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Serves 16


For the cakes:

2 cups sugar

1 cup butter, softened

5 large eggs

2 tsp vanilla essence

3 cups SASKO Cake Flour

1½ tbsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

2 cups milk

¾ cup cocoa powder

½ cup hot water

For the chocolate buttercream:

1½ cups butter, softened

5 cups icing sugar, sifted

1 cup cocoa powder, sifted

5 tbsp milk



For the cakes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 and line the base of 2x 23cm cake tins with baking paper. 

  2. Use an electric whisk to beat together the sugar and butter until well-combined, light in colour and doubled in size.

  3. Add the eggs one at a time, beating in between. Stir in the vanilla essence.

  4. In a separate bowl, combine the cake flour, baking powder and salt.

  5. Add the dry ingredients to the butter, sugar and egg mixture and beat in at a medium-low speed until just combined.

  6. Add in the milk and beat until just combined and no longer lumpy.

  7. Pour half of the batter into one of the cake tins and set aside.

  8. In a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and hot water until a paste is formed. Beat the chocolate paste into the remaining batter until well combined. Pour this batter into the second cake tin.

  9. Bake the two cakes until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, about 40-45 minutes.

  10. Allow the cakes to cool in the tins for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.

  11. Once the two cakes are completely cool, carefully slice the tops off both cakes to create even surfaces and ensure both cakes are equal in height.

  12. Wrap a long piece of cotton thread around the cake on the middle line (height-wise). Pull each end of the thread in opposite directions to cut through the centre of the cake and carefully slice it into two equal cakes. *Chef’s Tip: This is easiest if the cakes have been left to firm up in the refrigerator overnight.

  13. Repeat with the chocolate cake. You should now have 4 equal-sized cakes.


For the chocolate buttercream:


  1. Beat the butter in a large bowl until softened and smooth.

  2. Add the icing sugar and beat until well combined.

  3. Add the cocoa powder and beat until well combined.

  4. Add the milk and beat until smooth.


To assemble:


  1. Place a small side plate on top of the first vanilla cake and cut around it to create a smaller circle. Place a glass in the centre of the cake and cut around it to create an even smaller circle. Remove the circles and repeat with the other 3 cakes.

  2. Start assembling the checkerboard cake by placing the outside chocolate ring onto a cake stand. Insert the medium vanilla cake ring and finish with the inner chocolate cake circle in the centre.

  3. Carefully spread a thin layer of chocolate buttercream over the cake layer.

  4. Continue with the next layer, alternating the colours on the outside. Repeat with a layer of buttercream in between each cake layer until all 4 layers are done.

  5. After the fourth layer, spread the remaining chocolate buttercream over the whole cake. Allow to set in the fridge for 2 hours.

  6. Carefully slice using a warmed knife to reveal the beautiful checkerboard cake and ENJOY!

Showstopping Checkerboard Cake

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