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Flag Cake

flag cake recipeSure, this is a nice white cake. It looks a little boring, no? Well, let’s a peek inside shall we?

flag cake recipeI found a recipe for Rainbow cake on Whisk Kid. I thought that it was so cute. Then I saw Whisk Kid make it on the Martha Stewart show. When I saw it, I did think that the rainbow was cute, but all I saw was a cake for Memorial Day and the 4th of July. Red, white and blue. You see, 4th of July is my second favorite holiday. Thanksgiving is my all time favorite. We lived in Canada for a few years and while I loved living in another country, I really, really, missed my own country. The first year that we got back you would have thought that 4th of July threw up all over my house. Anything that I could put a flag, a twinkle light, red, white, or blue on, I did. I was so happy to celebrate my country. So I made this for a pre-Memorial Day party last weekend. Do you ever see a recipe and it looks beautiful on the page, but then you make it and it looks nothing like the picture? Yeah? Well, this was not one of those times. Look how pretty it is!! This cake was a huge hit with the kids and adult alike.

This cake does entail a lot of bowls. And a LOT of butter in the frosting. But it pretty simple to make. Nothing makes me feel more domestic than baking a cake. This cake in particular gave me joy. It is bright and cheerful and fun. So fun. I got giddy when I watched it being cut. So make this for your next holiday party and I promise, you will impress your friends.

flag cake recipe3 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/3 cups sugar
5 large egg whites, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups milk, room temperature
red gel food coloring
navy blue gel food coloring

flag cake recipeCream together the butter and sugar. Slowly add the egg whites and mix until incorporated.

flag cake recipeAdd the vanilla. In another bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.

flag cake recipeAdd the flour mixture and milk in alternating additions beginning with the flour and ending with the milk. It looked like the batter was not going to come together, but it did.

flag cake recipeDivide the batter among 3 bowls. Add red gel food coloring to one and the blue to the other. Add enough gel until it is the color that you want. Add the batter to a 9-inch (I used an 8-inch) pan that has been greased and lined with parchment. I used Baker’s Joy and they all came out like a dream. I did use a food scale to divide the batter evenly between my two pans. I had to do three bakes because I only have 2 8-inch cake pans. Spread the batter evenly as you can. These cakes are going to be thin, they bake for about 15-18 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven.

flag cake recipeLet the cakes cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Invert the cakes onto a wire rack, re-invert and let cool completely.

buttercream recipeFor the lemon scented buttercream:

9 large egg whites
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 sticks room temperature butter cut into small pieces
2 teaspoons lemon extract

flag cake with buttercream frosting recipe

This is a serious frosting. You need a lot to fill the layers, and to make the crumb coat and then frost the whole thing. I made it in two batches. I know the limits of the bowl of my Kitchenaid and it probably could have handled it, but the mess may have been out of control. On the stove, dissolve the egg whites into the sugar. Cook it until the sugar is melted and eggs have no more pull. It will also be hot to the touch. Put this mixture in the bowl of the mixer and using the whisk, whisk it until it comes to room temperature. Add the butter slowly one at time letting it mix for a second before you add the next one. After all the butter is added, switch to the paddle and let it beat together for 5 more minutes. It will start to break and it will come back together. Add the lemon extract.

flag cake with buttercream frosting recipeUsing about a cup of frosting for each layer, spread the frosting until it hangs over the edge. Add the next layer of cake until you stack all 6 layers. Put a very thin layer of frosting on the sides and on top of the cake. Refrigerate until the frosting is set. Take the cake out of the fridge and finish icing.

flag cake with buttercream frosting recipeThis cake serves a ton of people. It needs to be sliced thinly because it is really rich and buttery. I will also say that this cake travels really well. We took it on a long car ride. I packed it in a cake box and a cooler full of ice. It made it just fine.

Print

Flag Cake


Ingredients

  • 3 cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/3 cups sugar
  • 5 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups milk, room temperature
  • red gel food coloring
  • navy blue gel food coloring
  • For the lemon scented buttercream:
  • 9 large egg whites
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 4 sticks room temperature butter cut into small pieces
  • 2 teaspoons lemon extract

Instructions

  1. Cream together the butter and sugar. Slowly add the egg whites and mix until incorporated.
  2. Add the vanilla. In another bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
  3. Add the flour mixture and milk in alternating additions beginning with the flour and ending with the milk. It looked like the batter was not going to come together, but it did.
  4. Divide the batter among 3 bowls. Add red gel food coloring to one and the blue to the other. Add enough gel until it is the color that you want. Add the batter to a 9-inch (I used an 8-inch) pan that has been greased and lined with parchment. I used Baker’s Joy and they all came out like a dream. I did use a food scale to divide the batter evenly between my two pans. I had to do three bakes because I only have 2 8-inch cake pans. Spread the batter evenly as you can. These cakes are going to be thin, they bake for about 15-18 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven.
  5. Let the cakes cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Invert the cakes onto a wire rack, re-invert and let cool completely.
  6. This is a serious frosting. You need a lot to fill the layers, and to make the crumb coat and then frost the whole thing. I made it in two batches. I know the limits of the bowl of my Kitchenaid and it probably could have handled it, but the mess may have been out of control. On the stove, dissolve the egg whites into the sugar. Cook it until the sugar is melted and eggs have no more pull. It will also be hot to the touch. Put this mixture in the bowl of the mixer and using the whisk, whisk it until it comes to room temperature. Add the butter slowly one at time letting it mix for a second before you add the next one. After all the butter is added, switch to the paddle and let it beat together for 5 more minutes. It will start to break and it will come back together. Add the lemon extract.
  7. Using about a cup of frosting for each layer, spread the frosting until it hangs over the edge. Add the next layer of cake until you stack all 6 layers. Put a very thin layer of frosting on the sides and on top of the cake. Refrigerate until the frosting is set. Take the cake out of the fridge and finish icing.

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  1. Brenda Bisharat

    May 27th, 2010 at 9:08 am

    Yummy, perfect treat for the 4th of July!!!

  2. corey

    May 27th, 2010 at 9:21 am

    Oh wow! That is one beautiful, patriotic cake!

  3. Dangler

    May 27th, 2010 at 9:43 am

    OMG! A well played F-you to Martha! That looks amazing, and so perfectly done with equal color intensity and width of layers!

  4. bakedbree

    May 29th, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    lol… when are you coming for a visit?

  5. heather

    May 27th, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    impressive! it’s really a stunning cake.

    cheers,

    *heather*

  6. bakedbree

    May 29th, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    thanks!

  7. Amanda

    May 27th, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    I just made this cake about a month ago… it was what was inside the air force cake. They never did send me the pictures they said they took…

    anywho… yours looks fantastic!!

    Blessings!
    Amanda

  8. Kelsey

    May 27th, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    Great job with this cake! It looks so cool. Perfect for 4th of July!

  9. bakedbree

    May 29th, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    I am thinking a cupcake version for 4th of July!

  10. Kaitlin

    May 27th, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    AHH!!! I love this! A few people mentioned doing something like this, but I haven’t seen any finished ones. It looks awesome!

  11. Memoria

    May 27th, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    Your cake looks absolutely stunning. I could see making this in other colors to match the colors of other countries like Mexico or something. Cool!

  12. A Little Yumminess

    May 27th, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    Oh wow! I wish I could bake. Kid would love this!

  13. Amanda

    May 28th, 2010 at 8:53 am

    This so pretty. I like how it looks so average on the outside, then bam! You cut it and surprise everyone. Loves it!

  14. bakedbree

    May 29th, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    the cutting it is the best part! I loved seeing everyone’s face!

  15. Patti

    May 29th, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    This looks beautifully magnificent!!! And yummy colors, too.

  16. megan

    June 1st, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    I love the bright colors, perfect!

  17. Rachel

    July 1st, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    What a cute idea. I’ve seen a full on rainbow cake. Not sure why it didn’t dawn on me to try these colors sometime!

  18. bakedbree

    July 5th, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    when I saw the rainbow cake, all I saw was red, white, and blue. I was dying for an excuse to make it.

  19. The Blue-Eyed Bakers

    July 1st, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    This is by far the prettiest patriotic cake we’ve seen (and there are a TON out there at the moment!) – it’s just lovely…and so…so…American!!

  20. bakedbree

    July 5th, 2010 at 11:57 pm

    thank you so much!

  21. Carla

    July 2nd, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Pretty! And congratulations on a job well-scrumptious!

  22. bakedbree

    July 5th, 2010 at 11:55 pm

    thank you!

  23. Alison

    July 4th, 2010 at 11:45 am

    I’m making this right now! You forgot to put what temperature to set the oven to, but I found it on Whisk Kid: 350 degrees.

  24. bakergirl

    July 4th, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    But how does it taste???

  25. bakedbree

    July 5th, 2010 at 11:46 pm

    pretty awesome if I do say so myself.

  26. Matty

    July 5th, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    Just made this cake for the Fourth of July and it turned out fantastic!!
    https://i46.tinypic.com/2use4na.jpg
    Thanks so much!

  27. bakedbree

    July 5th, 2010 at 11:43 pm

    It looks great!!

  28. Jessica New Fuselier

    September 25th, 2010 at 11:13 pm

    That is beyond divine!!!! I would try it if I weren’t afraid to mess it up! That cake is an award winner in my book! Red, White & Blue!

  29. bakedbree

    September 26th, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    Thank you Jessica. It was much easier than it looks! It is just a white cake with a lot of food coloring. It was the first cake that I ever made that made me proud. It turned out exactly as I wanted it to.

  30. Rachel @ Baked by Rachel

    April 6th, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    I truly love this. Came across it in my saved recipes yesterday and again today on SU. I think it’s a sign that I need to make it 🙂

  31. bakedbree

    April 7th, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    thanks! It is fun to make and even more fun to cut into when people don’t know what is inside.

  32. Lori

    April 11th, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    Oh my goodness…..Bree! I am Lori, Corey’s friend in Roseville. I have spent the afternoon on your blog and it is AMAZING. I knew it was amazing, but not THIS AMAZING. Love this cake idea. Going to take a stab at it myself. Your blog is excellent, the pics are perfect, the recipes to die for…..I can go on and on. I’m only bummed I did not take the time before to really go through it in detail. LOVE IT! Sign me up!

  33. giselle

    April 25th, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    I can’t wait for the fourth of July!!! This is such a perfect yet simple cake! i might even add some edible silver stars on top. 🙂

  34. bakedbree

    April 27th, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    that would be gorg.

  35. Liz

    January 28th, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    Is there a proper way to split the buttercream ingredients to be able to make it in two batches? Or did you just eyeball it…..?

  36. bakedbree

    January 28th, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    Eyeball. 🙂

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    July 11th, 2018 at 2:11 pm

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