I had just enough time to make one more cake before Easter this year, and couldn’t resist making a Peeps cake.
Nothing screams Easter more than peeps, and their bright colors were the main inspiration for this cake.
Fun fact, I don’t actually like eating Peeps. They kind of taste like nothing to me. But for some reason I buy them every year, and love the idea of them.
It’s almost like if peeps aren’t there, it isn’t Easter! I think they’re one of those things I like to eat with my eyes more than my mouth…kind of like meringue kisses!
Checkerboard Surprise Inside
Not only does the color scheme of this cake matches the peeps, there’s also a checkerboard pattern hiding inside the cake!!
My favorite vanilla layer cake recipe works great for making a checkerboard pattern cake. It’s sturdy enough to be cut into the rings you need to create this pattern.
I used 8 inch cake layers, and cut them with with 6″, 4″, and 2″ circle cutters. While amazon has tons of packs of assorted circle cutters, they usually range in size from 1 inch – 4 inches.
Seems like a lot to buy, but it’s worth it if you plan to make more checkerboard cakes in the future.
Having assorted circle cutters on hand is also great for sugar cookies, or fondant features for cakes. I find myself using them all the time. In my opinion, they really are worth the investment.
Colorful Drip Tips
To get perfect drips on your cakes, I have a couple tips for you!
The first is to be sure your cake is full chilled. Let is sit in the freezer for at least 20 minutes, or in the fridge for an hour!
The second is making sure your ganache is the right temperature! It should be just slightly warm to the touch. Do one test drip (and let it sit for about 1 minute), to see if your ganache is flowing the way you want it to.
If it’s not, either let it cool a bit more, or heat it in the microwave for another 3-4 seconds.
Do keep in mind the drips will continue to run down the cake after they’re initially added. You’ll really wait a bit after that test drip to make sure it looks the way you want it to.
I’ve also shared an in-depth video tutorial on how to add drips onto a cake on my YouTube channel. It’s great to watch if you’re more of a visual learner.
Share Your Creations With Me!
If you try this peeps cake recipe, please tag me @chelsweets. Also use the #chelsweets so that I can see your amazing creations!
Nothing makes me happier than when I get emails or DMs with photos of your amazing cakes. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with your triumphs, or questions <3
Checkerboard Cake Layers
- 3 cups all-purpose flour (390 grams)
- 3 cups granulated sugar (600 grams)
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder (10 grams)
- 1 tsp salt (6 grams)
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (226 grams) - 2 sticks
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract (8 grams)
- 1 cup pasteurized egg whites from a carton (or about 7 egg whites) (235 grams)
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, room temperature (345 grams)
- 1/8 cup vegetable oil (28 grams)
- Pink, yellow, blue, and pink gel food coloring
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
- 2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature (452 grams)
- 7 cups powdered sugar (907 grams) - or a 2 lb bag
- 1/2 tsp salt (3 grams)
- 2 Tbsp heavy cream (or whipping cream) (30 grams)
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract (12 grams)
Colorful Drip Recipe
- 1/3 cup heavy cream (77 grams)
- 1 cup white chocolate chips (175 grams)
- pink, purple, yellow, and blue gel food coloring
- colorful peeps
- your favorite easter candies (I used candy eggs)
Checkerboard Cake Layers:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line four 8 inch pans with parchment rounds, and grease with a light spray of non-stick cooking spray.
- Mix together all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt) in a stand mixer with a paddle with a few gentle pulses.
- Mix chunks of room-temperature butter slowly into the dry mix, on a low speed. Continue to mix until no large chunks of butter remain, and the mixture becomes crumbly.
- Pour in egg whites, and mix on low until just incorporated. Mix in the buttermilk in two installments, on a low speed.
- Add in vanilla and oil, and mix at a low speed until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then beat on low speed for about 15 seconds.
- Divide the batter evenly between four bowls (about 450 grams of batter per bowl). Create yellow, pink, blue and purple batter using a couple drops of gel food coloring. Mix by hand with a spatula until the batter is evenly colored.
- Pour each color into one of the prepared cake pans.
- Bake for 32-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the pans to cool for 10 minutes, then run an offset spatula around perimeter of the pan to separate the cake from the pan.
- Place cake layers into the freezer for 45 minutes, to accelerate the cooling process. Once the layers are fully cooled, carefully flip the pans and remove the layers from the pans.
- Use a serrated knife to level the tops of the layers.
- With a 6", 4" and 2" circle cutter, carefully cut each layer into four rings. Carefully reassemble the layers, following the same color pattern (pink, purple, yellow, blue). Set aside.
Colorful White Chocolate Ganache Drips:
- Heat heavy cream in a heat-proof bowl in the microwave for 45 seconds, until it's just beginning to bubble. Gently pour white chocolate chips into the heavy cream, making sure they are fully covered with cream. Allow mixture to sit for 1 minute.
- Stir slowly until the cream and white chocolate are combined. Some bits of chocolate may not be fully melted yet. Heat the mixture again for 20 seconds, and stir. Repeat as necessary until all the chocolate bits are fully melted and incorporated.
- Divide the ganache evenly between four small bowls. Use gel food coloring, to make a pink, yellow, blue, and purple ganache. Allow to cool until desired viscosity is reached (barely warm to the touch).
- Either pour into plastic squirt bottles (if you have some on hand), or place plastic wrap over the bowls to prevent the ganache from forming a skin.
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:
- While the cake layers bake and cool, make the vanilla buttercream frosting.
- Beat the butter on a medium speed for 30 seconds with a paddle attachment, until smooth. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Alternate with small splashes of cream.
- Once fully mixed, add in the vanilla and salt, and beat on low until the ingredients are fully incorporated, and the desired consistency is reached.
- If the frosting is too thick, add in additional cream (1 teaspoon at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar (quarter of a cup at a time).
- To create the colorful the buttercream used to fill the cake, place 1 cup of frosting into three separate bowls. Color them orange, green, and purple with a couple drops of gel food coloring.
- Leave the rest of the buttercream white until the cake has been assembled.
To Assemble This Peeps Cake:
- Stack and frost the checkerboard cake layers on a greaseproof cake board, using a dab of frosting to help stick the first cake layer to the board.
- Add an even layer of buttercream between each cake layer.
- Apply a thin coat of frosting around the the cake, to fully cover the cake layers. Smooth using a bench scraper, then chill the cake in the fridge (10 minutes) or freezer (5 minutes) until the frosting is firm to the touch.
- Add a second, thicker layer of frosting to the cake, and smooth using a bench scraper. Place the cake in the freezer to chill for 10-15 minutes, or in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Add the colorful drips in color blocks, with 4-5 drips per section. Use either a plastic squirt bottle and a spoon to add the drips to the cake.
- Then decorate as desired with different colored peeps and your favorite Easter candies.
One batch of cake batter makes about 1800 grams, so when I'm making a cake with four layer, I add 450 grams of batter into each pan.
Once the layers have fully cooled, I sometimes like to trim the caramelized bits from the sides of the layers using a serrated knife.
These cake layers can be made in advance!! Learn more about how far in advance they can be made, and how to properly wrap them in my post on how to make cake layers ahead of time.
Since this frosting will be used to decorated a cake, it is important to mix the buttercream on the lowest speed at the end of the process for a couple minutes, to get out any extra air that might have be incorporated during the mixing process.
You can also stir the frosting in a bowl with a rubber spatula, pushing it from side to side, to get rid of any air bubbles. This will make it easier to get super smooth sides on your cake!
Amount Per Serving Calories 583 Total Fat 28g Saturated Fat 17g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 10g Cholesterol 68mg Sodium 254mg Carbohydrates 80g Net Carbohydrates 0g Fiber 0g Sugar 68g Sugar Alcohols 0g Protein 4g