both the batters in the pan, and run a knife in swirling motion to create a marble effect!

For a long time I was always confused about all the different types of wheat flours(Its not like I am completely sure right now :), but I figured it out enough to know what I like where after trials and errors. We have a whole bunch of options with Whole Wheat flour, Whole Wheat pastry flour, Cake flour, Bread flour, Atta(Indian wheat flour), maida(Indian all purpose flour) and more! What to you use where?
Cake flour has the lowest gluten, soft wheat and finely milled.
Bread flour is a blend of high gluten hard wheat varieties and is coarser than all purpose flour,
Whole wheat flour is high gluten hard wheat.
Whole wheat pastry flour is soft wheat, low gluten.
All purpose flour is processed fine and a mix of low gluten soft wheat and high gluten hard wheat
Atta(Indian whole wheat flour used for roti/chapati) is hard wheat, milled finer than whole wheat flour and has higher gluten than all purpose flour. Atta can be used in yeast breads but tends to make cakes, quick breads, muffins etc harder and coarse because of the gluten formation while mixing.
To get a complete picture, check out this article on Indiacurry. and some more wheat flours on wiki here
For cakes, quick breads, muffins, the best option usually is Cake flour or all purpose flour.(lower gluten)
For healthier versions, use Whole wheat pastry flour or any other whole grain flour which is low in gluten or mix in some glutenfree flours. You can use whichever flour is available really, and figure out how the flour works best. Like with Atta, I would mix it as lightly as possible.
If you can find soft wheat and mill it or make flour yourself, then you can mill a finer version and use that too. I got a Blendtec and made my own flour with organic soft white wheat berries and made wheat only version of this cake which didnt make a stiff batter or a tough cake! The flour when milled was somewhere between AP flour and whole wheat pastry flour in terms of texture and the batter was actually more flowy and predictable than the one with the pastry flour. And I like the whole grain so much better. (certified by me, since I saw the whole wheat berries go from grain to flour! and I like this cake more, maybe because I am just excited about being able to mill at home:))
For both the Recipes, head on over to Sudha’s space or scroll below..

This cake is being shared at Ricki’s wellness weekend, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays. Srav’s Cooking Concepts for the Vegan Diet – Only Plant Based event, Hearth and soul blog hop.

Marble Zebra cake. makes 1 8 inch cake pan
Allergy Information: Dairy, egg, corn, soy, yeast free.

Ingredients: For half Whole wheat.
1 Tablespoon flax meal
2 Tablespoons virgin coconut oil, melted
3 Tablespoons organic canola oil
1 cup water
2 Tablespoons orange juice
1/2 teaspoon vinegar
8 Tablespoons raw sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1.25 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
Spices: 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ginger powder, 1/8 teaspoon cloves powder
3+ Tablespoons cocoa powder
Ingredients for all Whole Wheat (with home milled soft white Whole wheat flour)
1/2 cup water
7 Tablespoons raw Sugar(scant 1/2 cup. Use 1/2 cup for sweeter)
1 Tablespoon light agave
1 Tablespoon coconut milk
1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar or 1 teaspoon vinegar
1/4 cup organic canola oil (or half virgin coconut and half organic canola oil)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/4 cup soft white whole wheat flour
1.25 teaspoon baking powder
2-3 Tbsp cocoa powder
Spices: 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ginger powder, 1/8 teaspoon cloves powder or add vanilla extract
In a bowl, whisk all the wet ingredients, salt and sugar until well combined. (Add flaxmeal to the wet for AP version)
In another bowl, whisk the flours, baking powder and spices and add to the wet ingredients.
Whisk until just about combined into a flowy batter. Use a few teaspoons more water or flour if needed, since the water absorption depends on the flours.
Transfer half of the cake mix to another bowl and add cocoa powder to it. Mix till combined.
The cocoa powder will thicken the batter a little, Add 2-3 teaspoons water to the cocoa batter to get it to the same consistency as the white batter.
Take 2 ladles or small bowls of the same size and pour a ladle of the white cake mix onto parchment lined or well greased cake pan.
Then pour a ladle of cocoa mix on top of the white mix.
Continue till all mix gets used up.
Bake in preheated 360 degrees F for 35-40 minutes until toothpick from the center comes out clean.
Serve as is, or topped with melted chocolate.
Cool for a bit before slicing for less crumbly slices.
Vegan Marble Zebra Cake
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  1. says

    I’ve been wanting to make a zebra cake for the longest time, but for some reason still haven’t gotten around to it. Thanks for this stunning reminder, yours looks so beautiful and impressive! I must finally do this myself, and soon.

    • says

      Thanks Hannah. I am sure your’s will be ever more gorgeous. I hardly have patience when it comes to small steps, making balls or any time consuming perfect things:)

  2. says

    I’ve never seen cake flour in Australia, nor any of these whole wheat pastry flours or anything that I often see on blogs. Luckily I don’t mind denser cakes with wholemeal flour :)

    This zebra cake looks so pretty!

    • says

      The flour that i ground at home made the cake dense but airy and soft enough to make you forget that its whole grain.. and seriously i am just so happy that i could see the grain that i used:)

  3. says

    gorgeous, richa! just gorgeous…

    and thank you for sharing all of your knowledge on bread flour and cake flour! i didn’t know ANY of that information!

    • says

      yup, new board. I was experimenting with the blue. wasnt sure how it would work or how much to paint. seems to work for the cake.. lets see how it pairs otherwise. i need to deepen the color a bit i think.

  4. says

    This looks gorgeous! I was going to make a zebra cake this morning, but I ended up making cookies. I will make it soon though, you have just inspired me anew, thank you!

  5. says

    Those are such pretty cakes Richa! Always love your bakes! I also enjoyed reading about different types of flours… Since I only get atta and maida in india, i use atta for all my baking and so far haven’t had any major problem with the texture or the taste.

  6. says

    This looks just so wonderful Richa!I just love your blog – your food is so hearty and delicious looking. You do such a great job!

  7. says

    Cool, I always wondered how a zebra cake was made. Looks delicious!
    I would love to have my own grain mill. Do you find much of a difference between the freshly milled and storebought?

    • says

      Thanks Maggie. i put the home milled flour to grind for an extra cycle so the flour was not as coarse as the pastry flour and hence the batter was not too dense and difficult to work with and the cake was also lighter than an all whole wheat pastry flour cake.


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