Sometimes we develop a recipe that we absolutely know needs a step-by-step blog so that you have success in your own kitchen. Creative recipes can be the most complicated to write, and a picture is worth a thousand words.
Enter the American Flag Surprise Cake – an impressive cake that, without a little extra explanation, might look just complicated enough that you won’t want to make it. That’s why I’m here; to ensure that you can! This cake is the perfect showstopper for your 4th of July party, and the extra time to create it is well worth it. So, here we go! Spatulas at the ready!
The recipe starts with a classic white cake batter. That’s why there are only egg whites; to keep the white stripes of the flag white. The yellow from yolks would otherwise change the color.
Divide the batter in half and tint one half red. Take the remaining batter, divide it in half again, color one half blue, and leave the other half white. Pour into your greased and floured pans.
If you have two pans, bake the white and blue batter first (keeping the red cake batter in fridge), let cool 10 minutes, and then remove from the pans. Wash one cake pan, re-grease and flour, and then bake the red cake.
While the cakes are cooling, use parchment paper, cardstock or wax paper to cut a 5-inch circle as a cutting guide that we’ll use later. This is also the perfect time to make the cream cheese frosting.
Once the cakes have cooled, it’s time to cut the layers. Start with the red. Using a serrated knife cut the domed top off (this will be used later, don’t throw it away!)
Cut the remaining red cake evenly in half horizontally to create two layers.
Cut the white cake evenly in half horizontally creating two more layers.
You should have five layers total between the red and white cakes.
Using the 5-inch circle as a guide, cut the domed top of the red cake and one white layer into 5-inch circles.
Okay, we’ve come to our final cut! Using the 5-inch circle cut the middle out of the blue layer, saving the outer ring. This will be the blue corner of the flag.
This is the leftover cake that you can use for trifles, parfaits, and cake pops (if you’re feeling ambitious), and it even fits together for a second layer cake!
Now that all the layers are cut it’s time to bring it all together! Start with one (9-inch) red layer. Spread about ½ cup frosting over the top and layer on one (9-inch) white layer. Repeat the frosting, place the last 9-inch red later on top, and frost with about a ½ cup of frosting.
Place the blue cake ring on top and spread about ¼ cup of frosting around the inner edge. This will help the final two layers to stick and prevent the cake from falling apart when you cut into it.
Place the 5-inch white cake circle into the middle and press down. Frost with 1/3 cup frosting and place the 5-inch red circle on top. The last layer will stick up quite a bit, so just take a serrated knife again and cut across horizontally to even it out and create a flat top.
This next step is important, so don’t skip it! Cover the entire cake with a thin layer of frosting and set in the fridge, uncovered, for about half an hour. This “crumb coat” will ensure that the final frosting won’t have red and blue cake crumbs.
Frost the cake with the remaining frosting. You’ll probably have a little left over, but we developed the recipe to ensure that you had enough. There is nothing worse than running out of frosting in the final steps!
Once frosted, the cake is ready to serve!
We’d love to see your American Flag Surprise Cake! Take a picture and tag @landolakesktchn on Instagram so we can see the final creation! Happy Baking!