Today’s post is not one of pretty pictures, but rather one to share how I made the checkerboard birthday cake you see above. We celebrated Desmond’s 5th birthday the other weekend. It was a science party, with a bunch of experiments, crazy glasses and a ton of fun running around bouncing giant balloons.
As I’ve mentioned before I always have a hard time photographing my kid’s birthday parties – everything comes together so quickly, kids are running around like crazy and I’m lucky if I get a couple of snap shots of the event. Plus I never make cakes just for the blog – they always are made for actual events, so photographing this one properly was impossible.I wanted a tasty and fun cake – one that would surprise the kids (and adults as well). I decided to make a checkerboard cake using the colours I had at the party. I got so many questions on how I made it, that I decided to illustrate it quickly for you.
Bake four cakes in the colours you want to use. I used blue, red and orange gel colour and left one cake white. I made mine in 9 inch pans. Once cakes are cooled, use a bowl to trace and cut a circle out of each cake, making sure the outer ring is thick enough to be solid. Then use a smaller bowl or cookie cutter to cut out an additional circle out of each cake. Carefully take each piece apart and lay on your work surface.
Next, take a little bit of your icing and spread it on the edges of each of the pieces. Carefully reassemble each of the four cakes, alternating the colours. None of the four cakes will have the same colour twice. The icing will help keep the pieces together. Then carefully stack each layer, making sure to add enough frosting between each layer. Cover the entire cake with a thin layer of frosting (crumb coat), add a skewer in the middle for stability (it is four layers after all) and put the cake in the fridge for 20 minutes. Add a final layer of frosting and decorate the outside as you want.
I made this cake recipe and made it with a lemon mascarpone frosting. It was delicious. People will ask how you managed to get all the little squares into the cake!
*next time I would straighten each layer a bit with a knife to get more even squares – but I’m quite pleased with this first try.
A few pictures of the party below. It was a wonderful day – we went to our local field house, which was perfect with 15 four and five year old kids – they could run around like crazy and my house didn’t get messed up!