Our Mickey Mouse House

To say my dad likes Disney is like saying… well, it’s like saying I like to bake.  He LOVES Disney World, Walt, Mickey, Pluto, the whole shebang.

So naturally when I asked what he wanted for birthday, he said something about “oh whatever you want is perfect” and I smartly pushed the issue SO much that luckily he decided to ask for something super complicated.  In all honesty, I was more than excited to give the Checkerboard Cake a try, it was just fun to give him a hard time.  The only difficult thing was finding two recipes with similar cook times for both the vanilla and the chocolate cake.

He was SO EXCITED when he saw who was on his cake.

I decided to use my old favorite chocolate cake (see the chocolate raspberry cupcakes for the recipe) and a DELICIOUS vanilla cake I somehow found online from Magnolia’s Bakery (if you don’t know what that is look it up! It’s wonderful).

Once the recipes were both whipped up and in their respective bowls, I then poured them into (separate) measuring cups and using the checkerboard form thing, poured 1/3 of each into the pans. It was a little tricky because you have to start and finish one pan before moving on to the next!

It looks so perfect before the oven! I used a Wilton removal checkerboard kit!

My one suggestion (which is hard if you don’t know the recipes too well) is to try to find batters with similar viscosities (okay, okay, two similar thicknesses ;)!) My batter for the vanilla was a delicious thick and gooey vanilla, while the chocolate was a thin and runny cake. (Thinner batter usually bakes up more fluffy!) Since the chocolate decided to run above and below the vanilla, the result was… more tie-dye and less checkerboard. Bummer, but it tasted delicious regardless!

Interpretative Checkerboard design

For the frosting, I just used a classic buttercream, it’s a little sweet for my taste, but everyone really loved it! It also has the perfect consistency (it hardens when sitting out) for a clean icing design!

  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks or 1/2 pound), softened (but not melted!) Ideal texture should be like ice cream.
  • 3-4 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar, SIFTED
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • up to 4 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
Beat butter for a few minutes with a mixer (paddle attachment) on medium speed until creamy and delicious (PSAPLEASE don’t eat the butter). Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and turn your mixer on the lowest speed (or high, if you’re thinking of going for that powdered-sugar-kitchen look) until the the sugar and the butter have completely come together. Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract, salt, and 2 tablespoons of milk/cream and beat for 3 minutes. If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add remaining sugar. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add remaining milk 1 tablespoons at a time.
Thank you to years at the Bakery for perfecting my writing skills!
Happy Birthday Daddy

Also, for the record, I traced the image (by looking at a picture) onto the icing with a toothpick before I frosted. Much easier than taking that apprehensive first step with dark colored icing. Trust me, I have sat there with the bag in my hand for a good couple minutes afraid to start! Haha :)

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