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Alice In Wonderland Cake Recipe

A three layered chocolate cake recipe topped with a gorgeous checkboard design and two types of frosting.


1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
3 cups light brown sugar, packed
4 eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups sifted cake flour
1 1/3 cups sour cream
1 1/2 cups hot coffee

Checkboard Fondant
Ready to use - black and white fondant (* usually found at a cake decorating store)
1/4″x1/4″ square cookie cutter

Vanilla Frosting
3 cups confectioners sugar
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 to 2 tablespoons whipping cream
Frosting Tip - Open Star 1M

Mocha Frosting
2 tablespoons warm milk
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee powder
2 cups package confectioners sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
Frosting Tip - Open Star 1M

Mocha Glaze
3 Tbsp milk
1/3 cup dark chocolate (or semisweet chocolate) morsels
1 tsp. instant espresso grounds


To prepare mocha frosting:

Stir warm milk and coffee powder in large bowl until the coffee dissolves completely.

Whisk confectioners sugar, melted butter, cocoa powder, and vanilla extract into the milk mixture until no clumps remain and you have a smooth frosting.

To prepare vanilla frosting:

In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, mix together sugar and butter.

Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.

Add vanilla and cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more cream if needed for spreading consistency. Store in fridge until needed.


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour 3 (9-inch) cake pans.

Cut 3 circles of waxed paper or parchment paper to fit the bottoms of the pans, then press them in.

In a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (or using a hand mixer), cream the butter until smooth.

Add the sugar and eggs and mix until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla, cocoa, baking soda and salt and mix. Add 1/2 of the flour, then 1/2 of the sour cream and mix.

Repeat with the remaining flour and sour cream. Drizzle in the hot coffee and mix until smooth.

The batter will be thin. Pour into the prepared pans and bake until the tops are firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes.

Halfway through the baking, quickly rotate the pans in the oven to ensure even baking, but otherwise try not to open the oven. Let cool in the pan 10 minutes.

Turn out onto wire racks and let cool completely before frosting.

To make the checkboard fondant

Roll out some white and black fondant.

Use a square cookie cutter, to cut out even squares.

Roll out some white fondant roughly in a circle for the background. Use square cookie cutter to cut white squares.

Arrange in checkerboard pattern on the top of your cake. Do not worry too much about linking up the sides because we will be adding frosting.

Adding frosting:

Using 2 separate piping bags, fill one each with your frosting.

Starting at the bottom of you cake, squeeze frosting in small zigzags to get desired effect, finishing at the top with rosebud type finish.

Complete all of one color, leaving gaps for your second frosting along the way.

Make the Mocha Glaze:

Melt together your milk, chocolate and espresso.

Spoon a small dollop of glaze into decorative patterns on your cake.

Leftover glaze is a delicious kept in the fridge and used on ice cream or in coffee.

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