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Copy Cat Little Debbie Zebra Cake

A fluffy whipped cream filling sandwiched between two soft yellow cakes and covered in a luscious layer of white chocolate. This Copy Cat Little Debbie Zebra Cake is topped off with a chocolate drizzle before being sliced and served. This cake is a fun, delicious homage to one of your favorite childhood treats and an easy way to usher it in for a new generation.

Copy Cat Hostess' Zebra Cake

Last week another kid reached another major milestone. Our second son turned the big 1-6. Sweet Sixteen. It’s always a bitter sweet moment for us as parents.

We’re so proud of seeing them grow– as men, as young adults, as good souls with beautiful hearts and minds, but a part of me always tears up at memories of chubbier cheeks and hands who needed me for so many more things and that as time marches on they’re future no longer lies in my arms and there path won’t be walked holding my hand or from behind my legs anymore.

Like I said, bittersweet but the positives and all the promise of the future always outweighs my nostalgia.

Copy Cat Hostess' Zebra Cake 5

You only have a handful of ‘milestone’ birthday’s in you life, so I really try to make them extra special.

No that doesn’t mean we go crazy dumping money into something or hosting a mega party that would bankrupt us. It does mean we try to make it special to them, our child we’re celebrating.

We tend to opt to get them a ‘coming of age’ sort of gift, and typically let them pick from several options or put in input.

This year, our frugalest kid was able to get several things with his ‘responsible’ choices.

A new bedding set that will also double for home and college in just a few short years, an adult electric razor that he will be able to get years of use out of, and a used snowboard to take on the family skiing trips.

Copy Cat Hostess' Zebra Cake 3

Despite being so modest, he does have his own little vices– his sweet tooth chief among them.

What can I say? Despite my tutelage and intervention he is his Daddy’s mini-me, and this is one thing he definitely comes by honestly. If it was actually a viable option, Son # 2 would be entirely content to live off a diet of chocolate, ice cream, and Hostess cakes.

I am not even joking.

Our corner store/ neighborhood gas station had to start ordering more specifically because he was buying out their meager stock every few days. (He puts half his paycheck in savings, no questions asked, so we try not to begrudge him his spending money purchases- within reason)

I am always shocked at every dentist appointment when he walks away cavity free. Must be all my nagging for him to remember to brush and floss!

Copy Cat Hostess' Zebra Cake 4

Back to the birthday boy and his unchecked love for Little Debbie snack cakes, specifically their zebra cakes.

I knew instantly that this was the perfect birthday cake idea to truly celebrate him and to make him feel extra loved and special on one of his most special days.

He was thrilled!

Thrilled enough that it turned him greedy and he honestly lobbied to not have to share a single slice of cake with his siblings or anyone else.

When that didn’t work, he just stared down every one, begrudging his brothers every precious bite after he’d inhaled his. 

He wasn’t really that bad, but I kinda can’t blame him.

The cake was that good, and tasted just like one giant Copy Cat Little Debbie Zebra cake (but even better than the real deal).

If you’ve tried this COPYCAT LITTLE DEBBIE ZEBRA CAKE, or any other recipe on my site, let me know in the comment section how it turned out, we love hearing from our readers! You can also follow along with me on PINTERESTFACEBOOK, and INSTAGRAM to see more amazing recipes and whatever else we’ve got going on!

full size copycat little debbie zebra cake on a glass cake stand

Copy Cat Little Debbie Zebra Cake

A yummy replica of a childhood favorite, this cake features a fluffy whipped cream filling sandwiched between two yellow cakes and covered in a white chocolate coating with a chocolate drizzle.
4 from 14 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 528kcal



  • 1 box yellow cake mix with required ingredients to bake


  • 4 tsp Ice cold water
  • 1 cup very cold heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla or almond extract


  • 16 oz vanilla almond bark
  • 8 tbsp vegetable shortening
  • thick chocolate syrup


  • Prepare the two cake as directed on the packaging and spread them evenly into two prepared pans of equal size. I used 9" pans for the cake pictured. Bake about 17-20 minutes, until cake bounces back slightly when pressed in the center.
  • Allow the cakes to cool slightly before transferring them from the cake pans to a wire rack to finish cooling completely. While the cakes are baking and then cooling, prepare the cream filling.
  • In a mixing bowl that has been in the freezer for at least 5 minutes, use the whisk attachment to whip the cream, sugar and extract together until it starts to thicken. Once you see it come together, set the mixer to a high speed and whip until the filling is stiff. Refrigerate the cream until ready to use.
  • Once the cakes are completely cooled, set the bottom cake onto a cake stand or a wire rack. Spread a thick, even layer of frosting out over the top. Gently set the other cake on top of the cream and press it down just a bit so that the cream comes to the edges, but doesn't overflow.
  • In a double boiler melt together, stirring occasionally until the almond bark (or white baking chocolate) and shortening are smooth and evenly incorporated.
  • Set the cake stand over a wire rack that's been placed onto a large baking sheet with rims all the way around (this prevents the excess chocolate from running all over your kitchen counters) or just leave them on the wire rack if transferring to a serving dish later on. Carefully pour the melted white chocolate over the cake so that as it runs over it coats the top and sides evenly and completely.
  • Let the cake sit until the chocolate has completely cooled and 'set'-- about 15 minutes or so. At this point you can serve or refrigerate until ready to do so.
  • Just before serving, drizzle the chocolate syrup over top in the classic Zebra Cake pattern.


If not serving immediately, this cake will need to be refrigerated until ready to use since it's filling incorporates fresh cream which can spoil at room temp. The same goes for any leftovers.


Calories: 528kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 333mg | Potassium: 35mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 48g | Vitamin A: 292IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 104mg | Iron: 1mg
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4 from 14 votes (13 ratings without comment)

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  1. Ah! Zebra Cakes are one of my husband’s guilty pleasures. He asks for a box about once a year. Next time they appear on the grocery list I’ll have to surprise him with this instead!

    1. It’ll be a great surprise for any zebra cake lover. Might even spoil the store-bought version for him 😉

  2. Happy birthday to your son! I’m impressed by his frugality and honesty…and I think we might have a sweet tooth in common, haha. What a fabulous cake to celebrate with. Birthdays always have a tinge of bittersweetness to them when you think of the time that’s already passed so quickly.

    1. Thank you! This cake was a huge hit, and I agree it’s a great way to celebrate a special occasion 🙂

    1. Agreed. I <3 a good copy cat. We've done a bunch, especially when we find something we love and would love to enjoy more often.

  3. What a fun cake idea! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Hostess zebra cake. What rock am I living under?! My boys are addicted to sour gummies…ick. The oldest one especially has a sweet tooth…and no cavities either. Go figure.

  4. I can’t believe I have this recipe, this is my absolute favorite Little Debbie snack. And a whole cake???? Pinning for next time I need a cake. Amazing. I didn’t get a chance to make it (yet), but I did pick it as one of my additional features for the You Link It, We Make It link party. We so hope you’ll join us again tomorrow and if you’d like to join our group Pinterest board, send me an email at with your Pinterest email. Thanks again, so glad to connect!

  5. love this recipe I also have sons just the 2 who eat alot the my youngest is like your son just wants to eat the junk. I love copycat recipes because I can make them healthier and cheaper pinning this recipe. You should put your recipe on yummly it would be a big hit. Have a great week zen hugs all around

  6. This is so pretty to look at and easy to make – it has definitely made my “to do list”
    I have selected your gorgeous cake recipe as one of my Editors Picks from our current party.
    So …. ta da! …. you will be featured on the upcoming Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop – which starts Tues eve at 7pm ET.
    Sinea ♥

  7. Do I need to add the shortening to the white chocolate? It isn’t something that I keep at home and if I can avoid buying it, that would be great!

    1. Sorry, Lesley but the shortening is essential to the consistency of the melted chocolate. It keeps forever though, so I’m sure you can find another use for the remainder. It’s what we use in our cake decorating frosting. The recipe’s on the blog, if you’re interested.

      1. Thanks for the reply! I’ll have to pick up a small container. Also, is it okay to use white melting chocolate, like what you can find at a craft store like AC Moore and Michael’s? My food store does not have white almond bark. Thank you again!

        1. Of course! Always happy to help, and know people are enjoying the recipes we’ve worked so hard to create. I wouldn’t, only because I have limited experience with them. My suggestion would be to look in the baking aisle at the grocery store and find what they have their in the way of white melting chocolate, even a solid bar meant for that purpose. It should be near/in the chocolate chip section.

  8. 4 stars
    Thanks for the recipe. My son loves zebra cakes so I surprised him for his bday. The only thing I changed was adding some marshmallow fluff to the filling to make it a bit firmer which held the top layer nicely. Plus I cut it into a hexagon because well, he’s a purist when it comes to his zebra cakes. Lol Thanks!