American Flag Cake

Last week I announced that I would dare make this American Flag Cake for July 4th celebrations. And I delivered. And it was pretty buttery and fabulous. I followed the recipe as outlined by Food52 with the exception that the food coloring I used was not liquid but the type that looks like a paste from Wilton.

Baking has never been “my thing” when it comes to cooking. First of all, I have a giant sweet tooth, so having any kind of baked goods around the house is never a good idea. And sure, I could be an awesome coworker and bring whatever I bake to work but I just don’t like sharing the goods. I am mean yes. I also don’t have a lot of patience when it comes to the detail that sometimes comes with decorating cakes and cupcakes. This flag cake looks like it would be difficult to make, but it really isn’t. It’s just time consuming – and I suggest you don’t think about the number of sticks of butters or cups of sugar that goes into this thing either.  It may make you curl up in a ball after eating one slice of cake. I will share my experiences of as an amateur baker.

I took on the Flag Cake challenge in a two-day step – I think I would be very cranky if I tried doing the whole thing in one day.

The first day I baked the five (read, FIVE) cakes: two red, two whites and one blue. Some lessons learned from this:

Cakes

Cake anyone?

 

  1. The process to cream butter and sugar is difficult one for me. I don’t have a big stand mixer to easy with this process. Instead, I used the whisk attachment in my immersion blender. Every time I try to do this the mix splashes everywhere and it makes a giant mess. I almost took a picture of my sink (I should have) to show the mess. Has anyone had success creaming butter and sugar using the dough blade on a food processor?
  2. I only have two cake pans that are the same size so it took three rounds to bake the five cakes. This means my oven was on for a LONG TIME – let’s remember it is July. My kitchen was on fire.
  3. Cakes will stick to each other if you stack them when you are done. Nothing “bad” happened, but it took some effort to separate them.

On day two I cut and frosted the cake. Should I had cut the cakes the first day? Would that make a difference? I doubt it.

Frosted

White beauty

  1. Cutting cakes evenly in half is REALLY hard. Even though I have a cake leveler, it was not easy to make a clean even cut.
  2. Frosting a cake is also hard! Somehow I always get crumbs when I am spreading the frosting so it never comes out nice and even like professionals do it. Any suggestions so this won’t happen? Also, I found I was a tad short on frosting when following this recipe. I had run out of butter so I couldn’t make more and I just had to deal with what I had.

The final result was pretty and delicious! Those who were lucky enough to have a taste said it was buttery and not dry. I was slightly nervous if the flag came out right since you don’t really know until the cake is cut. But it was a nice “ooh ahh” moment. We enjoyed this cake in the lawn of World’s Fair Park listening to the Knoxville Symphony and waiting for fireworks to begin. I hope you all enjoyed your holiday!

IMG_7036

Happy July 4th!

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2 Responses to American Flag Cake

  1. Sarah says:

    Good job!! For frosting a cake, use the crumb coat method if you don’t want any crumbs to show in your final presentation. To do this, layer your cakes like normal and then spread a very thin layer of frosting around the sides and on the top. Stick it in the fridge for 15 to 20 minutes to firm up, and then frost it like normal. I also recommend making a 1/4 more of the frosting recipe. You can color the leftovers and use for decoration as well.
    If you don’t want to use the crumb coat method (i only do on special occasions), put a good amount of frosting on your spatula and keep loading up – liberally apply the frosting – and scrape any crumbs off the spatula against a pan after each loading of frosting.

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