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Pretty Checkerboard Cake

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“I made this cake for my daughter's 1st birthday. All of us loved it. It does require a checkerboard cake pan set. I just used a buttercream icing, but I think a lemon icing would be good too! You can't really taste the cream cheese either (normally I'm not a cream cheese fan).”
2hrs 25mins

Ingredients Nutrition

  • Cake
  • 1 (18 ounce) box yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 0.5 (3 ounce) box strawberry gelatin
  • Frosting
  • buttercream frosting
  • yellow food coloring
  • Decorations
  • buttercream frosting, white
  • royal icing, for flowers, if desired


  1. Heat oven to 350°F Line bottoms of 3 9-inch round pans of a checkerboard set with parchment paper, or grease bottoms. Place divider ring into one of the cake pans, following manufacturer's directions.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat cake mix, milk, cream cheese, vanilla, and eggs with electric mix on low for 1 minute, scraping bowl constantly. Beat for 2 minutes longer. Divide batter in half. Stir gelatin into half of batter.
  3. Spoon batter into pan with divider ring, following manufacturer's directions. Repeat for other 2 pans.
  4. Bake 25 to 28 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Loosen cake from side of pans with metal spatula. Turn cake upside down on cooling rack. Cool completely.
  5. Tint icing with yellow food coloring until a deep yellow color. If using the same icing for decorating, make sure to reserve enough to decorate cake. Using a thin layer of yellow icing in between cake layers, layer cake so the outside colors are alternating. Place cake on serving plate, and frost top and sides with yellow icing. Decorate cake with white icing and garnish with candy flowers. I used royal icing to make my candy flowers and the drop flower technique.

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