Cinnamon Chocolate Checkerboard Cake
For those of us that bake a lot – and even those who dabble – I think many of us find inspiration (or envy!) from what we see others doing in their homes, bakeries, etc. I know that I find a ton of encouragement from my dad and my brother, often thinking about how I want replicate one of their recipes or a decorating technique.
Another place I find inspiration (and a fantastic self-care opportunity): the Great British Baking Show. In a world of real life stressors (climate change, health crises, etc.), I find nothing more relaxing than being “stressed” if someone is going to finish their bake on time (and they always do!). Also, the creativity, unbelievable skill, dedication, and kindness that the contestants bake with – I mean, what’s not to love?
Of course, every time I watch the show I think about how many of those recipes I want to attempt myself. I haven’t gotten around to many, but at some point, somewhere along the way, someone made a checkerboard cake. And it looked awesome. And I wanted to try myself! And so I have – and as it turns out, it’s quite simple, SO MUCH FUN to serve, and using a tried-and-true cake recipe, also really delicious. As long as you’ve got general baking equipment (baking pans, cooling racks, etc), the only special tools needed are specifically sized cookie cutters.
The recipes I’ve included for the cake and frosting are adaptable; I wanted to do a black-and-white cake so that there was as stark difference in the color on the inside. The buttercream can be easily adapted (just remove the cinnamon and it’s a simple but delicious buttercream), and with some red food dye it’s a brilliant Valentine’s Day cake.
I spent quite a bit of time perusing the internet to figure out how to put this cake together. It’s best explained through visuals, so I’ve included a bunch of photos below to best explain.
In so far as planning, I did take my time with the cakes. I started by making the vanilla cake batter. While those cakes baked, I made the batter for the chocolate cakes. By the time the vanilla cakes were ready to be removed from the pan, I just washed and then re-used the same pans, and baked off the chocolate cakes. After all of the cakes cooled completely, I wrapped them tightly in plastic wrap, and put them in the freezer.
A few days later, I took the cakes out of the freezer and while they were still cold, I leveled off the top of the cakes, so that they would lay flat when stacked on top one another. I then made the buttercream (to give the cakes a few more minutes to thaw), and by then, the cakes were a great temperature to start cutting and stacking.
Step 1: start by lining up your cutters. You obviously want the large cutter it to be centered at 3 inches on all sides. Same for the smaller cutter.
Here’s another view.
You’ll cut these rings out of all the cakes, and set them aside. Be careful with the cake rings, though if the cake is partially frozen, it’s so much easier to work with. I did have one ring break slightly, but went ahead with it anyway, and once the cake was stacked, it was impossible to tell.
Once you’re done cutting, here’s what your left with (apologies for the terrible photos, it was dark outside).
From there, you’ll insert the rings in an alternating pattern.
And then stack, in an alternating pattern with a thin layer of frosting in between each layer).
And that’s it! You’ll frost the top and side, and it’ll look like a regular cake. And then you’ll cut into it, and people will be SO EXCITED to see what you’ve created!
[tasty-recipe id=”9141″]February 2, 2020
This entry was posted in baking, cakes, chocolate, desserts and tagged baking, cakes, valentine's day dessert.