Saturday, May 18, 2013

4 Layer Checkerboard Cake

It has been forever since I blogged.  I have been cooking - sort of.  My friend talked me into a healthy lifestyles challenge, so for most of this year so far, sugar has been cut down to once a week (yes, torture) and I'm enjoying lots and lots of raw fruits and vegetables - nothing very exciting to blog about. 

Here's my latest culinary experience:  

 (it got a little messy as everyone was clamoring for some - I will use a different vanilla cake recipe next time)

While there are special pans you can buy to do a checkerboard cake, I just made two cakes - my normal chocolate, and a vanilla - making 4 layers (uncut - this could easily be 8, but I wanted the larger definition - but now that I think of it - 8 could really blow your mind! time maybe).  
Now, while I could have bought a nifty special cake pan, I went the cheap route - I used the lid to a sour cream carton, and stuck it into the middle of the cake and cut around it with a knife.  
I used a small bowl for the next ring, and then my measuring spoon turned upside down for the final inner ring.  
Then I carefully took each layer apart and replaced the rings with an alternating color etc. etc. like this - and yes, each layer looks like the top, or like and inverted version of the top layer here.  
Afterwards, I just frosted the cake as normal.  
Here's the recipe I used for the chocolate cake as well as the frosting - my own adaptation from Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Cake and Frosting


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  •  eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water


  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.
  2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
  3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost with "PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE" CHOCOLATE FROSTING. 10 to 12 servings.

    ONE-PAN CAKE: Grease and flour 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Heat oven to 350° F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely. Frost.

    THREE LAYER CAKE: Grease and flour three 8-inch round baking pans. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost.

    BUNDT CAKE: Grease and flour 12-cup Bundt pan. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 50 to 55 minutes. Cool 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely. Frost.

    CUPCAKES: Line muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups. Heat oven to 350°F. Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely. Frost. About 30 cupcakes.

    "PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE" CHOCOLATE FROSTING - Double this recipe for four layers.

    1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
    2/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
    3 cups powdered sugar
    1/3 cup milk
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency.
    Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.

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