Secret Design Chess Cake

September 28, 2012Sew White

Since the first episode of the Great British Bake Off  where they had to make secret design cakes I decided it was time to show my own secret pattern cake. I saw this when I was little and I haven’t made it in over 10 years.

You can watch the brand new video I made about making this cake below

Here is how it looked when it was cut open – a gorgeous and tasty chess board.

I fancy having a go at making little fondant chess pieces to go with it.

  Sew White chess secret design cake

So this is the top of the cake topped with chocolate icing and white stars. I love these white chocolate stars from Sainsburys they look so good on chocolate icing. I ran out of icing so it’s not as smooth as I would have wanted but it looks cute.

Sew White chess secret design cake 3

This recipe is based on a Mary Berry recipe.

For the cake
225g (8oz) butter, softened
225g (8oz) caster sugar
275g (9¾oz) self-raising flour
2 level tsp baking powder
4 medium eggs
2.5 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Chocolate mix
2.5 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp hot water

For the icing (or you can use chocolate ganache recipe below);
50g (2oz) butter
30g (1oz) cocoa powder, sifted
4 tbsp milk
200g (7oz) icing sugar, sifted

——

Or chocolate ganache

300ml double cream
300g milk chocolate
2 teaspoons of unsalted butter

——

Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F/gas mark 3. Lightly grease two 7inch shallow cake tin. Line the bottom with a circle of non-stick baking parchment.

Measure the butter, sugar, flour, baking powder, eggs, milk and vanilla extract into a large bowl and beat with a hand-held electric mixer for about two minutes, until well blended. Spoon half into another bowl and set aside.

In a small bowl, mix the cocoa powder and hot water together until smooth. Allow to cool slightly, then add to one of the bowls of cake mixture, mixing well until evenly blended.

Spoon the chocolate mixture evenly into the two pans, if you have four tins the same size you can do the vanilla at the same time or wait until the chocolate has baked and wash the tins and repeat. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the cake is well risen, springy to the touch and starting to shrink away from the sides of the tin. Allow to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack, peel off the lining paper and leave to cool completely.

To make the icing, melt the butter in a small pan, add the cocoa powder, stir to blend and cook gently for one minute. Stir in the milk and icing sugar, then remove from the heat and mix thoroughly. If necessary, leave the icing on one side, stirring occasionally, to thicken. Spread the cold cake evenly with the icing.

To make the chess board using 2 round cutters one medium and one small. Cut the same large circle into all the pieces and then cut the smaller circles.

When you have all the pieces – 3 per cake so 12 all together – interchange the pieces so the outer ring would be white and then the middle would be chocolate and the middle white again and vice versa with the chocolate large outside ring. Pile up the layers so they are in contrast with each other.If you want you can put a thin layer of icing between each layer to level the cake and stick the layers together but it isn’t too important. As long as the outside is iced the layers wouldn’t move too much.

Before you ice the cake it should look like this

Sew White chess secret design cake 2

Happy Baking

16 Comments

  • Jen

    September 28, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    Looks good! I’ll be doing a post shortly about my chess cake I did last weekend! Slightly different technique, rather than cutting out the circles, just piping alternate chocolate & vanilla cake mix in the tin to create a ‘bullseye’ before baking! Pretty simple and works a treat! 🙂 x

    1. sewwhite

      September 28, 2012 at 2:40 pm

      O that sounds good 🙂 Let me know when it’s up

  • Mr.???

    January 14, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    Nice work looks cool 😛

    1. sewwhite

      February 21, 2013 at 1:59 pm

      Thank you 🙂

  • The Charmed Cupcake

    February 19, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    Hi there,
    Thanks for this tutorial. I made a square chess board cake yesterday using this recipe and it turned out perfect!! Thank you so much for sharing, this recipe is def a keeper. I’ll be baking another one on Friday 😀

    1. sewwhite

      February 21, 2013 at 2:00 pm

      It is so lovely to hear that my little idea has been made 🙂 you have made my day! I’d love to see what the square version looks like – is it on your blog? x

      1. The Charmed Cupcake

        February 21, 2013 at 2:08 pm

        Hi there!!
        It’s not on my blog yet as I still have to type it up – bit of a back log 😉
        I made it on Monday as a practice run for this Saturdays chess cake. I’ve ordered a full chess set figures all in chocolate. Tk goodness a staff member was having a birthday so I could practice hahaha but it turned out great & everyone was impressed 🙂
        I made a square one, but a pic is up on my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/thecharmedcupcake

        Will make a round one for Father’s Day 😉
        The sponge is really lovely and so easy to make

  • Checkmate! | The Charmed Cupcake

    February 6, 2014 at 9:31 am

    […] and chocolate sponge cake, I came across Sew White’s Secret Design Chess Cake. She has a delicious recipe as well an easy to follow video tutorial. She made a wonderful round cake but I made a square cake […]

  • Sporty cakes for team honk: How to decorate a Chess and Football cake | Actually Mummy…Actually Mummy…

    April 28, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    […] the actual cake recipe, I used a mix of this chessboard cake recipe, and this egg white cake recipe. The egg white batter makes the white sections of the cake much […]

  • Jacqui Jackson

    September 21, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    love this xx

  • Farrah

    October 1, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    Love this! What a terrific idea … And you make it look so simple too! (Though I’m sure it’s much trickier than you make it look)

    1. Sew White

      October 1, 2014 at 6:19 pm

      Thank you 🙂 It is really easy I promise x

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    October 15, 2016 at 11:07 am

    […] Secret Design Chess Cake […]

  • Kristen Kemp

    November 14, 2017 at 5:57 pm

    THANK YOU SO MUCH for this post! I’m making a chessboard cake this weekend with chocolate cake and graham cracker cake. I think I’m going to use a marshmallow frosting so it is like a smores! I needed a visual of the process I had in my head and this post was extremely helpful!

    1. Sew White

      November 17, 2017 at 7:50 pm

      Thank you so much, it’s so lovely to hear that you found it useful. Thank you so much
      Sisley

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