Taking the House by Storm

The trials and tribulations of the average gal trying to navigate through life, love and the pursuit of domestic bliss.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Prepare to be Dazzled

I like to try new things.

On Martin Luther King, Jr. day I was hanging out with my friend, Cara, and flipping through her Parents magazine while watching Oprah. Chick overload, I know.

The magazine happened to be the February issue containing all sorts of Valentine’s Day crafts, recipes, etc., including a recipe for something they called the Kiss-Me Cake. What made this cake so special? The fact that when you cut into it, it looks like a checkerboard.

I’ve always been fascinated with these types of cakes and before I knew any better, I envisioned there were special cake pans with lots of tiny compartments one used to create the effect. But thanks to this magazine – and Cara letting me have it – I now know the secret. Cara suggested I try it for our monthly GLOJAG – our version of girls’ night out – so I did.

Holy cow! It was a success! It actually looked like a checkerboard and the cake itself was delicious. So as you can imagine, I’m feeling pretty good about myself. You can, too. Just give this recipe a try; I’m sure you can adjust the colors to meet your preferences/occasion.

Unfortunately, there’s no link to the cake on the Parents magazine web site and I couldn’t find another one in the brief Google search I did, so you’ll have to just use my pictures as a guide.

Kiss-Me Cake
1 box French vanilla cake mix
1 cup buttermilk
4 large eggs
Pink and purple food coloring (I use the paste kind from Wilton)
2 containers whipped vanilla frosting
Large candy conversation hearts (I didn’t use them; I made my own out of icing, though I did have a small box of small conversation hearts I pressed into the sides of the cake)

1. Spray three 8” square cake pans with vegetable cooking spray and dust with flour. (Personally, I love the spray with flour – it doesn’t get any easier than that.) At first I thought I’d just use round cake pans because I have three of those, but only one square pan. Then I saw three square foil pans at my local grocery store for 99¢, so I figured I’d splurge. But I digress…

Prepare cake mix according to package direction, but substitute 1 cup of buttermilk for the water and increase eggs to 4.

2. Spoon half of the batter into a freezer-weight zip-top bag. (Good luck with this; you may want to measure. I didn’t do a great job at eyeballing it.) Stir a few drops of pink icing color into remaining batter. Spoon pink batter into another bag. Snip a ½” corner from each bag.

In two of the cake pans, pipe a 1½” wide strip of white batter around the outer edge of the pans, then a 1½” wide strip of pink batter; fill the center with white batter.

For the third pan, pipe a 1½” wide strip of pink batter at the outer edge, follow with a 1 ½” wide strip of white batter, and fill in the center with pink batter. Bake as directed for 8” cakes.

(This I completely disagree with. I mean, you’re spreading two pans worth of batter between three pans, so I would cut way down on time. My cakes were supposed to be in there for 29 minutes; I checked them at 20 and they were way done. I may check them earlier next time)

Transfer to wire rack; let cool 5 minutes. Invert onto wire rack and let cool completely.

3. To assemble cake, place one vanilla-centered cake layer on plate (I cut one of my cake boards down to 10” square and covered it with waxed paper first, then foil since I was traveling with it); spread with a thin layer of frosting (I did more than a thin layer – you have two tubs of icing; you may as well use them). Top with the pink-centered cake and ice; then finish with the final vanilla-centered cake. Frost the whole darned thing.

4. Tint half the remaining frosting pink, and the other half purples. Spoon frostings into freezer-weight zip—top bags fitted with #5 round pastry tips. (I have some pastry bags, so I just used those.) Pipe grid design on cake, then pipe large dots of frosting, alternating colors, around bottom edge of cake. Place candy hearts on cake like checkers. Makes 16 servings.

Good luck and enjoy!


  • At 7:06 AM, Blogger divaqueen said…

    Holy Cow!! You are the goddess of the kitchen! One of these days I'll measure up...by the way, still no muffins!

  • At 4:49 PM, Blogger Cara said…

    The cake was awesome! I'm glad I got to see it in person. I'll have to save my Parents magazines for you. They usually have cute cake ideas.


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