Alice Medrich's Tiger Cake

"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."
photo by Mme M photo by Mme M
photo by Mme M
photo by Mme M photo by Mme M
Ready In:
1hr 30mins




  • 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.

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  1. This is a delicately flavored, even-textured loaf cake that is easy to make. My chocolate batter fell to the bottom a bit, still, there was marbling that pleased me. The chocolate part of the cake was good and chocolaty without being overly sweet. Very, very nice to serve! I shared this with adults and kids, and everyone loved everything about the cake!


<p>I have always loved to cook. When I was little, I cooked with my Grandmother who had endless patience and extraordinary skill as a baker. And I cooked with my Mother, who had a set repertoire, but taught me many basics. Then I spent a summer with a French cousin who opened up a whole new world of cooking. And I grew up in New York City, which meant that I was surrounded by all varieties of wonderful food, from great bagels and white fish to all the wonders of Chinatown and Little Italy, from German to Spanish to Mexican to Puerto Rican to Cuban, not to mention Cuban-Chinese. And my parents loved good food, so I grew up eating things like roasted peppers, anchovies, cheeses, charcuterie, as well as burgers and the like. In my own cooking I try to use organics as much as possible; I never use canned soup or cake mix and, other than a cheese steak if I'm in Philly or pizza by the slice in New York, I don't eat fast food. So, while I think I eat and cook just about everything, I do have friends who think I'm picky--just because the only thing I've ever had from McDonald's is a diet Coke (and maybe a frie or two). I have collected literally hundreds of recipes, clipped from the Times or magazines, copied down from friends, cajoled out of restaurant chefs. Little by little, I am pulling out the ones I've made and loved and posting them here. Maybe someday, every drawer in my apartment won't crammed with recipes. (Of course, I'll always have those shelves crammed with cookbooks.) I'm still amazed and delighted by the friendliness and the incredible knowledge of the people here. 'Zaar has been a wonderful discovery for me.</p>
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