Berry Checkerboard Cake with Lemon Buttercream
This recipe is inspired by the vintage checkerboard cake set that my grandmother gave me. You can get one here for just $10, or you can make this a marble cake by swirling the two colors together in the cake pan with a knife.
For the cake:
1/2, 8 tbsp (113g) cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 (300g) cups sugar
3 large eggs
2 1/4 cups (270g) cake flour or all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 (295ml) cups whole milk
2.5 oz (70g) strawberries (pureed)
2.5 oz (70g) blackberries (pureed)
Red Food Coloring
Blue Food coloring
For the buttercream:
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon American Buttercream Recipe
Preheat oven to 350° F
Butter and flour three 8" round cake pans (if doing checkerboard) or two 9" round cake pans (if doing the marble design)
In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
Cream butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl by hand, with electric beaters, or in the bowl of a stand mixer. I made this cake by hand.
Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula after each incorporation.
On low, add in half the flour, then the milk, then the rest of the flour, beating until just mixed.
In two separate bowls, divide batter in half.
Add pureed strawberries and a few drops of red food coloring to one bowl, and the blackberries and blue food coloring to the other.
If you are using checkerboard set, fill cake pans according to instructions. If you are doing a marble pattern, fill each cake pan with scoops of batter of each color in random areas of the pans. When full, use a butter knife or a toothpick to swirl the colors, making a marble pattern.
Bake 20-28 mins, checking for doneness at 20 mins for three 8" pans or bake 25-30 mins in two 9" pans.
Cool on a wire rack for 30 mins, then invert out of pans and cool completely.
Once cool, cover with plastic wrap and freeze cakes until you are ready to frost them. This makes the layers crumb less and easier to work with.
For the buttercream, follow my American Buttercream recipe, beating in the juice and zest of the lemon at step 4.
Remove cake layers from freezer, and take off plastic wrap and frost the cakes as you like!
Here is a great tutorial on how to frost a cake like a pro! This video got me started, but I am still learning. Don't worry if your cake doesn't look perfect. Mine didn't!