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how to make checkerboard cake without the special pan

How to Make Checkerboard Cake Without the Special Pan: Amazing Guide

Last Updated on January 21, 2023

Tired of making basic cake designs? And want to challenge yourself? Let’s take a look at how to make a checkerboard cake without a special pan. Buying a special pan for this is unnecessary; it will just take up space and waste money. Instead, get creative with this patterned cake recipe. If you think you can trace and cut a circle, then you can achieve this recipe. Now let’s start!

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What You Will Need: How to Make Checkerboard Cake Without the Special Pan 

Ingredients for the Chocolate Cake

  • 1 cup of unsalted butter set at room temperature
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups of sugar
  • 5 eggs placed at room temperature
  • 1tsp of salt
  • 4 tbsp of sweetened cocoa powder
  • 1tbsp of vanilla extract 
  • 3 tbsp of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 cups of buttermilk

for the Vanilla Cake

  • 1 cup of unsalted butter set at room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cups of sugar
  • 5 eggs placed at room temperature
  • 1tsp of salt
  • 1tbsp of vanilla extract
  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp of baking powder
  • 1 1/4 cups of non-fat buttermilk

Equipment

  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • 4 pcs 9-inch cake pans (2 for chocolate and 2 for vanilla)
  • Parchment papers
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • Mixing bowls
  • Sieve
  • Rubber spatula
  • Offset spatula
  • Cooling wire rack
  • Cake rings (4″ and 7″)
  • Electric mixer

KitchenAid Non-stick Aluminized Steel Square Cake Pan, 9-Inch, Silver

Step-by-Step Instructions 

For the Chocolate Cake

Step 1

To preheat, set your oven to 180 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, grease two cake pans. After that, line them with parchment paper and dust them with flour.

Step 2

Afterward, in a bowl, sift the flour, salt, and baking powder. Then, add the cocoa powder (sweetened and unsweetened) to the flour and set it aside. 

Step 3

After that, cream your butter and sugar using an electric mixer until it becomes light and fluffy. Then, scrape the bowl’s sides using a rubber spatula every few minutes. 

Step 4

Next, add the eggs one piece at a time, ensuring that each egg incorporates properly before adding another one. Then, scrape the bowl’s side after each addition of eggs to combine everything properly.

Butter, sugar and eggs

Step 5

After that, add the vanilla extract to the mixture. 

Step 6

Using an electric mixer, add the flour and buttermilk in three alternating additions. Make sure to do this in the beginning and ending with the flour. Afterward, mix at low speed and scrape the bowl’s sides during the process. Then, combine the batter well, but please do not overmix. 

Step 7

After that, pour and divide the cake batter into the prepared cake pans. Ensure to bake your cake in the oven for 30-40 minutes.  

Step 8

If the cake cooks thoroughly, take it out of the oven and cool it over the counter for 5-10 minutes. Then, to cool it completely, turn it out onto the cooling rack. 

Chocolate Cake - Checkerboard cake

For the Vanilla Cake

Step 1

To preheat, set your oven to 180 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease two cake pans, then line them with parchment paper and dust them with flour.

Step 2

In a bowl, sift the flour, salt, and baking powder and set it aside.

Step 3

Afterward, cream your butter and sugar using an electric mixer until it becomes light and fluffy. Scrape the bowl’s sides using a rubber spatula every few minutes. 

Butter and sugar - vanilla cake

Step 4

Then, add the eggs one piece at a time, ensuring that each egg incorporates well before adding another one. Next, scrape the bowl’s side after each addition of eggs to combine everything properly.

Step 5

Afterward, add the vanilla extract to the mixture. 

Step 6

Using an electric mixer, add the flour and buttermilk in three alternating additions, beginning and ending with the flour. After that, mix at low speed and scrape the bowl’s sides during the process. Make sure to combine the batter well, but please do not overmix. 

Step 7

Next, pour and divide the cake batter into the prepared cake pans. Bake your cake in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until cooked thoroughly. 

Vanilla cake for checkerboard cake

Step 8

Finally, take it out of the oven and cool it over the counter for 5-10 minutes. After that, turn it out onto the cooling rack to cool it completely. 

Checkerboard Cake Assembly

Before cake assembly, you should cool the cakes (chocolate and vanilla) completely and have an even layer. You can also prepare the frosting and filling ahead of time.

Step 1

Mark circles inside each cake layer. Then, cut the cakes using different cake rings or a sharp knife (if cake rings are unavailable).

Step 2

Swap the cut-outs between the cakes like a target (chocolate-vanilla-chocolate and vanilla-chocolate-vanilla). You can use frosting to seal each cut-out.

Checkerboard Cake Assembly

Step 3

Afterward, pile the cakes on top of each other, alternating the colors of each layer. Because of this, make sure that you frost between each layer. Ensure to crumb coat your assembled cake and chill it for about 30 minutes. 

Step 4

Lastly, after you chilled the cake for 30 minutes, take it out. Then, frost your cake using buttercream or ganache, whichever you prefer. Afterward, design your cake and put it in a chiller, and serve. Now you know how to make a checkerboard cake without a special pan. 

Tips and Tricks for Checkerboard Cake Without A Special Pan

You can make buttermilk if it is unavailable. With that, take a cup of milk at room temperature. Then, add a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice. After that, let this stay for about five to ten minutes. Viola! Your very own buttermilk. 

With regards to incorporating the eggs in the cake batter mixture, add one egg at a time. Make sure that you combine the egg properly before adding another one. Doing this avoids having an eggy smell on your cake. 

Tips and Tricks for Checkerboard Cake Without A Special Pan

Moreover, to check if the cake cooked well, you can use a toothpick. For this, please insert it into the center of the cake. It is okay if it comes out clean. You can also try gently pressing the cake, and if it bounces back, it is ready; however, if it leaves an indent, it is not okay. 

To prevent the cake from crumbling during preparation, you can make the cakes easier to cut and handle by baking the cake a day ahead. In addition to that, wrap the cakes with cling wrap. Afterward, please place them in the chiller or fridge. 

How to Make Checkerboard Cake Without the Special Pan: Amazing Guide

Tired of making basic cake designs? And want to challenge yourself? Let's take a look at how to make checkerboard cake without the special pan. Buying a special pan for this is unnecessary; it will just take up space and waste money. Instead, get creative with this patterned cake recipe. If you think you can trace and cut a circle, then you can achieve this recipe. Now let's start!
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: How to Make Checkerboard Cake Without the Special Pan: Amazing Guide
Author: cakedecorist.com

Equipment

  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring Spoons
  • 4pcs 9-inch cake pans (2 for chocolate and 2 for vanilla)
  • Parchment papers
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • Mixing bowls
  • Sieve
  • Cooling wire rack
  • Cake rings (4" and 7")

Ingredients
  

For The Chocolate Cake (two 8" cakes)

For The Vanilla Cake

Instructions

For the Chocolate Cake

  • To preheat, set your oven to 180 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, grease two cake pans. After that, line with parchment paper and dust them with flour.
  • Afterward, in a bowl, sift the flour, salt, and baking powder. Then, add the cocoa powder (sweetened and unsweetened) into the flour and set it aside.
  • After that, cream your butter and sugar using an electric mixer until it becomes light and fluffy. Then, scrape the bowl's sides using a rubber spatula every few minutes.
  • Next, add in the eggs one piece at a time, ensuring that each egg incorporates properly before adding another one. Then, scrape the bowl's side after each addition of eggs to combine everything properly.
  • After that, add the vanilla extract to the mixture.
  • Using an electric mixer, add the flour and buttermilk in three alternating additions. Make sure to do this in the beginning and ending with the flour. Afterward, mix at low speed and scrape the bowl's sides during the process. Then, combine the batter well, but please do not overmix.
  • After that, pour and divide the cake batter into the prepared cake pans. Ensure to bake your cake in the oven for 30-40 minutes.
  • If the cake cooks thoroughly, take it out of the oven and cool over the counter for 5-10 minutes. Then, to cool completely, turn it out onto the cooling rack.

For the Vanilla Cake

  • To preheat, set your oven to 180 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease two cake pans, then line with parchment paper and dust them with flour.
  • In a bowl, sift the flour, salt, and baking powder and set it aside.
  • Afterward, cream your butter and sugar using an electric mixer until it becomes light and fluffy. Scrape the bowl's sides using a rubber spatula every few minutes.
  • Then, add in the eggs one piece at a time, ensuring that each egg incorporates well before adding another one. Next, scrape the bowl's side after each addition of eggs to combine everything properly.
  • Afterward, add the vanilla extract to the mixture.
  • Using an electric mixer, add the flour and buttermilk in three alternating additions, beginning and ending with the flour. After that, mix at low speed and scrape the bowl's sides during the process. Make sure to combine the batter well, but please do not overmix.
  • Next, pour and divide the cake batter into the prepared cake pans. Bake your cake in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until cooked thoroughly.
  • Finally, take it out of the oven and cool over the counter for 5-10 minutes. After that, turn it out onto the cooling rack to cool completely.

Notes

You can make buttermilk if it is unavailable. With that, take a cup of milk at room temperature. Then, add a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice. After that, let this stay for about five to ten minutes. Viola! Your very own buttermilk. 
With regards to incorporating the eggs in the cake batter mixture, add one egg at a time. Make sure that you combine the egg properly before adding another one. Doing this avoids having an eggy smell on your cake. 
Moreover, to check if the cake cooked well, you can use a toothpick. For this, please insert it into the center of the cake. It is okay if it comes out clean. You can also try gently pressing the cake, and if it bounces back, it is ready; however, if it leaves an indent, it is not okay. 
To prevent the cake from crumbling during preparation, you can make the cakes easier to cut and handle by baking the cake a day ahead. In addition to that, wrap the cakes with cling wrap. Afterward, please place them in the chiller or fridge. 
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Checkerboard Frosting Pattern

Making the checkerboard pattern on your cake is easier than you think without the use of a special cake pan. I’ve found that you can simply use plates and glasses to achieve the same effect. For this tutorial, you’ll need the following ingredient:

  • 1 prepared 9″ chocolate cake
  • 1 prepared 9″ yellow/white cake
  • chocolate frosting

Now all you need to do is:

  1. Using a knife, cut off the domed part of your cakes. This is to ensure the cakes are as flat as possible. Once both cakes are flat, cut them in half horizontally, so that you now have four cakes.
  2. For each cake, place a plate on top of the cake (that’s smaller than the cake) and cut around to make a circle. Then using a glass, do the same and make a smaller circle.
  3. Once you’ve done this with both cakes, place the larger chocolate ring on a cake stand, and add the yellow/white inside this one, and the smallest chocolate ring inside that done. Using the chocolate frosting, add a thin layer on top, and then begin on the next layer.
  4. For this layer, start with the yellow/white ring on the outside. Work your way inwards and do the same, in regards to assembling and frosting. Repeat for all 4 cake layers.
  5. Once the final layer is assembled, frost the top and sides of the cake. Place in the refrigerator to chill. Once ready to serve, remove from the fridge – slice, and enjoy!

Checkerboard Cake Decorating Ideas

In reality, you can decorate a checkerboard with any frosting or decoration that you’d like. However, the most common choices are simple options like vanilla frosting or chocolate frosting. Let’s take a closer look at the two.

The ingredients you’ll need for vanilla buttercream frosting are:

  • 3 1/2 sticks of softened butter
  • 7 cups of confectioners’ sugar
  • 6 tablespoons of heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt (omit if using salted butter)

Now all you need to do is:

  1. To make the frosting, grab a large bowl and add the following ingredients: butter. Beat the butter until it becomes fluffy and creamy. This should take a few minutes.
  2. Once creamy, add the following ingredients: sugar, heavy cream, vanilla, and salt. Start mixing on low, and then increase the speed. Mix for around 3-4 minutes.
  3. If your frosting appears too thin, add an extra teaspoon of confectioners’ sugar and keep adding until you’re happy with the consistency. On the flip side, if your frosting appears too thick, add a splash of heavy cream, until you’re happy.
  4. Once you’ve assembled the cake, using one of the tutorials above, spread frosting over the top of the cake, and the sides too. Add sprinkles to the top and sides of your cake, to add some texture. Slice, serve, and enjoy!

The ingredients you’ll need for the chocolate cream cheese frosting are:

  • 1/2 cup of softened butter
  • 1 packet of softened cream cheese
  • 32oz of powdered sugar (1 packet)
  • 1/2 cup of cocoa powder
  • 4 tablespoons of whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla frosting
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt (omit if using salted butter)

Now all you need to do is:

  1. To make the frosting, add the following ingredients to a stand mixer: butter. Beat until light and creamy. This should take a few minutes.
  2. Once creamy, add the cream cheese and beat for around a minute. In a separate bowl, add the cocoa powder and sugar, and add in stages; alternating with adding the milk and vanilla extract.
  3. Beat until completely mixed; scraping the sides of the bowl, when necessary. Once fluffy, your frosting is ready to use. Spread frosting over the top and sides of your cake and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Slice, serve, and enjoy!

Conclusion

I hope this post has helped you to become more familiar with how to make a checkerboard cake without a special pan. Do you have any tips or tricks when it comes to making a checkerboard cake without the use of a special pan? If so, please feel free to let me know in the comments below. Sharing is caring!

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