Checkerboard Cake

Checkerboard Cake

  • Prep:
  • Cook Time: 35 min
  • Total: 35 min
  • Serving: Makes 12 servings

Have you ever wondered what desserts were like decades ago, before celebrity chefs, cupcake bakeries and diet sweets were in style? Sure, the fancy neo-desserts of today are innovativeand many are awe-inspiringbut the desserts of the 40s, 50s, and 60s never go out of style. Here is a retro dessert recipe (with a slightly updated twist) to give you a taste of the desserts your parents and grandparents grew up on.


  • 4 cups sifted cake flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/3 cups whole milk, room temperature
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3-ounces baking (unsweetened) chocolate, melted in a double boiler, cooled


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 3, 8-inch round cake pans. Place parchment rounds in bottom of pans and grease those.
  2. In a large bowl, beat flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together for 1 minute. Mix in butter and 1 cup of milk and beat for about 2 minutes.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together vanilla, 1/3 cup of milk, and eggs. Gradually beat egg mixture into flour mixture, beating well after each addition. Separate batter into two equal bowls. Stir the melted chocolate into half of the batter.
  4. If you have a checkerboard cake ring, begin by pouring batters in an alternating pattern in the rings. If you do not have a checkerboard cake ring, pour batter in alternating rings very carefully by hand; make sure batters do not mix. Continue with all three pans until all batter is used. Only fill pans half way. In each pan, alternate colors so a checkerboard effect will be seen when the cake is put together. Be sure to remove dividers before baking, if using.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes in oven, then turn and bake another 10 minutes. Let cakes cool, then remove from the pans. Stack cakes with a thin layer of frosting between each layer and frost the outside. Slice and serve.


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