Help With Chess Board Cake

Decorating By picakes Updated 5 Jul 2010 , 1:11am by tame

picakes Posted 24 Jun 2010 , 4:02pm
post #1 of 19

I'm really new to decorating and I'm attempting to do a chess board cake for a friend for this weekend. I've been working on making all the chess pieces out of chocolate, so I think I have that part figured out. I am planning on doing a single layer 10" square cake for the chess board. The chess board squares will need to cover the entire top of the cake so the squares will be big enough for the pieces. I am planning to marble brown and tan fondant to cover the sides and as the brown squares on the top and use white fondant for the white squares. Here is my question - how do I cover the cake to get the best look? Do I cover the whole cake in the marbled fondant and then add the white squares to the top? Do I cover the sides with the marbled fondant and then cover the top with the squares? I don't know how to cover just the sides, so I'm not even sure if that's possible. Any suggestions would be welcome. Thank you!

18 replies
yummy Posted 24 Jun 2010 , 4:25pm
post #2 of 19

Welcome to cc picakes!

I would do the marble fondant around the sides with the seam in the back; then do individual squares for the top. Can I give a suggestion? I would do brown and tan squares to match the marbling. Post a picture when your finish.

KathysCC Posted 24 Jun 2010 , 4:53pm
post #3 of 19

I made a chess cake. Here is a photo of it.

http://cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1210647

You may find that a 10-inch square cake is a very tight fit for the chess pieces. My cake was a 12-inch square and the pieces just fit, with no room to spare.

Mine was covered with chocolate buttercream first but I certainly learned a lot.

You will find it easier to cover the entire cake with fondant first and then place your squares. And make a square for each color, don't try to use the undercoat of fondant for the darker squares. Trying to line up the squares on the buttercream undercoat is not easy and you have the problem of the buttercream squishing between the squares. Placing them on the fondant will look neater and be easier. I would suggest putting some kind of border around the edges of the squares since they don't always line up exactly and it might help "finish" your cake.

picakes Posted 24 Jun 2010 , 5:22pm
post #4 of 19

Thanks yummy! Now that you mention matching the tan squares, that sounds like a better idea.

KathysCC - thank you so much for your tips. I have your cake in my favorites as one of my inspirations for this project - it's fantastic! I was afraid that I might have trouble with a 10" cake, but I'm a little stuck because I don't have 12" pans and I don't think I can get to the store in time to get some. I'm also a little nervous about working with such a big cake because I've never done anything that big before. I will definitely follow your advice and cover the whole cake and then add the squares.

Thank you both for your suggestions. I'll post the picture once it's done. Wish me luck!

yummy Posted 24 Jun 2010 , 6:03pm
post #5 of 19

You're wlcome picakes.

Kathyscc, I started to tell her also to cover the whole board in fondant, but since she needs to do a layer of bc or ganache underneath, i thought it would be better to attach the squares to the undercoat so that it wouldn't be a double layer of fondant on the top of the cake. Hope this makes sense.

KathysCC Posted 25 Jun 2010 , 2:30am
post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by yummy

You're wlcome picakes.

Kathyscc, I started to tell her also to cover the whole board in fondant, but since she needs to do a layer of bc or ganache underneath, i thought it would be better to attach the squares to the undercoat so that it wouldn't be a double layer of fondant on the top of the cake. Hope this makes sense.




Yes, I understand what you mean, but I suppose you could make the squares out of thinly rolled fondant so the fondant wasn't so thick.

Good luck on your cake picake. I can't wait to see a picture.

tame Posted 25 Jun 2010 , 3:14pm
post #7 of 19

Kathyscc, I have your cake in my favorites also and I was going to pm you on it, yet you just answer the question.? Thanks for the post I will be doing one soon

picakes Posted 25 Jun 2010 , 3:32pm
post #8 of 19

As an update - I panicked about fitting the pieces on the 10" cake, so I bought a 12" pan and baked the cakes last night. They are crumb coated and resting now. I am planning to cover the whole cake in fondant and then roll the fondant thin for the squares. Hopefully nobody will mind the double fondant on the top! I definitely don't want the buttercream squishing through the seems so this seemed like a safer option.

Thanks again for all your help and I'll post the picture once I have a completed cake.

tame Posted 25 Jun 2010 , 4:01pm
post #9 of 19

Picakes, please post your picture when you are finish

picakes Posted 26 Jun 2010 , 1:26pm
post #10 of 19

OK - It's done! I ended up only putting the tan squares on the top and using the underlying fondant for the dark squares. I really loved the look of the marbling and didn't have the heart to cover it up. This is the biggest cake I've ever covered, my first time working with chocolate fondant, my first time marbling fondant and my first time making 3D chocolate pieces, so this was a great experience for me. I am well aware of all the flaws, but I learned a lot. I am delivering it to my friend this morning and I hope she likes it! Thanks again to everyone for help and inspiration. I definitely couldn't have done this at all without CC!

The picture is too big to attach here, but I put it in my photos. Here is a link: http://www.cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1721213

tame Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 2:53pm
post #11 of 19

Good job, I am doing one and I will post it to, but I am tying to see if i should do a single layer or double, I dont have a 3 inch deep pan

Kathy cc what did you use ?

emiyeric Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 3:35pm
post #12 of 19

Flour Pots posted a tutorial by Sharon Zambito not too long ago about how to make a camo pattern for a hat in fondant. Obviously this is a different situation, but Sharon basically mounted all of her pieces of fondant, individually cut, onto a very thin white layer of fondant, and then added it to the top of her cake. It might make for an easier way of mounting your chessboard if you cut all of your squares, glued them to a thin layer, and then glued them to the top of your cake, even if it is several fondant layers thick on the very top of the cake. Can't wait to see the results!!

tame Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 3:52pm
post #13 of 19

emiyeric. thanks and i needed that information also, and that's a good ideal but i also need to know if I should do double layer cake or single layer, I am gald i did not make myself clear at first because i would not have gotten this information. I like kathy cc cake size and was wonder if she did a double layer cake or just a single layer 12 inch. I did pm her. t . thanks again for the post emiyeric

KayMc Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 4:42pm
post #14 of 19

Great job! Where do you get the mold for the chess pieces?

emiyeric Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 5:10pm
post #15 of 19

Tame, it looks like Kathy might have done a single layer (or thin double layer?), and it looks like the OP did a double layer. Both look beautiful ... I think a double layer would cut more prettily, don't you think? Good luck!

jerseygirlNga Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 5:24pm
post #16 of 19

Cake looks great but can I ask two stupid questions? and no, that is not one!

1. How do you make the pieces? They are great.
2. How do you work the fondant on corners of a square cake. Mine always seem to tear and I have to make deco pieces to camoflage my inexperience!

KathysCC Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 7:08pm
post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by tame

Good job, I am doing one and I will post it to, but I am tying to see if i should do a single layer or double, I dont have a 3 inch deep pan

Kathy cc what did you use ?




My chess cake was a single two-inch layer. I can't remember but I think I may have torted and filled it, so that would have made it a little taller.

picakes Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 9:51pm
post #18 of 19

OK - let's see if I can hit all the questions.

I did 2 layers with buttercream filling. My cakes were not quite 2" tall, so the whole cake was probably just under 4" after all was said and done.

I molded the chess pieces using 3D molds I got from confectioneryhouse.com. I cut the molds and clamped the 2 halves of each piece together so I could pour the chocolate into the mold and then chilled them. This was the advice I got from the woman at my local cake and candy supply store. Many people on CC have discussed different methods, so there are a lot of alternatives.

I actually think covering a square cake in fondant is a little easier than covering a round cake, but it's all in what works for you. This was a BIG cake, so I was really nervous. I do the corners first and once the corners are smoothed, I just smooth down the sides, cut off the extra and that's about it. We learned to cover square cakes in my last Wilton class, so this was just a bigger scale.

Thanks everyone for your help and for looking at my finished cake! I evidently had my comments turned off, but I put them back on now.

tame Posted 5 Jul 2010 , 1:11am
post #19 of 19

Thank kathyscc, emiyeric and picakes for the post I did this for my director and manager for their birthday at work and it was a huge hit.

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-photo_1730393.html

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