Bustle Bites

How To Make Leopard Print Cake

It's worthy of a Paul Hollywood handshake.

by Lauren Tegtmeyer
Originally Published: 

Calling all GBBO wannabes. You know, those of us who gave ourselves a pastry diploma after watching multiple seasons of The Great British Bake Off but never got past making a starter for our sourdough in March. Have no fear! This is the DIY out of the box yet out of the box cake recipe for you.

Based on a communal recipe book from the early ’90s (remember those?) and updated for a little bit of Instagram flare, this is the perfect recipe for a baking novice who wants to get a little more creative in the kitchen. It’s a moist, umptious cake that’s not too sweet; goes great with coffee, milk, or brandy; and looks like something someone with multiple Wilton accessories would have made.

So gather up your limited baking supplies, put on another episode of GBBO, pretend like you’re slaying the technical challenge, and prepare yourself for a Hollywood handshake.

Recipe for 1 loaf:


1 15.25-ounce package yellow cake mix

1 3⅝-ounce package instant butterscotch pudding

3 eggs

⅓ cup oil

¾ cup water

1 tablespoon instant espresso mix

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder


Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine cake mix, pudding, and poppy seeds in a large bowl. Mix well.

Add eggs, oil, and water, and beat until smooth.

Divide batter among three bowls: 6 tablespoons into a medium bowl, 4 tablespoons into a small bowl, and leave the remaining batter in the large bowl.

Add 1 tablespoon of instant espresso mix to the medium bowl and mix for a light brown color. Add 1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder + 1 teaspoon of water to the small bowl and mix for a dark brown color. You can add more coffee or cocoa powder as needed to adjust the color.

Transfer the batters into three zip-top bags to pipe the batter.

Grease loaf pan and line with parchment.

Fill one layer on the bottom of the loaf pan with your plain batter. Using the coffee batter, make two lines the length of the pan that are each approximately ⅕ of the width of the pan.

With your dark brown cocoa batter, make two lines on top of the light brown batter that are not as wide. Follow with the light brown batter on the top of each dark brown line but do not cover the dark brown line. Cover the layer with plain batter.

Repeat the lines process with your coffee and cocoa batters, alternating the location of the lines to be in the “window” of the ones below it, until you are out of flavored batter. Cover with plain batter.

Place in the middle rack of the oven and bake for 1 hour.

Let cool before slicing.

Host: Lauren Tegtmeyer

Executive Creative Director: Lauren Sofair

Executive Producer: Whitney Buxton

Supervising Producer: Irina Dvalidze

Producer: Lauren Tegtmeyer

Design Director: Andenew Ayele

Motion Designer: Jeff Donlan

Editor: Meline Rosales

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