Thursday, 27 September 2012

Recipe of the week - Chequerboard Cake (Gluten & Dairy Free)

Well, after far too long an absence it's time to return to the Recipe of the Week again. And what a fancy looking recipe to return with, although not at all tricky to make!

My brother got a new job last week and it seemed the perfect excuse to try out this cake. It's very much a congratulations-on-your-new-job type of cake. Or any other sort of reason to celebrate sort of cake. 

The fun part of the cake is that it looks like an ordinary chocolate cake until you slice it open and reveal...

..a real 'ta-da' moment inside. 

Doesn't that look fancy? Like it took you hours to make? Not at all though.

The idea came from one of my new birthday cookbooks, the new Great British Bake-off book (How to turn your everyday bakes into a showstopper, or something similar) Anyone else loving the new series? It's not just me though, the boys are big fans too!

Anyway, I saw this cake in there but of course wanted to make it gluten and dairy free so I used my trusty old Victoria Sponge recipe. But doubled.

Here's how you do it.....

You will need;

12oz sugar
12oz dairy free margarine
12oz Doves Farm (or own choice) Gluten Free Self Raising Flour
6 eggs
about 4 tbsp soya milk
2oz cocoa powder

3, 8 inch round sandwich cake tins, greased and base lined

chocolate buttercream icing 

~ Put the sugar, margarine, flour and eggs into a free standing mixer and beat well until it is light and fluffy. Add the milk and then mix again until it is all mixed together.

~Once you have mixed up your basic sponge, put half of the mix into a different bowl. To this bowl you add the cocoa powder.

~Now put the chocolate mix into one piping bag and the plain mix into another. I use disposable piping bags and just snipped the end off them both but didn't add a piping nozzle. I didn't have two nozzles the same size you see!

~Pipe a circle of chocolate mix around the outside of one of the tins. Now pipe a circle of the plain mix just inside this. Follow this with another chocolate one and finish with a blob of plain in the middle. I don't have a photo of the uncooked version, but here is what you are aiming for. The circles don't have to be perfectly neat, as you can see!

~In the other two tins do the opposite pattern, so start with the plain mix in them.

~Bake at about 180C for around 20 minutes, then leave to cool.

~Once the cakes are cool it's time to layer them together. I had planned to make up a batch of chocolate buttercream (which you can find here in my very first ever post!) but we were due for dinner at my brother's house about 10 minutes before and so I just used a tub and a half of good old Betty Crocker icing that I keep in the cupboard for just such an emergency. (Betty Crocker is gluten and dairy free)

~Make sure that the cake you put on the bottom is one of the ones that you have two of. In my case, the one with the plain mix on the outside. Cover with a thinish layer of chocolate icing, add the middle layer (the one with the chocolate on the outside) and cover with another layer of icing and then add the top layer.

~Cover the whole of your cake, sides and all, with chocolate icing so as not to give away the surprise. My sister in law was under the belief that it was a plain old chocolate cake (no bad thing) until the boys all came through to the kitchen after dinner saying 'we want to see the cake being sliced!'

~To add a wee celebratory touch, we finished off the decor with some gold coloured sugar sprinkles.

In case you are wondering how many slices it gives? We got 13 that night. Four adult sized ones and 7 boy sized ones. Not a crumb left over.


  1. Wow! It is a very big 'ta-da' moment! So very smart!!! And I am very excited about your recipe of the week series! You have always filled me up with inspiration like few do! Such a beautiful cake Kirsteen and hurray for your brother and his new job :)

    1. Thanks Elizabeth, you're so kind and sweet! I'm looking forward to seeing your new blog up and running too!

  2. P.S. I just began yet another blog hehehe. I hope this one will serve me a little bit better than my last one. I should have waited a tad longer when beginning my last one. My sister has blessed me with lots of help in getting me started. But anyways, I am very excited to begin blogging again :)

  3. Oh, this is really a fun idea...I would love to try it next time we celebrate with cake. Will your recipe work with regular butter and milk do you think? I love how your boys got involved, and got excited to see the inside of the cake.

    Previous post makes me feel cozy, with your storm (I hope it doesn't create too much damage); and I always enjoy what you create.. your key chains and ornaments are cute and I would love to see them again once are all finished. That tea cozy in the picture is cute; Did you make it?

    1. The cake will work fine with regular milk, butter and flour too. The storm didn't cause too much damage, just a few tree branches here and there, although there were some areas further south who suffered flooding.

      I wish I could say I had made the tea cosy, but no, I didn't! I've had it for quite a few years now but it's still my favourite.

  4. Kirsteen this cake is so so cool! I am loving that it looks so amazing but that it is also gluten free! That is hard to come by! The only bummer about this post is that I can't taste it!! Wish I could :(

    See you on Instagram LOL!!

    ~ Marie

  5. Hello Kirsteen, I want to thank you for stopping by and leaving such a nice comment.
    It is really sweet to see your little guy on one of your post. And your cake looked just so fancy.Really nice meeting you!
    Blessings, Roxy

  6. Oooh, I'm going to try this! It is such a fun-looking inside! :)


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