The 4th of July is a really special holiday in my family. My sister and I are first generation American and although my parents immigrated here, we’ve been lucky that we’ve been welcomed with open arms in this country.
So in my family, we go all out for July 4th. This flag cake is probably one of my most popular recipes. It’s super easy. This cake is literally just a classic sponge cake, with a sweetened whip cream frosting and fresh berries decorating the top. But because of the flag design, this is honestly a showstopper whenever I present the flag cake to a crowd.
I seriously make the flag cake all the time because it’s so delicious. It was even my birthday cake last year. Everyone has been hounding me for the recipe to this cake, so finally I’m relenting.
Secret: If you’re super pressed for time, buy a plain sheet cake from a bakery and tell them not to decorate it. Use a knife to remove the piping and smooth out the cake. Top the cake with the berry pattern. Instant showstopper.
But here’s how I make my flag cake cake:
For the cake:
2 1/2 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups of granulated sugar
1/2 cup of butter (1 8oz stick), softened
1 8oz package of créme fraîche
2 tbs of baking powder
1 tbs of pure vanilla
1/2 cup of whole milk
For the whipped cream frosting:
1 pint of heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup of powdered sugar
1/2 tsp of pure vanilla
2 6oz packages of raspberries
1 6oz package of blueberries
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Generously butter and flour a 9×13 glass baking tray. (I spray mine in addition with a light spritz of baking spray for good measure).
Using a standing mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until they’re mixed. (This will take about 1 or 2 minutes). Add in one egg at a time and keep the mixer on medium for about 2 minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add in the créme fraîche, whole milk, and vanilla and mix for 1 more minute until the mixture is smooth. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and the baking powder. Turn the mixture back on to low and then slowly add in the flour until this mixture is completely combined. Try not to over mix the batter.
Now pour the batter into the greased baking dish and use a spatula to even out the top. Bake the sponge cake for about 35 – 45 minutes. Check the doneness by pricking the cake with a toothpick in the center of the cake. When the toothpick comes out clean, then the cake is done. On a cooling rack set over a dishtowel, carefully invert the cake. (Don’t worry if the cake doesn’t come out completely perfect, we’re going to cover everything up with frosting!) Just make sure that the flag cake is completely cooled before frosting.
To make the frosting, just whip the pint of whipping cream with the sugar and vanilla until it’s thick and forming stiff peaks. Spread the mixture over the cake and use an offset spatula to smooth out the top of the cake.
To create the flag, first use the blueberries to create a border for the portion of the field of stars. Fill in the field with the blueberries. Then with the raspberries create the stripes. If you have any leftover berries you can serve them alongside the cake. You can also make this early in the morning and pop it in the fridge for up to 12 hours in advance if you’d like.