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Happy FriYAY, we have a serious cake to talk about today.

Chocolate Layered Zebra Mousse Cake | @hbharvest

**headsup: a lot of photos ahead, if you want the recipe just scroll to the bottom! 🙂

First though, happy Cinco de Mayo! I hope you will all be celebrating with a Mexican feast and plenty of margaritas tonight. If you need any ideas, check out this post!

OK, but this cake? Isn’t is fun? As you can see I got just a little carried away with the edible flowers, but what’s new, right?

And for those of you who are wondering, those would be hibiscus flowers, aren’t they pretty!

But this cake, from the outside you’d never guess what’s hiding on the inside…

Chocolate Layered Zebra Mousse Cake | @hbharvest

Chocolate Layered Zebra Mousse Cake | @hbharvest

Chocolate Layered Zebra Mousse Cake | @hbharvest

Chocolate Layered Zebra Mousse Cake | @hbharvest

Zebra cake layers! Ahh! I’m still just in awe of this cake. And for those of you out there saying you could never make a zebra striped cake, trust me you can…and you should. When I set out to make this cake, I wasn’t real optimistic…I figured I could probably make it taste could, but look good…doubtful. How would I get a cake to look like zebra stripes?

Well, I took some advice from a pro, hello Martha Stewart, and you know what? Creating a zebra striped cake is simple and pretty painless. The secret? Simply pouring the chocolate cake batter over top of the vanilla cake batter, a little at a time, to create layers. Yes, it does take a few minutes longer then just dumping the batter into each pan, but the fun zebra stripes make it totally worth the extra time and effort.

I did a simple vanilla and chocolate cake batter, but for my filling, I went with something a little different. Over here, we are huge fans of anything involving chocolate mousse. I knew with Mother’s Day coming up in just a little over a week that I could create the perfect cake for my mom if it involved chocolate mousse. So that’s what I did.

I created a zebra striped vanilla and chocolate cake with an easy chocolate mousse that’s light, airy and pairs perfectly with this cake.

Then I frosted the outside with a little whipped cream and decorated the cake with tons of flowers, because anything with flowers is always my mom’s favorite…and my guess would be that’s the case for a lot of you moms out there too. Flowers just make everything better.

Chocolate Layered Zebra Mousse Cake | @hbharvest

Chocolate Layered Zebra Mousse Cake | @hbharvest

You know what the best part about this cake is? Even though it’s super fun and pretty, it also tastes amazing. I feel like so many pretty cakes end up being dry and flavorless, but this cake is anything but…it’s moist, chocolatey, and airy – SO GOOD.

Also, and I feel like this is something I really want to stress to you guys, DO NOT freak if your zebra stripes aren’t perfect, mine are totally not, but none of you mind, right?

The cake is going to be fun no matter what, and promise, even if the cake batter looks like a hot mess going into the oven, by the time it comes out it will be pretty and zebra stripe…ish. And remember, perfect is just plain boring anyway. Little imperfections are always a good thing, they show character.

Chocolate Layered Zebra Mousse Cake | @hbharvestChocolate Layered Zebra Mousse Cake | @hbharvest

OKok. And with that, I think it’s time to say see ya! I hope you guys all have an incredible cake-filled weekend. Are you up to anything fun? I’m headed to Salt Lake City to speak at my very first conference. I’m going to be running through my photography process with attendees and answering all their questions. And you guys, well I am excited, I am so nervous!!! So please, send good vibes!

Please and thank you!

Chocolate Layered Zebra Mousse Cake | @hbharvest

Chocolate Layered Zebra Mousse Cake | @hbharvest

Chocolate Layered Zebra Mousse Cake | @hbharvest

Layered Zebra Mousse Cake

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings: 16 servings
Calories Per Serving: 632 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.


Chocolate Mousse


  • 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 2 (8 inch) round cake pans. 
    2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
    3. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a hand held mixer) beat together the buttermilk, greek yogurt, canola oil, eggs, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients with the mixer on low until there are no longer any clumps of flour. Batter should be pourable, but not super thin.
    4. Divide the batter in half. Set one batter aside. To the other batter, add the cocoa powder and coffee, beating until smooth. 
    5. Spoon about 1/4 cup of vanilla batter (the one set aside) into the center of each prepared 8 inch pan. Now spoon 1/4 cup chocolate batter directly over the vanilla batter. Repeat this process, always spooning the batter into the center of the pan. It helps to tap the pans against the center every so often to evenly distribute the batter. Don't stress if things looks a little uneven.
    6. Transfer to the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool 5 minutes and then invert the cakes onto a wire rack to cool completely. 
    7. Meanwhile, make the mousse. Add 3 cups heavy cream to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or use a hand held mixer. Whisk the cream until stiff peaks form. Add the cacao powder, honey, and vanilla and stir until combined and creamy. Cover and place in the fridge.
    8. To assemble. Using a serrated knife, slice the cakes in half horizontally. Place one cake layer on a cake stand and spread with mousse. Add another layer and then more mousse. Continue with the remaining 2 layers and mousse. 
    9. Add the remaining 1 cup heavy cream to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or use a hand held mixer. Whisk the cream until stiff peaks form. Stir in 2 tablespoons honey. Spread the whipped cream around the outside of the cake. decorate as desired. Cake can be made up to 1 day in advance. Keep stored in the fridge until ready to serve.
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Chocolate Layered Zebra Mousse Cake | @hbharvest

In the meantime, I’ll just be over here stress-eating on this cake. But for real, those layers! Love.

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  1. I want to tell you that I am so very impressed with all of the recipes on this website. The photography and the stories are such a wonderful pleasure. I am going to bake this cake because it looks so devine but I am not a baker, I am a home cook but I have to try this! Thank you for such a fabulous website!

    1. This is so sweet Eileen, thank you. It really means a lot that you appreciate the photos and recipes on my blog. I hope this cake turns out amazing for you, let me know how it is! Thanks again! (:

  2. Hey there! I made this cake this morning and it was both a bit too sour and a bit too dense. I want to try it again with cake flour and also was wondering if I could sub out one cup of the buttermilk with a cup of regular whole milk. Thoughts? It was BEAUTIFUL! Just wasn’t in love with the flavor and texture….

    1. hey Renee!! Of course cake flour will be great and yes, if it was sour for you taste, use regular milk. You can also add a bit of sugar to sweeten it up too. Let me know if you have questions. Thank you!

  3. Hi! This looks absolutely amazing. Do you swirl a knife through the batter to the stripes effect or do you simply leave it as is after you’ve poured the layers? Thanks!

    1. Hi! No swirling needed, just leave it after you have poured as directed. Let me know if you have any other questions. Hope you love the cake! 🙂

  4. holy holy holy, what an INSANE cake! i can’t get over all those perfect swirls. so beautiful Tieghan! Xx

  5. Hi! Is the black coffee a necessary item to the recipe? This would be perfect for a kid’s birthday cake, but not sure the coffee flavor will go over well. Advice would be great. Thanks!

    1. Hey Jess! You can omit the coffee and replace it water. That said, you honestly cannot taste the coffee. it just highlights the chocolate! Either way will be great though. Let me know if you have questions. Hope you love the cake! 🙂

  6. You did an awesome job at the conference, Tieghan! Never would have known it was your first conference appearance! Was so nice to meet you and as I told you, I’ve long admired your work. Great job!

  7. Hey Tieghan, this looks incredible! I love the look of all your recipes that use edible flowers. Where do you get/order them from?

  8. Teighan, this cake is so cool! Everything you make looks delicious and beautiful.:) Sending you good vibes for your first conference!

  9. This is beautiful! And I wish I could attend that conference and learn about your photography! Good luck. 🙂

  10. Tieghan! You have outdone yourself as usual! This is such a crazy/ beautiful many ideas all put into one cake! Love love the flowers!❤️