Chocolate Cinnamon Zebra Loaf Cake

This cinnamon chocolate zebra loaf cake is possibly one of my favourite things I’ve baked recently! Nothing beats slicing this open to reveal those amazing swirls of chocolate and cinnamon sponge cake. The recipe itself is super simple and can be made with just a mixing bowl and wooden spoon- super simple! It couldn’t be easier to make and is the perfect sharing dessert for an afternoon tea or bring-to-work dessert! 

Loaf cakes are always a firm favourite for me, as they’re really versatile for decorating, making them perfect for any occasion! I also love how easily you can grab a slice to take out with you on the go! Seeing as it’s nearly Easter, I’ve decorated this with a lightly spiced chocolate frosting and some cute little mini Easter eggs! 

Why you need to make this cinnamon chocolate zebra loaf cake

  • It’s super easy to make!
  • Completely dairy free and totally plant based! 
  • The perfect dessert for any Easter occasions and great for sharing!
  • Doesn’t require any equipment or fancy ingredients 
  • Super moist and fluffy texture! 
  • Can be made from classic store cupboard staple ingredients
  • Can be frozen (if there’s actually any left over and not eaten right away!) 
  • Is delicious toasted with some almond butter and jam! 
  • Filled with warming spices like cinnamon and nutmeg- perfect for Easter celebrations! 

what you will need to make this recipe

  • Self raising flour: this recipes using self-raising flour to achieve that gloriously spongey texture! 
  • Caster sugar: fir sweetness, I’ve used caster sugar in this recipe. I haven’t experimented with coconut sugar as a refined sugar free alternative yet, so can’t guarantee that this will work. 
  • Soy milk & apple cider vinegar: These are essential for creating your vegan buttermilk alternative. This combination reacts, causing the milk to thicken and create a substance similar to buttermilk. You can use this as a direct replacement when baking dairy free recipes. 
  • Olive oil: to keep this recipe dairy free and plant based, I’ve swapped butter for olive oil. I use a light and milk variety in my bakes so to not overpower the cake flavours. Olive oil also helps to achieve a really fluffy and lightweight sponge cake texture. 
  • Cocoa powder: the chocolate swirl part of the cake calls for cocoa powder. I always recommend using a high quality cocoa for the best possible flavour!
  • Cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg: as it’s almost Easter time, I thought warming spices would be really fitting here! I’m obsessed with anything cinnamon! 

Achieving the zebra pattern

This part is honestly so much easier that you’re probably thinking and, if you’re feeling brave you can always experiment with different patterns. To achieve the effect, you will need to divide our cake batter into two equal portions and stir the cocoa powder into one of these. Transfer each of the mixtures into piping bags and begin to pipe alternate stripes into your lined loaf tin. Repeat this until all of the mixture is used up! 

Cinnamon chocolate zebra loaf cake

A sweetly spiced sponge cake with a chocolate swirl
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Baking
Keyword: chocolate, cinnamon bun, easter cake, loaf cake, zebra cake


Loaf Cake

  • 180 g golden caster sugar can also use granulated
  • 90 ml olive oil
  • 210 ml soy milk
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 240 g self raising flour
  • 3 tbsp high quality cocoa powder (or cacao)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • Pinch nutmeg


  • 200 g vegan stick butter
  • 200 g icing sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp cocoa/cacao powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon


  • Preheat your oven to 180c fan and line a regular sized loaf pan with baking paper.
  • Mix your soy milk and apple cider vinegar together to combine, then set aside for 5 minutes. This will allow the mixture to thicken and form your vegan buttermilk.
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream the sugar and olive oil together using a wooden spoon.
  • Once combined, whisk in the buttermilk mixture, then sift all of your dry ingredients apart from the cocoa powder.
  • Fold the wet and dry ingredients together to form a smooth batter, then divide this into two equal portions.
  • To one of your cake batters, stir in the cocoa powder and mix thoroughly until completely incorporated.
  • Transfer the mixtures into two individual piping bags and begin assembling the cake by piping alternate stripes of batter. You want to do this lengthways in the tin.
  • Repeat this process layering the batter, until all of the mixture is used up. Bake for approximately 40-45 minutes until golden and completely cooked through.
  • Remove your loaf cake from the oven and allow to cool on a wire cooling rack. Meanwhile, beat the butter until pale and fluffy, then gradually incorporate the icing sugar, cinnamon and cocoa powder.
  • To frost this cake, I love to pipe these little swirls on top for something slightly more fancy- but you can decorate how you like! Add some fresh fruit, or even little Easter eggs like I've done here and serve!

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