Checkerboard Cake / Chequered Cake is an eggless cake made without the special pan. It is filled and frosted with finger licking good Chocolate Buttercream Frosting. And when you slice – the inside is as beautiful as the taste.
I’m the BIRTHDAY GIRL :) So what if the post is 3 days late, even then I can enjoy being the birthday girl for 1 more week :) I baked the cake & cut it on the D-day only but haven’t been able to post it.
Checkerboard cake have been on my to bake list from the beginning. The first time I saw this I knew I had to make it soon & finally the occasion presented itself in the form of my b’day. I gave this cake option to V but he wanted to stick to known entity of a Black Forest Cake. I guess it’s his loss & my gain. :D This cake requires 2 or more colored cakes/ batter to produce the checkerboard effect upon slicing. I initially contemplated going in for girlie colors – pastels for the cake batter, but since the colors here are local versions & not as specific as Wilton, I chose to stick to chocolate & white. The trick for this cake lies not so much in baking as in assembling. If you have a special pan required for this cake then no challenge, but I wanted to make this simply to try my hands at assembling it without the special kit.
I googled a lot on this cake without the special tin, almost everyone used the method of cutting 3 different size rings from each cake & interchanging them. Then placing one such prepared layer over the other & voila you have a checkerboard pattern when you slice it. :) There was one more method used by only few – which works if you bake the cakes in square pan. For this method, you cut strips of each type of cake & then assemble them alternatively first in 1 layer & then on top of the first layer. I chose to work with ring method for my first attempt.
I baked Hershey’s Lavish Chocolate Cake & an Eggless Silver White Cake from Bakin’ Without Eggs by Rosemarie Emro. I doubled the Hershey’s recipe, replaced sugar with brown sugar. Also I had to change the timing as I baked the batter in 1 pan instead of 3 pans. I followed white cake recipe as such. A silver white cake is typically made from egg whites & almond extract but here we are with an eggless version with no egg whites :) Go figure! I refrigerated both the cakes for 24 hours & then thawed sliced layers for 4-10 hours before decorating. The purpose of refrigeration is to slicing the layers easily, which is the most of the battle won.
I used Chocolate Buttercream for filling & frosting. The filling should be minimal so that checkerboard pattern can be clearly seen.
for the chocolate cake
- 2½ cup all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 2 cup milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ⅔ cup cocoa powder unsweetened
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp white vinegar
for the chocolate buttercream
- 460 gram icing sugar sifted
- 226 gram unsalted butter softened
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 4 tbsp milk
- 120 gram chocolate melted
for the chocolate cake
- Pre-heat oven to 180 C. Line & grease an 8″ round pan.
- Sift flour, cocoa, baking soda & salt together.
- Melt butter using a microwave. Don’t burn it. Stir in sugar.
- Add milk, vinegar & vanilla to butter mixture & stir well.
- Add dry ingredients & whisk till well blended.
- Pour batter into prepared pan & bake for 60 mins or till inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack & then transfer to a plate.
- Wrap tightly in plastic wrap or cling film & refrigerate till required.
for the chocolate buttercream
- In a large bowl, beat butter till smooth & well blended using hand mixer.
- Beat in vanilla extract.
- On low speed slowly add sugar & continue beating. Scrape down sides if required.
- Add the milk & beat to combine.
- Add melted chocolate & beat.
- On high speed beat the frosting till light & fluffy, about 5-6 mins.
- Cover with plastic wrap when not using.
- I felt that frosting was just enough to cover the cake & hardly any left to decorate on top or sides. So I suggest to increase the recipe by 1.5 times.
assembling the cake
- Slice both cakes into horizontal layers such that you have 2 layers of each cake & 4 total.
- Cut out 2 rings each from all 4 layers. I placed 6″ dia removable bottom of tart pan & cut a circle around it & then I used a 4″ diameter lid & cut another circle within the 6″ circle.
- Carefully remove the middle ring of all layers.Using a spatula, lightly spread buttercream filling on the insides of the remaining rings. Lightly spread butter cream on outside of middle rings as well. This helps in sticking the rings together & not make a mess while cutting the cake. Then place the middle rings backs in alternating colors – place chocolate color ring in white cake & vice versa. Now you have 4 layers of cake with alternating colored rings.
- Now place 1 prepared layer of cake on the base or cake table. Soak in coke. Lightly spread the filling & then place the 2nd layer such that the rings are stacked alternate to each other – chocolate color ring on top of white colored ring, then place the 3rd layer again alternating colors on top of each other & then the last layer similarly.
- Keep the cake in freezer for 10 mins. This reduces the amount of crumbs to deal with while frosting.
- Quickly do a crumb coat on the whole cake & then decorate as per your whim.
No amount of planning & tips helped me in assembling this cake as it is very difficult to maintain the rings & adjust them within each other. Almost all my rings broke into many pieces & had to be glued together with filling. I also felt that adding another smaller 2″ dia ring would have made the cake even more aesthetically appealing.
But the overall effect was wonderful as you can see. The cake cutting was full of oohhss & aaahhhsss. V was jealous & told me that why his birthday cake was not this nice. Difficult to please husbands! Sonny dear wanted only edible beads & no cake. Everybody wanted to know the technique of assembling it. I’m glad people liked my effort & effect though the making was quite eventful. Taste wise also the cake was wonderful with both variety of cakes complimenting each other. A great success!!!
To top this, I had a pleasant surprise thrown in by V. He gifted me a Recipe Journal by Moleskine in which he suggests that I should put together best of recipes & pass on to my future daughter-in-law & Ved gave me a huge card :) Thank you to the men in my life :D