American Flag Cake
There's no reason for me to give you the recipe to this cake since it exists all over the Internet. But I can't help it - I find it very cute, no matter how popular it may be. I also love a pumpkin spice latte and a good spray tan, so call me #basic if you must. This cake is easy to make and makes people think you tried. That's what we're all going for in life, isn't it?
FOR THE CAKE
I used a quarter sheet pan for most of my batter and had some left overs to make a thinner cake in another 9" x 13" pan - but you could also just do the whole cake in a half sheet pan. Just note that you will need more berries if you're going that route. Adapted from Alice Waters.
- 3 cups cake flour (if you don't have cake flour you can use this method.)
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs at room temperature, whites and yolks separated
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup milk, at room temperature
- Zest of a lemon and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Butter your cake pans, line with parchment paper, butter the parchment, and dust with flour (tap out the excess.)
In a large bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer or with an hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy - about 5-7 minutes.
Meanwhile, whip the egg whites until soft peaks form. I use an electric mixer to do this but you can probably do it by hand if you have the stamina.
Once the butter is light and fluffy, add the egg yolks one at a time waiting to add another until the previous is completely incorporated.
Add the flour mixture and milk alternately, starting and ending with the flour. Mix just until the flour is almost incorporated and then finish mixing by folding by handing with a spatula.
Gently, fold in a third of the egg whites into the batter and then add the rest. Fold in the lemon juice and lemon zest. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 20-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
FOR THE FROSTING
- 2, 8 ounce packaged of cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- 4-5 cups powered sugar, sifted
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 pints fresh raspberries
- 1/4 cup fresh blueberries
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the cream cheese and butter until well incorporated. Add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time tasting as you go until you get the desired sweetness and consistency you like. If you want it to be firmer, add more powered sugar. Add the vanilla extract.
To frost the cake, spread a layer of frosting and the assemble your flag pattern. I used a piping bag to draw white stripes but that's optional. You could skip that step and do a thicker layer of frosting on the base if you prefer. Or, you could skip the flag all together and just sprinkle the cake with berries. It's a free country! Lol, see what I did there?
Happy 4th of July!