10 August 2007

Flag Cake

Hmmm, there seems to be a few berries missing from that cake...

I made this cake, not for the 4th of July, but as a birthday cake. The recipe is from Ina Garten. My sister (affectionately known to me as Beah) and babies were coming to visit, spend some time sister-bonding without our husbands around. Her visit also happened to be over her birthday, and since August is so unbearably hot, I thought this cake would fit the bill.

I halved Ina’s original recipe and baked the cake in a 9X13 pan, which worked perfectly. The cake tasted sooo good and the cream cheese frosting was to die for. The berries gave this light cake just the right amount of extra zing.

The only complaint that I have is the refrigeration factor. You need to refrigerate it because of the frosting and berries, but then the cake seems really dry. I will say that we left a 3-day-old slice out to warm up, as an experiment, and then the cake was just fine and moist. So it’s strictly a fridge thing, not a batter problem. Still not sure how to combat that in the future…

Flag Cake

For the cake:
9 Tbsp.(1 1/8 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ½ c. sugar
3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
½ c. sour cream, at room temperature
¾ tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 ½ c. flour
1/6 c. cornstarch
½ tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. baking soda

For the frosting:
½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ pound (3/4-of-a-pkg) cream cheese, at room temperature
½ pound confectioners' sugar, sifted ¾ tsp. pure vanilla extract

To assemble:
1 half-pint blueberries
2 half-pints raspberries

Heat the oven to 350 F. Butter and flour a 9X13-in pan.

Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed, until light and fluffy. On medium speed, add the eggs, 2 at a time, then add the sour cream and vanilla. Scrape down the sides and stir until smooth.

Sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda in a bowl. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until just combined.

Pour into the prepared pan. Smooth the top with a spatula. Bake in the center of the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool to room temperature.

For the icing, combine the butter, cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mixing just until smooth. Spread three-fourths of the icing on the top of the cooled sheet cake.

For the flag: Outline the flag on the top of the cake with a toothpick. Fill the upper left corner with blueberries. Place 2 rows of raspberries across the top of the cake like a red stripe. Put the remaining icing in a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and pipe two rows of white stripes below the raspberries. Alternate rows of raspberries and icing until the flag is completed. Pipe stars on top of the blueberries.

P.S.: behold, the berry thief.

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