This is a basket of strawberries birthday cake I made for my mom’s 80th birthday.  I wanted to make something she would remember and enjoy.  Since she loves strawberries I thought this would be a great idea.

The cake is 3 layers, white and chocolate checker board pattern. I baked the layers of white and chocolate cake and let them cool. I then wrapped them in saran wrap and put them in the freezer for 40 minutes.  Making a circle with cardboard the size of the cake pan (I used 10 in pan) cut a two in. ring, then another 2 in ring.  Place the largest ring on each layer of cake one at a time and cut the largest ring out of each layer (all four layers and yes you will have an extra layer to freeze for later use.)  Do the same with the next size ring.  When you’re finished you will have a 2 in circle left from each layer.

Now you’re going to build this on a cake board so you don’t have to move it to much.  Take a white circle and put a little thinned icing on the outer edge lightly. Now gently wrap a ring of chocolate around it.  Add a bit of icing to the outer edge and gently wrap a ring of white cake.   Add your filling at this point, I used white non-dairy icing for the filling and the icing because it goes so well with the strawberries.  Repeat these steps with the remaining layers and stack them so they make a checker board pattern. I used only three layers, but you could go for all four if your feel brave.  After you have your cake assembled you’re going to want to crumb coat it and put it in the freezer for an hour or so.  Let it get nice and firm.

For the icing I used the non-dairy whipped icing in piping bags with a basket weave tip.  Make a line down from the top to the bottom, then another about ½  in. apart. Now make a line across, starting by going over the top of the first line and stopping right before the next line.  The next line across will start at the side of the first line and go over the second line.  Look at the picture, it’s easy to do.  Do this from the top of the cake to the bottom and then add another vertical line and continue until your cake looks like a cute little basket.  I piped a boarder on the top and the bottom to give it a finished look.  Then I piled strawberries on top and added a gum paste handle that is just a rope of gum paste that’s been twisted and dried.  After it dried I added some petal dust for a shine and tied a ribbon on it.

My mother loved her cake and had an added surprise when we cut into it to see the checker board cake.  Chocolate lovers got chocolate and vanilla lovers got vanilla so everyone was happy.

I have since bought a ring that goes into the cake pan to divide the cake flavors but it isn’t very big and you either bake one layer at a time or have to buy 3 or 4 of them.  All in all I think this method is what I prefer.