Party on the Inside Cake: 4th of July

Sunday, July 4, 2010

I saw this fabulous Fourth of July cake on I Am Baker, and had to make it. So I searched around online, learned the technique and found the recipes. I used this post from Delectable Deliciousness as my guide, as I liked the recipes she used the best of what I'd found (Dorie Greenspan's Perfect Party Cake and super yummy white chocolate frosting).

I made one batch of cake batter and split it in half, dying one half red and leaving the other half white (all recipes at bottom of the post). I was really happy with the color red I achieved.

And of course, the white was no work at all.

I then made a half batch of the cake batter and dyed it blue. On top of making a great Fourth of July cake, I feel prepared if I ever have to make a cake for a Smurf.

I actually had red and blue food coloring on my shopping list yesterday, but couldn't find any food coloring at Whole Foods. I hoped I had some at home to use. Umm, turns out I had plenty to choose from.

Once the cakes were out of the oven and cooled, I popped the layers into the freezer to firm them up a bit. I leveled off the tops of the cakes so they were all even, and then placed a bowl on top of the blue layer and cut around it to create a ring.

I split the red and white layers in half. I put two of them aside...

...and stacked the other two, cutting around them with the same bowl I'd used on the blue. You'll notice my white circle doesn't look so hot. I'm not create and splitting cakes, and my white layer didn't split well. Boo.

I stacked the red and white layers that I hadn't cut into, frosting in between them. Then, I stacked the blue ring on top. I frosted in between the little red and white circles, frosted the inner part of the blue ring, and placed the circles in the ring.

Look how nicely that last piece of the puzzle fit?! I was so happy.

I crumb coated the entire cake with the amazing white chocolate frosting, and then popped it in the fridge for a few so it could firm up. I chose to make the frosting yesterday to get it out of the way. It calls for A LOT of butter, and after making it all you could taste was butter. However, today the white chocolate shone right through.

While I was busy frosting, Steve was busy eating some of the extra cake laying around. Mmmm.

I pulled the cake from the fridge and finished frosting it. I had a really hard time dealing with the blue and red crumbs, but for the most part I think they're pretty well hidden.

I opted to leave the decorating very simple since there's so much design on the inside.

Perfect Party Cake
from Dorie Greenspan's "Baking: From My Home to Yours"

Note: make this recipe, split in half and dye one half red. Then, make half the recipe below and dye blue.

2 1/4 cup cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups whole milk or buttermilk (I used buttermilk)
4 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure lemon extract

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray two 9-inch round cake pans with non stick spray. Optional - line the bottoms with a round of parchment. If using, also spray the parchment with non stick spray.

2. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

3. Whisk together the milk and egg whites in a medium bowl. Set aside.

4. In the bowl of your electric mixer, combine the sugar and lemon zest and rub the lemon zest into the sugar with your fingers until well incorporated. The mixture will become moist and very fragrant.

5. Add the butter to the sugar/zest mixture and, using the paddle attachment, beat on medium speed for a full 3 minutes. Add the lemon extract and 1/3 of the flour mixture; add 1/2 of the milk/egg white mixture and continue to beat at medium speed, then add half of the remaining flour mixture, then the rest of the milk/eggs and finish with the remaining flour. Once all ingredients are combined, beat the batter for a good 2 minutes to ensure it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated.

6. Pour into prepared pans and bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

White Chocolate Frosting
Delectable Deliciousness

Note: double this recipe to frost the entire flag cake.

5 ounces good quality white chocolate, chopped fine
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
pinch salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup sour cream

1. Melt white chocolate over a double boiler or in microwave. Set aside to cool.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until light a fluffly. Slowly add the powdered sugar until well combined.

3. Add the salt, vanilla extract and sour cream and beat until very smooth.

4. Add the melted white chocolate and beat just until combined.

Put the cake together per my instructions above, or watch this tutorial.


Kate @ Manhattan Actress said...

Very cool! I'm bookmarking this to try next year!

Melanie said...

It was amazing

Mrs. Hot Cocoa said...

Very impressive!!

Charlene @ Sweetchic said...

That is pretty darn awesome!

Ali @ His Birdie's Nest said...

Your cake turned out amazing! I really need to get those things that make the cake bake more evenly, mine always come out lopsided.
I tried the same cake and just posted about it -
Your layers tuned out much better than mine :)

kimmichelle said...

<3 this! I just have to remember about it for next year's 4th of July!

lavenderpug said...

wow, this is amazing! looks and sounds like it was incredibly tasty. love that you used dorie greenspan recipes.

Laura said...

Thanks all! It was seriously SO easy to make...but no matter what it looks like, it tasted divine! I will make this white cake as well as the yummy white chocolate frosting again and again!

Soltan said...

One of the best things you've ever brought down to our place. In appearance, but most importantly flavor. Really well done!

Charenn29 said...
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