Happy Birthday, America!
Over the past few days, we’ve made patriotic mixed berry mousse with creamy vanilla panna cotta. We’ve shown our pride with festive pretzel sparklers, coated in rich chocolate and rolled in sprinkles of red, white, and blue. But, today is your birthday America! So, we made you a birthday cake, of course. Close your eyes and make a wish!
As if cake batter weren’t irresistible enough to a three year old, try adding a few drops of highly concentrated gel color power. My son’s tongue was like a magnet to the batter and I became a bird of sorts uttering ah, ah, ah until my throat was dry. Somehow, we managed to get the cakes in the oven with only a slight consumption of raw batter and mostly unstained fingers.
This is no ordinary birthday cake. On the outside, it appears plain white and completely unassuming. But, the inside is extraordinary. At least, I hope it will be extraordinary! At this point, I can only imagine what the inside will look like. We’ll be cutting the cake later today, as we celebrate the 4th with friends. For now, here’s a little look at the construction of America’s birthday cake.
Mix up a white cake batter. One box of cake mix will do the job!
Ensure that the cake batter is delicious. Quality control is essential.
Split the cake batter approximately into thirds, with a little extra in one of the bowls. Use gel food coloring to mix up some patriotic colors, making the biggest portion of cake batter red.
Pour the batter into cake pans (1 double-thick blue, 2 thin whites, and 3 thin reds) and bake according to package directions. Check the cakes often, since they are thin and will cook faster than any of the recommended cooking times. The thicker blue cake will take the longest.
Use a long serrated knife to level the cakes.
Frost a red and white layer together. Place the blue layer on top. Using a bowl as a guide, cut a circle through all three layers. Discard (eat) the inside of the blue layer and the outside of the red and white layer.
The pieces will fit together like a puzzle.
Build the base of the cake by spreading a thin layer of frosting between the layers. Place the cake layers cut-side down to spread the frosting more easily.
Place the red, white, and blue layer on the top.
To keep your serving platter clean, tuck wax paper along the edges of the cake while you frost. Spread a thin layer of frosting all around the cake. Think of this coat of frosting as the corset holding all of the layers and crumbs in place. Refrigerate until the frosting is firm.
Spread a second layer of frosting over the cake and decorate as desired. When the frosting is complete, gently pull the wax paper away.
Can you imagine what the inside will look like?
Maybe just a little taste…
Wow! 234 years old! You wear your age well, America.
Cake idea inspired by 17 and Baking blog.
this looks fantastic. and I love the pics of the kids helping. I wanted to let you know I made your voodka sauce for a croud and not a drop was left as I had 8 people of which all thought I was so talented 🙂
Oh, that’s awesome about the vodka sauce! Thanks for letting me know! It’s such a great recipe, for which I can take no credit other than sharing it! : )
Hey Amy. This looks amazing! I hope you post pictures of the inside once you cut it open. Also, that blog…17 and Baking…she is amazing! I can’t believe how adventurous she is in the kitchen. Really neat blog. Thanks. 🙂
I wish it wasn’t 4:23pm on the 4th or I would give this a try! There’s always next year!!
Holy crap, and you bake too?! Cake looks awesome. Might have to try it with my girls 🙂
What a great idea, I’ll have to try this next year for 4th of July. Thanks so much for sharing 🙂
Amy, did you just kinda eye up how much blue batter to bake, vs. the white and red, since the blue has to be twice as thick? Or I guess I could always weigh it on my food scale. Was this just one box of cake mix? And one last question, did you just kinda keep an eye on it in the oven for when it was done and do the toothpick test?
Good questions! Looks like I need to update this blog post, because I bet a lot of people have the same questions. Silly me! It’s been two years since I made this cake, so I’m not exactly sure, but I’m pretty certain I just eyeballed the quantities. It doesn’t have to be exact, since you can trim the layers thinner when you level them or build up smaller parts with a little extra frosting. I just touched the cakes to test for doneness. The layers are thin, so it should be pretty clear when they’re baked through. And yes, one box of cake mix does the trick! Have fun!