Friday, December 16, 2011


I made this cake to celebrate James' 30th birthday. I wanted to surprise him with something fun and this checkerboard cake was perfect! It looks very cool and masculine, don't you think? :)

This cake was huge! It was chocolaty and rich and oh-so satisfying. We're still happily eating leftovers. I love that it looks like a regular cake until you slice into it. It's definitely a conversation piece!

Little cardboard donut that I made to use as a template to cut concentric circles out of each cake layers.
How I made my checkerboard cake:

1. I wasn't really interested in making a checkerboard cake until I saw how the Cake Boss did it on one of his episodes. Luckily someone posted the clip on youtube. Isn't that cool? I guess, you can also buy these pans but the reviews are hit or miss.

2. I wanted to buy the cake rings that the Cake Boss used but didn't have the time so I had to improvise. I cut a piece of cardboard into a donut shape with a 3" diameter for the inner circle and a 6" diameter for the outer one. This will give me concentric circles with the same thickness since I was baking 9" cake layers.

3. I used the following Martha Stewart's recipes: Yellow Butter Cake, Devil's Food Cake, Chocolate Frosting, and Chocolate Ganache (double the ganache recipe). You can also use other cake recipes. Just make sure that the cake isn't too delicate since you have to carve and handle it quite a bit.

4. Bake all the cake layers and let them cool completely. Make the frosting and ganache while the cakes are cooling. Once cakes are cooled, take the cardboard donut and center it onto one of the cake layers. Use a small knife and carve the cake along the inner and outer circles of the template. After you remove the template, you should have a large outer ring, a smaller ring, and a 3" cake center cut out. Repeat this step for the rest of the cake layers.

5. Take one of the yellow butter cake's large outer rings and put it onto your cake stand/plate. Spread a thin layer of ganache along the inside of the cake ring. Then take one of the devil's food cake's smaller ring and insert it inside the yellow butter cake ring. Spread a thin layer of ganache along the inside of this cake ring and insert one of the 3" yellow butter cake centers. Spoon about one cup of chocolate frosting on top of this cake layer and spread it evenly to the edges. Your first layer is complete! Now you are ready to assemble next layer.

6. Just continue to follow step 5 but remember to alternate between the yellow butter cake and the devil's food cake so that you can get the checkerboard pattern. (The next cake layer should start with the large devil's food cake ring since we started with the yellow butter cake before.) Don't forget to spread a thin layer of ganache between each cake rings. This is very important! The ganache acts as the glue that will hold your cake together when you slice it.

7. Once all layers are done, frost entire cake with the rest of the chocolate frosting.

I wish I took pictures of these steps! It's so much easier when you can see it but I hope you get the general idea from the Cake Boss clip above. This is such a fun cake to make. It's a bit time consuming but is so worth it. James was a happy birthday boy, I mean, man! :)


  1. so pretty! I may have to try a checker cake sometime.

  2. WOW!i love that idea:) and it looks yummmmmmmmm!!!! James is so lucky to have you, you can cook and you look pretty,hehe:D


  3. Very cool and masculine indeed! How perfect for James' 30th bday :)

  4. It was delicious. So sad to see it dwindle. Thx babe!hehe

  5. Thanks Kelly! I would love to see your version one day :)

    @Cinz: You're so sweet! I made him read your comment lol

    Thanks Kim! For your bday, I'll remember to switch out the chocolate layers ;P

    @James: You're welcome honey! I can always baker another one hehe