Last month I was on a shopping spree at Michael's for Christmas baking and gift supplies and couldn't resist the temptation to buy the Wilton's Checkerboard cake pan set. I was taking it off the rack, then putting it back and again doing it back and forth and my husband couldn't stand it anymore and he put it in the cart. My immediate thought was, I will bake a beautiful eggless checkerboard cake for my mom's birthday in January, so it's really worth the price.
And January came and the date was nearing and I was sort of hesitant to use it. More like worried if it would turn out right, or will I mess it up, should I get a stand-by cake. My mom's birthday is very important to me because we don't get to spend it together each year. She lives in India and myself here in Canada. The last time we celebrated it together was in 2011. I bake the eggless layered chocolate cake. So this birthday of hers was very special to me and didn't want to screw it.
But did proceed with it anyways...because you know how moms are! They don't mind a not so perfect looking cake, they are so forgiving. So it was going to be an egg free checkerboard cake for her 61st birthday.
Now the next part of the deliberation was the recipe. Which recipe I'm going to follow for the base? The checkerboard pan set comes with instructions and it mentions to use 10 cups of batter or 3 packets of cake mix for 3 color variations and 2 cake mixes for 2 color checkerboard cake.
I wanted to make a tricolor checkerboard cake. There was an idea for Valentine's Day theme on the box of the pan set and decided to do something like that.
I had to use 3 packs of white cake mix for that. I have baked an eggless vanilla cake using cake mix few years back. I had used yogurt as an egg substitute. I really don't remember how the texture and taste was. This time I chose to use my winning egg substitute combination of yogurt and pureed silken tofu. It has worked out beautifully in many recipes of mine, especially the eggless strawberry cream cake recipe which I'm very proud of.
And I couldn't have guessed it better because you know what? The cake turned out absolutely moist, soft and delicious. It is really the best combination and winning combination for cakes.
As for the appearance of the checkerboard cake, I wouldn't say it was picture perfect. Managed to get some neat slices and checks but have a long way to go get it 100% right. The taste, of course, I have no complaints at all. One of the best egg free vanilla cake recipe using a cake mix!
Eggless Checkerboard Cake Recipe
- (For each pack of cake mix)
- 1 packet white cake mix (I used Betty Crocker white cake mix)
- 1/4 cup pureed silken tofu
- 1/4 cup plain yogurt
- 1/3 cup oil (any oil of your choice)
- 1 and 1/4 cups water or milk (I used 2%)
- A few drops Red and pink food colors
- You will need 3 packs of cake mix for doing the three color checkerboard cake. So 3 times the ingredients. The ingredients measurement will also vary according to the brand of cake mix you are using. Whatever brand you are using keep the rest of the ingredients and instructions the same and simply substitute the eggs in the recipe with half yogurt and half silken tofu. The pack came with the recipe to use 3 eggs. But I set out to use the substitute for just 2 eggs because I guessed that the batter might be a little too runny with the milk, oil etc. That's why used 1/4 cup of each of yogurt and silken tofu.
- The ideal method will be to use 3 separate large bowls for each pack. Empty out the contents of the cake mix in each bowl separately and add the rest of the ingredients one by one in each of the 3 bowls.
- Beat well with electric hand held beater.
- To one bowl add drops of the pink color and red color in the second one. Beat one color first, add more food color if needed. Wash the beaters and then repeat the same for the 2nd color. For some reason I did not get a red color batter at all. It was just getting pinker to a dark shade of magenta. The other one will be left without any color for the white color portion or if you want you may choose to add any other color.
- Now follow the instructions given with the checkerboard pan set to fill the batter. As always line the pans with parchment paper and fill it 2/3rds full of batter. At this point I felt that may be it really needed some more liquid in the batter to pour it easily within the given slots. I had to carefully use a ladle to do the same because if I had transferred the batter in a measuring mug like depicted in the picture I couldn't have got it out of it. It wouldn't have poured down easily. The batter was quite thick. But I didn't add any further liquid and proceeded anyways.
- The remaining batter was enough to make 24 mini cupcakes.
- Preheat the oven at 350F/180C.
- I placed 2 pans on the top rack and the 3rd on the middle rack. Halfway through the baking brought the top shelf ones to the middle and the middle one to the top, so that the cakes would bake evenly. It was quite tricky to move it. Use a good oven mitt in both hands and be careful.
- Bake it for about 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the pan comes out clean and also watch out for the cake pulling off from the sides of the pan. Mine was ready in about 32 minutes.
- Baking time for the cupcakes would be around 12 minutes.
- Remove the pans from the oven and place it on wire racks to cool completely.
- After about 10-15 minutes remove the cake out of the pan and let it cool completely before you can frost.
- I used the vegan buttercream frosting recipe for this one, except that I used butter instead of shortening. For frosting this cake you will need about 1.5 cups of butter and 4-5 cups of icing sugar, a teaspoon of vanilla extract, few drops of pink food color and some milk to get a spreadable consistency.
- You may also choose to use the vegan cream cheese frosting recipe instead.
- Level the cakes to cut off the dome. Then proceed to frost each layer as usual and cover it up with the frosting.
- I'm not good at piping decorations even though I took the Wilton's cake decorating classes. I always end up decorating it with sprinkles. This time I got the idea of using a big heart shaped cookie cutter in the middle of the top layer of the cake and fill it with red sprinkles and line it with edible silver balls. That's what I did and it looked all pretty and Valentine's Day themed.