Come one, come all! You too can do this AMAZING flag cake! I brought this baby to the lake without telling anyone what to expect. They just knew I was excited about cutting it and I kid you not, when I cut it and flopped the piece down on to the plate the whole place erupted, cheering and clapping. All you need are minimal cake baking skills and you can handle this. My husband and I busted this out in less than 3 hours and the majority of the time is baking...we were even able to keep the kitchen clean during the whole process! So turn on some music and let's get ready for some baking.
You will have a lot of excess 'scraps' so you could always make a simultaneous dessert by tossing these scraps in a trifle bowl with some cool whip and possibly strawberries and blueberries... just a thought.
WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
-4 18.25 oz. boxes white cake mix and ingredients necessary for cake mixture (I used super moist Betty Crocker)
-2 12 oz. containers white frosting, this just barely covered it so I would suggest 3 to be safe (I used Betty Crocker fluffy white whipped)
-non stick spray
-sprinkles of your liking
-8 in round cake pans (I had 3, this cut my baking time down drastically, I would actually suggest 4 if you have it)
-blue and red food coloring (it takes quite a bit of coloring, for me it was an entire .25 oz bottle of the red, less of the blue)
-large bread knife (can substitute but this will make it easiest)
-several medium mixing bowls
-electric mixer (used for mixing the cake batter and for mixing the icing to make it go further, not necessary but recommended)
-small circular object (around 4 inches) to trace for flag cut out (I used a KFC tupperware container)
-cooling racks (optional)
Forward: We will use each cake box to make 2 cakes. 7 cakes are needed so you'll have one cake left over. You will need 3 red cakes, 2 white cakes and 2 blue cakes and you will have a leftover white. The important thing in this process is the timing. Don't mix all your batter unless you have 8 cake pans and oven space or the cake batter will rise. Mix each box when needed, this is why I suggest having 3 cake pans.
1) Let's start with 3 reds and 1 white. Preheat your oven and prepare 2 boxes of your batter as directed on the box. Dump 1/4 of the batter into a seperate mixing bowl (this will be a white cake so don't add food coloring). Add in your red food coloring to the bowl with the 1.5 boxes. I used an entire .25 oz red food coloring... it could've been a little darker but still came out more red than pink.
2) Grease your cake pans with your non stick spray. Divide your red batter into the 3 pans, smooth out the top of the batter and bake. (Your white cake will sit out this baking round). Please pay attention to your cooking time and test with a toothpick. You want just the smallest bit of crumbs to come out when you stick it with a toothpick.
3) Let them cool in the pans for 5-10 minutes (until you can comfortably touch the top of the cake). Very carefully remove the cake from the pan and set the cake on a cooling rack or the like. I did this by flipping the pan upside down with my hand on the top of the cake and then flipping the cake onto the cooling rack. However you do it, don't let the cake rip.
4) Use the white batter for your 4th cake. Use the third cake box to make 2 blue cakes and repeat steps 2-3 but with blue. (You should now have 3 reds, 2 blue and 1 white cake).
The next few steps are going to depend on how fast you cut, ice and bake. So read ahead if you are at a standstill.
5) While the blues and whites are cooking, we want to cut the rounded tops off the red cakes. Using the bread knife shimmy across the top of the cake, making it flat with the bread knife. There is no real trick to this, just make sure you can see what you are doing (I crouched down eye level) and start from one side and work to the other.
6) Are your blues and white done? Cool, remove from pans and cut the tops off. Make your fourth box the same way but this time don't use any food coloring so the cakes come out white. When done, cool, remove, and cut the tops off. You are done baking!
7) I chose to whip my frosting to make it go even further. If this interests you, do this now but with just one container. Do each container as needed. I emptied the container of frosting into a bowl and beat it on high for several minutes, you will see the frosting almost double in size.
8) Place a red cake on whatever surface you plan to serve the cake on. For me it was a cake stand. Place this bottom layer right where you want it because you won't be moving it again. Take your butter knife (yes butter knife, not spatula that will smear in crumbs I found) and smooth a layer around the whole top. This is how much I put on:
9) Place a white cake on top, (You want it to line up when you lay it down because it will be hard to move, so line up a side and then put it down). Next, cover the white with a layer of frosting again. And last place a red layer on top and layer with frosting. Your cake should now be bottom red, white middle, top red.
10) Take your round object and center it on a blue cake. Trace with a knife and cut all the way through to the bottom so you have a donut. I found it easiest to place the cake on top with the 'donut hole' still inside it for strength. I used a giant spatula and my husband held the edges. Once on top of the cake, I pulled the inner 'donut hole' out.
11) Make this same cut with your last white cake but keep the donut hole. Place this in the center of the blue and ice the top of this layer. (Now you have bottom up: red, white, red, blue with hole and white inside blue ring).
Note: I did frost the top of the white.
12) Repeat with your other blue but put a red donut hole inside. You're done!
Does it look like the red is lower? It is, I corrected my directions so that you won't have that result... please remember I just winged this the first time around :)
13) Ice the whole thing and dust with sprinkles! I iced mine so that you couldn't see the different layers or colors, it was a big surprise :)
The first cut...