By Julia Westhoff
You have every right to call me a big fat hypocrite. As you are reading this I am at Village Fest, tasting all of the glorious pies Prairie Village has to offer as a judge in the pie baking competition. And I am loving it, I assure you. But deep down inside, beneath all that pie, is a heart that beats for cake. And flag cake might get the loudest thumps of all.
The berries. The white icing. Serving it cold from the fridge because that’s how we did it growing up. This is the stuff dreams are made of, folks. I hope that wherever you go today and whatever you do, flag cake is part of your 4th of July celebration.
Flag cake, I salute you.
Recipe adapted from smittenkitchen.com
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 2/3 cups all-purpose flour plus 1/3 cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon table salt
2 cups buttermilk, well-shaken
8-ounce block cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 to 3 cups powdered sugar
1 cup blueberries
3 cups raspberries or chopped strawberries
Make cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter or spray a 9×13-inch baking pan.
Beat butter and sugar together in the bottom of a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, at least 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl between each addition. Add vanilla extract. Place flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and table salt in a sifter or fine-mesh strainer and shake half of mixture into mixing bowl. Mix until just combined. Add buttermilk and stir it in slowly, because it will splash easily. The mixture might look curdled, but it will come together just fine in a moment. Add remaining dry ingredients and mix until combined.
Pour batter in prepared pan and smooth top. Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 40-45 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Once it does, transfer the cake to a rack to cool completely.
Make frosting Beat cream cheese and butter together until light and very fluffy, scraping down the sides to make sure no pesky cream cheese is left unmixed. Add the vanilla. Add the first cup of powdered sugar, and beat it until combined. Add the second and then test for sweetness.
Decorate with the berries in the shape of a flag (this is a great project for kids). Cover pan with lid or foil and refrigerate until needed for your party/picnic/barbecue.