Flag Sheet Cake

Three cheers for the red, white and blue—and a happy 4th of July to all!  I decided it was high time that I made Ina Garten’s flag cake which I had bookmarked a while back.  A 2-for-1 sale on raspberries and blueberries sealed the deal.

If you’re planning on having a crowd over, you won’t need any other desserts since this is baked on an 18 x 13 sheet pan and will serve a lot of people.  The cake is rich and dense with a texture similar to pound cake.  A rich cream cheese frosting covers this flavorful vanilla cake, but the fruit acts as the perfect foil and cuts the richness.  It was particularly good after being refrigerated–we all thought the combination of cake, frosting, and fruit made for a very tasty dessert.  There were raves all around at our house, and I can see this cake being a staple in the future for Memorial Day as well as Independence Day.  Obviously, Veterans Day would be great, too, if it weren’t for the lack of fresh local fruit.  No matter when you make it, you will be happy you did.

Happy Birthday, Uncle Sam!

Flag Sheet Cake

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Cake Ingredients

  • 18 tablespoons (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 6 extra-large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 cup sour cream at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Frosting Ingredients

  • 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 pounds cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1 pound confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Ingredients to Assemble

  • 2 half-pints blueberries
  • 4 half-pints raspberries

Directions

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter and flour an 18 by 13 by 1 1/2-inch sheet 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 18 to 22 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.  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. (At this point, you may need to chill the frosting if it has gotten too soft.)  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.

Fran’s Note: Since I didn’t have a large enough star tip, I had to pipe 3 rows of stripes between raspberries.

Source: Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, recipe

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