American Flag Ruffle Cake

What's wonderful about piping a ruffle is that it doesn't have to be perfect. The imperfections give it character without making it look like you messed up! The messier, the better. Or something. Plus, it's actually super easy and it gives your cakes a look of difficulty.  Ruffle to impress!

American Flag Ruffle Cake / Sprinkled With Jules

I thought a ruffle flag would be cute for 4th of July. It gives the impression that it's waving in the wind...or should I say ruffling?

American Flag Ruffle Cake / Sprinkled With Jules

4th of July has always been my mom's favorite holiday. I remember growing up she used to throw a 4th of July party every summer. She's definitely patriotic, to say the least.  She's one of those people that would put the little plastic flag pole with the tiny flag on her car window for the whole month of July. She'd buy us all American Flag shirts to wear to picnics (we thought they were so embarrassing; funny now they're sort of in style). She's even recently made an American Flag pallet!

I remember when she was planning how to paint the flag onto the pallet she was making sure the dimensions were just RIGHT. It couldn't be a free-handed flag. It had to be to scale! 

American Flag Ruffle Cake / Sprinkled With Jules
American Flag Ruffle Cake / Sprinkled With Jules

So when I had the idea to make a flag cake, I knew that I had to make this cake to scale... at least CLOSE to scale or my mom would not approve! So I set out to find dimensions of our flag, and got my measurements all sorted out. My measurements are listed below!

But before we get to that, let's see how much you know about our flag, eh?

FLAG TRIVIA TIME! 

1. How many stars are on the flag, and what do they stand for?

2. Do you know what the name of the flag was when it was originally created?

3. What happens to flags when they are no longer in fit condition to be flown?

American Flag Ruffle Cake / Sprinkled With Jules

I used a 9x13 inch pan for this cake. For the flag to be perfectly to scale, and small enough to fit the cake, it wouldn't fill the whole cake. So I stretched it a little bit vertically to fit. Don't be mad Mom!

American Flag Ruffle Cake / Sprinkled With Jules

Start with a baked and cooled 9x13 inch cake.

Whip up some Buttercream Frosting (I used one batch of my recipe plus an extra 1/4 cup of shortening).

Divide the frosting in 3 bowls. (red, white, blue). You'll need about 1 cup for blue. Then split the remaining frosting between red and white. Give white the bigger half (for the stars).

Frost a thin layer of white frosting over the cake.

I used a bench/pastry scraper to press lines in the frosting of my measurements. It is a good rough guide of where you'll be piping your ruffles.

American Flag Ruffle Cake / Sprinkled With Jules

Ruffle away!

I started with the top stripes and worked my way down. Then I went back and piped in the blue ruffles. Then the stars last!

Here are my approximated dimensions:

Flag: 7 in. width, 13 in. length

Blue area of stars: 3.5 in. in width, 5.5 in. length

Stripes: 0.5 in width (13 stripes {7 red, 6 white}) Starting with red at the top, and ending with red at the bottom.

Stars: 6 columns of 5 stars, 5 columns of 4 stars, alternating. Start with a column of 5, and end with a column of 5. (total of 50 stars).

American Flag Ruffle Cake:

You will need:

1 9x13 inch cake

5-6 cups of frosting

blue and red food coloring

piping bags (3)

piping tips (I used Wilton 21 for stars and Wilton 104 for ruffles)

 

Directions:

Frost a thin layer of frosting over the cake. Put in the refrigerator or freezer until the frosting is set, just a few minutes. 

Mark lines if preferred on the cake to show the stripes and star area. This is helpful as a guide when you're frosting and will help keep it even. I used a bench scraper with a ruler to mark my lines.

Divide frosting in 3 bowls to color. For blue you'll need about 1 cup. The remainder should be split between red and white.

Fill 3 piping bags with the colors, and attach a rose tip (Wilton 104).

Hold the bag so the tip opening is vertical (at a 90 degree angle to the cake). With the larger opening down and the smaller opening up, squeeze the frosting out while moving the tip up and down to create a ruffle. Continue in a straight line across the cake.

Repeat for all 13 stripes.

After the stripes are done, fill in the blue area with 7 stripes (to match the stripes next to it). 

Attach a star tip to the bag of white frosting. Pipe the 50 stars. (6 columns of 5, and 5 columns of 4).

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