A twist on a childhood favorite this Copy Cat Little Debbie Zebra Cake is fun for anyone and seriously delicious. Perfect for birthdays or just because.
Who didn’t love Little Debbie Zebra Cakes growing up? My kids absolutely adore them and I still can’t keep these sweets loving paws off of them! They’ve created fun zebra cake flavored spin off creations now too.
But who can resist the delicious nostalgia of a snack cake turned into a full size layer cake!! I mean seriously look at this thing. How can you not want to faceplant into this Copy Cat Little Debbie Zebra cake and just relive your childhood bite after bite?
Why you’ll love this cake:
- Fluffy yellow cake
- Creamy filling that isn’t too sweet
- A grown up version of a childhood favorite
- Two ingredient white chocolate glaze
Easy Yellow Layer Cake
Because this recipe had several steps, I keep the cake easy by using a boxed cake mix. You can make it as the back of the box suggests, or you can add an extra egg, switch the milk to water and change the oil to melted butter for a delicious homemade flavor.
If you are wanting to make a homemade yellow cake, try this recipe.
Cooked Flour Filling
You might think that the filling on this cake would be just a simple vanilla buttercream. And you could certainly do that. But because I didn’t want the cream filling sickening sweet, I made a cooked flour frosting that is creamy and very mild in sweetness.
This cooked flour frosting takes a little time to make, but if you make it while the cake is baking, you shouldn’t have to waste time in putting together the cake.
You’ll definitely want a stand mixer to mix this recipe since it has to beat for so long. It will give the frosting the best texture.
White Chocolate Candy Coating
This is one of the easiest ways to frost a cake, but is also kind of messy. You want to be careful to get the right texture of melted chocolate so that it runs off the cake, but isn’t too thin.
I found that 16 ounces of chocolate to 1/3 cup shortening works best. Can you use butter instead of shortening? I don’t recommend it. Shortening works best.
Line the edges of your cake place with parchment paper (or wax paper) so that it doesn’t end up messy. The sides may not be perfect, but at least your cake plate will look clean.
Lastly, melt chocolate chips and drizzle them from a zippered sandwich bag to make the lines just like the Little Debbie cake.
How to Store This Cake
This cake is best if you store it in the fridge. The cooked flour frosting with the milk should be refrigerated so that it doesn’t spoil. Thankfully the white chocolate seals the cake nicely and prevents it from drying out.
Copycat Little Debbie Zebra Cake
For the cake:
- 1 box yellow cake mix (15.25 ounces)
- 4 large eggs
- 2/3 cup Unsalted butter (Melted)
- 1 cup 2% milk
For the filling:
- 5 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 cup 2% milk (or whole milk)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup shortening
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
For the white chocolate glaze:
- 16 ounces white chocolate melting wafers
- 1/3 cup shortening
For the drizzle:
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Make the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350º Fahrenheit. Grease two 8” cake pans with shortening, then dust with flour. You can also line the bottom of the pans with parchement paper so they come out easily.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the cake mix, eggs, butter and milk. Using the whisk attachment, beat on medium speed for 2-3 minutes until well combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Divide the batter evenly between the two pans.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until the top springs back when you touch it.
- Allow the cakes to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Make the filling:
- Start making the filling while the cakes are baking because it will have to cool.
- In a small saucepan over medium low heat, cook the flour and milk together, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens to a pudding consistency. The amount of time this takes will depend on your pan and stovetop. Don’t turn the heat up too high or the milk may scorch.
- Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to cool completely. (Move the mixture to another bowl and place it over a bowl of ice for it to cool more quickly.)
- While the mixture is cooling, place the sugar in a food processor and pulse several times to make the granules a little finer.
- Using a mixer, cream the butter, shortening, salt and vanilla until smooth. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add in the processed sugar and beat for 2 minutes.
- Add in the cooled flour mixture. Use a mixer and beat until the mixture becomes fluffy like whipped cream. This may take a couple of minutes.
Assemble the cake:
- Place one cake layer on a cake plate. Place parchment paper under the edges of the cake so that the plate doesn’t get messy when you are drizzling the glaze over the cake.
- Spread the whipped filling over the cake.
- Place the second cake layer on top.
Make the white chocolate glaze:
- Melt the white chocolate and shortening together in the microwave in 30 second increments. Stir in between each interval.
- Allow the mixture to sit for 3-5 minutes to cool slightly.
- Slowly pour the glaze over the cake, working quickly to push it to the sides so that it runs over the edges and covers them. Be sure to work quickly because the chocolate may set quickly as it touches the cooler cake.
- Remove the parchment paper from under the edges of the cake. If the chocolate has hardened, you may need to use a knife to cut around the bottom edge of the cake so the chocolate doesn’t pull off.
- Melt the semi-sweet chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Stir every 15 seconds until they are melted.
- Place the chocolate in a small zippered bag and snip the corner of the bag.
- Squeeze to make zebra cake lines over the top of the cake.
- Store the cake in the refrigerator in an airtight container.