The 4th of July is next week and everyone will be celebrating our country’s independence.  Do you know that back in 1776, there was an estimated 2.5 people living in the United  States.  There are now over 316 million. Talk about lots and lots of hot dogs and hamburgers being sold and cooked! But instead of talking about the burgers and side dishes, I’ll be sharing  dessert this week.

The trouble with taking cakes to barbecues is the frosting melting. I made this cake decorated like an American flag (directions below) and best of all, the frosting holds up well outside.

Fluffy, Boiled Icing

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tbsp light corn syrup
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp powdered sugar (if needed)

Directions

  1. Combine sugar, water corn syrup and salt in a saucepan. Stir until blended. Boil slowly without stirring until mixture will spin a long thread when a little is dropped from a spoon.  Or better yet, use a candy thermometer and remove when it reaches 240 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites until they are stiff, but still moist. Pour the hot syrup mixture slowly over the egg whites while beating. Continue beating until mixture is very fluffy and holds it shape.
  3. Add the vanilla and beat until blended. If the icing isn’t as thick as you desire, add powdered sugar – a tablespoon at a time.

American Flag Cake

Ingredients

  • 2 pints of strawberries (or raspberries or any other small red fruit)
  • 1 pint of blueberries (or any other small blue fruit)
  • Any flavor cake prepared in a 9×13 baking dish
  • Boiled fluffy frosting (as above)

Directions

  1. Spread the icing generously over the cooled cake.
  2. In the top left-hand corner of the frosted cake, arrange the blueberries into an outline of a rectangle that is about 5 inches wide and 4 inches tall. Press the berries down into the frosting. Fill the inside of the rectangle with the remaining blueberries. The blueberries look best if placed in rows, then the icing between them resembles stars.
  3. Place strawberry halves cut-side down in rows going across the cake horizontally. If you want to be accurate, the bottom stripe of the flag is red and there are 13 stripes on the flag!  Be sure to press the berries down into the frosting so the stripes will not be raised above the fluffy frosting.

If you are eating late and it is getting dark when you get ready to serve the cake, add some sparklers to it for a small fireworks display.