Checkmate: Danny’s Chess Birthday Cake

For my boyfriend’s birthday, I decided to make a chess cake. He loves to play chess and I love a little bit of a baking challenge. I thought it would be fun to make a marble cake to match the checkerboard theme and I chose Nigella Lawson’s recipe. Next, I ordered a set of chess pieces from Amazon so that none of his nice chess pieces were involved in this creation. The set was under $10 and were delivered within two days.

I had planned on buying Ghiradelli white and milk chocolate bars for the checkered pattern, but could not find white chocolate anywhere. After exploring most of St Louis, I decided to get crafty and melt a bag of white chocolate chips, spread on a baking sheet, chill, and then cut into squares. I also nixed the idea to use matching milk chocolate squares because the chocolate frosting is already brown and would create the pattern without the need for additional chocolate.

I decided to try a new chocolate frosting recipe and chose the one below – quite possibly the best frosting recipe I have ever found! If all else fails, make the frosting.




Ralph got into the festivities too…..

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Chess set from the 1940’s (found on Etsy) to add to the birthday boy’s collection

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Safa’s Marble Cake

Recipe via Nigella Lawson


For the chocolate mix

  • 4 oz butter
  • 4 oz superfine sugar
  • 3 oz self-raising flour
  • 1 oz unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder

For the plain mix

  • 4 oz butter
  • 4 oz superfine sugar
  • 4 oz self-raising flour
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder

 Preheat the oven to 350

Grease tin with butter

Line with aluminum foil

Chocolate mix:

  1. Whisk together sugar and butter with an electrical whisk until light and fluffy.
  2. Mix together the eggs then bit by bit add the egg to the mix.
  3. Sieve in the flour, unsweetened cocoaand the baking powder.
  4. Gently mix together the mixture.

Plain Mix:

Follow the exact same directions as the plain mix, minus the cocoa powder.

Put one spoonful of chocolate mix in the tin then the plain until there’s no mixture left. Swirl gently with a fork. Then place in the oven.

Marble will take up to 1 Hour – use a toothpick to check.

The Best & Easiest Chocolate Frosting

Recipe via Lauren’s Latest


  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder, sifted
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3-4 tablespoons milk


Cream butter and cocoa together until smooth in large bowl. Stir in vanilla and powdered sugar. Slowly stream in milk until frosting reaches desired consistency. Scrape sides and whip again until light, fluffy and smooth, 1-2 minutes.

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