Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Michael's Chocolate Strawberry Checkerboard Cake

The first of Michael's two birthday cakes - he requested a chocolate and strawberry checkerboard cake with chocolate fudge icing. So here it is:

Chocolate Strawberry Checkerboard Cake

-1 chocolate cake
-1 strawberry cake
(These can be from scratch or a box mix. For this one, I made the chocolate cake from scratch per my Betty Crocker Cookbook and the Strawberry cake from a mix. I did, however, add some flour to the strawberry cake so that it was closer to the consistency of the other cake. This is important for the checkerboard method since each layer will consist of both kinds of cake.)
-Chocolate Fudge Buttercream Icing (recipe from: allrecipes.com)
-fresh strawberries


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 9" cake pans. (I like to use parchment paper along the bottoms so the cakes release easier.)

2. Prepare cakes according to package or recipe directions.

3. To create the checkerboard appearence when cut, make two posterboard circles per pan (1-19" and 1-10" circumference) and use as a guide to make 3 concentric circles in each pan. The middle layer should be Strawberry-Chocolate-Strawberry, and the outside layers Chocolate-Strawberry-Chocolate. Using gallon ziplock bags, pipe the cake into the pans, trying to make each layer about even in depth.

4. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. (Be sure to test both cake flavors since they may not cook exactly even.)

5. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. In the meantime, make the icing. Once cooled, cut the rounded tops off each layer to prevent the cakes from cracking and help keep the cake from being uneven when assembled.

6. Assemble the cake by placing the C-S-C layer on the bottom, spreading with icing, and covering with the S-C-S layer. Again, cover with a layer of icing and place the final layer on top. (I like to place the top layer upside-down so that the bottom is on top. This makes for a nice flat surface on the top of the cake and makes it easier to spread the icing.)

7. Spread remaining icing over the cake and decorate with fresh strawberries.

(here is the checkerboard effect when you cut it)

Chocolate Fudge Buttercream Icing


-1 cup butter
-1/2 cup shortening
-2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
-4 cups confectioners' sugar
-4 tablespoons milk
-2 cups hot fudge topping
-2 teaspoons vanilla extract


1. Cream together the butter or margarine with the shortening.

2. Sift the cocoa with the confectioners' sugar and add to the creamed mixture. Mix together adding 1 tablespoon at a time of milk to keep mixture smooth. Don't add more than 1/4 cup of milk.

3. Add the hot fudge topping and the vanilla extract. Blend until smooth and creamy.

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