Checkerboard Cake is fit for a king! Alternating rows of yellow and chocolate-flavored cake batter are baked and stacked to produce the alternating squares. A dusting of cocoa creates the design on the top.
Prepare pans: Using the side of 8 in. square pan as a guide, cut 9 dividers of heavy, clean paperboard each approximately 8 x 2 in. (the back of a tablet of paper works well). Each pan will use 3 dividers for four sections of batter, check to be certain pieces fit snugly in pans. Grease and flour pans, then position dividers equally across pan, tape to fit securely. Note: Dividers and tape will be removed before baking. Set pans aside. Preheat oven to 350°F, and separately prepare cake mixes according to package directions.
Add melted chocolate to one mix. (Or you may use a yellow and a chocolate cake mix, but note that different flavors of cake mix yield different amounts. You will need to use equal amounts of yellow and chocolate batter to achieve the desired checkerboard effect for this cake.) Divide each flavor of batter into 6 portions. If you have 6 cups of batter, each section will take 1 cup of batter. Pour into prepared pans, alternating colors. Because the pans are square and can be turned to stack, you do not need to be concerned which color you start with. If you have only 2 pans, refrigerate remaining batter between baking.
Remove dividers and tape, and bake according to package directions. Cool 10 minutes in pan, remove, trim crowns and cool at least two additional hours before icing and decorating. Stack and fill the 3 layers, aligning alternating color stripes. When serving this cake, you will need to cut across the stripe to achieve the checkerboard effect; mark that serving side with a toothpick - do this before icing.
Ice cake top and sides smooth, allow icing to crust slightly. Position waxed paper squares on cake top to form checkerboard pattern; leave 1/2 in. on edge for border. Dust cake top with cocoa, carefully remove waxed paper squares. Position Candy Melts. Pipe tip 21 bottom and top shell borders with buttercream icing.