For the last day of The 12 Baking Days of Christmas, I thought we should end with cake. And since we’re fully immersed in the hectic holiday season, I’m going to show you how to save time by turning store-bought, boxed cake mixes into a magical Christmas checkerboard cake!
Like the marbled cupcakes, my kids helped make these cakes, too. They love to bake and ready-made mixes are perfect for them. We used a box of red velvet and a box of classic white, which we dyed green with food coloring. We made both cakes according to the directions on the box in 8″ round cake pans.
Here’s how to assemble them into a checkerboard pattern:
(1) Our cakes had domes after baking, so I first had to level them. Using a bread knife or cake leveler, carefully cut across the tops until the cakes are flat and about the same height.
(2) Print out paper templates for 6″, 4″ and 2″ circles. Center templates on the cake and carefully cut around with a sharp knife. To avoid lifting the template for each circle, you can (a) cut each template and keep them in place with a couple toothpicks, or (b) cut the template into a spiral so it’s one piece with a groove for the knife to follow. I’ve tried both ways with equal success.
(3) Repeat with the other cake. The cakes should now have 8″, 6″, 4″ and 2″ rings.
(4) Switch the 6″ and 2″ rings from cake-to-cake to create an alternating color pattern. Transfer one of the patterned cakes to a cake board, securing it with a glob of frosting. Add frosting between layers and place the other patterned cake on top — upside down so the bottom provides a perfectly flat top. Frost and decorate.
Speaking of frosting, I used my signature vanilla cream cheese frosting for this cake, too. I feel like a one-trick pony, but it really is that good! It’s not sickening sweet or overly buttery; just rich, creamy and delicious. And it goes with just about any cake. I wish shoes were so easy.
Even if your cake frosting skills need improvement (like mine), a ton of well-placed sprinkles can
hide fix the flaws. Sprinkles are your friend!
Ok, let’s cut this cake and see what’s inside!
Now, if that doesn’t say, “Merry Christmas!”
It has truly been my pleasure sharing my love of baking with you this holiday season. To recap The 12 Baking Days of Christmas 2017:
Day 12 ❄︎ Christmas Checkerboard Cake
Day 11 ❄︎ Make-Ahead Breakfast Casserole
Day 10 ❄︎ Mini Caramel Apple Pies
Day 9 ❄︎ Red & White Marbled Cupcakes
Day 8 ❄︎ Red Velvet Cookies
Day 7 ❄︎ Homemade Cornbread Stuffing
Day 6 ❄︎ Homemade Cornbread
Day 5 ❄︎ Rudy’s Gingerbread Loaf
Day 4 ❄︎ White Chocolate Bark: Two Ways
Day 3 ❄︎ Cranberry Orange Scones
Day 2 ❄︎ Skillet Sugar Cookies
Day 1 ❄︎ Gingerbread Whoopie Pies
I hope you were inspired to try a few new recipes, and if you did, I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments section below. Wishing you a merry everything and a happy always! — v.
For a black and white checkerboard cake,
please visit A Nightmare Before Christmas Birthday.