Thursday 10 December 2015

Checker board cake with chocolate ganache frosted with whipped coffee cream frosting |How to make checker board cake from scratch | Chocolate and vanilla cake baked from scratch and assembled to form a checker board cake

Amidst all the chaos and illness last week Hubby dear celebrated his ** birthday.A loving husband and a dotting father deserves an 'A ' class ,well crafted cake ,isn't it ?For me a home made-handcrafted cake is  the best way to express your love and gratitude to your loved ones- a labour of love .

 Initially  I had planned a chocolate cake with modelling chocolate roses.But my plans were shattered as the hypermarket in my locality was running short of corn syrup .And due to illness I could not wander in search of it.So no modelling chocolate with out corn syrup grrr!!!.Then clicked this checker board cake which was a long due on my never ending list of "to try".So what next ? rolled up my sleeves and adorned my baking cap in crafting this beauty (cake) .

My 2 cents ;
  • Make this cake when you have  leisure time on hand.It demands a lot of patience and a good to and fro from fridge to your counter. 
  • Divide the process into 2 days ,one day for baking and making glaze and the other day for assembling.
  • Use the same cake tin for baking both cakes.

Warning!!! really lengthy post ,please don't curse me .

I have categorised this cake into 6 parts;

1.Baking a chocolate cake from scratch .

2.Baking a vanilla cake from scratch.

3.Making chocolate ganache .

4. Making coffee whipped cream 

5.Making chocolate glaze 

6.Assembling the checker board cake.

Procedure for baking a chocolate cake from scratch 

Preparation time ; 15 minutes
baking time : 30 - 40 minutes
Recipe source : Here 

Ingredients for chocolate cake 

  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar 
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder (i have used cadbury)
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs (at room temperature)
  • 1/4 cup oil (i used sunflower oil)
  • 1 cup hot coffee (i used bru instant)
  • 1 cup buttermilk (1 cup milk+1 tbsp vinegar /lemon juice)
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence

Step wise procedure for chocolate cake;

  • Sieve 2 times flour ,baking powder,baking soda ,salt and coco powder from a height. this step ensures no lumps and aeration of the cake .

  • To a cup of milk at room temperature add 1 tbsp of vinegar or lemon juice stir it and leave aside on the counter .around 10 minutes later the milk will curdle ,this is our butter milk.
  • To a bowl add eggs ,sugar ,oil ,vanilla ,stir it until well mixed.

  • Now add butter milk and whisk manually .Meanwhile to a cup of hot water add 2tsp instant coffee stir,close and set aside. 

  • Add the sieved mixture to it and with a hand blender on low speed whisk it . 

  • Now add hot coffee to the mixture and whisk with a hand blender .Make sure you have a deep bowl to avoid splashing .
  • Grease and dust a 4'' cake tin and line it with parchment paper double the side of the tin .In the below pic you can see the shadow of the side of the tin on the parchment .so the parchment paper is double the side.  
  • Add the cake batter to the tin and bake in a preheated oven at 170 c for 30 - 40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

  • Cool the cake in the pan for 30 minutes ,later demould it and cool on wire rack completely .


  • If you don't like coffee just add hot water .but coffee  ensures dark colour and rich taste.
  • I have used a 4'' cake tin but it wasn't enough for the batter so lined it with a parchment paper double than the side if the tin.

Procedure for baking a vanilla cake from scratch

Preparation time :15 minutes
baking time :25 - 30 minutes


  • 110 gms all purpose flour
  • 110 gms sugar
  • 4 eggs 
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence


Step wise tutorial for chocolate ganache

Preparation time ; 5 minutes
cooling time ;1 hour 


  • 113gm/4 oz Hershey's semi sweet chocolate
  • 200 ml cream


  • Heat cream in a sauce pan until it starts to bubble .we don't want to boil it .  
  • Roughly chop chocolate and add to a bowl .

  • Pour the hot cream over chocolate ,mix it with a whisk manually until chocolate is melted and forms a homogeneous mix.

  • Place the ganache in refrigerator for 1 hour .
  • After 1 hour remove the ganache from fridge and with a hand blender whisk it until thickens.

  • Your ganache is ready .

Step wise tutorial for coffee whipped cream

Preparation time :10 - 12 minutes
Gadget needed : hand blender


  • 250 ml whipping cream (i have used dairy cream )
  • 2 tsp instant coffee powder (bru )
  • 2 tbsp sugar 


  • To a cup add 2tsp cream and coffee powder and whip it with a spoon until mixed .

  • To bowl add chilled whipping cream ,with a hand blender whip it for 1 minute .

  • Now add the coffee mixture ,sugar and whip until soft peaks are formed..

  • Whip it until stiff peaks are formed and the cream doest fall from the whisk .it becomes thick enough. 
  • Do not whip for more than 12 minutes or you will end up with coffee butter(heee).

  • Scrap the sides of the bowl and refrigerate it until needed.
  • Your whipped coffee cream is ready .

Step wise tutorial for chocolate glaze

Preparation time :15 minutes 
Cooling time: over night


  • 120 gms cream (i have used saudia)
  •  140 gmswater
  • 180 gms sugar
  • 60 gms cocoa powder(cadbury)
  • Gelatin 15 gms


  • To a sauce pan add cream ,water ,sugar and boil for a good 10 minutes.In the last 9 minute add gelatin powder and stir .The liquid is hot enough for the gelatin to dissolve.
  • To the beaker of your immersion hand blender add coco powder.

  • Add hot mixture to coco powder and blend till well mixed and no lumps are seen 
  • Sieve the mixture and refrigerate until needed, preferably over night.
  • Your chocolate glaze is ready.

Finally its  time to assemble  ....phew!!!!

Step wise tutorial for  assembling a checker board cake

Preparation time :30 minutes
chilling time :30 minutes


  • chocolate cake 
  • vanilla cake 
  • chocolate ganache 
  • coffee whipping cream
  • chocolate glaze

Procedure for assembling the checker board cake

  • Obviously the chocolate cake from the above recipe will be taller than the vanilla cake from the above recipe .
  • Trim the chocolate cake to the height of the vanilla cake with a knife.
  • Take a bowl and ramekin and draw on a paper two concentric circles ,to check which one fits best in this manner. 
  • I have used a small dessert bowl and a pickle jar lid .

  • Divide both the cakes into two halves,Take one part of chocolate cake ,place the bowl in the centre and with a sharp knife  ,cut the cake along the sides of the bowl into a circle .
  • Remove the outer circle and place the lid in the centre and continue the same way .

  • Continue the same procedure for the other half chocolate cake.Now you will have 3 pairs of each circle.

  • Continue the same way for the vanilla sponge cake.Set aside the 3 pairs of chocolate and 3 pairs of vanilla cake circles in plates with out over lapping each other .be careful not to break it.
  • To a cake board or a plate add a dollop of ganache in the centre so that the cake doesn't fall down.
  • To the larger circle of vanilla cake apply ganache as shown in the pic below and place it on the plate.(pic below)

  • Now place the smaller vanilla ring in the centre and a chocolate ring in the middle .you can clearly understand by the pic below.
  • Cover it with a generous coat of ganache.

  • For the second layer place the chocolate ring ,followed by vanilla and chocolate (refer pic below) .
  • Cover it with a generous coat of ganache.

  • Now place the smaller vanilla ring in the centre and a chocolate ring in the middle .you can clearly under by the pic below.(same as bottom layer).
  • Cover it with a generous coat of ganache.

  • Now comes the final and top layer ,place the chocolate  ring ,followed by vanilla and chocolate ((same as second layer) .
  • Cover it with a generous coat of ganache.
  • In the pic below you can see the alternate layers .
  • Cover the cake with a thin cover of ganache,(this helps to hold the whipped cream) and freeze it for 10 minutes.

  • Remove the cake from the freezer and coat with whipped coffee cream .
  • Smoothen it with a spatula and freeze it for 20 minutes .
  • Hold a cake comb vertically along the cake and turn the cake (3 pic below) with other hand for the lines pattern .(its optional)
  • Pour the chocolate glaze generously over the cake as such that it drips along the sides .
  • Adorn the cake with any chocolates available, i have used the below ones.
  • Keep the cake refrigerated until served.

Your checker board cake layered with chocolate ganache and frosted with coffee whipping cream is ready to serve.


  1. Such a tall cake! And so well made... I too baked this once but I did all in one day, and like u mentioned, it did give me a literal heart attack! I had used up all the leftover buttercream and whipping cream and it was wiped out by HD's staff... you are temtping me to make them again soon... :)

    1. Thank you Rafeeda, yes definitely a tall cake it was 15 cms tall.

  2. Wow. Very well written. I always wanted to try checker board cake. Thanks a lot for such nice recipe. :)

  3. I have seen a short video on this cake, but that made me think its easy... this needs a lot of labour.. but labour of love never hurts isn't it? Insha allah, I should try and make this sometime soon..

    1. Yes,famidha a nerve wrecking job,but any thing for the loved ones . hope you try it soon.


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