How To Make An American Flag Roll Cake For The 4th Of July

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This Fourth of July, show your patriotic spirit by going big or going home in the dessert department. How? By making this absolutely incredible American Flag Roll Cake! That’s right— not only is this a cake with a pretty perfect American flag on it, but it’s rolled and filled with absolute deliciousness. We’re talking a whipped cream filling, chopped strawberries, a light and tasty sponge cake made with meringue, and, of course, that edible flag topper. This is one dessert you have to see to believe, then make for the Independence Day barbecue. Your guests will think it’s even more impressive than fireworks. Check it out!

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AMERICAN FLAG ROLL CAKE

INGREDIENTS

Stars and Stripes

  • 6 tablespoons (75 grams) unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup (92 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • ¾ cup + 1 tablespoon (92 grams) cake flour
  • Red and blue gel food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon cake flour, to mix in the red paste batter
  • 1 teaspoon cake flour, to mix in the blue paste batter

Cake Batter

  • 4 egg yolks
  • ½ cup (104 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • ⅓ cup (68 grams) vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (114 grams) cake flour
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ¼ cup (52 grams) granulated sugar

Whipped Filling

  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
  • ½ cup (104 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup chopped strawberries

DIRECTIONS

Stars and Stripes

  1. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper and spray with non-stick spray. Tape off a rectangle to delineate where the stars will go, in the upper-right corner of the pan.
  2. Cream the butter and the powdered sugar together. Add the egg whites and cake flour. and beat until smooth.
  3. Fit a piping bag with a small, round number 2 tip, and fill with about 3 tablespoons of the batter. Pipe small white stars within the rectangle, spacing them apart from each other. Freeze the sheet pan for about 15 to 20 minutes, until the stars are set.
  4. Mix any unused star paste back in with the rest of the batter, then divide the batter in half.
  5. Color one half blue and the other half red. Mix in 1 teaspoon cake flour each to the blue and red paste batters.
  6. Fit two separate piping bags with flat number 48 tips. Spoon the blue and red batters into their own separate piping bags.
  7. Pipe the blue batter over the stars. Then carefully spread the blue paste to completely cover the stars. Freeze the sheet pan again for 20 minutes.
  8. Place masking tape in even lines to form the stripes in the rest of the pan. Pipe the red batter in between the pieces of tape to form the red stripes.
  9. Freeze the pan for 20 minutes while you make the cake batter.

Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, using a hand mixer, whip the egg yolks and ½ cup of the granulated sugar until light yellow and fluffy.
  3. Add the vegetable oil, water and lemon juice, and mix well. The mixture should be thick and smooth by now.
  4. Sift in the cake flour.
  5. In a separate bowl, make the meringue. Using a hand or stand mixer fitted with the wire whip attachment, whip the egg whites and cream of tartar. Once the egg whites are frothy, gradually add in the ¼ cup of granulated sugar and increase the mixer speed. Whip until the meringue forms stiff, glossy peaks.
  6. Gently fold the meringue into the egg yolk mixture until there are no streaks of meringue remaining.
  7. Take the sheet pan from the freezer and remove the masking tape, thereby leaving blank “white” stripes. Pour the cake batter over the pattern and use an offset spatula to spread in an even layer to completely cover the stars and stripes pattern.
  8. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the center of the cake is golden and springs back to the touch.
  9. Dust a clean kitchen towel with powdered sugar.
  10. Remove the cake from the oven. Slide a knife around the edges of the cake, and flip it out of the pan onto the sugared kitchen towel. Carefully peel off the parchment paper from the flag pattern.
  11. Place another clean kitchen towel (no powdered sugar) and the now empty baking sheet on the cake and flip it once again so that the blank side is facing up and the flag pattern is underneath. Roll the cake between the two towels, starting from the short end with the blue rectangle on the lower left corner. (This pre-rolling is to prevent the cooled cake from cracking when you roll it up with the filling later.) After 20 minutes, while the cake is still warm, unroll the cake to let it cool completely.

Whipped Filling

  1. Beat the cream cheese and granulated sugar until smooth and free of lumps.
  2. On medium low speed, add the whipping cream in a thin stream. Increase the speed to medium high and whip the filling until thick.

Final Cake Assembly

  1. Spread a thin layer of the whipped cream filling onto the blank side of the cake.
  2. Evenly scatter the chopped strawberries over the filling. Spread another thin layer of filling over the strawberries.
  3. Roll the cake up into a tight spiral, starting with the short end with the blue star field on the lower left corner.
  4. Wrap the finished cake and refrigerate for several hours, until the filling is set enough that you can slice the cake without the filling squishing out.

TIP

  • Chop the strawberries ahead of time and layer them between paper towels to absorb extra moisture.