The Little Cake that Could…American Flag Cake

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Happy 240th Birthday, America! You don’t look a day over 25.

So, this cake. I tell ya. It took some hits but made it through – parallel to our country? Perhaps. And the oven’s red glare, the flour bursting in air, gave proof through the kitchen, that our cake was still there.

I was very kindly invited to a 4th of July BBQ and decided to make this American flag cake as my contribution. I was going to make it Sunday night but I ended up being so tired after going to a Lithuanian festival with a BFF that I slept from 7pm to 8am Monday. In my rush, I forgot to add the vanilla extract to the batter – OOPS! I counteracted that by adding another tsp of vanilla extract to the frosting. It turned out well and no one was any the wiser – or at least they wouldn’t have been had I not kept telling everyone. I take it as a good sign that the cake was about gone when I left. On the way to the BBQ the cake slid off its base layer and smacked into the side of the cake carrier…it was all sorts of messed up, you’ll see in the pictures below (and you can see how much it shifted in the picture above). In any case, yay America, yay cake! This looks complicated but is actually pretty simple. I hope you have an easier time with it than I did though!

I opted to make a white velvet cake…or I guess technically I made a red, white and blue velvet cake but it was all just white chocolate cake and food dye. I have heard of some people pouring white or star sprinkles in the blue batter but I don’t like sprinkles in my batter…I know, I know, I’m in the like 1% of people who don’t go gaga over sprinkles. I semi regret topping the frosting with them. I got the white velvet cake recipe from Mr. Food Test Kitchen, the frosting is the same I used for my red velvet cupcakes courtesy of e2bakes and the idea came from celebrations at home. I doubled both of the recipes and it worked out well.

You’ll need three 8″ cake pans and one 6″ cake pans. One 8″ is for the blue, one for the white and the last 8″ and the 6″ is for the red. I suggest pouring the white first and then doing the dyed layers so you can scoop some from the white batter if you need more.

White Velvet Cake

What You’ll Need: (remember, I doubled the recipe below. This one is for two 8″ layers)
  • 1 (6-ounce) package white chocolate baking bars, broken up (I just used white chocolate chips)
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I forgot this, so I added another tsp to the frosting)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
What To Do:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat two (8-inch) round baking pans with cooking spray, then line bottoms with waxed paper.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine baking bars and milk over low heat, stirring constantly until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth; set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder; set aside. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Blend in melted baking bars and vanilla extract. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture alternately with sour cream. Pour into prepared pans.
  4. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. (you’ll need to play with times, I ended up baking the four cake pans together and it took about 26 – 29 mins but they probably could have stayed in longer…if you have the time, bake separately to ensure even baking, you may get brown spots on top but don’t worry, they won’t be seen and it just looks weird because the cakes are dyed) Cool 10 to 15 minutes, then remove from pans and remove waxed paper. Cool completely.

4th Of July Flag Cake

What you need to bake:
Red Velvet Cake- 1 (8 inch) and 1 (6 inch) tier
White Cake- 1 (8 inch) tier
Blue Velvet  Cake– 1 (8 inch) tier

  1. You will torte (basically cut in half lengthwise) all of these cakes EXCEPT THE VELVET BLUE CAKE, so 3 tiers total. (I used this)
  2. You will need to cut out a 4 inch circle as a guide, place it on one of the 6 inch red velvet cake layers, and cut the cake down to a 4 inch circle.
  3. You will also do this for 1 of the white cake layers and the blue velvet cake (remember that we did not torte this tier) except instead of pulling away the outer ring, you will pull out the middle circle so it is a hollow ring.  At this point you should have: 2 (8 inch) and 1 (4 inch) red velvet cake layers, 1 (8 inch) and 1 (4 inch) white cake layer, and 1 hollow (8 inch) blue velvet cake layer that is twice the thickness of the other layers.
  4.  Place an 8 inch red velvet layer on your plate.  Frost the top of the layer, place an 8 inch white cake layer on top, frost that, place a red velvet layer on top of that and frost the top.  Place the Blue cake layer on top of the cake.  Then frost the 4 inch white cake layer and lower it into the middle of the blue velvet layer.
  5. Lower the 4 inch red velvet layer onto the top of the white layer in the blue velvet circle and ice the cake.

Extra tips: chilling the layers will help prevent messy crumbs and hold the whole thing together better.  You might also want to coat the inside of the hollowed out blue velvet circle layer to better hold the inner stripe layers to the outer blue cake after its cut

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white chocolate mixture added to sugar and butter

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flour mixture

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the 6″ is a bit lighter because I had to add some white at the last min to have enough batter

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This layer was a bit underdone but I was still able to get a good 4″ circle out of the one on the left (I just didn’t start in the center) and used the right as a whole layer

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I would put the cut-side down on the 4″ red next time

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this is after it toppled over in its container in the car

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