flag cake {chocolate buttermilk cake with whipped cream and berries}

Little bit cheesy, lot a bit nostalgic, American flag cake for the 4th of July  is a tradition I grew up with and hope to carry on until my babes are grown - I hope you do too. xo

Little bit cheesy, lot a bit nostalgic, American flag cake for the 4th of July  is a tradition I grew up with and hope to carry on until my babes are grown - I hope you do too. xo

Mom always finds good ways to embarrass or celebrate Dad…. and all of us really. In fact Mom still wraps our presents in special brand-new wrapping paper for our birthday and leaves them out on display in her home until the big day. "Three or thirty-eight, you still deserve to be celebrated.” And that’s just the start of it. 

Mom wanted to do something fun for Dad’s birthday, so she planned a special hike by the beach ending at the tide pools.

I made my “famous” sweet + salty granola bars as a snack for our 4 mile hike, which we didn’t end up eating at all because the thought of vanilla diet cokes and vanilla milk shakes topped with whipped cream from the local Shake Shack was more appealing than whole oats and flax seeds. And I mean, it was Dad's birthday... so the celebrating lasted all day, just the way mom intended. 

As we ended our hike at the tide pools it reminded me of the special “let’s go explore the tide pools” tradition my parents started when I was little. We were always at the beach. Dad especially loved to show my siblings and me the squishy sea life in those magical pools, saying “Bobyn! Look at this! Look at this!” and he’d hold up a giant sea slug for us to hold or a star fish for us to admire. It was all magic.

Both parents have always been the best example of creating joy in the littlest things. It felt full circle to be there at the tide pools again when I’m expecting my first little one. I got teary on the beach thinking about it. I told you I am such a boob right now, right?

This cake is a nod to my mom and dad who always made everything fun as a kid. And I can’t remember a Fourth of July growing up where we didn’t have flag cake…. or a Fourth of July where the berries would slowly start disappearing off the cake because Dad (and us kids) kept sneaking them off of it. Luckily Mom always pretended to not notice. I figured it was my turn to try to make the dang thing so here's my take on it. It's messy, crazy good and here's my spin - perfectly chocolatey. 

Happy Birthday America! And happy holiday weekend my American friends. I hope you make flag cake. :D Love to you. x 

 

flag cake {chocolate buttermilk cake with whipped cream and berries} 

cake recipe adapted from Zoe Nathan's Huckleberry 

This cake is light, not too sweet and super chocolatey. It's originally made to be served as a chocolate breakfast loaf topped with powdered sugar; but topping it with a chocolate buttermilk glaze, whipped cream and berries aint so bad either.  ;) 

note: Have fun with this one. Perfection is overrated. Also, no need to turn this cake into a flag if you're not feelin' it. It's fabulous all on it's own (even without the buttermilk glaze!) topped with a little fresh cream. 

 

for the cake:

3/4 cup /100g pastry flour

6 tablespoons /45g all-purpose flour

6 tablespoons/30g unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup /120ml freshly brewed coffee, cooled 

1/2 cup/120ml buttermilk 

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 3/4 cup /300g coarsely chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips (60-70% cacao) 

1/2 cup (one stick) + 2 tablespoons /140g unsalted butter, softened 

1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons /140g sugar

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 

3 eggs

powdered sugar, fresh berries and whipped cream for topping 

 

for buttermilk glaze (optional):

Melt butter + chocolate together in a large bowl. Then briskly whisk the buttermilk + powdered sugar + into your melted chocolate mixture until smooth. Glaze will have a slightly thick and runny consistency. If it's too thick, add more buttermilk. If it's too thin, add more powdered sugar. 

1/4 cup coarsely chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips (60-70% cacao), melted 

6 tablespoons buttermilk, room temperature 

1 cup powdered sugar 

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted 

pinch of salt 

 

for the whipped cream: 

Whip all ingredients high speed in an electric mixer with the whisk attachment until soft peaks form. Can be made hours ahead of time and stored in the fridge. 

1 3/4 cup heavy cream 

1/4 cup powdered sugar 

1 teaspoon vanilla 

 

 

Preheat oven to 350 °F /180° C and grease a 9 x 13" cake pan. 

Sift together your flours, cocoa powder, baking powder, soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside. 

Combine buttermilk, coffee and vanilla in a separate bowl and set aside. 

Melt ONLY 3/4 cup of your chopped dark chocolate and set aside to cool. Take care to heat the chocolate slowly so it doesn't burn. 

In an electric mixer with your paddle attachment beat butter + sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time to the mixture, scraping down the bowl as needed. 

Slowly add the flour mixture on a low speed and mix until just incorporated. 

Add coffee mixture and mix until just incorporated. 

Fold in melted cooled chocolate and remaining 1 cup chopped chocolate /chocolate chips. 

Pour batter into prepared cake pan, baking for 20-25 minutes. Take care not to over bake. (If you slightly under bake it, it turns out perfectly.) 

While the cake is still warm but not hot, pour chocolate buttermilk glaze over the top and let it cool. 

When cake is cool top with fresh whipped cream, berries and powdered sugar decorating as you choose.

If topping with whipped cream + berries, cake is best eaten the day it's assembled. The cake by itself can easily be made 1 day ahead of time left at room temperature. xo