This is the perfect cake for the one who loves chess!
Now I will admit I have never played it once in my life; but those who do are quite impressive and they seem to know they are!
So give them an equally impressive cake for their birthday with this playable chess cake!
Ok maybe it’s not exactly playable when you make the size cake that I made here (8″ X 8″ square cake) because I couldn’t even get all the pieces on the board.
But if you make a half sheet cake size, it could definitely be game on!
This is a beginners cake decorating tutorial for sure, when you see how easy it is to make.
The only special tools needed are the chocolate molds, since that is what makes this entire cake a true to life chess board!
You will also need vegan white & dark chocolate to make the chess pieces
I’ve covered my cake in fondant and then made it look wood grained with an easy technique that I’ll show you in the video.
You can of course make any cake recipe, filling and icing that you love the best but here I am keeping it simple with my best recipes for vanilla cake layers, rich, creamy fudge filling and vanilla buttercream.
The recipes for fudge filling and buttercream icing are slightly more than you will need to fill the cake, but who ever complained about too much fudge and buttercream?! (Put it on some cupcakes or freeze it for later!)
Video tutorials at the bottom of this post for how to mix the filling & icing
- For the Vanilla Cake:
- All Purpose Flour 2¼ cups (280g)
- Baking Powder 4 teaspoons (20g)
- Salt ½ teaspoon
- Vegan Butter 12 Tablespoons (170g)
- Granulated Sugar 1¼ cups (250g)
- Soy Milk 1 cup (237ml)
- Vanilla Extract 2 teaspoons (10ml)
- Follow the directions for the Egg Replacer of your Choice equivalent to 2 eggs *I use The Plant based Egg see note above
- For the Fudge Filling:
- Granulated Sugar 2½ Tablespoons (31g)
- Water 2½ Tablespoons (37ml)
- Corn Syrup 1 Tablespoons (20g) (15ml)
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder ½ Cup (45g)
- Vegetable Oil 1 Tablespoons (15ml)
- Solid Vegetable Shortening 1 Tablespoons (14g)
- Corn Syrup 2 Tablespoons (40g) (30ml)
- * you can sub glucose or golden syrup here
- Vegan Butter softened 8 tablespoons (112g)
- Vanilla Extract 1 teaspoon (5ml)
- Confectioner's Sugar or Icing Sugar 4cups (480g)
- Cold Water 2 - 3 Tablespoons to adjust the consistency
- For the Buttercream:
- Vegan Butter 1½ Cups (3 sticks) (336g)
- Hi Ratio Solid Vegetable Shortening1½ Cups (336g)
- Vegan Confectioners Sugar 6 cups (720g)
- Vanilla Extract 2 teaspoons
- Butter Extract 1 teaspoon *optional
- Salt ¼ teaspoon
- Satin Ice Fondant in White & Black
- For the Cake recipe prepare the egg replacer of your choice according to the instructions on the package (or mix the flax seed with warm water~ see note above)
- Add the vanilla extract to the soy milk
- Sift the flour with the baking powder and salt
- Cream the vegan butter with the sugar until light and fluffy and this may take about 3-5 minutes on medium to high speed
- Add the egg replacer while mixing on medium speed, scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to incorporate evenly then whip on high speed for 30 seconds
- Add about ⅓ of the flour to the creamed mixture then add half of the milk
- Add another ⅓ of the flour and then the remaining milk
- Add the last amount of flour and mix just to combine evenly.
- Divide the batter evenly between 2- 8" square pans and bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 25-35 minutes or until springy to the touch when you gently press the centers.
- Cool completely while you prepare the other recipes.
- For the fudge filling: In a small pot on the stove, combine the first 3 ingredients and bring to a boil then pour into a bowl and allow to sit in the freezer to rapid cool while you gather the other ingredients.
- In the bowl of your Kitchen Aid mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl with a hand blender, add the cocoa powder and cooled but still warm simple syrup and mix until it forms a firm mass.
- Add the vanilla extract
- Add the Vegetable Oil and Solid Vegetable Shortening and mix well.
- Add the other measure of corn syrup and the softened vegan butter, mix smooth.
- Add the sifted confectioners sugar a little bit at a time and mix until smooth.
- Slowly add some of the cold water about 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach the desired consistency
- For the Buttercream icing combine the vegan butter and shortening in the Kitchen Aid (or stand mixer) bowl with the paddle attachment
- Whip on medium to high speed for about 3 minutes.
- Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure it is evenly mixed and add the salt and extracts
- Stop mixer and add the sifted confectioners sugar all at once.
- Mix on low speed until incorporated , scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl and then mix on high speed for 3 minutes.
The Video below shows how to mix the vanilla cake recipe, the fudge filling and the buttercream recipe video is below that one
**Note: I no longer add the almond milk to my buttercream recipe, I think it is better (fluffier) without it