I’ve had a couple of people from the July 4th party email me and request the recipe for the American Flag cake I made. I actually used a combination of a few recipes and I added more layers. This cake took me 2 days to make, so be prepared to spend some time on it and have some patience. You may want to practice once or twice before your event. There were some things I would have done more efficiently if this hadn’t been my first time making it. I’ll try to explain it and keep it understandable.
3 boxes of white cake batter (plus whatever ingredients each box calls for) – this will make 8 layers
3 cans of white icing
|1.||Follow cake box instructions (preheat oven) and mix up all the batter. You can do it one box at a time if you don’t have a bowl big enough for all 3 boxes.|
|2.||PLEASE READ THIS PART CAREFULLY BEFORE YOU CONTINUE: I made my cake 8 layers. You can make a 6 or 5 layer cake to make it easier on yourself. For the 8 layer cake, separate the batter evenly into 8 bowls plus one extra for the blue layer (should be three times as much as the other bowls). So if you put 1 cup of batter in 8 bowls, put 1 1/2 – 2 cups of batter in the 9th bowl. You want the blue layer to equal 1 red layer + 1 white layer + 1 red layer. Got it?|
|3.||Add the blue food coloring to the 1 bowl that is three times as much as the others. Then add the red food coloring to 4 of the bowls, so that you have 4 white bowls remaining. Mix the food coloring in well (keep adding coloring until you get it the color you want it).|
|4.||Pour each bowl into a round baking pan and bake according to temperature on the box. However, these layers should be thinner than normal so you’ll have to check them after 10 minutes by poking the center with a toothpick and every 5 minutes after to make sure they cook through but don’t overcook. If you’re like me, you only have 2-3 round pans so you’ll probably have to let each layer thoroughly cool, carefully remove it from the pan, and set aside so you can reuse the pan for another layer.|
|5.||Once you’ve got all your layers cooked and cooled, check to see if any of the tops are rounded (mine usually are). If so, wrap them individually in saran wrap and stack them in the freezer for about an hour or longer. This will not affect their moistness and will make it easier to cut through. After about an hour, remove each layer (only remove the layer you are ready to work with, leave the others in until you are ready) and use a serrated knife to carefully follow the top edge of the layer around cutting the rounded top off so that it’s nice and flat like the bottom. It’s probably best to use a cake leveler (they are sold all over the place but here are two at Wal-Mart and Amazon).|
|6.||Now, you should have 4 red layers and 4 white layers very close to the same width, and 1 thicker blue layer. You are ready to start stacking. Start with a white layer on the bottom, and put a thin layer of icing on top (not the sides), then a red layer and icing, etc. until you have 5 layers. Now, take the blue layer and you are going to cut about a 4 inch circle through the center of it (I used a soup bowl as a guide, you can also cut a piece of cardboard out beforehand to use). You’ll be using the outer layer so you’ll need to make sure your guide is exactly centered on the layer. Place the outer blue layer on the cake so that you see a hole down to the 5th layer. Cut your last 3 layers the same way, but stack the centers inside the blue layer (don’t forget to put icing on each layer as you stack them). PLEASE SEE THE GUIDES BELOW TO HELP YOU FIGURE THIS PART OUT.|
|7.||Remove about 1 cup of icing and set aside. Use whatever is left to frost the top and sides of the cake (you can stop here if you like, or keep going for more fun).|
|8.||Now, divide the 1 cup of reserved icing evenly into 2 small microwaveable bowls. Microwave 1 bowl of frosting uncovered on high a few seconds until smooth enough to drizzle over cake. Stir in blue food coloring really well until the color is even. With a spoon, drizzle all of blue frosting from the center out and back and forth around cake so that it looks like a bursting firework star pattern (you can see my cake below). Repeat microwaving second bowl of frosting until smooth. Stir in a few drops red food color until well blended. Drizzle over cake, scattering frosting back and forth. It’s ok if a little drizzles over the sides. YOU’RE FINALLY DONE!|
So there it is. I didn’t say it would be easy, but the reaction you’ll get when your guests cut into it will be worth all the headache. Like I said, you can use fewer layers. Here are a couple recipes that I started with to combine into this one if you want to change it up a bit (click on the images to be redirected to those recipes).
Until next time, this has been a real housewife in Houston moment.