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Checkerboard Cake

a.k.a. Gamecube Cake

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Checkerboard Cake

This Checkerboard Cake was frosted and decorated by my 8-year-old daughter.

Carroll Pellegrinelli
It all started when my daughter wanted a chocolate and vanilla cake for her birthday. To be honest, I don't usually make her birthday cakes. I'm too busy with making treasure maps, hiding treasure and trying to corral girls in hula skirts, to have time to bake a sheet cake for her parties. This year we decided to have a fake-birthday party, while school was still in session. She had the store-bought cake for that party. For her real, but only family, birthday party she wanted Mommy to make the cake. As soon as she mentioned she wanted the two-flavored cake, I immediately remembered two things. The first was that someone was asking about a recipe for a Gamecube Cake a.k.a. Checkerboard Cake in the forum. A couple of people even responded with directions on how to make the cake without a special pan. The second thing I remembered was that I HAD the pan. I bought it several months ago, and just hadn't played with it yet.

The day before my daughter's birthday I began to make the cake. It was simple; the pan set came with a recipe for the 3-layer cake. My only problem was that as I began baking the cake, we had a big thunderstorm. We lost power for about half-an-hour, thus messing up the cake. Time was running out so I had my husband go to the store and purchase a white and a chocolate cake mix. He brought home a yellow cake and a chocolate fudge cake with chocolate pieces in it. Since there were only 3 layers, I put the extra batter into one 8-inch square pan. I froze that cake. The store-bought cakes tasted good enough, but they didn't bake too well. The chocolate batter was much heavier than the yellow cake batter, and they didn't cook evenly.

The only other hurdle was that my daughter wanted her cake to be exactly like the one on the front of the box. The instructions only came with a chocolate icing recipe for the 3-layer cake. The picture shows the cake iced in white frosting with chocolate on the top and dripping down the sides. I just love the Buttercream Recipe I got from Wilton. I made that (the excess icing got frozen, too) and for the chocolate I used the Chocolate Ganache recipe from Marcel Desaulniers' cake recipe. My daughter actually iced her own cake. For an 8-year-old she did pretty good.

You'll find the cake recipe along with how to use the pan on the next page.

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