Create Party Fireworks by Making a Festive Fourth of July Cake

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Kick your Fourth of July party into high gear with a dessert that was designed to thrill. It looks like an elegant, iced-white layer cake—but when your guests cut into it, a bold flag is revealed. The graphic confection is the clever creation of blogger and cake designer Kathryn Poduska (her site, sugarturntable.com, offers tutorials on “surprise-inside” cakes), and it's featured in this month's issue of InStyle along with other crowdpleasing July Fourth desserts. Check out the recipe below, along with the above video on assembling the cake.

Johnny Miller

Flag Cake

Serves: 10–12  
Active time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Total time: 4 hours

Ingredients:
1 box red velvet cake mix
1 box white cake mix
3/4 tsp royal blue gel food coloring ($2; nycake.com)
3 16-oz. containers white frosting

Directions:
1. Grease two 8-inch cake pans. Prepare and bake two 8-inch red velvet cakes according to package directions; let cool and remove from pans.

2. Grease two 8-inch cake pans. Prepare the white cake batter according to package directions. Spread half the batter into one pan. Stir the blue food coloring into the remaining batter until no streaks remain; spread it into the other pan. Bake according to the package directions; let cool and remove from pans.

3. Using a long serrated knife, trim off and discard the rounded tops of each cake.

4. Cut each red velvet cake in half horizontally for 4 layers. Cut the white cake in half horizontally for 2 layers. Do not cut the blue cake.

To assemble (check out the video too!):

1. Start with two white cake layers, three red cake layers, and one blue cake layer (that should be twice the height of the others). Reserve remaining layers for another use.

2. With a 4-inch plate or bowl as a guide, use a small serrated knife to cut out a 4-inch round from the centers of one red layer, one white layer, and the blue cake.

3. You should now have one 8-inch white layer, one 4-inch white layer, two 8-inch red layers, one 4-inch red layer, and
one 8-inch blue ring. Reserve remaining cutouts for another use.

4. Start with an 8-inch red layer; top with a thin layer of frosting. Stack on the white layer, then frost; add the other red layer, then frost; add the blue ring. Frost the top of the 4-inch white round, and gently insert into the blue ring.

5. Insert the 4-inch red velvet round into the blue ring and on top of the 4-inch frosted white round. Press it down gently
so that the top of the red cake is flush with the top of the blue cake.  

6. Using an offset spatula, spread a thin layer of frosting over the entire cake. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes. Spread the final layer of frosting over entire cake. Chill to firm, about 1 hour. Cut into wedges and serve.

PHOTOS: Here's Everything You Need for a Fourth of July Bash

SHOW TRANSCRIPT

My name is Joanna [UNKNOWN], Lifestyle Director at In Style. This fourth of July, create some fireworks of your own with a flag cake. Begin by baking four 8-inch cakes. One blue, two red velvet, and one white cake. Then, prepare the layers. Use a long serrated knife to trim off the rounded tops of the- Of each cake. Then slice the red and the white cakes in half horizontally. You'll end up with two white, three red, and one blue cake layer that's double the thickness of the others. Then cut out the interior layers. With a four inch plate or a cardboard cut out as a guide, use a small serrated knife to cut out a four inch round Round from the centers of one red layer, one white layer, and the blue cake. Now it's time to assemble the cake. Start with an eight inch red layer. Top with a thin layer of frosting. Place the white layer on top. Then frost that one. Add the other red layer and frost. Place the blue ring on top. Frost the top of the four inch white round, and gently place it inside the blue ring. Insert the four inch, red velvet round into the blue ring next. Now it's time to frost the cake. We like to put a thin layer of frosting on the cake first using an offset spatula. This is also known as a crumb coat. Pop the cake into the refrigerator until it's firm letting it chill. For at least 30 minutes. Then take it out and spread the final layer of frosting over the entire cake. Put it back into the fridge to chill. And now, the moment you've been waiting for, the big reveal. When you cut into To the cake, an American flag. One for each of your guests. Pretty and patriotic. [MUSIC]

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