The Checkerboard Cake

A cake for all chess lovers! Not only there’s a checkerboard on top, but it’s also a surprise when you cut into the cake. I won’t lie, the procedure is long and demanding, it took me 5 hours. But I’m sure you can do it if you strictly follow the instructions. Nevertheless, the cake is made of vanilla sponge, cocoa sponge, and chocolate buttercream.

I used a round baking tray with 22 cm diameter. You can also use the bigger or smaller baking tray, but then you have to adjust the quantity of ingredients or the cake will be shorter or taller.



Chocolate Buttercream

  • 600 ml milk
  • 80 g chocolate pudding powder (or 4 tablespoons flour and a tablespoon of cocoa powder)
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 150 g butter


Vanilla Sponge

  • 5 eggs
  • 150 g sugar
  • 200 g flour
  • 15 g baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 0,5 dl oil


Cocoa Sponge

  • 5 eggs
  • 150 g sugar
  • 170 g flour
  • 15 g baking powder
  • 0,5 dl oil
  • 30 g cocoa powder



Boil milk with sugar. Take some milk and mix it with chocolate pudding powder. Pour the mixture in the boiling milk. Cook until boils again. Set aside and let cool.

Bake the sponges. Whip eggs with sugar. Add the remaining ingredients. Stir thoroughly until just combined. Bake each of the sponges for about 25-30 minutes on 180° C.

Whip the butter. Add cold pudding and mix until you get a homogenous mixture.

When cold, cut every sponge into two layers. They must be equally high. Then, cut the circles out of each layer. The circles should be about 3 cm wide and they must be the same width in every layer of the sponge. You can help yourself with a model, cut out of the parchment paper.

Cutting the circles from every sponge layer

Time to set the cake.

Prepare the cake tray. Take the smaller brown circle and thinly spread the buttercream on its edge. Then take the yellow circle and put it over the brown one. Spread the buttercream on the edge again. Repeat the procedure with alternating between vanilla and cocoa sponge.

When the first layer is finished, thinly spread buttercream all over it.

Continue the procedure, just don’t forget that you have to start with different (vanilla) colour from the centre now.

When the whole cake is set, cover it with the remaining buttercream. You can decorate the cake with black and white chocolate.

When cutting the cake, it’s really important to cut precisely and exactly from the center to the edge.

A piece of the checkerboard cake
Additional advice

You must spread the cream between all the pieces so everything stays on its place and sticks well. But you must do it very thinly or you will have trouble putting the last (the bigger circle) on its place.

The sponge is thicker than in my usual cakes because it needs to be elastic and you don’t want it to rip easily. Optionally, you can use apple juice, milk, or rum to moist it.

You can also use jam instead of chocolate buttercream.


The Checkerboard Cake

Enjoy your cake! Check-mate!

If you liked this recipe, you may want to try the Choco Coconut Cake
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