Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Chess Cake - and our Boy turns 9

So for Corban's birthday this year, he just couldn't decide what he wanted the theme to be.  He's already done Legos.  Swimming.  A skateboard.  Although he loves soccer and basketball, he wasn't interested in either of those being the theme.  Hmmmm.

Finally, after pondering it for days, I presented the idea of a Board Game Party to him.  He loves playing games and never gets the chance to play them with a group of friends - and he was instantly sold on it.

Although he is not super knowledgeable about chess, he does enjoy it and I thought doing a chess cake would be fun.

I got inspiration from Cake Central - and ordered molds for the playing pieces and the board off of Amazon.

From there, it was really very simple.  I used chocolate candy coating - white and dark - to make the pieces. To make them 3D, I had to "glue" two halves together with more chocolate.  I had a few mishaps and had to melt and re-do a few of them, but it wasn't too bad.

The checkerboard was trickier - because keeping the white and dark chocolate from getting into each other's spaces was a lot harder than I anticipated.  The end result was FAR from perfect, but I don't think 9-12 year old boys really care.  ;)

So I made the pieces the week before and stored them in the fridge and freezer.

I baked a 14" square cake (use ~13.5 cups of batter - I made homemade chocolate cake).

Then I just made Chocolate buttercream - a double batch, to which I added some sifted cocoa powder to make it darker brown.

I frosted the cake - put the mold pieces on - and then piped on some accents.  I used the Wilton #17 star tip for the shells and the swirls - and a  #4 round tip for the border around the checkerboard.

Oh, and the cake board is just foam board from the Dollar Tree - cut to a 16" square and covered with foil.  Cheap and easy!

The only downside to the party was that Corban wasn't feeling too well.  He had just come down with a head/chest cold and was just feeling tired and cruddy.  In fact, he didn't even taste his cake until 2 days later.  He just didn't have the appetite.  So sad.  But he loved his party and spending time with his friends.

They started off the evening playing a little basketball.

A good game of Apples to Apples Jr. - listening to them was so funny!

We had a Connect 4 Tournament.....

Corban had a little helper.  What a good big brother.

Isaiah was the winner!!

Corban with Seth and Caleb (brothers).  He had that Lego set built the next morning - despite feeling sick.

Israel and Corban - those Nerf guns are pretty fun!

Will and Corban - and some really cool camping gear. 

Joseph and Isaiah (brothers) with Corban - and a new Superbook video.  Awesome!

Happy 9th Birthday to our Corban! 


  1. What a cute cake!! Nicely done... I think I need to come take lessons from you.

  2. What cute pictures!! I love Apples to Apples by the way! Sorry Corbin wasn't feeling good and didn't even try that gorgeous cake!! Oh my gosh. You did a spectacular job! Geez, that's one impressive cake! I'd probably hate to eat the chocolate peaces. they look so perfect!

  3. That cake is fabulous! I might need to make something like it sometime--it would fit my 10yo nicely--so thank you for posting details. :)

  4. Your cake is adorable! (and so is your son:-)

  5. AMAZING cake !!
    I think you've done an excellent job
    I really wish I could make such a cake :)

  6. Oh my goodness, that is a gorgeous cake! What an awesome job. And the party looked fun. Happy Birthday to him!

  7. Hi Rebekah! I'm finally going to try my hand at this cake. I just ordered the molds from Amazon--thank you for making it so easy!

    I cannot tell from looking at your photos, so can you please tell me the dimensions of the actual cake? How big is that square? :) Thank you!

    1. Hey Brandy! I hope your family loves this son still talks about how awesome it was. :) The cake was baked in a 14" square pan, which I borrowed from a friend. The molds would probably fit on a 12" square cake, but I wanted to have a rim around the edges to decorate, so I went with the 14".
      I ended up needing about 13.5 cups of cake batter.
      Let me know if you have any more questions!

    2. Thank you! That is exactly what I needed to know! I have seen other chess cakes online, but your is the only one with that pretty rim, and I think it looks so much nicer that way.

      I can't wait to try it. :) The party is the 30th, so I still have a little time to imagine it before trying it.

    3. You're welcome! And it's so nice to be able to make the molds ahead of makes the cake decorating day go so smooth and easy. I hope you'll post pictures afterwards!


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