How to make a Checkered Cake

How To Make A Checkered Cake

by Megan on June 2, 2008

These two pictures were taken with a phone so, sorry about the pictures. I wont be winning any photography contests with these. But at least you can kind of see inside the cake.
That was the checkered *Perfect Party Cake*.

Here, I’ll give you a few more bad shots of a checkered cake I made in January.

Edited on 9-27-11 Here are a few more pictures of checkered cakes that I have made since,

Black and white checkered cake

$th of July Cake

They were fun cakes and easy to make. The kids thought I was a genius. I’ll admit, I liked that.

So how do you make a checkered cake with out a special pan?
Well… you do need some cookie cutters.

First I baked a chocolate layer and a vanilla layer. I cut each layer in half to get four layers.

I used 9 inch cake pans, but I have used 8 inch and it worked fine because my cutters aren’t exact.

You need a 6″ cookie cutter. (hard to find)

I found a 5 1/2 inch one at Cost Plus World Market.

and a 3 inch cutter.

Cut each layer into 3 circles.

Then swap inner circle rings with opposite layer.

Frost the inside of each circle before putting in the next piece. This keeps the pieces together when the cake is cut. I learned this the hard way!

This is how they should look. You’ll notice only two layers got the frosting in between rings. That’s how I know to frost all the rings. This particular cake wanted to fall apart where I didn’t frost. Don’t make my mistake, frost!

Frost each layer and I spread some of my Chocolate Covered Strawberry Jam in between.

Yummy goodness!

Add each alternating layer,

Frost and more jam

repeat with all layers

final frosting

Photography by Kellie Pires. (My 13 year old)

Decorated with white and dark chocolate shavings.


Checkered Cake

Check out the beautiful cake my friend Amanda made from Amanda’s Cookin’! Hope on over and see her Easter version of a checkered cake.

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{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

1 glamah16 June 3, 2008 at 3:09 am

Finally. Someone breaks it down in a easy way. I get it now!And I dont have to buy the Wilton pan. I could never grasp this. Thank You!

2 dobetter June 3, 2008 at 6:20 am

Okay, that makes perfect sense! No wonder you checkerboard cakes always look so perfect. I have a “special” cake pan but have never gotten it to look as clean as yours. Very good. Thank you!

3 April June 3, 2008 at 12:19 pm

I have never attempted a checkered cake! Thanks for the instructions! It looks great. I am glad that you like the jam too!

4 Deborah June 3, 2008 at 2:47 pm

I have always wondered how to do this! Thanks for for the pic by pic lesson – just great!

5 Sarah June 3, 2008 at 6:24 pm

How neat! I think I could even get this! Thanks for sharing your tricks!

6 michelle @ TNS June 3, 2008 at 7:50 pm

wow! truly, you have more patience than i ever will.

7 kellypea June 3, 2008 at 11:58 pm

Way cool! Saw this in a new cookbook of mine and went, “OH!” when I saw it. It’s always been a mystery to me. Very nice job!

8 Kevin June 4, 2008 at 1:06 am

Great checkered cake! Nice step by step instructions!

9 Renee June 4, 2008 at 5:24 pm

How creative. It adds even more fun to the perfect party cake, and it look easy. Thanks for the step by step pictures.

10 April June 4, 2008 at 10:05 pm

Hey there, I have tagged you..again, I think! LOL

11 Gigi June 5, 2008 at 1:34 am

AHA! I get it! Thanks for showing us the step by step process. I always wondered how it was done.

12 Bumblebutton June 5, 2008 at 1:34 am

That is genius!! You are a magician! I never ever would have figured that out. Now I can impress my own kiddy type–and I bet his daddy too!

13 Cindy. Lo. June 5, 2008 at 4:49 am

So this is how you make checkered cake,
It’s like magic,
I never know that’s how you do it,
You rock!

14 Steph June 5, 2008 at 4:11 pm

The cake looks amazing! So ambitious! I’ll have to give that a try for my daughter’s birthday!

15 ♥Reeni January 1, 2009 at 11:38 am

This is genius! I can’t wait to try it!!

16 Jenn January 10, 2009 at 6:20 am

This looks great! Thank you – my son’s birthday is tomorrow and I was kicking myself for not thinking of buying a pan sooner but then I found your blog and now the cakes are cooling on the counter! I can’t wait for him to cut into his cake and see his surprise checkerboard!

17 Slickskin February 5, 2009 at 6:02 pm

I found it much easier to freeze the cake before cutting and swapping rings. The cake suffered no taste difference and the layers were much more even. Good instructions!

18 March 24, 2009 at 6:22 am

Nice instructions! Just to add to Slick’s technique…after you’ve got the rings reassembled and frosted, freeze again until the frosting is hard. They’ll be “glued” together and won’t fall apart when you’re moving them around.

19 Anonymous April 25, 2009 at 8:10 am

What kind of cake mix did you use? Mine fell apart in to a thousand pieces after I cut it. :( No way to put it back together.

20 Culinary Cory October 15, 2009 at 2:54 am

It's interesting to see how you do your checkered cake. I actually own a checked cake pan that allows you to pour the batter in different sections as they bake together. Thanks for sharing this link on the Food Bloggers forum.

21 Linh March 2, 2010 at 11:45 pm

Would pound cake make making the layers easier? I don’t have a lot of time to mess up and do it again.

22 Megan March 4, 2010 at 5:52 am

I’ve never tried it with pound cake but it’s a sturdy cake so I dont see why not! Let me know how it turns out! Good luck.

23 Amanda March 23, 2010 at 8:10 pm
24 Rachel July 13, 2011 at 12:15 pm

Wow amazing i saw this done on cake boss before, but i only got a glimpse ( i was making dinner :/ ) but for some reason couldn’t find the episode again. But thank you :) i want to use this on a “Cars” inspired cake :) ya know checker flag ;)

25 Suzanne September 30, 2011 at 11:33 am

WOW! I’ve got to go get some of those cookie cutters. If I had them I would be making this for my nephews birthday who is coming to visit this weekend. Hmmmm, think I’ll run out and see if I can find some! FABULOUS!

26 Kandis November 4, 2011 at 7:37 am

Have you tried just using the cookie cutters as molds when you pour the batter? Its the same concept as the Wilton pan. I’m gonna be trying it that way for my husband’s b-day cake if you want me to let you know how it worked out.

27 Megan November 14, 2011 at 8:44 am

I would love to know how it turns out!!! :)

28 Gladys Pincay January 22, 2012 at 10:39 am

I love the combinations of their cakes, and congratulations from one of the best talent in the world, and the palate of all who have good taste in cakes s dessert, I would like to show me classes and simple custard filling quite apart from the cakes made ​​with butter, you are very welcome on my dad’s birthday and would like to make one of these fabulous cakes.

29 nadia February 1, 2012 at 8:11 pm

your cake looks great! was wondering if i can use marshmallow frosting to frost? my co-worker prefers this over buttercream. thanks!

30 Megan February 23, 2012 at 7:19 am

I’m not that familiar with marshmallow frosting so I don’t know for sure. If you try it, I would love to know!

31 Julie D June 30, 2012 at 2:13 pm

Hi there, I love your ideas! I would like to say that my grandma made my mom a checker board cake every year for her birthday. Probably using your method. My mom purchased a kit for making the checkerboard cake for myself and my sister, she’s never used hers. I have, for my moms birthday. The process is very easy and works great. If you have an extra person to hold down the inner form it even goes easier. Very very little involved. Just letting you know that the kits eorkk great and are super easy. Keep the great ideas coming, please

32 Chris September 2, 2012 at 12:33 pm

HI, Just wanted to let you know…that I followed yr instructions… and my cake was a success too!!!

ps…it was all eaten and yes…everyone wondered…how I got the checks in the cake!!! tx for the lovely detailed instructions!!! keep up yr good work

33 Christy September 30, 2012 at 12:10 am

Thank you so much for this post!! I didn’t have cookie cutters but I did have a small coffee can and a large coffee can that worked * perfectly* when I cut the bottoms out.

34 Joan Tudor October 19, 2012 at 3:57 pm

Beautiful results and clear instructions, you must have lots of patiences!!!

35 Patricia Sauve November 14, 2012 at 10:28 am

These cakes look fabulous. You can cut out the cookie cutter steps by buying the 3 set Checkerboard cake pans. I use them all the time and they do a great jobs with less fuss. My dad use to make these for us when we were young. He also made square checkerboard cakes. I haven’t figured that one out yet. If anyone has any ideas, pass them on.

36 AngelaS February 16, 2013 at 6:41 pm

This looks fantastic! My son decided while AT the bakery today that he wanted me to make his cake instead of them because they didn’t offer checkered or colored layers and I need to get one done before his party “tomorrow”. Thank you for the detailed instructions! I’ll have to post how it went. Thank you again, Angela

37 Oma July 5, 2013 at 12:36 am

This is really awesome….tnx Megan. I’ve been looking all over the place for this, I can’t wait to try it out.

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