Learn the Secret to Making a Perfect Tiger Cake

Welcome, bakers and cake enthusiasts! Have you been looking for a recipe that takes a traditional dessert and elevates it to the next level? Well then, you’ve come to the right place. I am here to introduce Alice Medrich’s Tiger Cake recipe – a wonderful take on a classic marble cake that is sure to please your taste buds and impress your guests.

The first time I came across this recipe was in Alice Medrich’s book of dessert recipes, Bittersweet: Recipes and Tales from a Life in Chocolate. As soon as I saw this recipe, I knew I had to give it a try. And let me tell you, it was love at first bite.

The name “Tiger Cake” comes from the marbled stripes of chocolate and vanilla that run through the cake, giving it a unique and eye-catching appearance. However, what truly sets this recipe apart is the addition of white pepper to the cake batter. White pepper actually improves the flavor of the cake on the second day and makes it even more delicious when toasted!

Now, some may be skeptical at first about using such an unconventional ingredient in their baking. But fear not! Trust me when I say that you won’t taste any spiciness in the finished product. Instead, what you get is a subtle warmth that perfectly balances out the sweetness of the cake.

Not only is this Tiger Cake easy to make – albeit with a few extra steps that are well worth taking – but it’s also incredibly versatile. You can serve it plain or dressed up with fresh fruit or whipped cream. It pairs perfectly with coffee or tea for a morning treat or with ice cream for an indulgent dessert.

So why not give this fantastic recipe a shot? Whether you’re a seasoned baker looking for something new or just starting to experiment with baking, Alice Medrich’s Tiger Cake is sure to impress. Trust me; your taste buds will thank you!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Alice Medrich's Tiger Cake
Alice Medrich’s Tiger Cake

Listen up, my fellow bakers! I am here to convince you to make Alice Medrich’s Tiger Cake recipe, and I assure you that you will absolutely love it. This cake has a unique twist to your typical marble cake by incorporating extra virgin olive oil and white pepper into the batter, which actually improves the texture and taste on the second day. Trust me when I say this cake is seriously delicious.

First of all, let’s talk about the ingredients. This recipe calls for all-purpose flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, eggs, milk, vanilla extract, cocoa powder, and of course olive oil and white pepper. And let me tell you – these ingredients are what make this cake a masterpiece. The combination of flavors is a true delight; the chocolate cake mixed with the olive oil creates an absolutely divine taste.

But another convincing point about this recipe is its versatility. You can make variations to this cake, with options like using tigernut flour instead of all-purpose flour, or even adding chocolate orange flavorings to make it more decadent. Trust me when I say that once you’ve mastered the beginner level cake recipe, you’ll have a lot of room to get creative with your future tiger cakes.

What I love most about this recipe is how easy it is to follow. Even little chefs can whip up this wonderful marble cake without breaking a sweat. In fact, you can find Alice Medrich’s Tiger Cake recipe in her book where she details every step for you on page 269.

So what are you waiting for? Trust me when I say this cake will satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth cravings. With its moist texture and perfect balance of sweetness and spiciness from the white pepper, Alice Medrich’s Tiger Cake will become your go-to dessert once you try it out yourself.

Ingredient List

 A slice of heaven in every bite
A slice of heaven in every bite

Ingredients Step by Step:

Here’s a list of everything you’ll need to make Alice Medrich’s Tiger Cake recipe at home. You’ll notice there aren’t any unusual ingredients, and most of these should be pantry staples in your kitchen already.

  • 1 3/4 cups (245 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper (trust me, it actually improves it!)
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the chocolate batter:
– 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
– 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
– 1/3 cup water

This is everything you need to make the basic Tiger Cake recipe. However, as you become more comfortable with the recipe, you can make all kinds of great substitutions and variations, which we’ll get into later on.

The Recipe How-To

 The ultimate marble cake experience
The ultimate marble cake experience

Now that you have all your ingredients, it’s time to start making the Alice Medrich’s Tiger Cake.

Step 1: Preheat the Oven and Prepare the Baking Pan

First things first, preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). While waiting for the oven to heat up, prepare a 9-by-5-inch (23-by-13-cm) loaf pan by buttering it or spraying it with cooking spray.

Step 2: Mix the Dry Ingredients

Take a medium-sized bowl and mix together 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Separate this mixture into two equal parts.

In the first mixture, add 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder and 1/8 teaspoon of white pepper. In the second mixture, use a sifter or fine-mesh strainer to sift 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder onto the flour, then add 1/2 cup of sugar.

Step 3: Mix Wet Ingredients

In another bowl, whisk together 1 cup of sugar, 3 large eggs, and 1/4 teaspoon salt until frothy. Add in 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 1/2 cup milk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract while continuing to whisk until everything is evenly combined.

Step 4: Combine Dry and Wet Ingredients

Gradually blend one of the dry ingredient mixture into the wet ingredients. Use a rubber spatula or whisk as you work. The batter will be thick but smooth. Divide this batter into two halves.

Add one part of wet ingredients into each half batter previously divided on dry ingredients mentioned above using a whisk.

Step 5: Assemble the Batter in the Pan

To assemble the cake batter, alternate spoonfuls of the vanilla batter with chocolate batter in three layers across the length of the prepared pan.

To create those signature “tiger stripes,” use a knife or small spatula to gently swirl through but not mix into each layer a few times back-and-forth.

Step 6: Baking

Bake for about 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Serve up slices of this gorgeous Tiger Cake with some whipped cream or ice cream and enjoy!

Now that you know how to make this wonderful marble cake with white pepper that actually improves on day two, it’s time to put on your apron and start baking!

Substitutions and Variations

 Let the stripes guide you to the perfect slice
Let the stripes guide you to the perfect slice

One of the joys of baking is the chance to experiment with different ingredients, and the Tiger Cake recipe is no exception. Here are some substitutions and variations to try:

– Flour: While the recipe calls for all-purpose flour, you can use tigernut flour instead for a gluten-free option. Tigernut flour has a slightly sweet, nutty taste that complements the flavours of this cake.

– Cocoa powder: For a twist on the classic chocolate flavour, try using Dutch-process cocoa powder instead of regular cocoa powder. Dutch-process cocoa powder has a smoother, less acidic taste that elevates the richness of the chocolate.

– Olive oil: The recipe specifies extra-virgin olive oil, but you could also try using other oils such as coconut oil or vegetable oil. Each oil has its own unique flavour profile and could add a new dimension to the cake.

– Size: Want more or fewer servings? The recipe can easily be doubled to make a larger cake or halved for a smaller one.

– Flavours: The basics of the recipe can be adapted for many different flavour combinations. Alice Medrich herself has explored variations such as Chocolate-Orange Olive Oil Cake, and you might like to add some grated orange zest or swap out some of the vanilla extract in favour of almond, lemon or coffee extracts.

Whether you’re looking for gluten-free options or unique flavour combinations, there are endless possibilities when it comes to variations and adaptations for Alice Medrich’s Tiger Cake Recipe. So why not unleash your inner little chef and get experimenting?

Serving and Pairing

 A perfect dessert for any occasion
A perfect dessert for any occasion

Now that you’ve baked Alice Medrich’s fabulous Tiger Cake recipe, it’s time to serve it up and enjoy its bold and rich flavors. This cake is a work of art that deserves to be presented beautifully. Serve your slices on a pretty cake stand or a simple white platter to let the colors of the cake pop.

The Tiger Cake is perfect for all occasions. You can dress it up with some whipped cream and fresh berries for a fancy dessert, or slice it into thick pieces for a hearty breakfast alongside a cup of coffee or tea. It’s also great as an afternoon snack or as part of your children’s lunchbox.

If you want to pair this delicious cake with another treat, try serving it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or some chocolate sauce drizzled on top. The contrast between the moist cake and cold ice cream is heavenly.

For a savory pairing, serve Alice Medrich’s Olive Oil Cake alone or together with the Tiger Cake. The two cakes balance each other perfectly, providing a well-rounded flavor experience that will delight everyone.

No matter how you choose to serve this delightful cake, it should always be enjoyed among friends and family. It’s simply too good not to share.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Bold flavors in every layer
Bold flavors in every layer

Now that you have mastered the Medrich Tiger Cake recipe and your house smells like a bakery, let’s talk about make-ahead, storing, and reheating options.

The great news is that this cake tastes even better as it sits, making it an ideal make-ahead dessert. Simply wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and store it at room temperature for up to three days. The cake will continue to develop its flavor and moist texture over time.

However, if you don’t plan on consuming the whole cake within three days, you can freeze it for up to three months. Cut the cake into slices and wrap them with plastic wrap or place them in freezer bags before freezing. When ready to eat, simply thaw the slices at room temperature or reheat them in a microwave for about 20 seconds per slice.

To reheat the whole cake, preheat your oven to 325°F (160°C). Once heated, place the wrapped cake in the oven for about 10-15 minutes or until warmed through. Be careful not to overheat or dry out the cake.

Finally, if you are looking for a creative twist to spice things up with your tiger cake, try serving it with some whipped cream or vanilla ice cream on top. Add some fresh fruit such as strawberries or raspberries on the side and sprinkle some cocoa powder over everything – voila! What a masterpiece!

Remember, whether you are making this for guests or just for yourself, these storing and reheating tips will help you save time while keeping the flavor and texture of this delicious cake intact.

Tips for Perfect Results

 When vanilla and chocolate come together
When vanilla and chocolate come together

Baking a perfect tiger cake requires some tips and tricks to achieve the best texture and flavor. Follow these suggestions to get a tiger cake that will impress anyone who tries it.

First things first, when measuring the flour, be sure to use the spoon then level method. Scooping the flour can lead to a dense cake. For optimal results, sift the cake flour twice before using it.

When baking with cocoa powder, I always recommend using Dutch-processed cocoa for its rich color and intense chocolatey flavor. However, if you don’t have any on your pantry, you can still use natural unsweetened cocoa powder with equally delicious results.

White pepper is a secret ingredient in this recipe that adds a subtle yet undeniable tang to the cake. A touch of white pepper actually improves the second-day deliciousness of the tiger cake when toasted. Trust me; it’s worth it!

If you’re feeling adventurous or looking for alternatives, you can make tigernut flour or replace up to 1/3 of the all-purpose flour with tigernut flour. Tigernuts have an earthy sweetness that compliments this cake quite well and makes for a unique twist on a classic dessert.

Don’t overmix your batter! Overmixing can create gluten development in the cake which can lead to a denser cake. Combine all ingredients until just mixed or as the recipe specifies.

Lastly, let your baked tiger cake cool down in its pan before releasing it onto a wire rack carefully. A quick release can result in cracks and tears on its surface, which may affect the overall appearance of your masterpiece.

With these few tips and tricks up your sleeve, you are sure to bake an impressive Alice Medrich Tiger Cake Recipe that your family, friends, and taste buds will thank you for!


Now that you know how to make this delicious and visually stunning Tiger Cake, you may have some questions about the recipe. Here are some FAQs to help address any uncertainties or concerns you may have before getting started.

How do you make tiger stripe cake?

As you prepare to assemble your tiger stripe cake, consider using larger portions of the orange-vanilla batter to create a more prominent striped effect. To achieve a deeper, darker color, you may opt to use special dark cocoa powder or incorporate black gel food coloring into the mix. Keep these tips in mind as you move forward with the recipe.

How do you make a vanilla Donna Hay cake?

For this recipe, we will need some melted unsalted butter, weighing 125g and then allowing it to cool. Sift 1 ½ cups of self-raising flour, which is approximately 225g. Additionally, we’ll need 1 cup of caster sugar, weighing around 220g. Two teaspoons of vanilla extract and half a teaspoon of baking powder will also be required. Crack two eggs and add them to the mixture, along with roughly ½ cup or 125 ml of milk.

How do you make a Beck cake?

Before we start baking, we need to get everything ready. Start by prepping your baking pans. Grease the pans with butter or non-stick cooking spray to ensure the cake doesn’t stick.

Next, take out all the ingredients you will need and allow them to reach room temperature. This includes eggs, butter, and milk. Room temperature ingredients blend more easily and will give your cake a better texture.

While your ingredients are getting to the right temperature, preheat your oven. A preheated oven will ensure that your cake cooks evenly.

In a separate bowl, stir together all of the dry ingredients to ensure they are evenly distributed. This will make for a more consistent cake.

In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

When the wet ingredients are mixed together, start alternating between adding the dry ingredients and your wet mixture. This helps to prevent the batter from becoming lumpy.

Finally, pour the batter into your baking pans and place them in the oven to bake. Voila! You have a delicious cake in the making.

What is in the cake?

When it comes to making a cake, there are certain key ingredients you’ll need to have on hand. These include flour, fat, sugar, eggs, liquid, salt, and leavening agents. Each ingredient plays an important role in creating the perfect texture and flavor for your cake, so it’s crucial to measure them accurately and follow any recipe instructions closely. With these essential building blocks in place, you’ll be well on your way to whipping up a delicious treat for any occasion.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Alice Medrich Tiger Cake recipe is a must-try for any baking enthusiast. With its unique flavor profile and marbled appearance, it’s both visually stunning and delectable. Its flexibility, with various substitutions and variations available, means that you can adapt the recipe to suit your preferences or ingredients on hand.

Furthermore, the use of extra virgin olive oil brings a surprising touch of depth and richness to the cake, making it stand out from other baked goods. This recipe is sure to impress and satisfy anyone who tries it.

So what are you waiting for? Head to your kitchen, gather your ingredients, and follow these simple steps for an incredibly delicious treat. Whether you’re a professional baker or just starting out, this recipe is sure to become one of your favorites.

Alice Medrich's Tiger Cake

Alice Medrich’s Tiger Cake Recipe

A wonderful marble cake made with extra virgin olive oil and a touch of white pepper. It actually improves on the second day, it's delicious toasted, it freezes beautifully and it's self-marbling! Cook time does not include cooling time.
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: < 4 Hours, Easy
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Calories: 487.7kcal


  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder, natural (Not Dutch process)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil (use a nice flavorful one)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper, finely ground
  • 5 large eggs, cold
  • 1 cup milk, cold


  • Position a rack in the lower third of your oven and pre-heat to 350 degrees F.
  • If using a 10 or 12" tube or bundt pan, grease and flour the pan; if using two 6-cup loaf pans, line the pans with parchment.
  • In a small bowl, mix the cocoa, 1/2 cup sugar and 1/3 cup water together until well blended; set aside.
  • Mix the flour, baking powder, salt thoroughly and sift together onto a piece of waxed paper; set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl (with the whisk attachment if you have it), beat the sugar, oil, vanilla and pepper until well blended.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Stop the mixer and add one third of the flour mixture; beat on low speed until just blended.
  • Stop the mixer and add half the milk; beat on low until just blended.
  • Repeat with another third of the flour, the remaining milk and the rest of the flour.
  • Pour three cups of the batter into another bowl and stir in the cocoa mixture.
  • Pour one third of the plain batter into the prepared pan (or divide between the two loaf pans)and top with one third of the chocolate batter.
  • Repeat with the remaining batters, but don't worry about marbling--it happens by itself during the baking.
  • Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about one hour and ten minutes for either the bundt/tube pan or the loaf pans.
  • Cool in the pan(s) on a rack for 15 minutes. Loosen the cake from the sides of the pan(s) to release, invert and invert again so the cake ends up right side up on the rack.
  • Cool completely before slicing.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 143g | Calories: 487.7kcal | Carbohydrates: 68.8g | Protein: 7.2g | Fat: 21.6g | Saturated Fat: 3.9g | Cholesterol: 91mg | Sodium: 150mg | Fiber: 2.1g | Sugar: 42g

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