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Checkered Flag Cake

 

Ya know, next week is the Daytona 500 race, and what could be more fun, entertaining and delicious than a vanilla and chocolate Checkered Flag Cake.  I recently watched Nancy Fuller from Farmhouse Rules make this cake for a local race.  When my husband Don saw it, he suggested I make one for him in honor of the upcoming Daytona 500 race.  Did he really need some race as a reason for me to make it?  No…Did I really need a reason to make it?  Well no…  When there’s sugar and butter involved I’m always ready to play in the kitchen.

I decided to use a Chocolate Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting on this moist and delicious cake, versus the classic vanilla buttercream that Nancy used.  Either would be great.  

If you’ve never made a checkerboard cake you might think that it’s hard to make, but let me tell ya it is super easy.  Once you’ve made one of these fun cakes, you’ll be hooked, and just think of the different flavor combinations you can make.

Here’s how I made it…

I started by cutting out 9 inch rounds of wax paper and placing them in four separate 9″ round cake pans.  I greased the wax paper rounds and the insides of the pans.  I lightly dusted two of the pans with flour and dusted the other two with cocoa.

I placed some butter and sugar in the bowl of my stand mixer.  Using the whisk attachment, I whisked the two together until they were creamed together.  Next, I added some eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition…

Next, I added some vanilla, baking powder, salt and one cup of flour to the batter.  I mixed it just a few seconds to incorporate the flour.  While mixing on low, I added some milk, more flour, more milk and ended with flour, mixing just enough to incorporate the flour…

I poured two cups of batter in each of the two floured pans and set them aside…

Next, I added some cocoa and very hot water to a small bowl and mixed it into a thin paste.  I added the chocolate paste to the remaining vanilla batter and mixed to combine, scraping down the sides of the bowl to make sure all of the vanilla and chocolate were combined…

I poured the chocolate batter into the two cocoa dusted pans…

I baked the cakes, by staggering the cake pans in the oven, for about 15-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake came out clean.  I placed wax paper on wire cooling racks and poked a few holes through it.  I inverted the cakes onto the wire racks and peeled off the wax paper.  I allowed them to cool completely.

Here’s how I assembled the cake to look like a checkerboard …

First of all, I used the cutter ring from a Wilton Checkerboard Cake kit.  However, don’t fret if you don’t have a ring like this.  You can use a 5.5 inch and a 2.5 inch round cookie or biscuit cutter.  Each of the four cake layers will have a small, medium and a large outer cake ring after they’re cut.

 Here’s how I cut and assembled the layers… 

  1. I cut a small and medium ring from the first vanilla cake layer.
  2. I cut a small and medium ring from the first chocolate layer.
  3. I placed the outer large ring of the vanilla layer on a cake plate.  I placed a medium chocolate ring inside of the larger vanilla ring and a small vanilla layer in the very center.  I stopped and frosted the first layer.
  4. I placed the outer large ring of the chocolate layer over the frosted first layer.  I placed a medium vanilla ring inside of the larger chocolate ring and a small chocolate ring in the center  I frosted the top of the top layer.
  5. I repeated steps 3 and 4 and finished by frosting the top of the cake, leaving the sides exposed. 

Watch the surprise on faces when you cut and serve this beautiful checkerboard combo of moist and tender chocolate and vanilla cake.  Oh yeah!!

Enjoy!

Cindy @ My Country Table

 

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Checkerboard Cake


  • Author: Cindy Gibbs @ My Country Table
  • Prep Time: 60
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 90

Description

A moist vanilla and chocolate checkerboard cake with a Chocolate Whipped Cream frosting.


Ingredients

For the Vanilla & Chocolate Cakes

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3 cups all purpose flour, divided
  • 2 cups whole or 2 percent milk, divided
  • 2 teaspoons pure Vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup cocoa, such as Hershey’s or Ghirardelli
  • 1/2 cup very hot water

For the Chocolate Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 package cream cheese, 8 ounces, softened
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup Ghirardelli Bittersweet chocolate chips, 60% cacao

Special Equipment

  • Wilton Checkerboard cake cutter or a 5.5 inch and a 2.5 inch round cookie cutter.

Instructions

For the Vanilla & Chocolate Cakes

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line each of four 9″ round cake pans with a round of wax paper. Grease the wax paper and insides of each pan. Lightly dust two of the pans and wax paper with flour. Lightly dust the remaining two pans and wax paper with cocoa.

For the Vanilla Batter

  1. Add the sugar and butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Mix on medium speed for at least two minutes until the butter and sugar are light and creamy.
  2. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. Add the baking powder, salt and one cup of the flour and mix for a few seconds just to incorporate the flour. Add first cup of the milk and mix for a few seconds. Add second cup of flour while continuing to mix, add second cup of milk, followed by the last cup of flour. Mix just until the flour is incorporated. Do not over mix.
  4. Using half of the batter, approximately four cups, pour two cups of batter into each of the two floured cake pans.

For the Chocolate Batter

  1. Add the cocoa and hot water to a small bowl and mix to make a paste. Add the chocolate mixture to the remaining vanilla batter and mix just to incorporate, scraping down sides of bowl if necessary. Pour two cups of batter into the two cocoa dusted pans.
  2. Place cake pans on oven racks, staggering the pans. Bake layers until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake layer comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes. Remove cakes from oven and run a sharp knife around the edges of each pan. Invert cake layers onto wire cooling racks to cool.

To assemble Checkerboard Cake

  1. Cut a small and medium ring from the first vanilla cake layer.
  2. Cut a small and medium ring from the first chocolate cake layer.
  3. Place the large outer vanilla ring on a cake plate.
  4. Place a medium chocolate ring inside of the vanilla ring.
  5. Place a small vanilla ring in the very center. Frost the top of the layer.
  6. Place the large outer chocolate ring on top of the first layer.
  7. Place a medium vanilla ring inside of the chocolate ring.
  8. Place a small chocolate ring in the center. Frost the top of the layer.
  9. Repeat steps 3 & 4 and frost top cake layer with frosting. Leave sides of cake unfrosted.

For the Chocolate Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Add the chocolate to the hot water and mix with a spoon until melted. Set aside to slightly cool while mixing the remaining ingredients.
  2. Add the whipping cream to the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whisk the whipping cream on high speed until stiff peaks form. Transfer to a regular bowl and refrigerate.
  3. Place the cream cheese in the same mixing bowl. Using the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed, until the cream cheese is creamy and free of all lumps. (If using a Kitchen Aid mixer, stop and run a spatula under the paddle once or twice during mixing to ensure that all of the cream cheese is mixed well).
  4. Add the powdered sugar and mix on medium speed for about one minute.
  5. Add the melted chocolate and mix for about one more minute, stopping to scrap down the sides of the bowl.
  6. Using a spatula, gently fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture.
  7. Frost tops of cake layers, but not the sides of cake.
  8. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 12

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