Checkerboard Cake

Checkerboard Cake

Is this cake amazing or what? It’s a piece of art and almost too pretty to eat! The best part about this cake is that it doesn’t require a special tin and the only special equipment you need are two piping bags.

Checkerboard Cake

I, as I usually do, halved this recipe to make a mini layer cake. They’re way cuter than an eight inch cake. I used three four inch disposable pans that I bought for £1 at a junk store. I also run the disposable pans through the dishwasher and re use them more than once.

Checkerboard Cake

This recipe is from the new Great British Bake Off Showstoppers book. The book is in conjunction with the new series on BBC2 now. I wonder how long it will be before we see spinoffs in other countries à la Masterchef?

Checkerboard Cake

In the book the cake is paired with a ganache but I used this chocolate frosting instead. I topped the cake with some butterscotch mini chips from Sainsbury’s. They’re very crispy. The inside of the cake is so elaborate that I kept the decoration simple.

The cake looks like a checkerboard when it’s sliced. To achieve this look the chocolate and vanilla batter are put into piping bags and piped in alternating circles around the tin. You could probably get away with using a sandwich bag with the corner cut off if you don’t have any piping bags. To see me details about cake layering check out the steps on my salted caramel layer cake.

Checkerboard Cake

Yield: three 8 inch cake rounds

Checkerboard Cake



350g butter, at room temperature

350g caster sugar

3 tsp vanilla

6 eggs

350g self raising flour

pinch of salt

50g cocoa powder

4 tbs milk


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F/180 C and line 3 eight inch pans with parchment paper (or grease and flour). In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the butter for several minutes until creamy.
  2. Add in the sugar, then the vanilla and then the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary.
  3. Sift in the flour and salt and fold by hand to combine. Put half the batter in a separate bowl and sift in the cocoa powder and two tablespoons of the milk. Stir in 2 tablespoons of milk in the vanilla batter.
  4. Put the two batters into separate piping bags. Pipe a ring of chocolate around the outside of two of the tins, then pipe a ring of vanilla. Keep alternating until the pans are full. In the third pan start with the vanilla first.
  5. Bake for 22-25 minutes (12-15 minutes for a small cake). Run a knife around the edge of the cakes and invert onto a cooling rack.
  6. Once the cakes are cool frost with your desired frosting. For layering action see this post.

adapted from The Great British Bake Off Showstoppers


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