Grasshopper Checkerboard Cake

At the bakery there are many ingredients we bring in that are pre-made. Our icing comes in 3-5 gallon tubs, weighing 30 – 45 pounds each. The volume of cakes and desserts we handle requires that we order in large amounts of frosting, sprinkles, etc.

At home, I am a scratch baker – meaning I make all my batters, frostings, etc from fresh ingredients. I do not use mixes or pre-made icings in tubs. However, there are instances where box mixes and tub icings are appropriate! One instance being the essence of time – such as when your husband or child comes home and says they need 60 cupcakes by tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m. Another situation would be when you are trying out a new pan and do not want to invest the cost of scratch ingredients.

When my mom and grandma were visiting in the fall they spoiled me, made great food all week, and left behind some surprises. One of the treats they left was a checkerboard cake pan set. I had not gotten around to trying it out yet and knew that my weekday off would be the perfect time to try it out. With St. Patrick’s day approaching I knew I wanted to combine mint and chocolate and thought this would be the perfect opportunity to make a grasshopper cake.

Checkerboard Cake Pan Set
Checkerboard Cake Pan Set

Grasshopper Checkerboard Cake

You will need:

1 checkerboard cake pan set

1 box white cake mix

1 box dark chocolate cake mix

Ingredients listed on back of boxed cake mixes

Peppermint extract

Liquid green food coloring

Two tubs of cool whip

Method:

1. Follow instructions on cake mix boxes and make batter for both flavors.

2. To the white batter, add peppermint extract to taste (approximately 1 – 2 cap fulls) and green food coloring to desirable color (approximately 10 drops). Stir until blended well.

3. Grease and flour all pans, place dividers in first pan.

Pan with dividers
Pan with dividers

4. Pour dark batter in outer ring, light batter in middle, and dark batter in center.

Dark batter in outside and inside rings and lighter batter in middle ring
Dark batter in outside and inside rings and lighter batter in middle ring

5. Repeat for the next two pans but alternate colors

Alternating batter between pans
Alternating batter between pans

6. Follow baking times and heat listed on cake mix box. Once baked, let cool on cooling rack.

Cooling checkerboard cakes
Cooling checkerboard cakes

7. Stack cakes in alternating layers with frosting between each layer.

Cakes stacked - this is a TALL cake!
Layers stacked – this is a TALL cake!

8. Ice cake with desired frosting – (I used Cool Whip however I think traditional chocolate frosting would have tasted even better!)

Cool Whip iced Grasshopper Checkerboard Cake
Cool Whip iced Grasshopper Checkerboard Cake

9. Cut & Serve

Cool Whip Iced Grasshopper Checkerboard Cake
Cool Whip Iced Grasshopper Checkerboard Cake

Making the checkerboard cake was a bit time consuming as the dividers had to be washed between each pan and the batter had to be carefully poured into the small divisions to prevent mixing and tarnishing of the checkerboard effect. Overall though, the extra time and effort is worth the visual drama of the final product.

P.S. Some other St. Patrick’s Day Creations…

2 Tier St. Patrick's Day Cake
2 Tier St. Patrick’s Day Cake
St. Pat's Cupcakes from scratch! Milk chocolate cupcakes with Bailey's buttercream frosting, milk chocolate cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting, vanilla sugar cookie cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting. Lucky Charms & Shamrock sprinkles for garnish!
St. Pat’s Cupcakes from scratch! Milk chocolate cupcakes with Bailey’s buttercream frosting, milk chocolate cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting, vanilla sugar cookie cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting. Lucky Charms & Shamrock sprinkles for garnish!
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