A few weeks back I shared a picture of my friend’s hidden flag cake. Today I’m going to show you how she made it.
Before we get started, I want to give props where they’re due. My friend, Ervina, got the idea from Elissa of 17 and Baking. Two years ago Elissa wrote about her amazing Hidden Flag Cake, a patriotic take on a checkerboard template. Ervina loved it, but needed to feed a lot more people. Like the 100 parents, students and teachers who would attend the kindergarten Salute to America Program. A round cake simply wouldn’t suffice. Ervina’s adaptation of Elissa’s wonderful brainchild uses 9×13″ cakes in order to feed a crowd without sacrificing the surprising design.
Start with lots of cake.
Ervina made five 9×13″ cakes, all standard white cakes like Sponge Cake. Using food coloring, she dyed two of them red and one blue. Now, she was planning to serve over 100 people, so you likely won’t need this much.
Cut your blue cake. You want to divide it in half horizontally, then divide one half horizontally again. The extra half a cake can be frozen for later use, like in some grill cake pops.
It should look like this:
Next slice your white and red cakes. You can go as thin as you want, just remember that you need to alter and stack them. Ervina sliced each cake into three even layers.
She’s convinced she could have been a little more daring and created thinner stripes, but the effect is beautiful just like this. Remember: the thinner you go, the more difficult it will be to move and layer your pieces.
Now stack the layers. You can see in the picture above the beginning of a stacked cake. A thin layer of buttercream icing between each layer will provide adhesion.
After stacking four layers (red, white, red, white), you have two choices: start with the blue on the edges and go in …
… or go out from the center.
Personally, we found it easier to do the center stripes first. This allows you to frost the vertical edges of the stripes which helps the blue pieces stay put.
The center stack (red and white stripes between the blue corners) is equal to half a cake. The math adds up:
1/4 (blue) + 1/4 (blue) + 1/2 (red and white stripes) = 1 hidden flag cake
Whether you do the inside or the outside first, the completed layers should look like this:
When you cut the cake, you’ll make one large slice down the center short-wise, then half cuts along the long sides of the cakes. That’s how you get your flags.
Frost and decorate the cake however you like. Ervina did a simple white buttercream topped with red and blue sprinkles. The end result? Patriotic and picture perfect!
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