Checkerboard Cake Recipe

This cake can be made by using a checkerboard cake pan set, one vanilla and one chocolate cake mix, chocolate icing, and your choice of decorations.

Patriotic Checkerboard Cake

  • Have all of the ingredients at room temperature.
  • Grease and flour the three cake pans. The bottom and top layers will be set up exactly alike.
  • Preheat the oven to 25 degrees less than the cake mix recipe states.
  • Set the oven rack to the center position.
  • Using separate bowls, mix the vanilla cake batter first.
  • Then mix the chocolate cake batter.
  • Place the plastic divider ring into the first pan, and hold it down as you pour the dark batter into the outer and center rings. Fill them half way up and equal. Pour the light batter into the middle ring, making sure it is even with the other rings.
  • Remove the plastic divider ring by lifting it straight up and out of the pan. Be careful not to tilt the divider as you lift it out.
  • Wipe the divider off with a clean paper towel.
  • Place the divider into the second pan, and repeat the procedure. The first two pans are exactly alike. Remember to fill the pans half way up and keep them level.
  • Remove the divider, and wipe it off again.
  • Place the divider into the third pan and pour the light batter into the outer and center rings. Pour the dark batter into the middle ring.
  • Carefully place the cakes into the preheated oven, leaving ample space so they are not touching.
  • After 20 minutes, gently rotate and turn the pans so they brown and rise evenly.
  • Continue baking for about 10 minutes more, and then test for doneness.
  • Remove the cake pans from the oven, and place them on a cooling rack.
  • Run a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the sides of the cake.
  • When the cakes are cooled down enough, remove them from the pans, and place them on the rack to cool completely.
  • When cooled completely, carefully trim the tops of the cake layers to level them.
  • Try not to cut away too much of the cake. Remove all of the cake crumbs from your work area.
  • Remember that the bottom and top layers are identical. Take the bottom layer and place it on a cardboard cake circle or a serving dish.
  • Spread a thin layer of chocolate icing on the bottom cake. Then place the middle layer on top of it.
  • Spread a thin layer of icing on the middle layer, and place the top layer on top of that layer. Completely ice the rest of the cake, and decorate it as you choose.
  • Try not to overdo it with the decorations, because they will conflict with the overall checkerboard effect when you cut the cake.

It's okay if you accidentally mixed up the order of the light and dark batters or placed the layers in the wrong order when you assembled the cake. Just pretend you did it on purpose, and call it your "oops" cake. You will still end up with a unique vanilla and chocolate design for the inside of the cake.
You can also make one two-layer cake from two of the three layers. Then cut the third layer in half, and stack the halves together to make a half-cake. Half-cakes are great for giving to friends and neighbors who wouldn"t want a whole cake. A decorated half-cake is a perfect size for gift giving, and it will certainly be appreciated.