Step-by-step: Checkerboard cake

3 08 2010

There are a number of skills involved in baking and decorating cakes.  Whilst many of them just require repetition and practice some need a little more assistance.  Checkerboard cake is one of those fun cake designs that seems so much more complicated than it actually is.  I was so happy to find a few tutorials online that completely destroyed the notion that this was going to be really difficult.  I love making this cake without telling the recipient and seeing their face when they cut the first slice.  Most of the time the decoration is the only part of a cake that anyone pays any attention to so it makes a nice change to play with the interior.

One point to note.  There are kits available online to make a checkerboard cake, some have special cutters, others have lots of different baking tins.  I’m not trying to lose anyone money but I think they’re a complete waste of time and money.  The following method is simple & only requires a few cookie cutters which many bakers will already have amongst their baking paraphenalia.

1) Your cakes need to be round to get the correct effect.  I have tried something similar with square cakes and it didn’t quite work out the way I hoped it would.  I tend to stick with a simple 8 or 9 inch round cake.  Bake two plain/ vanilla cakes and two coloured or chocolate cakes.  I’ve made this previously using pink colouring to tint two of my vanilla cakes.  You basically need contrasting colours. Once cooled, level your four cakes.

2) Find two round cutters that will give you even rings when you cut into the round cakes.  The picture demonstrates this much better than I can ever explain.  I have a few sets of round cutters that increase in size so I just chose the ones that suited best.  If you don’t have suitable cutters or larger cakes try to find some crockery or household objects to cut around, as long as you are consistent in cutting each cake.

3) Once you have cut all your rings it’s time to swap them about.  Swap the middle ring from each cake with the contrasting colour.

4) Stack your cakes using alternate colours filling as you go along.

5) Decorate your cake in the normal manner.  Ensure you or the recipient of your cake cuts a wedge slice rather than across the side of the cake, to get the full effect.  Et voila, a checkerboard pattern that will amaze your friends & family.  Simples.




4 responses

1 09 2010
Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella

That is really clever! I would have never thought to do it that way. thankyou for the step by step pictures! 😀

22 09 2010

Thanks, it’s so easy when you find out how. It’s one of my favourite ways to wow people when you’ve made quite a simple exterior, especially if you don’t tell anyone!

21 11 2010

Loved seeing this again – it was one of the first cakes I made from my mums Good Housekeeping book, brought back happy memories and the excitement of cutting into it and seeing the chocolate and vanilla squares. Happy Bakingx

21 11 2010

Thanks so much for the comment Pauline. I really wanted to post about this to show how simple it is as I was seeing expensive kits to help people create the effect. A few cutters is all you need & a bit of time cutting & stacking. Happy baking to you too!

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