If you’ve been anywhere near Pinterest the past week or so, your feed has probably been blown up with images of flag cakes. We are certainly not complaining – flag cakes are a deliciously festive way to celebrate the Fourth of July!
Searching for the perfect flag cake to make? Look no further. We have a flag cake that will get the most satisfying gasps out of your guests with every bite!
Why? Well, once you see the inside of the cake, you’ll understand.
On the outside, this looks like a perfectly unassuming cake, smothered in buttercream frosting. But on the inside? This cake is all-American. Every bite reveals the red, white, and blue colors of our grand old flag!
Granted, this cake requires a little extra effort to make; you do have make five cakes to get the stars and strips effect. But once the cakes are made, it’s essentially just cutting circles! And trust us, the end result is worth it.
Want to watch a video of an epic flag cake being made? You can find one at the end of the post for your viewing pleasure!
To make this patriotic dessert, this is all you’ll need:
American Flag Cake
- 8 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted
- 3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Red and blue food coloring
For the buttercream frosting:
- 4 sticks butter, at room temperature
- 8 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup heavy cream, plus more as needed
1 . Bake your five cakes, using about 25 drops of food coloring for the red cakes and about 20 for the blue cake. Let them cool in their pans for 15 minutes, then invert them onto a wire rack to cool completely.
2. While they cool, make your frosting. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until they’re light and fluffy, about 5 to 6 minutes. Beat in the vanilla, then add the cream gradually, mixing until you get a smooth, creamy texture.
3. Cut the red and white cakes into layers about 3/4 inch thick. You’ll want six layers total: three red, and three white. (Leave the blue layer whole – it has to be thicker to represent the square on the flag.)
4. Using a 5-inch round cookie cutter (or a paring knife to trace around a small plate or bowl that’s roughly 5 inches in diameter), cut one of the red layers into a smaller circle. Then do the same with one of the white layers. These small circles will be the shorter stripes that line up with the flag’s blue square. (You won’t need the outer rings for the cake, but save them to munch on!)
5. Then, use the same technique to cut a hole in the center of the blue cake. You won’t need the inner blue circle, so set it aside.
6. To build the cake, start with a red layer and top it with a thin coating of frosting. The key is to make it thin, otherwise, you will interrupt the “stripe” effect. Top the red layer with a layer of white cake and another thin coating of frosting.
7. Repeat with another red layer and another white layer so that you have four layers total.
8. On top of this, place the blue cake doughnut (the thick layer with a hole in the middle).
9. Spread a thin layer of frosting onto the small red circle, and insert it into the hole of the blue cake. Top it with a thin coating of frosting and the small white circle. Gently press the small layers into the hole of the blue cake.
And that’s all there is to it! Frost the cake with creamy frosting using a small offset spatula to give it an uneven, swirly look.
Your cake will look amazing on the outside and really look amazing on the inside. This is one cake your party guests will never forget.
Big thanks to our friends at Food52 for this exceptional recipe.
If you’d like a visual aid, give this video from Cookies, Cupcakes, and Cardio a watch! She uses a different kind of frosting technique, but her recipe is essentially the same. What frosting you choose is completely your preference!