Here’s a little bit of a flashback to July this year when I baked this stars and stripes themed American flag cake. It’s very similar to the flag cake I baked last year, only this time I wanted to include all 50 stars and 13 bars, so if it looks unusually tall, that’s because it was.
Typically that week in July is very hot and humid, and this year was no different. The cake was the same recipe I used in my Retro Vanilla Cake, but I had to multiply it by 4 to get the look I wanted. Frosting was the same recipe I used in my Ruffle Cupcakes, and, if I recall correctly, I must have tripled it.
The stars and stripes were made out of marshmallow fondant, which is pretty easy to make and could be made way ahead of time. I used Americolor gel-based colors to tint both the cake layers and the fondant. Whole Foods sells food colors for baking made from natural ingredients, and I like those too, but if you’re going for intense colors, Americolor is good and so is Wilton. Although Wilton is not as convenient since you have to dip several toothpicks in the dye to get the right intensity, whereas Americolor tints come in a small squeeze bottle which helps a lot since you could just squeeze as little or as much as you need directly into your batter without having to go back and forth with several toothpicks.
It’s always fun making this type of flag cake, I’ll probably make it again next year unless I decide to try something else.
The heat index was over 100 F.
16 ounces white marshmallows
2 tablespoons water
8 cups (2 pounds) powdered sugar (approximate)
1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
Vegetable shortening (Crisco)
- Place the marshmallows and water in a large microwaveable bowl. Heat on full power for 30 seconds then stir with a rubber spatula.
- Repeat heating and stirring for 30 seconds until the marshmallows are melted, about 2 minutes total
- Remove the bowl from the microwave and stir in vanilla
- Add about 4 cups powdered sugar and stir the mixture with a well-greased spoon until thoroughly combined.
- Add 3 cups of the powdered sugar to the marshmallows and stir until well blended. At this point, the mixture will start to look like dough.
- Turn out the marshmallow dough onto a greased work surface. Grease your hands well with Crisco before kneading the fondant. Keep adding a little powdered sugar a tablespoon at a time until it is nice and smooth.
- If you feel the fondant is too dry, knead in a small amount of shortening
- The fondant is done once it feels pliable and smooth.
- Shape the fondant into a flat disc and rub a thin coating of shortening over the entire surface to prevent it from drying out.
- Wrap the fondant in plastic wrap and store in a plastic bag or air tight container and store at room temperature overnight.
- Fondant can be stored up to 2 months at room temperature if it is wrapped tightly
- When ready to use, roll the fondant with a rolling pin on a smooth countertop that has been dusted with powdered sugar or cornstarch.
- When rolling the fondant, be sure to lift and turn the fondant frequently to make sure it is not sticking to the surface.
- Don’t flip the fondant over once you start rolling.
- Roll the fondant in a circle and cut out desired shapes with a sharp knife.
Stars and Stripes – American Flag Cake