Checkerboard cake – Our Chess board Cake ..!!

A cake I have been waiting so long to try, that makes looking at it an artistic pleasure and the taste of which pure bliss – checkerboard cake – our little chessboard cake..!!

I have been wanting to make this cake for a very long time. I had researched every inch of the net for the recipe and also dashed through every store in Bahrain looking for the checkerboard pan. But sadly it was not available. It was in Rias blog however I found details about how to make this cake for a person who is short of the particular pan. I have always been a follower of her site and she is one lady who makes wonders out of the simplest ingredients. So i followed her method to the dot. And thus we finally had a chance to have our own – very lovingly called – chess board cake.!!

This cake is a virtual gift for my nephew Kevin, who is attending his 10th class today. In India, the 10th class is “THE CLASS”. I am pretty sure he is tensed today. So like the traditional practice, I sent him this cake to start his day with enough sweetness and to make the entire year one of prosperity and excellence.


Recipe for sponge – Ria’s Collections

For the vanilla sponge:

  • Eggs – 3
  • Sugar – 1/2c
  • Cake flour – 1/2 c  all purpose flour minus 1 tbsp + 1tbsp cornstarch/cornflour
  • Vanilla extract – 1tsp

For the chocolate sponge

  • Eggs – 3
  • Sugar – 1/2 cup
  • Cake flour – 1/2 c  all purpose flour minus 3 tbsp + 1tbsp cornstarch/cornflour +2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • Vanilla extract – 1 tsp

Soaking liquid

  • Water – 1/2 cup
  • Sugar –  3 Tbsp
  • Coffee liqueur – splash (optional)


  • Whipping cream – 1 cup
  • Jam mixed in 1 Tbsp water  – 1/2 cup  (optional)

Chocolate ganache

  • Semi sweet chocolate chips – 1 cup
  • Fresh cream – 1 cup


  • Preheat the oven to 180 C.
  • Grease and line a 8 inch pans with parchment paper. Keep aside.
  • For each cake, sift the respective dry ingredients together and keep aside.
  • Beat the eggs and sugar on high speed using an electric beater for about 10 to 15 minutes. This step is highly important because we are not using any leavening agents here. The beating of the mixture will cause air to be incorporated and later give volume to the cake.
  • Now fold the dry ingredients into the batter carefully so as not to loose the air incorporated.
  • The mixture will deflate a little but that is no cause for concern. Go ahead and make it.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes untill a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  • Care be taken that oven temperatures do differ. So keep an eye on the cake after 20 minutes so as not to burn it.
  • When the cake is done, it will be springy to touch and will be pulling away from the edges.
  • Cool the cake completely.
  • We will now have 2 cakes – vanilla and chocolate.
  • Using any circular utensils or cutter you might have in the house, cut each cake into 3 circles.
  • You will have 3 circle of vanilla and 3 circles of chocolate cake respectively. Exchange the circles between the two cakes in a manner where you have 1 vanilla, 1 chocolate and 1 vanilla together making a whole cake.
  • This is better illustrated here..

  • When you are placing each circle inside the other, Brush the inner sides of the cake with jam or the whipped cream. Whip the cream with some sugar and vanilla essence if you like.
  • Brush the soaking liquid over the cake. The amount of soaking liquid that you brush over determines the moistness of the cake.
  • Sandwich both the cakes together with the remaining whipped cream.
  • Make the ganache now. Heat the cream in a microwave for about 90 seconds. The cream will be really hot. Add the semisweet chocolate chips and mix till combined.
  • Pour this ganache on the cake and spread around the sides.
  • Decorate using you imagination. I used grated milk chocolate and some sprinkles.
  • Chill till needed.
  • Cut and enjoy the pattern for 5 minutes. Now serve .
  • Enjoy your yummy slice..!!

This makes for a great celebration cake. Everyone loved it and I am sure I would make it again. I agree the procedure is a bit tedious but hey… its worth every bit of the effort. So roll up your sleeves and go try it..!

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  1. Latha says:


    I wanna bake this in a day or 2. I have 2 querries:

    * Absolutely no butter at all is it?
    * What happenes to the soaking liquid? After I interchange (assemble) the cake do I
    soak the cake?

    looks fab. You have a wonderful blog. Have booked mark some and will post my comments.
    Thanks for sharing it here and keep up the good work.

    • Anzz says:

      Yup, absolutely no butter at all. You have to beat the eggs and the sugar well for a very long time till it becomes thick and increases in volume. This happens due to the amount of air incorporated in the batter. The soaking liquid is meant to make the cake moist. I forgot to mention it earlier, but brush the liquid over the cake before you frost it with the ganache. Let the cake absorb the liquid and this will make the cake moist.

      Try it and do let me know how it turns out. And thanx for visiting..!

  2. Latha says:


    Thank you so much for the reply.Thanks for the add on the FB.

    I did bake the cake, both the sponges came out so soft and nice. I have managed to
    assemble the cake. I will post the pic this evening as I cut my birthday

    Thanks once again.

  3. latha says:


    The cake is simply super. Yummy & we loved it.
    Tried to tag you on FB was not able to do it.
    WOnder why prob. due to some settings.
    You can see the pics at latha madhusudhan (FB)
    on my timeline.

    Thanks and you rock!!

  4. Tina says:

    I dint have any ccourage in baking these years.Your cake recipes are too good..especailly the above one.. i badly want to start baking and slowly can bake variety of cakes..

    This time im going to give a trial.I bought a cake mix as i am a beginer.Can you pls clear my basic doubts will be tooo silly since im totally new to this.I use my microwave just to heat the food 🙂

    Bought”Betty Crockers” Super Moist Dark Choclate Cake Mix (500 gms)today and

    Non stick Loaf Pan (28*14 cm)

    Its written i need to just mix 280 ml water + half cup veg oil + 3 eggs along with the cake mix

    And to heat the oven 180 degree

    My doubts

    1)Will i be able to bake the whole cake mix in this Non stick loaf pan?

    2)My imp doubt: regarding preheating- my oven has two buttons one is convection and 2nd is micro+ convection.Which button should i press?

    How many minutes i need to preheat?like 180 degree for 3o minutes?We need to put the raw cake inside the oven after the beep sound na,after keeping the cake inside for how much time we need to bake?(This portion im totally confused )pls help me..Nobody is here to clarify my doubts.Does this means i need to preheat for 180 degree after the beep sound i need to keep raw cake inside and then bake for 3o minutes?

    In this cake mix no baking time is mentioned.other than degree.

    3)using 2 eggs instead of 3 is alright/ will it affect the consistency of the final outcome

    4)using sunflower oil is alright ?

    Sorry to trouble you Ansy..Im extremely sorry

    • Anzz says:

      Dear Tina,

      I have been so caught up in family functions that I have not visited this space in a long time. Hence i apologize for the delay in replying.

      Normally for baking the size of the cake pan is mentioned in the recipe. If you do not have the desired size, a general rule to follow is that the cake pan should only be about 2/3 full of batter. You should never fill the pan to the brim. When the cake bakes the cake rises. and it needs space to crawl up the sides of the pan. A non stick pan is good.. but only if you fill it 2/3 full.

      Baking = Convection mode in a microwave. Preheating is to get the temperature to a certain level. Cakes always go into a hot oven else they will not rise well. So heat the oven on the desired temperature in convection miode for 10 minutes, then set timer and bake.

      If your recipe says 3 eggs then it has to be 3 eggs. The proportion of dry ingredients to wet ingredients is important.

      Sunflower oil works okay… vegetable oil being better.

      No trouble at all Tina, thank you for taking the time to write in. HAve a lovely New Year with a lot of baking and fun.

  5. Tina says:

    Thank you so much Ansy dear for the detailed description.So sweet of you..Yeah atlast i made a cake 🙂 Though the cake was not properly cooked..My confidence level has increased 🙂
    Keep posting dear..Have A blessed year ahead..Im sure you are busy with your sis wedding.Have a great is your kids?take care..All the very best for your future endeavours..God bless !

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