Happy Fourth of July!!
Happy Birthday America!!
How are you celebrating? Fireworks? BBQ? Family fun in the sun? How about with cake?
Not just any cake will do. How about a cake that is a silent stunner? Plain and simple on the outside, but once you cut into it… BAM!! American flag flying high!!
Yes, yes I think this will do nicely. Bold and proud just like America!
Independence Day Cake
3 cups sugar
4 3/4 cups + 2 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
3 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks + 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, soft (18 TBSP)
1 3/4 cups + 2 Tablespoons milk, at room temperature
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 large eggs
To Make The Cake:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease and flour three 9″ round cake pans. Set Aside.
1) In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt.
2) Add the butter and beat with an electric mixer at low speed, until the mixture looks sandy.
3) In a measuring cup, combine the milk and vanilla and add, all at once to the sandy flour mixture. Mix at low speed for 30 seconds until it looks just combined, then increase the speed to medium and beat for 25 seconds. Scrape the bottom and sides of the mixing bowl.
4) In the measuring cup that you used for the milk/vanilla, add all eggs and gently whisk together. With the mixer running at medium speed, slowly add eggs in three batches mixing until almost incorporated. Scrape the bowl once more, then beat at medium-high speed for 20 more seconds.
5) Separate the cake mix into three medium bowls (or 4-cup measuring cups to be as accurate as possible) and color one bowl red, one blue and leave the last white. Mix the dye thoroughly and transfer the batter to the prepared pans and smooth out the tops. c
6) Bake for 30 minutes until a cake tester comes out with moist crumbs attached and the layers begin to pull away from the edges of the pan.
7) Remove the cake from the oven and place it on a rack to cool before removing it from the pan.
To Prep The Cake:
Using a serrated knife or cake leveler, slice the red and white layers horizontally in half. You’ll end up with a blue layer (2″), two red layers (each 1″), and two white layers (each 1″). Set one white and one red layer aside, those will be the bottom two stripes of the flag.
You only want a square of blue in each slice, not an entire layer. Stack the blue layer, white layer, and red layer on top of each other. Using a serrated knife, cut a large circle through all three layers. I used a bowl as a guide. Now you have a ring of blue (2″), a ring of white (1″), a ring of red (1″), and three inner circles in each color (the blue is 2″ and the other two are both 1″). Set aside the inner circle of blue and eat the outer rings of red and white.
To Assemble The Cake: (see below for the frosting recipe I used)
Frost the bottom two layers together – set the uncut white layer on a plate and spread with frosting. Top with the uncut red layer. Spread the uncut red layer with frosting, then set the blue ring on top. Use a spatula to spread a very, very thin layer of frosting around the inside edge of the blue ring. This will help keep the blue layer and the two top stripes together.
Frost the white inner circle and place the red inner circle on top of it. Place both frosted inner layers inside the ring of blue. Frost the top and sides with a thin layer of frosting; don’t worry about perfecting it as this is just the crumb coat. Refrigerate for 15-30 minutes to let the crumb coat set and harden. Remove cake from refrigerator and add final coat of frosting to entire cake.
In a small bowl, crumble the blue inner circle of cake you set aside earlier and sprinkle it on top of the cake. Slice and serve and watch the oohs and aahs roll in.
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 lb confectioners sugar
1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 to 2 tablespoons milk
In a large bowl, using a mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the confectioners’ sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating until smooth after each addition. Add the vanilla and 1 tablespoon milk. Beat at high speed until fluffy, adding an additional 1 tablespoon milk if necessary.