Monday, July 9, 2012

Vegan Flag Cake - The Ups and the Downs

To commemorate America's 236th day of freedom, I decided to make one of those oh so trendy American flag cakes. It started off well, but then as things progressed, it became apparent that my cake was not going to make it to the cover of Martha Stewart Living. My first sign was when I thought to myself "maybe I should make a double batch" and then decided that a single batch would probably be enough.

My second clue was when I gave up on adding food coloring after about half a teaspoon and decided that the nice pinkish hue would "do" for the red and maybe it would "get richer" in the oven. It did not.

My third sign something might be wrong was when I disregarded the instruction to use three pans for red, two pans for white, and one pan for blue. Instead opting to use one pan for red, one pan for white, and one pan for blue, with the intention of cutting the red in thirds and the white in half once baked. Which I believe is all fine and good, except one would have to make sure to triple the amount of red and double the amount of white for even layers, naturally, right? I did not do this.

And finally the fourth indication was the realization after the cakes came out of the oven that I had forgotten to mix raspberries in with the red batter as I had intended. Thus, I decided instead to add them between the red and white cake layers, full well knowing that whole, fresh berries in between layers does not always make for the cleanest lines, upon which this cake's success is primarily dependent.

Well folks, you might think that this all would be enough to make me pause and consider giving up my hopes of having a surprise inside flag cake and instead make just a a three-layer cake of pink, white, and light blue with a berry filling. But like our forefathers, I did not give up! I persevered through hardships and I made the cake - pastel, wafer thin layers and all!

The ups: The cake was arguably one of the best white cakes I've made. And with the help of one of my favorite Russians, the outside ended up looking quite nice, adorned with freshly picked, wild berries.

The downs: Once sliced the flag was, well, a tad more abstract than I had intended. However, considering this was my first attempt at one of those surprise inside sort of cakes, I'm not getting too down on myself. There will be more Independence Days, and now that I'm armed with the knowledge of what did not work this year, I can avoid repeating my mistakes in the future. And that kids, is why we study history.
Mmm...melting flag. I do promise it tasted much, much better than it looked.


  1. i'm still impressed. baking cakes can be so hard! my 2011 new years resolution was to bake a cake a month and i ended up hating it!

    1. Thanks! Baking definitely can be quite the challenge, but when it turns out how it's supposed to I think it can be really rewarding as well. A cake a month would be hard though!