Sunday, July 3, 2011

American Flag Cake

I started a tradition a few years ago of making a flag cake every July 4th.  I love the 4th of July.  If you would like to know more of why I love this uniquely-American holiday, you can read about it here.

Despite most of my kitchen utensils being in boxes and the general disarray of my house, tradition is tradition.  Life must go on.

And so I will share with you my flag cake.

I'm posting this on Sunday so you can run out and get the ingredients and make it on Monday just in time for your cookout on Monday evening.

No minute like the last minute.

So I copied Barefoot's idea and used blueberries for the blue (obviously) part of the flag and raspberries for the red stripes.  But I have used quartered strawberries for the red in the past while in a pinch.  And that worked fine.  Or you could use blue and red M&M's.  Yum.  Or you could divide the icing and turn some of it blue and some of it red.  The possibilities are endless. 

Basically, a cake with cream cheese icing cannot be ruined.  So use any kind of fruit/candy/colored icing you want.  As long as it's red and blue.  Because, after all, this is an American flag cake.

I like lemon cake because I like lemons.  And I like lemon and cream cheese together.  And lemon and raspberries together.  And I get bored with white cake.  But if you are boring, then by all means, just bake a basic white cake.

So take a white cake mix and put it in your mixing bowl.

And add two packages of instant lemon-flavored pudding mix.

And a cup of sour cream.

Oh, yeah.  We're going to have one moist cake here.

And a cup of oil.  Told you it was moist.

And four eggs.

And some flavorings.  A teaspoon of vanilla extract.  And a teaspoon of lemon extract.

Yes!  I finished the lemon extract!  One less thing I have to move.

Our motto this week is: If you can use it, we won't have to move it.

Catchy, I know.

I write sonnets in my spare time.

So now that all of the deliciousness from the pantry and refrigerator is in the mixing bowl, turn it on.

The mixer, that is.

And beat it for 30 seconds on low.  That way you won't slosh oil on your church clothes.

See how lumpy it still is?

Okay, now we're ready for medium-high speed.  Two minutes.

Look!  It's beautiful and smooth and creamy and falling back into the bowl in ribbons.


Spray a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

And pour in the batter.

And bake it on 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. 

That hole in the middle is where I stuck my knife to make sure the cake was done.  We want it to be just done when we take it out.  No dry cake for us.

Also, even though my cake was perfectly done, it still fell a little bit in the middle after it cooled.  I don't know why this happened or how to prevent it.  The only thing I can say is that cream cheese icing covers all imperfections.

Now for said cream cheese icing.

A block of cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla. 

Make sure the cream cheese and butter are at room temperature.  If these items are fresh from the refrigerator, you will say bad words while you make your icing.  And that's not a good idea since your 3-year-old is helping you decorate.

Um, yum.

Beat it up.  No lumps.

And spread it on the completely cooled cake.

And spread it evenly.

And don't miss the corners.  Corners are cake too!  Even if I refuse to eat corners, I'm sure someone out there loves them.

Now, for the flag.  Use a knife and score the areas for the blue patch and the stripes. 

Draft your 3-year-old to make the flag out of berries!


Make sure yours looks just as perfect as mine does.

American Flag Cake

1 18.25 oz. box white cake mix
2 3 oz. packages instant lemon pudding mix
1 cup oil
1 (8 oz.) cup sour cream
4 eggs
1/4 cup water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon extract

Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Beat for 30 seconds on low speed, until the inredients are incorporated but still lumpy.  Scrape the bottom of the bowl well.  Turn the mixer on medium-high speed and beat for two minutes, stopping once to scrape the bottom of the bowl.

Pour into a greased 9x13 glass baking dish.  Bake on 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Cool completely.

Cream Cheese Icing:
8 oz. block cream cheese, softened
1/2 stick (4 T) butter, softened
1 lb. powered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Beat ingredients together for icing for about a minute or until it is smooth and creamy and no lumps remain.  Spread on the cool cake.

2 half-pints of raspberries
1/2 cup blueberries

Using a knife, score the flag design in the icing.  Then fill in the stripes with raspberries and the blue area with blueberries.  This cake needs to be kept cold and it will keep for several days in the fridge.


BWF said...

Go big sister! It's a beautiful cake. Please give big sister a hug & kiss from Ms. Bethany & Mr. Spot.

Oh, & I love the corners! MORE ICING! Cake is just the substance that allows me to eat icing!

Elizabeth said...

I knew there were corner people out there but didn't know you were one of them!!! Thanks for representing! :)