American Flag Cake for "Run It up the Flagpole and See If Anyone Salutes It Day" (Jan. 2)!
Updated: Jan 3, 2020
This American flag cake from So Yummy's YouTube channel looked like the perfect way to celebrate "Run It up the Flagpole and See If Anyone Salutes It Day" (Jan. 2)! And it's also obviously good for July 4th or if you feel like making a patriotic dessert.
You stack red, white & blue cakes, so that when you slice it you see the American flag. When I saw the video, I actually said out loud, "Mind Blown". Haha. :) This is a variation of the black & white checkerboard cake I tried to make before. "Tried" is the operative word, haha. :)
[Side note: I think I didn't let the cakes cool enough or something and the checkerboard cakes are a slightly more challenging version of the American flag cake in terms of construction anyways.]
On the Holiday Baking Championship on the Food Network, they took it to the next level and made plaid cakes! That was cool!
What is "Run It Up the Flag & See If Anyone Salutes It" Day?
I didn't know at first either. Then when I read this on timeanddate.com I remembered I had heard it before. I like idioms and looking up their origins. This is a fun one as it encourages people to come up with ideas, be creative and to just try it. [Side note: One of my favorites is "pig in a poke" / "let the cat out of the bag". It dates back to 1555! Pigs used to be sold in burlap sacks and you couldn't see inside. Some sneaky sellers would put a cat in there because it was cheaper & the buyer would pay for a pig & not get the pig they wanted. If the cat stuck its head out before the buyer paid for it, then they would know it was a cat & not a pig and not buy it. Haha!]
"Run It Up the Flag & See If Anyone Salutes It"
"The name of the holiday comes from the English language expression, run it up a flagpole and see if anyone salutes it, which means putting new ideas and ventures to test and to see if they gain acceptance and popularity, just like a flag would have respect by people saluting it.
It is commonly used in advertising and is a popular phrase in the U.S.. The day encourages people to be creative and to implement their ideas.
This is not exactly how I did it (saved you some of the trial & error parts), but it is the most efficient way to bake & also for construction of the cake. With the number of pans (two 9" round pans, one 6" springboard pan, one 4" springboard pan), you only need to bake 2 sets of cakes.
The ingredients are simple. It's the construction and architecture, which is a little more challenging, but it's fun.
** I just realized I added an extra level of stripes that is not in the cake in the So Yummy video, so I wrote it the correct way. You couldn't tell this in my cake as it came together (haha :) ), but I realized that I needed to change how I wrote it.
In the video, they use red velvet cake to get that nice deep red. They also use white cake and they got a very blue cake for their cakes. I didn't use red velvet cakes. I used yellow or white cakes because I wanted to use some of the cake batter I made to color it blue and using yellow/white cakes gave me the flexibility to color the neutral batter red or blue. It takes 3 cake mix boxes to make enough cake. Now after making it, I would say use 1 red velvet cake mix box and 2 white/yellow cake mix boxes -- so that's one of the ways I wrote the ingredients.
- 3 cake mix boxes (maybe 4 cake mix boxes depending on how good you are at pouring the correct amount of batter. :) )
- 3 yellow/white cake mix boxes that you use food coloring for red & blue (as I did)
- Or: 1 red velvet cake mix & 2 yellow/white cake mix (add color to 1 to make it blue)
- Red food coloring (** If you use red velvet cake, you don't need this).
- Blue food coloring (** I also used violet food coloring to make the blue color deeper)
- White frosting
Equipment: two 9" round pans, one 6" springboard pan, one 4" springboard pan, Knife, Offset spatula, and circle cookie cutter (3") because I made a 6" diameter cake. [You would want the central circle to be half the diameter of your big cake.]
When I started, I thought 2 cake mix boxes would be enough, but it wasn't, so I had to bake some more cakes to finish it.
The American flag cake has 5 stripes (3 red & 2 white) and the blue area for the part of the flag with the stars.
The top part of the flag near the blue area are actually like half stripes, so really it is like 2 1/2 red stripes and 1 1/2 white stripes.
To build a 6" diameter American flag cake, you need:
- Red cakes: two 9" round pans (to give you 2 whole red 6" cakes) plus small cake for 3" circular cake
(I used 6" springboard pans for some of the cakes because I didn't have enough 9" round cans. Basically you are just trying to make a 6" circular size cake. I could not make a 9" round cake because I had used 6" size pans. I could cut the 9" cakes smaller, but I could not make the 6" size cakes bigger. :) )
- White cakes: one 9" round pan (to give you 1 whole white 6" cake) plus small cake for 3" circular cake
- Blue cake: one 6" size cake; use 3" circle cutter to cut out the middle and make a 3" blue ring cake.
** The key for making this cake is that you want the blue part to be twice as tall as the stripes, so pour 2/3 of cake mix (after coloring it blue) into the 6" springboard pan, which is deeper.
At first, I constructed it from the bottom like in the So Yummy video, but then I realized it was better to construct it from the top down because then you can cut the lower stripes to the correct thickness compared to the blue area of the flag.
First, use the 3" cookie cutter on the 6" blue cake; take out the middle. You do not need the middle part for the cake. You have a 3" ring of blue cake now.
Take your small red & small white cake. Use the cookie cutter to cut small 3" cakes.
Stack the white one in the middle of the blue right and then red small cake on top. If these cakes are too thick, shave off a little bit, so they fit in the hole in the middle of the blue cake.
Take your whole red cakes and whole white cake and shave them to the same thickness as your little red & white cakes.
This way all the stripes are the same thickness (or almost the same thickness). :)
Now, construct it from the bottom up: red whole cake, white whole cake, red whole cake, blue ring, white little cake and red little cake -- with frosting in between layers.
-- Note: This is where I realized I added an extra whole white cake to my flag. You wouldn't have been able to tell unless I told you & it looks good anyways. :) ]
We are good at this! I constructed an American flag cake! Check out the video reveal of the American Flag below! :) I put it on YouTube too.
We are good at this -- but not the frosting part. Haha. :) I have total respect for the sped-up cooking videos and bakers; they make it look so easy.
Another funny thing is that I only frosted half of the cake. If I hadn't told you, you wouldn't have really known. That's like a food stylist trick. Tip: If you only take photos from the front of the cake, you don't need to frost the whole thing. Haha. :)
As I wrote above, this is the perfect way to celebrate "Run It up the Flagpole and See If Anyone Salutes It Day" (Jan. 2)! And it's also obviously good for July 4th or if you feel like making a patriotic dessert.
Jan. 2 is also Science Fiction Day -- check out my alien cupcakes.
Give it a try! We are good at this!