What's that you say? I'm about 3 weeks too late?
Dammit. What can I do to make it up to you?
What about the secret to the most AMAZING fried chicken you've ever had? (Yeah, stay tuned for that one).
Or, I know, how about a piece of cake?
No, not enough?
Ok, how about a whole cake?
Still no, huh.
Well, how about a cake with a surprise inside. Want to see it?
Hi, I'm a flag cake!
Ok, who saw that one coming? I know, the Flag Cake sort of blew up the blog world this year, and I wasn't immune from the fever.
I originally emailed this idea to my mother as a joke. But the more I thought about it, the more I decided it was really do-able. And would be fun and festive.
Unfortunately, I wasn't really planning on blogging about it, so I didn't take any in-process shots, but I basically followed these instructions and used a homemade white cake and homemade vanilla buttercream.
It was quite a showstopper. And pretty delicious too.
Here are the basic instructions (although without pictures, I think it's hard to follow so definitely click the link above if you want a more comprehensive tutorial). Warning: lots of words with no pictures ahead. If you get bored, feel free to scroll on down to get a peek at what that secret ingredient I mentioned earlier is.
You're going to bake four 8-9'' cakes: 2 red, 1 blue, and 1 white. Note, you're going to need an obscene amount of food coloring to get your colors really bright and vibrant. Don't think, just do.
Cut the red and white cakes in half horizontally just like you would if you were making a 2-layer cake.
Start layering. Place a round of red cake on the bottom of a cake board or your cake stand. Fill with vanilla icing. Top with a layer of white cake. Fill with vanilla icing. Top with a second layer of red cake and fill with vanilla icing.
Now it's time for the blue cake. Use a small, 4'' circle template and cut out the center of the cake so you're left with a doughnut of blue cake. You can discard the center. Or eat it. Whichever.
Place the blue doughnut of cake on top of your last frosted red layer. Place a very thin layer of icing on the interior of the circular cutout of the blue cake.
Using the same circle template you used for the blue cake, cut out 1 circle of cake from the remaining white layer and one from the remaining red layer. You want to keep the small circles and discard the "doughnuts" or scraps. You will also have one layer of red cake leftover. You know, to freeze and save for later. Or snack on as an appetizer before dinner. Whatever. I don't judge.
So, you have two thin, small circles of cake, one red and one white. Now would be a good time to sort of test your layers. You'll be stacking them inside the blue cake and you want the top of your cake to be flat, so if your red and white layers are a little thick, now is a good time to trim them down.
Place the white layer inside your blue doughnut. Add a thin layer of icing. Top with the red layer. Press lightly to flatten if you need to. Now frost the whole cake with more icing. If you really want to keep the element of surprise, try not to get any crumbs in your white icing. To achieve this, do a thin crumb coat of icing first and put the whole cake in the freezer for a few minutes so the icing hardens. Feel free to get as many crumbs in this coat as you want. The crummier the better!
Once your crumb coat has hardened, ice the cake with a good even layer. Decorate as you wish! I kept mine pretty simple since the inside is really the fancy part.
Plus, I kind of hate decorating cakes.
I know, I'm such a delinquent pastry chef. How can I make it up to you?
How about the secret to awesome fried chicken? Here it is: