Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Checkerboard Cake

Wilton Decorating Basics - final cake
Remember that cake I made for the final Wilton Decorating Basics class? Well, there's something I didn't share about the cake.

It had a surprise inside!
A checkerboard pattern!

There are special pans for sale that make checkerboard cakes but all the photos I've seen of cakes made in these don't have straight lines inside. I had seen instructions for a custom checkerboard cake on Amanda's (from i am baker) blog so I based my attempt on that one. By the way, Amanda has the coolest "surprise inside" cakes! Check out the cakes section of her blog to see more of them.

Here's how I did it.

First I baked the cakes. I divided my batter in half and colored half of it purple.

After the cakes were leveled, I looked around the house for things to use for cutting the rings in the cakes. I measured the cakes to try and get the rings as even as possible. I came up with a cookie cutter and a lid to a storage container.

I measured around the edges to make sure the templates were centered. I also stacked the cakes and cut them both at the same time.

When the cutting was complete, I had three rings of each color. I then assembled the new layers of the cake.

As you can see, the largest purple ring broke while I was assembling the cake. I just put the piece that broke off back into place, covered with plastic wrap, tied string around the cake, and put it int he freezer for a while to firm up before trying to frost it. I think the main problem was that I didn't use a doctored up cake batter for this cake because I was short on time and supplies - I just used box mix. Generally I would use a modified recipe so that the cakes come out much more dense and hold up to cutting better.

After I had the layers put back together, I torted and filled the cake as usual.

And there you have it - a checkerboard cake! It was fun seeing my coworkers' surprised looks when they saw the inside. By the way, sorry for the messy photos, it's hard to pause for cake photos with a group of people waiting for their slice. That's okay - you got the idea.

Can't wait to try more surprise-inside cakes!

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