Have you ever gazed at a checkerboard cake with a sense of awe and a peculiar “how-do-they-do-this” feeling? A checkerboard cake is a cake which features alternating colors of sponge cake, arranged to form a checkerboard pattern. It looks like an intricately designed cake, but the good news is, it’s not that hard to make! With just a bit of patience and some baking skills, you can make a stunning checkerboard cake right in your kitchen. So, let’s get started!

The process of making a checkerboard cake involves baking two different colored cake batters which are then cut into circles, layered, and assembled in a particular pattern to create the checkerboard effect. While it might sound like a daunting task, it’s quite easy once you understand the steps involved. You can use any flavor of cake mix that you prefer, be it vanilla, chocolate, or any other exotic flavor. So, put on your apron, preheat your oven, and let’s make a checkerboard cake that will wow your friends and family members!

Gathering the Ingredients and Supplies

Before you start baking your checkerboard cake, you will need to gather all of the necessary ingredients and supplies. Here’s a list of what you’ll need:

1. Cake mix
2. Food coloring
3. Mixing bowls
4. Measuring cups and spoons
5. Cake pans
6. Parchment paper
7. Cake leveler or serrated knife
8. Frosting
9. Cake decorating tools (optional)
10. Cake stand or platter

Preparing the Cake Pans

To create the checkerboard pattern, you will need to bake two different colored cakes and then cut them into rings. Therefore, you’ll need at least two cake pans of equal size. Here’s how to prepare the pans:

1. Preheat your oven to the temperature indicated on the cake mix box.
2. Grease the inside of the cake pans with butter or cooking spray.
3. Cut parchment paper to fit the bottom of each pan and place it inside.
4. Grease the parchment paper with butter or cooking spray as well.

Mixing the Cake Batter

Mixing the cake batter is simple, but you should pay attention to a few important details to ensure success. Here are the steps to follow:

1. Prepare the cake mix according to the directions on the box.
2. Divide the batter evenly into two mixing bowls.
3. Add a few drops of food coloring to one bowl and mix until evenly distributed. Repeat with the second bowl, using a different color.
4. Mix the colored batter thoroughly.

Baking the Cakes

Now that the cake batter is mixed and the pans are prepared, it’s time to bake the cakes!

1. Pour the colored batter into each cake pan, alternating colors to create a checkerboard pattern.
2. Place the pans into the preheated oven and bake according to the instructions on the cake mix box.
3. Use a toothpick to test the cakes for doneness. Insert the toothpick into the center of the cake and if it comes out clean, the cake is done.
4. Once baked, remove the cakes from the oven and let them cool in the pans for about 5-10 minutes.

Cutting the Cake Rings

Now comes the fun part! It’s time to cut the cake rings to create the checkerboard pattern. Follow these steps:

1. Use a cake leveler or serrated knife to level the top of each cake. This will make it easier to cut the rings.
2. Use a 3-inch round cookie cutter or cup to cut a hole in the center of each cake.
3. Slice the cakes horizontally into two equal halves.
4. Cut the halves into two equal rings (you should have four rings in total).

Assembling the Checkerboard Cake

Now that you have the four cake rings, it’s time to assemble the checkerboard cake! Here’s how to do it:

1. Place one ring of each color onto your cake stand or platter.
2. Spread a layer of frosting on top of the first layer of cake.
3. Add the second ring of each color on top of the frosting, alternating colors to create the checkerboard pattern.
4. Frost the entire cake with a thin layer of frosting.
5. Place the cake into the refrigerator to cool and set for about 20-30 minutes.
6. Add a final layer of frosting to the cake, using a cake decorating tool if desired.
7. Slice into the cake and enjoy!

Step-by-Step Guide on how to make a Checkerboard Cake from Scratch


To make a delicious and perfect looking checkerboard cake, you’ll need certain ingredients. Here are the ingredients:

  • 2 and a half cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • Half teaspoon of baking soda
  • Quarter teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 and a half cups of granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups of whole milk, at room temperature
  • Gel Food Coloring (optional)

Preparing the Cake Batter

Now that you have gathered all the ingredients, let’s move on towards preparing the cake batter.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and grease your baking pans with a parchment paper lining.
  2. Sift the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt) together and set aside.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar together until the mixture becomes light, fluffy, and pale.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, into the mixture, and then add a spoonful of the sifted dry ingredients and stir until it becomes a paste.
  5. Repeat step four until you have added all the eggs and the dry ingredients, and then add the vanilla extract.
  6. Afterward, add the milk into the batter, thoroughly mixing it together until it becomes smooth and consistent.
  7. Split the batter into two portions and add the food coloring of your choice, making sure that the divisions are of equal portions.
  8. Baking the Checkerboard Cake

    1. Take the first colored batter and pour it into the prepared baking pan. Smooth out the top and then place the second alternating colored batter on top of it. Repeat the process until the batter is complete.
    2. Place the pans in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
    3. Remove the pans from the oven and let them cool for 15 minutes.
    4. After 15 minutes, remove the cakes from their pans and let them cool before frosting and then arranging them into the desired checkerboard pattern.

    Frosting Your Checkerboard Cake

    The choice of frosting on the checkerboard cake is entirely up to you. A buttercream frosting is a classic choice but there are other frosting options available as well.

    Buttercream Frosting

    1. Cream 1 and a half cups of unsalted butter with an electric mixer until it whips together.
    2. Add in 6 cups of powdered sugar, 6 tablespoons of milk, and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, mixing slowly until smooth and consistent.
    3. If the frosting is too thick, add additional milk, a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the desired consistency, and if it is too thin, add extra powdered sugar a ladle at a time until it becomes thicker.

    Alternate Frosting Options

    Apart from buttercream frosting, there are many alternatives to consider such as mirroring the cake flavor with cream cheese frosting, chocolate ganache, and whipped cream frosting.

    Wrapping Up

    Follow these steps and you’ll have a beautiful and delicious cake in the traditional checkerboard pattern. It may take a little practice but once you have mastered the technique, you’ll find it’s a fun and impressive recipe to whip up for birthdays and other events!

    Step-by-Step Guide to Making a Checkerboard Cake

    Now that you have all the necessary equipment, it’s time to get started on making your own checkerboard cake. Follow these steps to create a stunning dessert that will make you proud.

    Step 1: Preparing the Cake Batter

    The first step in making a checkerboard cake is to prepare two different cake batters. Choose your favorite flavors, such as vanilla and chocolate, or lemon and blueberry, or any flavors that complement each other.

    Begin by preheating your oven to the temperature specified in the recipe. Then, prepare the cake batter as directed in your recipe. Divide the batter into two equal portions and place them in separate bowls.

    Step 2: Coloring the Cake Batter

    Using food coloring, tint one of the cake batters to your desired color. It’s important to use a gel-based food coloring instead of liquid food coloring to avoid altering the consistency of the batter.

    Once you have added the food coloring, mix the batter until the color is evenly distributed. Repeat the same process with the second cake batter, using a different color.

    Step 3: Preparing the Cake Pans

    To create the checkered pattern, you will need two cake pans of the same size. Place one of the pans on a sheet of parchment paper and trace the bottom of the pan with a pencil. Cut the circles out of the parchment paper and place them in the bottom of both cake pans.

    Next, lightly coat the bottom and sides of each cake pan with cooking spray or butter, then flour the pan to prevent the cake from sticking.

    Step 4: Creating the Checkerboard Pattern

    Now it’s time to assemble the cake. Using a dividing ring, place one ring in each cake pan. If you don’t have a dividing ring, use a small glass or round cookie cutter instead.

    Starting with one cake pan, place alternating spoonfuls of each batter in the outer and inner rings until both rings are filled. Remove the dividing ring and repeat the same process with the second cake pan, using the opposite colors for the outer and inner rings.

    Step 5: Baking the Cake

    Finally, it’s time to bake the cake. Place both cake pans in the center of the oven and bake for the amount of time specified in the recipe. When the cakes are done, remove them from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes before removing them from the pans. Use a knife to loosen the edges of each cake, then invert them onto a wire rack to cool completely.

    Once cooled, you can assemble and decorate your checkerboard cake as desired. Slice the cake and watch as your guests marvel at the beautiful and tasty creation you’ve made!

    Equipment NeededWhy You Need It
    Two cake pans of the same sizeTo make two cake layers
    Dividing ringTo create the checkered pattern in the cake
    Parchment paperTo prevent the cake from sticking to the pan
    Cooking spray or butterTo coat the pan and prevent the cake from sticking
    Gel-based food coloringTo tint the cake batter without altering its consistency

    Now that you know how to make a checkerboard cake, you can impress your friends and family with this show-stopping dessert. With a little patience and attention to detail, you can create a cake that looks as good as it tastes. So, gather your ingredients and get ready to make a cake that will have everyone asking for the recipe!

    Thanks for baking with me!

    I hope you enjoyed this fun and creative adventure of making a checkerboard cake. Remember, it’s all about having fun in the kitchen and being adventurous. Don’t be afraid to try out different flavors and colors until you find the perfect combination that suits your taste buds. I’d like to thank you for taking the time to read this article, and I hope you’ll come back for more recipes and baking tips in the future. Until next time, happy baking!