Chequered eggless banana cake

by Sunita on November 23, 2009

A little dark, a little bright- isn’t that what life is all about. The light and the dark blend in to make our lives what they are. In fact, the dark makes us appreciate the light even more.

Just like this chequered eggless banana cake. The light and the dark come together to make it the thing of beauty that it is.

I first came across a two toned cake when I was very young. Ma had made a marbled cake and  I was so impressed when she cut into it and revealed the beautiful dark and light patterns within. It made me smile with wonder. Years later, I now have my own version of that cake and whenever I make it, it still makes me smile.

As far as two toned cakes go, I had always admired chequered cakes. I am not a very mathematical person, but somehow, the alternating geometric patterns of  such a cake had always caught my fancy. I know that, nowadays, it is very easy to assemble such a cake by buying a pan specifically meant to create such cakes. But I found a very easy way of doing so, and yes, without the particular pan.

You see, I was enlightened while waiting at the hairdressers, the other day. I had arrived a  bit early and while waiting for my turn, my eyes fell upon a book on cakes ( please do  not ask me the name, I had just picked it up randomly, didn’t bother about the name). I flicked through and came across a chequered cake.  And lo and behold! It showed steps for making one without the special pan. In the two minutes that I had before I was called by the hairdresser, I managed to get a gist of the idea. The pictures haunted me after that little glimpse and I could not get it out of my mind. I had to make one before it got buried among all those others in the head!

The resulting cake is my humble attempt to recapture the idea before it went of my mind. I kept the flavours quite simple and and the cakes were light, inspite of the cream that I used to glue the various pieces and for filling and covering. As I was feeling a bit adventurous, I also managed to decorate the top of the cake with some melted chocolate mixed with a little cream, a pattern which I really enjoy doing, but which I rarely do nowadays. The last time I did this pattern was for this perfect party cake for a daring bakers challenge.

After decorating the cake, I crossed my fingers for the moment of truth.  Apprehensively, I cut into it, and voila!  There it was, a chequered cake in all its glory. “Mum’s made a chess board! “, exclaimed the kids, excitedly, as they wolfed down slices of the cake; while I ticked off another bookmarked idea in my head!

What’s needed-

1 large banana , pureed
1 and 1/2 C of whole wheat flour (atta)
6-7 tblsp of ground almonds
2 tsp of baking powder
1/3 tsp of bicarbonate of soda
1 c of milk
1/4 C of vegetable/sunflower oil
5-6 tblsp of honey

for the dark cake, add 3 tsp of unsweetened cocoa powder + 1T of milk

For glueing, filling and covering-

2C of double cream, whipped with 1tblsp of sugar till stiff (update- if you like you can also use something else like jam instead of the cream to fix the pieces together and then cover with cream)

How to-

  1. Pre heat the oven at 180 deg C . Line two 8 inch round pans with foil and grease. If you have one pan, make sure that it cools completely before preparing it for the second cake.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, ground almonds, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the pureed banana, milk, honey and oil.
  4. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and tip in the banana mixture. Fold in till everything is just mixed together.
  5. Divide the mixture into two parts. To one part, add the 3 tblsp of cocoa powder and 1 tblsp of milk and fold in.
  6. Tip the two mixtures into the two pans.Tap the pans against the counter to spread the mixture and release air bubbles.
  7. Place the pans in the centre of the pre heated oven and bake for about 25-27 minutes or till the top is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted through the centre comes out clean.
  8. Cool the cakes in the pans for two minutes and transfer to a rack, upside down, (after peeling away the foil) to cool completely.
  9. Once cooled, cut out two smaller circles from each cake. ( update- I used 5 inch and 2 inch pastry cutters to cut out the circles; if you do not have one, you can use something else like a lid to cut them out.)  Brush the insides of the cakes and the sides of the cut circles, and fix them in alternate colours. You will now have two cakes with alternating colours in each. Spread a little cream over the top of one cake and pace the other on top. Cover the sides and top with the cream to make one whole cake. I ran a fork along the sides of the cake to make lines.
  10. Decorate the top as desired. ( I mixed a little melted chocolate with some cream to make the patterns; I eyeballed the amounts)
  11. Now, slice and enjoy your handiwork.

I had great fun making this cake. The cake was soft and light, and we loved the mild taste of the cake and yes, it was a beauty to behold!


On another note, my blog is being currently featured at refrigerator’s section of “twenty questions with our favourite food bloggers”.

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{ 127 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Nirmala November 27, 2009 at 11:52 am

Lovely. Such simple geometry and it has a stunning effect. Need to make this in the weekend ;)


2 Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets November 28, 2009 at 7:13 pm

Thank you so much for this method! I’ve always admired the look of checkerboard cakes but hate one-use equipment. I have an adjustable cake ring that should work quite well. Happy holidays!


3 Peggy November 30, 2009 at 2:09 pm

Looks great!


4 Ambika Venkat November 30, 2009 at 11:59 pm

Hey Sunita, that is so cooool!! Such an easy way to make a chequered cake!! I love this simple and elegant cake!


5 Lesley December 2, 2009 at 12:03 am

Hi Sunita,
Came across you via a friend who is a food blogger….what a find… the cake!!


6 Latha December 3, 2009 at 7:19 pm

Hi Sunita,

I managed to find and grab the one and only pastry cutter y’day and of course went ahead with the project:-) i used dessert ring for the chocolate batter. and also i didn’t measure out the batters evenly so had to slice the plain one to fix properly. it’s amazingly simple to make and really relaxing too. next time i’d ‘glue’ with jam because with cream i find it a bit wiggly;-) the cake itself is delish. thank you so much for reading such nice books even while at the hair dresser…


7 Latha December 3, 2009 at 7:21 pm

husband dear wants to know if the cake can be made a wee bit sweeter. can I replace honey with sugar. if yes how many spoons?


8 sunitha December 7, 2009 at 9:17 pm

Awesome.. the cake looks moist and the checks have come out well.. the photography is as good..


9 Authman December 15, 2009 at 11:33 pm

Cool! Can’t wait to try to make this


10 sweta shubha February 4, 2010 at 2:52 am

this is simply awesome…. was looking for some fuss free n healthy banana cake..its healthy, simple and i will definitely try it…


11 Sunitha February 28, 2010 at 10:59 pm

Hi Sunita,
I only have 2 – 9 inch round cake pans.

Can I still use the same quantity ?

Thank you


12 Sunita March 1, 2010 at 7:31 am

You can use the 9 inch pans, but your cakes will be thinner.


13 Nilina June 5, 2010 at 12:45 pm

Hi Sunita..thats really a lovely cake.. but are you sure you made this entire cake with 2 n 1/2 cups atta.. i took the same measurements and it turned out to be much smaller cake.. Pls advise.


14 Sunita June 5, 2010 at 2:33 pm

Thanks Nilina; and yes, you’re right, I didn’t use 2 and a 1/2 C, I used just 1 and a half cups !! These cakes are not going to rise too much; turns out okay after layering. Hope this helps.


15 manasi August 6, 2010 at 3:19 pm



16 Preetha Karthik September 9, 2010 at 6:17 pm

Hi Sunita,

I tried this chequered cake yesterday, it came out well…
Though in a hurry I cut the layers the layer were distinct. Trying to take a proper photo, soon I will get a nice one. Will post the same in my food blog soon…!

Thanks for a wonderful cake.


17 Harini September 13, 2010 at 7:05 am

Hi Sunita,
I tried out this cake yesterday exactly as per your recipe and it came out great! Thanks so much for posting such wonderful recipes.


18 kk September 29, 2010 at 9:51 am

hi..tried this just now..huh !!cakes wid wholewheat did not come out thick n spong.y like urs sunita dey where like flat biscuits…cant beat white flour cakes…


19 Sunita September 29, 2010 at 8:45 pm

Sorry to hear that the cake did not turn out well for you; as for the whole wheat, I beg to differ. I have been baking with it for years now, and not only feeding my family, but friends too, have made cakes for our as well as other people’s special occasions with whole wheat too. I prefer whole wheat over plain flour anyday :-)


20 kk September 30, 2010 at 7:21 pm

wooww..good to now…well i do the same for family and friends but with plain flour and am quite good at it…may be i need experience like u!! whole wheat we use for rotis so now using in cakes it smells like roti..


21 Sunita September 30, 2010 at 7:50 pm

I’m sure you’re good at what you do; but then, to each his own I guess, after all, we are all entitled to our preferences :-)


22 kk October 1, 2010 at 9:47 am

ofcourse…no doubt everyone has there own preferences


23 Sunita October 4, 2010 at 11:25 am

Exactly, and that does not mean that the other person’s is bad :-)


24 kk October 4, 2010 at 2:24 pm

oh, i think u r mistaken dear i never said urs or ur preferance is bad…i just wrote about my experience with whole wheat flour how it turned out n like how u prefer whole wheat I prefer white flour….plz get the fact right sunita…i am not offending ne ones preferance here…


25 Sunita October 4, 2010 at 8:33 pm

I’m sure you are not , was just clarifying the “cant beat white flour cakes” statement, sounded like a generalisation, that’s all :-)


26 kk October 5, 2010 at 12:11 pm

my statement did not change ur preferance did it!!its no generalisation…i think i will end here:)


27 Sunita October 5, 2010 at 9:53 pm

Of course it didn’t:-)


28 rsh909 March 14, 2011 at 5:52 am

Hi Sunita,
I’m first time at your site. This is a beautiful cake. I would like to try this.
Thank you for sharing.


29 Lakshmi Guruprasad December 13, 2011 at 12:34 pm

Hi Sunita,

The cake looks real yummy and the chequered pattern is too good.

I have one query – which brand of wheat flour do you use to bake cakes ?



30 Sunita December 15, 2011 at 8:07 am

I usually use pillsbury chakki atta :-)


31 unum June 10, 2012 at 9:26 pm

Love the cake..Had been looking for how to make a checkered cake and came to yr it..I didn’t follow the recipe n made it with chocolate and vanilla cakes. The cake looked awesome…Thanks..This was simple and easy to follow.


32 Sunita June 16, 2012 at 7:05 pm

Glad you liked it.


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