Though this stunning red, white and blue American flag cake screams “Fourth of July Cake,” it’s such a good dessert you’ll want to make it for Memorial Day and other summer holidays too. Eating Well magazine made this flag cake recipe healthy, with less saturated fat and calories than traditional versions, by replacing some butter in the yellow sheet cake with oil. Plus, for the cream cheese frosting, replace some of the cream cheese and butter with low-fat Greek yogurt.
- 1¼ cups granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup canola oil
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature (see Tips)
- 2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour (see Tips) or all-purpose flour
- 1 cup cake flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- Zest and juice from 1 lemon
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
Frosting & Decoration
- 12 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel), at room temperature
- ½ cup confectioners’ sugar plus 2 tablespoons, divided
- 3 tablespoons low-fat plain Greek yogurt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1½ cups raspberries
- ½ cup blueberries
- 2 cups strawberries, sliced
- To prepare cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with parchment paper; coat the paper and sides of the pan with cooking spray.
- Beat granulated sugar, oil and butter in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until well combined. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until just incorporated.
- Whisk whole-wheat (or all-purpose) flour, cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Combine buttermilk, lemon zest, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons vanilla and almond extract in a measuring cup. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl alternately with the buttermilk mixture, beating just until incorporated after each addition, scraping down the sides as necessary. Spread the batter in the prepared pan.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 28 to 34 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Turn out onto the rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour.
- To prepare frosting: Beat cream cheese, ½ cup confectioners’ sugar, yogurt and ½ teaspoon vanilla in a mixing bowl until smooth.
- To decorate: Invert the cake onto a platter. Spread the frosting over the top and sides. Mark 3 horizontal lines for the white “stripes” and a rectangle in the upper lefthand corner for the “blue rectangle.” Gently pat berries with a paper towel to dry. Make 3 “stripes” of raspberries on the marked lines. Place half of the blueberries in the “blue rectangle,” leaving space between each berry. Sift the remaining 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar over the raspberries and blueberries to make them the white “stripes” and “stars.” Fill the rest of the “blue rectangle” with the remaining blueberries. Place strawberries between the rows of raspberries as the red “stripes.”
- Make Ahead Tip: Prepare frosting and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Let come to room temperature before using.
- Bring eggs to room temperature by either setting them out on the counter for 15 minutes or submerging them (in the shell) in a bowl of lukewarm (not hot) water for 5 minutes.
- Whole-wheat pastry flour is milled from soft wheat. It contains less gluten than regular whole-wheat flour and helps ensure a tender result in delicate baked goods while providing the nutritional benefits of whole grains. Available in large supermarkets and in natural-foods stores. Store in the freezer.
Serving size: 2-inch square. Per serving: 264 calories; 11 g fat(4 g sat); 2 g fiber; 35 g carbohydrates; 5 g protein; 34 mcg folate; 57 mg cholesterol; 19 g sugars; 16 g added sugars; 282 IU vitamin A; 14 mg vitamin C; 69 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 222 mg sodium; 113 mg potassium. Carbohydrate Servings: 2½
Source: Eating Well, July/August 2013