The Study Aid of Champions

Throughout my years in school, I saw a LOT of crazy study habits / supposed shortcuts.  From the crack whore chic snorting of the Adderall, to the nose breathers favorite, spending hours writing hundreds of ultimately useless flashcards, to one of my personal favorites, the “I always learn better when I’m wasted / stoned / on any substance I can get my hands on.”

Now that my little sisters are in college, I like to do whatever I can to help them through Hell Week.  This almost always means baking something sinfully sugary, brimming with carbs and chocolate.  So, today’s recipe is brought to you by Zebra Pound Cake, one of the best study aids out there.  It’s moist and decadent, without the frills and frosting.  The chocolate layers were rich and full; the vanilla swirls were divinely buttery and definitely held their own next to the chocolate.

Jenny, my youngest sister and the recipient of the cake, LOVED it!  And it was great to be able to drop her off a little something to help get her through the week and let her know she’s loved.  Besides, carbs and sugar help learning.  No, seriously.  I read it somewhere.  No, really, I did!  PROMISE!

Zebra Pound Cake

Recipe adapted from Pencil Kitchen

3 cups cake flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups sugar, separated

1/2 cup cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s Special Dark, as always)

6 tablespoons warm water

1 cup butter, melted

5 eggs

1 1/4 cups milk


Sift together flour, salt, baking power, and baking soda in a small bowl and set aside.

In a medium-sized bowl, stir together your cocoa powder, a half-cup of sugar, and water until smooth.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together remaining cup of sugar and melted butter for one minute.  Add vanilla, and continue to blend until well-combined.

Add your eggs one at a time, stirring well after each addition.  

Begin adding your flour, alternating with the milk.  You should finish with the flour mixture.

Take two cups of the white batter and pour it into the chocolate mixture.  Mix until well combined.

Now, here’s the fun part.  Add your batter, one third-cup at a time, alternating white and black.   Since I used a bundt pan, I poured each cup of batter along the center of the pan, as close to the center hole as possible.  However, you can probably use whatever method you wish — if you have another way of creating those lovely stripes, please share!

Give your pan a good shake to even out the batter.  Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes to one hour.  Allow the cake to cool completely before you flip it, slice and serve.



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