Jun 30, 2011

Fourth of July Flag Cake

For my sweet daughter's 7th birthday she requested a cake with strawberries and blueberries. I gave her about 6 different ideas of cakes I could make and she chose a white cake with blueberry filling and strawberry frosting. While looking for a yummy white cake recipe, I came across the Barefoot Contessa's Flag Cake. As soon as I opened the webpage, my cute girl started jumping up and down. "MOMMY! That's what I want! That one! The flag!" And, since her birthday is roughly a week before independence day(and because this recipe looked so yummy), I happily obliged. The only two things I did differently were use strawberries instead of raspberries, and use about 3/4 the amount of powdered sugar that the frosting recipe called for, because that's all I had. The less sweet frosting was actually just right for the sweet cake. I found this awesome 5 minute video of Ina Garten(AKA Barefoot Contessa...AKA genious) baking the cake, and picked up some great tips from that. This cake was heavy, moist, flavorful, and delicious. And oh so festive! The best part is, my daughter loved it (as did everyone else!).

For this recipe, I highly recommend using a brand new 7 year old as a chef's helper. She did a great job and we had so much fun.
(Notice the pants tucked into the shirt - circa 1989? And these pants aren't even the favorite pants. The favorite ones can be pulled about 3 inches higher on her waist so she appears to be rockin the "mom jeans" look. I swear she came out of the womb with a diaper hiked up to her ribs.)


18 tablespoons (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
3 cups sugar
6 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1 cup sour cream at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups flour
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

For the icing:
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/2 pounds cream cheese at room temperature
1 pound confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

To assemble:
2 half-pints blueberries
3 half-pints raspberries

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter and flour an 18 by 13 by 1 1/2-inch sheet pan. (I used parchment paper too, just because I love how easy it is to remove the cake from the pan. As far as buttering - this is where the 7 year old comes in handy. We like using extra soft butter and a basting brush:

Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed, until light and fluffy. On medium speed, add the eggs, 2 at a time, then add the sour cream and vanilla. Scrape down the sides and stir until smooth.

Sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda in a bowl. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until just combined. Pour into the prepared pan. Smooth the top with a spatula. Bake in the center of the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool to room temperature.

For the icing, combine the butter, cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mixing just until smooth.

Spread three-fourths of the icing on the top of the cooled sheet cake. Outline the flag on the top of the cake with a toothpick. Fill the upper left corner with blueberries. Place 2 rows of raspberries across the top of the cake like a red stripe. Put the remaining icing in a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and pipe two rows of white stripes below the raspberries. Alternate rows of raspberries and icing until the flag is completed. Pipe stars on top of the blueberries.

I serve this cake right in the pan. If you want to turn it out onto a board before frosting, use parchment paper when you grease and flour the pan.

Even though I didn't get the 13 stripes on there, I did get 50 stars! For the berries, I used 60 - 6 rows od ten berries. Then I just piped the stars in between the 6 rows so I had 5 rows of 10 stars.

P. S. With all that fresh fruit and cream cheese, you need to store this in the fridge. It is fine if you want to bake the cake the day before, but if that's your plan, cover the cake in plastic wrap and decorate it the day you plan to serve it. Otherwise the fruit juices will run into the frosting and you risk having purple-y pink frosting. Just be sure to refrigerate the leftovers.

1 comment:

Michelle Claire said...

I want to eat that. Seriously.

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