There's nothing I love more than getting a little creative in the kitchen, so when I saw this American Flag cake on 17 and Baking -- I knew attempting it was my destiny. Perfect for Flag Day, July 4, or Memorial Day (if you're planning waaay ahead) -- this inventive layering of red, white, and blue cakes makes the perfect dessert to celebrate our great nation.
On the outside, you'll see to-die-for cream cheese frosting and fruit. But on the inside, an American-shaped surprise awaits. Embrace your inner cheftista and make this delicious dessert today!
Flag cake, concept adapted from 17 and Baking, cake recipe from Food Network:
- 3 sticks softened, unsalted butter
- 3 cups sugar
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 12 large egg whites
- 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 2 (9-inch) round pans, sprayed and dusted with flour
- Red, white, and blue food coloring
- 16 ounces cream cheese
- 10 tablespoons softened, unsalted butter
- 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 cups powdered sugar
1. First things first -- the recipe shown above is doubled from the original version. This cake, which will end up being three large layers, is huge. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until fluffy, about 5 minutes.
3. Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium-sized bowl, set aside. Then, combine egg whites, vanilla extract, and milk. At this point, you will have three separate bowls with ingredients.
4. Add in about one-third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, then add half the milk mixture. Continue to alternate between the three mixtures, always adding the flour in last, slowly incorporating your ingredients to create a smooth batter.
5. Separate your batter into four equal parts in separate bowls. This is where the food coloring occurs. Dye one part blue. Combine two parts, and dye those red. Leave the last part plain, without coloring.
6. Bake the cakes, two at a time, in the 9-inch rounds. Cakes should bake until browned on top, roughly 25 minutes. Cool each cake before moving on to the layering phase.
7. For the frosting, simply beat the butter, cream cheese, and extract together until well combined. Then, gradually beat in the powdered sugar until the consistency is smooth -- that of a classic frosting.
8. This is where the fun really begins! Your red layer is first. Cover the bottom red cake with a layer of cream cheese frosting, then stack on top your white layer.
9. On a flat surface, place a bowl, roughly 5 inches in diameter, in the center of your blue layer. Cut around the bowl, using a serrated knife, removing the inner circle. Do the same with the other red layer.
10. Frost the top of your white layer, and stack on top the outer circle of blue cake, with a red circle in the middle. Your stacked cake will look like this:
11. Phew, the hard part's over and the rest is easy! Simply frost your cake using your homemade cream cheese frosting, and then garnish to your liking with sliced fruit and berries. When you serve the cake, it will look exactly like an American flag (as seen here).
Happy Flag Day!
Images via Emily Abbate