Are you currently planning a detective birthday for children? Then maybe this super simple The Three Question Marks Cake is something for you. The base is a very simple zebra cake – made quickly!

Baking a detective birthday cake – easier The three question marks birthday cake

The three question mark kids have been a hit here for months – that’s why the motto for the last children’s birthday party was decided in no time: Detective Birthday! I simply made a zebra cake from my grandma’s marble cake recipe and decorated it a little – with the drip colors it’s quick and easy!

Tipp: If you decorate the cake and the color is liquid, you can easily spread it on a few mini chocolate kisses (or rice cakes, etc.) and have a little treat in themed colors without any effort.

In the next few weeks I’ll show you a cake for a detective’s birthday that you can easily put together from frozen cakes and tell you how I came up with a simple detective case without much preparation time.

Detective birthday cake made from simple basic dough – zebra cake recipe

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The quantity is enough for a springform pan with a diameter of approx. 26 cm.

For the light dough

  • 250 Gramm Butter
  • 300 grams of sugar
  • 5 Owner
  • 500 grams of flour
  • 1 packet of baking powder
  • Approximately 1 half cup of milk

Additionally for the dark dough

  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons baking cocoa

For decoration

  • Either light and dark couverture plus food coloring for couverture, or
  • Super Drip (red, blue, white, black)

Tip: The Super Drip seems very expensive at first glance, but you only need a small amount from the bottle for the cake and you can then simply let it cool and use it again and again. I now have a small range of different colors. You can also use couverture for the large areas and only paint the question marks with the drip. The advantage of this is that you can “paint” directly onto the cake with the attachment.

This is how it’s done – recipe for detective birthday cake – bake zebra cake

Bake a detective birthday cake. Plan a detective party

Here we will explain to you step by step how to bake the detective birthday cake – the basis is a simple basic recipe for a zebra cake.

Tip – Marble cake as a quick alternative: If layering the dough is too complicated for you, you can also bake this cake as a marble cake. To do this, simply put the light dough into the mold in step 4, then the dark dough and whisk briefly with a fork.

Step 1 Prepare the mold and preheat the oven

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees top and bottom heat. Stretch a sheet of baking paper into the bottom of a 26cm springform pan and grease the edge.

Step 2 prepare light dough

To make the dough, mix the butter with the sugar until creamy and then mix in the eggs one at a time. Also add flour and baking powder and then add milk little by little until the dough is really creamy.

Step 3 prepare dark dough

Put about half of the light dough in a second bowl. Put baking cocoa and sugar in a cup and add some water. Stir until a creamy mixture forms. You then mix this mixture with the removed dough.

Step 4 Layer zebra cake and bake

The zebra pattern in the cake is very easy to create. Start with the light dough and place a large tablespoon of it in the middle of the springform pan. Then put a tablespoon of dark dough right in the middle. Continue like this, alternating adding a tablespoon of light and dark dough right in the middle until you have used up both dough.

Then the cake can go into the oven – about 50 minutes to an hour at 180 degrees. Do a chopstick test to check whether the cake is done. Let it cool down briefly and then turn it out onto a cake rack. Remove the baking paper and let the cake cool down.

Step 5 Allow the detective birthday cake to cool and decorate

The smooth underside of the cake can then be decorated. I first applied the “background” made of light and dark chocolate coating and then painted the three question marks with the Superdrip as desired. You can easily shape these with a small toothpick.


Have fun baking and celebrating,


And if this recipe wasn’t right for you, then take a look here: 15 simple recipe ideas for children’s birthday parties!

15 simple recipe ideas for children's birthdays

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