Filed Under: cake | Chocolate | Dessert

Coconut Zebra Cake

Recipe By Melanie Dueck
August 7th, 2015

Wow your guests with this fun Surprise-Inside Coconut Zebra Cake! Absolutely bursting with sweet chocolate, vanilla, and coconut flavors.

Yield: 12 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook: 1 hour 10 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Sweet coconut/chocolate cake with a rich chocolate ganache.
Texture: Moist and tender crumb.
Ease: Pretty easy but takes a little more time.
Appearance: Zebra like… impressive looking!
Pros: Delicious, chocolate, super cool design.
Cons: You have to spoon the batter in instead of just pouring it all in.
Would I make this again? Of course!

Wow your guests with this fun Surprise-Inside Coconut Zebra Cake!

Please welcome back Melanie from Garnish and Glaze as she shares this impressive cake recipe! Please visit her mouthwatering blog and show her some love!

Remember when you were a kid and at a party you had to choose between a vanilla cupcake and a chocolate one?  Hardest decision ever huh?! Well with this cake you can have both!  Oh and you have the addition of another awesome flavor- Coconut!
Wow your guests with this fun Surprise-Inside Coconut Zebra Cake!When sliced this cake reveals it’s gorgeous striped design.  It looks intricate, complicated, and impressive.  Everyone you serve this to will be wowed and wonder how in the world you were able to create such a delicious and lovely cake.  Lucky for you it’s actually quite simple!

Wow your guests with this fun Surprise-Inside Coconut Zebra Cake!

You make one batter and add some cocoa to half of it.  Then just alternate between adding a spoonful of each batter and bake it.  Easy peazy!Wow your guests with this fun Surprise-Inside Coconut Zebra Cake!

Not only does this cake look fantastic but it has the perfect crumb- soft, tender, and moist.  Oh and the whole thing is covered with rich chocolate coconut ganache and sprinkled with sweetened coconut flakes.  If you love chocolate and coconut then this cake is for you!Wow your guests with this fun Surprise-Inside Coconut Zebra Cake!


How to make
Coconut Zebra Cake

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Inactive Time 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Wow your guests with this fun Surprise-Inside Coconut Zebra Cake! Absolutely bursting with sweet chocolate, vanilla, and coconut flavors.


For the Chocolate Batter:

  • 6 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons coconut milk (or whole milk)

For the White Batter:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup, 8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk (or whole milk)
  • 2 tablespoons milk

For the Glaze:

  • 4 ounces (2/3 cup) bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (or heavy whipping cream)
  • 1/3 cup sweetened coconut flakes


For the Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease a bundt pan with shortening and then flour.
  2. For the chocolate batter: In a mixing bowl, mix the cocoa powder, sugar and flour together. Mix in the milk and then set aside.
  3. In another mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together for 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one a time. Mix in the vanilla and coconut extracts. Next, alternate between mixing in the flour mixture and the coconut milk in three batches until smooth.
  5. Add 2 cups of the batter to the chocolate mixture and stir until combined. Then mix 2 tablespoons milk to the vanilla batter (this will help make the batter thinner and work better to create the stripes).
  6. Spoon about 1/4 cup vanilla batter into each side of the bundt pan (I like to use a spring release ice cream scoop). Then spoon 1/4 cup chocolate batter on top of the vanilla batter. Continue layering spoonfuls of vanilla and chocolate batter. Occasionally give the pan a gently shake to help the batter spread.
  7. Place in the bundt pan in the center of the oven and bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes and then remove from pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

For the Glaze:

  1. Place chocolate and coconut extract in a bowl and pour hot coconut milk (or cream) on top. Cover with a plate or plastic wrap and let it sit for 2 minutes and then whisk together until smooth. Let cool for 5 minutes and then pour over the top of the bundt cake. Sprinkle with coconut flakes. Let set before slicing and serving.

Recipe Notes

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Tessa Arias

About Melanie...

Hi! I'm Melanie, from Garnish and Glaze, momma of one (almost two). I love making delicious food and sharing it with others. Moderation is what I live by so you'll find both healthy and indulgent recipes on my blog (nutrition facts included for all!).

Find Melanie on  

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Recipe Rating

  1. #
    June @ How to Philosophize with Cake — August 7, 2015 at 3:51 am

    That is an impressive cake! I will have to try this zebra cake technique, it looks so cool–and I’m sure it’s delicious too 🙂

  2. #
    Joanne B — August 7, 2015 at 9:39 am

    Beautiful! I will make this weekend. It is so gorgeous. Thanks.

  3. #
    asnia — August 7, 2015 at 6:52 pm

    I will definetly try this out next time I have guests over! What kind of coconut milk was used in this recipe? Should I use the canned coconut milk or is the one that comes in cartons is fine?

  4. #
    Mamie — December 13, 2015 at 7:24 pm

    Could not wait to get coconut ext. and make this. Made it today and was dissatisfied. The crumb and texture was fair, amount of milk for glaze was far TOO much. Added quite abit of 10X sugar to no avail. Also it did not look at all like picture and followed instructions re layering the two batters.

  5. #
    Michelle — February 18, 2016 at 7:58 pm

    Hi, I tried out your recipe, and it was wonderful, thank you so much for uploading it!
    I made the entire batch for a small family of 4.. how well do you think this cake will hold in the freeze? or how many days will it last in the fridge?

  6. #
    shell — July 29, 2017 at 11:26 am

    This looks fabulous, and like a fun cake to make and eat. I am going to substitute coconut oil for the butter (measure for measure) and see how that works. Thank you so much.

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