Friday, 10 January 2014


Here is a picture of one of my favourite people....

I've known her all my life, but for a big part of it Emily and her family moved to America where her mums from. Sad times. But then she moved back and now she lives in London with me! Yeahhh! Happy times!
So, it was her birthday the other day and I decided to make her a cake. When google imaging 'American flag cakes' as inspiration, I came across this Betty Crocker gem and set my sights on recreating it!...So if you have a nice American friend/ like American stuff/ celebrate 4th of July or something, heres how I did it!

Betty says to use 3 of her cake mixes but unfortunately living in London meant I couldn't find these anywhere so I found a white cake recipe to make instead. I guess we don't make white cakes in England either because as soon as you add the butter it goes yellow (I think they have different products over there). Also, the recipes ingredients were all measured out in cups of this and sticks of that rather than grams so you'll need some measuring cups if your following this recipe. You could probably use any victoria sponge recipe because with this its all down to the colour and construction of the cake, but you just need to make sure that you have enough mixture to make 3 cakes.

When you have made all three, two of them will be getting cut horizontally in half so they will have had to have risen enough! unfortunately my brand new tins weren't made well so my cakes leaked out meaning I had to do the whole thing again making 6 cakes in total!! Hopefully yours will run smoother than mine!

So this is what you will need :

  • 1 cup of butter, softened (I put mine on top of the radiator for a bit cz i dont have a microwave! it worked!)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 3 cups of granulated sugar
  • 5 eggs, room temperature
  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of backing powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • Pot of Betty Crocker frosting

How you do it! :

  1. Preheat oven to 350F (that's like 180c or gas mark 4). Wipe some butter over the inside of x3 9inch round cake tins. Or use baking paper.
  2. Mix together butter and shortening until light and fluffy with an electric mixer if you have one! Slowly add sugar one cup at a time making sure its all mixed in before adding the next. Add eggs one at a time making sure each is mixed in before adding the next.
  3. Sift together flour, backing powder, and salt. Add to butter and shortening mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour. Add vanilla extract. Beat cake batter on high speed for about 5 seconds to make sure that its all super mixed well!
  4. Evenly distribute cake batter between 3 bowls, add the red colouring to one, the blue to another and the 3rd is left as it is. I found the usual food colouring isn't strong enough to create such a bold, vibrant colour so I used food colouring gel and this was perfect!
  5. Pour into cake tins and place in oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean when you put it through the centre of the cake. Remove and leave for about 5 minutes to cool down before then removing from tin and cooling on a cooling rack (I don't have one so I just put it on a chopping board and it was fine).

Ok, so now you put it all together! This is the bit to pay attention to! It sounds complicated but its actually pretty simple.

  1. Lets say all the cakes are 2inches tall. Using a serrated knife, slice the red and white cakes in half horizontally. So afterwards you are left with 2 red layers that are both 1" high and 2 white layers that are both 1" and one blue layer that is 2".
  2. Take one slice of white cake for your first layer, spread some of Betty Crocker's frosting (I did a layer of strawberry jam too but thats up to you) then add a red layer of cake.
  3. Next you take the blue cake and you need to cut out a circle from the middle of the cake. Find a circular shape like the top of a pot or bowl. I used a glass but I think it should have been something slightly larger. Gently push into the cake, then with a knife, use this as a guide to cut out the centre piece. You no longer need that middle blue piece so you can bin it, eat it, make a mini cake with it, whatever!
  4. Now you do the same with the red and white layers only instead of discarding the inside, you will keep the middle part and discard the outside ring.
  5. Now its just putting it all together. take the first 2 layers of cake that you have already iced together and spread frosting over the top red layer. Then place on the blue ring of cake, just lightly spread frosting on the inside edge of the blue ring. 
  6. Frost the 2 remaining small circles together, the red on top of the white and place them into the centre of the blue ring. If the top of the cake isn't even just use a knife to even it out.
  7. Cover the cake in frosting and then I added a little lilac glitter and thats it! when you slice through the cake you will have a little slice of the American flag each time!
I was super happy with the result of this cake and it was so much fun seeing the shocked look on Emily's face when she cut it!