checkerboard cakeWant to make a dessert that will really blow your friends away at the next party you attend? Then you should seriously consider trying your hand at this gorgeous Checkerboard Cake recipe from Betty Crocker.

OMG. Is this cake exquisite or what? Sure, it requires a little more effort than simply throwing a boxed cake together and slapping some frosting on it, but when people get a load of this thing, you'll be the envy of the entire neighborhood for sure.

Just think of how much fun it will be when you slice this cake open to reveal such a detailed surprise in the middle. Everyone will assume you slaved over it for days -- and maybe, just maybe, it will get you out of cleanup duty after the festivities.

Checkerboard Cake (slightly adapted from Betty Crocker)

1 box yellow cake mix

1 cup milk

1 package (3 oz.) cream cheese, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 eggs

1/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa

1 container of frosting -- you can use either chocolate or vanilla

Directions:

Heat oven to 350ºF. Grease and lightly flour bottoms and sides of three 9-inch round pans of checkerboard cake set. Place divider ring in one of the pans, following manufacturer’s directions.

In medium bowl, beat cake mix, milk, cream cheese, vanilla, and eggs with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly, then on medium speed 2 minutes. Divide batter in half; stir cocoa into half of the batter.

Spoon batter into each pan and using divider ring, following manufacturer's directions.

Bake 18 to 26 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Loosen side of each cake from pan with metal spatula; turn upside down onto cooling rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

Using a thin layer of frosting between layers, stack cake layers so outside colors of cake alternate. Place cake on serving plate; frost side and top of cake with frosting. Store loosely covered.

Garnish with fresh berries for an extra pop of color if desired.

 

Image via iStock