1½cupsunsalted butter, at room temperature (12 oz, 335g, 3 sticks)
2cupsgranulated sugar, (14 oz, 400g
5large eggs, at room temperature
1¾cupsbuttermilk, room temperature, see Recipe Notes (14 oz, 390g)
2-3drops food coloring, 2 different colors (e.g. red & blue)
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
1¾cupsunsalted butter, at room temperature (14 oz, 390g, 3-1/2 sticks)
7cupspowdered sugar, (30 oz, 840g)
6Tbspheavy cream or milk, (3 oz, 84g)
Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease and lightly flour four 9-inch round cake pans. If available, wrap the cake pans with Bake-Even strips according the the package directions...it helps to keep the layers level.
For the cake: Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.
Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or a handhelp mixer), beat the butter and sugar together on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. On medium-high speed, add 1 egg at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, and mixing each addition just until incorporated. Do not overmix this batter. The batter will be smooth, velvety, and slightly thick.
There will be 8 cups of batter total -- transfer half of it to another bowl. Stir in the food coloring (one blue, one red) into each bowl. Pour/spread batter evenly into prepared cake pans.
Bake for around 24-25 minutes or until the cakes are baked through. To test for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, it is done. Allow cakes to cool completely in the pans set on a wire rack. The cakes must be completely cool before frosting and assembling.
Trim cake tops to level them. Using a 6-inch round cookie cutter (it's large!), cut a circle into each cooled cake. Using a 3-inch round cookie cutter, cut a circle out of the 6-inch circle. You will have four 3-inch circles, four 6-inch circles (the outlines), and four 9-inch circles (which are just a thin outline of cake since the centers are missing).
For the frosting: In a large bowl using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or a handheld mixer), beat the butter on medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add powdered sugar, cream, vanilla extract, and salt with the mixer running on low. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 full minutes. Add more powdered sugar if frosting is too thin, more cream if frosting is too thick, or a pinch more of salt if frosting is too sweet.
Assemble the cake: Place one blue 9-inch outline of cake onto a serving plate or cake stand. Fill with a red 6-inch circle, then a blue circle. Spread frosting evenly on top. Repeat with next layer: 9-inch red filled with 6-inch blue then 3-inch red. Spread frosting evenly on top. Repeat next 2 layers. Spread the remaining frosting all over the top and sides. Decorate top and sides of cake as desired.
Refrigerate the cake for at least an hour before slicing and serving. The time in the refrigerator ensures a neater cut!
Cover and store leftover cake at room temperature for 1-2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
You can use milk mixed with 1-1/2 teaspoons of white vinegar or fresh lemon juice instead of the buttermilk. Another substitution is to use equal parts water and sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt). Either way, the purpose of having buttermilk is to give an acid for the baking soda to react with.Make ahead tip: The cake layers can be baked, cooled, and covered tightly at room temperature overnight. Likewise, the frosting can be prepared then covered and refrigerated overnight. Assemble and frost the cake the next day when you are ready to serve. Frosted cake can be frozen up to 2 months if you have room in the freezer. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving. It tastes much better fresh though.
Amount Per Serving (1 slice)
* Percent daily values are based on a 2,000 cal per day diet.
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Checkerboard Cake https://www.scotchandscones.com/checkerboard-cake/ February 9, 2018