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Mar 21, 2008 08:20 PM

My first Checkerboard Cake

After having a set of checkerboard cake pans sitting in my pantry for years, I am finally going to make my first Checkerboard Cake.

I wish I could say it was my idea to finally getting around to trying this, but it wasn't. My husband asked me to make one to take to our Easter family gathering, And one other thing he requested...make it "Springy and Eastery," and not chocolatey.

I bought the pan set eons ago at a tag sale for 25 cents and it didn't come with directions. So I started scouting online and found some good sounding recipes and a lot of tips (spray dividing ring with non-stick spray...use pastry bag to pipe thick batter in pans...). So that's good.

When I googled checkerboard cakes, I saw great ones and some that didn't come out very good. Most were chocolate and vanilla...and a nice one had a good recipe for raspberry and vanilla.... Then I came across a gorgeous looking one that just SCREAMED Easter,,,

Here is the picture:

I don't know if I can duplicate this exactly...(in fact I know I can't) but I might go for a reasonable adaptation using three different colors rather than two. To flavor it up I thought I might use raspberry jam in between the layers and a lemon buttercream for icing. I am assuming I might have to use food coloring to get the right color effects for the cake.

Anyone done something like this before? I am open to all tips and tricks.

I will post my results after Easter, be they good, bad or ugly.

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  1. I wish you luck. I was given a set of those pans quite a few years ago by my mother-in-law, and about six months ago when cleaning out my cabinets found them, and decided to make a cake. I had lost the recipe but found one on line-- my experience my be anomolous, but I think the fundamental problem is that you need a batter quite stiff so that it doesn't spread too much when you remove the inserts (and doesn't try to slip under the inserts, etc); this batter was noticiably stiffer than my typical cake batter. The cake was cute but dry, dry, dry. Really not very good; after we each had a slice each it sat on the counter and was eventually tossed.

    This is the recipe I used, *not* recommended:

    1 Reply
    1. re: DGresh


      Thank you so much for posting, because that basic recipe WAS one I was considering. I found a different one below that calls for buttermilk (which I have adjusted for flavoring). Anyone have any thoughts on this recipe, or a tried and true one they can recommend?

      (I made a notation of a flavoring change I would make to give the cake a citrus flavor)

      2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
      2 teaspoons baking powder
      1/2 teaspoon baking soda
      3/4 cup shortening
      2 cups sugar
      5 egg whites, at room temperature
      1 1/3 cups buttermilk
      1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (OMITTING THIS, NOT MAKING CHOCOLATE)

      1. Grease and flour three 8 x 1 1/2-inch round baking pans. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

      2. In a bowl combine flour, baking powder, soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

      3. In a very large bowl beat shortening with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add 1 2/3 cups of sugar and EXTRACTS; beat till combined. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk, beating after each addition just till combined.

      4. Thoroughly wash beaters. Beat egg whites on medium until soft peaks form (tips curl). Gradually add remaining sugar, beating on medium to high till stiff peaks form (tips stand straight). Gently fold half on the egg white mixture into beaten mixture. Fold in the remaining egg white mixture.

      5. Bake at 350 F degrees about 25 minutes or till cakes test done. Cool in pans about 10 minutes. Remove and cool.

    2. Looks really hard! Did you see the recipe for that?

      When I googled on checkerboard cake images, a lot of battenberg cakes came up. Some of those recipes (with raspberry jam, orange juice, marzipan, mint leaves) sounded delicious

      Can you use one of those recipes as your inspiration, even though the process is different?

      Oh wait, dang, both of those are only two colors... Still, the battenbergs sound fantastic.


      1 Reply
      1. re: The Dairy Queen

        I have made the checkerboard cake with a boxed recipe and it was fabulous. I used a white cake mix, but instead of just using egg whites, I used whole eggs. This made the cake more dense. I used boxed to practice using the pans, but would use it again because it tasted great.

      2. Thanks for the tips all. I'll let you know how it turns out. Hopefully will have some pix!