There is a chance I will not be home on the Fourth of July. I don't mean as in 'going to a parade' or 'going to a picnic', not home, but as in being on the beach in Seaside, Florida, not home! (There is the small problem of a ginormous oil spill and possible hurricane that are keeping me from being fully committed to Seaside on the Fourth.)
With those two things in mind, I decided yesterday to try and attempt a flag cake....I wanted this cake to be a 'practice' cake. JUST IN CASE I am still living it up in Oklahoma on the Fourth. IF I am, then I want to be prepared to take a great patriotic-holiday- appropriate- dessert-to-wherever-I-go-by-second-choice. So the following is my practice attempt.
Who would ever guess that this little unassuming white cake with sprinkles would hold this inside?
Things I will do differently when I make The Real Thing (as opposed to the practice round). I intentionally did not use enough red food coloring. I did not want to run out of my red and then not be able to find anymore right before the 4th. Plus, I am just stingy like that and I said this was just practice, not dress rehearsal. Also, I probably could find some navy food coloring, as opposed to trying to create my own with the blue food coloring I had and a dab of black. By the way, only gel food coloring will give you the true colors you want. (And Old Glory deserves true colors because her colors don't run!) Next thing I would do differently would be this: I baked regular layers as in layered-cake layers.
(This is the 'purety' meeting 'the bloodshed' while they were baking.
( Stars talking to stripes as they got things cooking.)
Then I got a big 'ole butcher knife and sliced them horizontally into two. (Clearly, I need to have my eyes checked before school starts again.) BUT next time I will either just leave the cake as regular layers, OR invest in one of those cake-thingymajigg-slicers. With this one, I just pretended it was a flag waving in the wind, therefore the non-straight stripes.
(Feel free to borrow that excuse as well if you make this cake. Also, keep in mind, when the picture above was taken, the cake was over 36 hours old,had let gravity 'settle' things (like me) and only this little smidge was left. I insisted they leave a little piece for the hubby who had not gotten to see it yet. And the cake had traveled over 100 miles.....
(OK, I believe I am excused out at this point.) One last thing I would/will do differently is to make the blue layer all one layer.)
I started with these. Anytime I make a cake over three layers I always use these. Then I just pop them into the dishwasher and save them to use again for my next adventure. (Giant eye-roll here from my children I am sure, as they think it is 'so dorky' to save them.)
I just used boxed white cake mix and added food coloring gel. I made them just as I would a normal three layer cake. Then (as I said above) I sliced each of the layers (after they were cool) horizontally to make more layers.
(White layers on the left, red on the right, made exactly the same way with the same cake mix. Notice the difference in size? I attribute that to the World's-Cheapest-Oven that is in the house we rent. This is not an excuse, just a fact.)
So I stack red and white, red and white, using homemade Buttercream icing between layers.
Then I go to find Luke so he can take pictures of the next step and this is what I find.
I bribe him to come and take pictures and threaten him with his life if he gets me in any of the pictures.
I take one of the blue layers and put a small bowl on top. I then use that as a pattern for the middle of the cake I want to cut out. (Notice that butcher knife I use? !!) (Oh, and the white edible confetti, was my attempt at stars in this layer. They were just so-so).
Take the blue center and put it aside. (The white on my delicate hands is powdered sugar from the homemade Buttercream.) I saved the middle to use later for cakeballs.
So, I put just the outside ring of blue on top of my red/white/red/white layers....(with buttercream between each layer.)
Now this is where it gets a little tricky. I told Luke to take pics of this process while I was using my faux-engineering degree to try and figure this out. I assumed he had listened to my earlier threats, but when I went to write this post, (below) is the next picture I found.
We have several pictures of Boomer in various stages of boredom, but none of the most important steps. So I will try to explain.
OK, notice at the top of the pic where I have a red and a white layer stacked on top of each other... Well, I used the same bowl and cut out the center of those layers. I got rid of the outside circles of those two and saved them for later cakeballs. I then took the red round middle and put it in the blue ring that was on top of the red/white/red/white layers. ALSO, before I did this, I did put Buttercream icing on the inside circle of blue. Then I slathered Buttercream on top of the blue/red layer and started the process again. This time I did a blue ring and put the white circle in the middle.
That is it. You are 3/4 of the way through. I then took even more Buttercream and "caked it on" (get it? caked....) the entire cake.
And then because I was not sure if the sixty-eight layers of cake and Buttercream would be enough sugar, I covered the top with red/white/and blue confetti.
Plus I wanted people to be staring at the top of the cake instead of looking at the inside while I was cutting it, as I was still a little unsure if my faux-engineering degree would come through for me with a flag-like cake in the middle.
(My nephew Landon took the rest of the pics, as Luke had been fired at this point, for 'distraction on the job".)
(Landon took a very good picture of the right side of the cake. The left side shows the flag going the right direction.)
(No comment needed except yes, I did cut my hair very short.)
And the rest, as they say, is a 'piece of cake' (get it?)!
We were eating this at my parent's house and they had some stars and stripes paper plates sitting there. I picked one up to use, because I thought it would be cute with the flag-cake, but my mom told me they were saving those for the 4th. Then when she saw what the inside of the cake looked like, she wanted to know why I didn't use the stars and stripes plates!!
So I apologize for the tacky-white-non-biodegradable-styrofoam plates. It was my mom's fault.
So if you have read this far, you must really, really want to make the Not-Your-Typical-Fruit-On-Top-Flag-Cake. I say 'go for it'. Be the hit of your mom's kitchen as I was for an hour. Send your mom into a sugar high as I did (and she didn't quit talking at 100 mph for two more hours). Enjoy.
If I am in Oklahoma for the 4th I plan to make it again. The Real Deal. More layers. Sparklers on top (lit) before we cut into it. If I am NOT in Oklahoma on the 4th I will be sitting on the beach in Seaside, Florida, thinking about the 13 layer flag cake with sprinklers (not fruit) on top that I would have made!
(This takes the cake, doesn't it?) (Get it???!!)