|Sous pastry chef, Aleks|
Looking for something fun and healthy to make with the kids for the 4th of July? The Kids' Table founder, Elena Marre, made this beautiful flag cake with her son, Aleks. It's yummy and not too sweet - something parents appreciate and kids won't be the wiser about; they won't even notice they're missing out on all that added sugar.
Like most kids, Aleks is a self-proclaimed sugar addict. However, he thinks that store bought cakes are so sweet that at times, he feels sick after just a few bites. That's why he - and you - will love our cake recipe. The frosting (made with cream cheese!) is what keeps the sweetness level down and makes it so special and enjoyable.
We also recently discovered crushed freeze-dried berries as a fun and much healthier alternative to sprinkles. Even if you go with the naturally colored sprinkles at Whole Foods, they are still pure sugar and the colors are pretty dull. We used crushed freeze-dried strawberries for our cake - no added sugar or artificial food coloring to be found!
We at The Kids' Table hope you enjoy making and eating this tasty treat with your kids, and wish you a safe and happy Independence Day celebration!
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup Greek-style yogurt
1/2 cup canola or grapeseed oil
1 T plus 1 tsp vanilla extract
1 T plus 1 tsp baking powder
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
2 sticks butter, softened*
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 oz fresh blueberries
1/2 oz freeze dried strawberries or raspberries, crushed
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x12 baking dish and set aside.
Crack eggs into a large mixing bowl. Add sugar, yogurt, oil and vanilla and whisk well. Whisk in baking powder. Add flours and whisk, but only until they disappear completely into the batter. (Over-mixing can make the cake rubbery.) Transfer batter to prepared baking dish and bake until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool in baking dish for 20-30 minutes. Carefully remove from baking dish and finish cooling on a rack.
To make frosting, combine softened butter and cream cheese in a medium bowl and whisk until well combined. Sift powdered sugar over the mixture. (You can do this with a flour sifter, or use a small fine-mesh strainer and gently push powdered sugar through it with a spoon.) Add vanilla. Whisk until frosting is smooth and creamy.
Once cake is completely cooled, frost the top and sides of the cake. Arrange about 7 columns and 6 rows of blueberries on the top lefthand side, separated just enough to allow the white frosting "stars" to shine through. Carefully sprinkle crushed freeze-dried strawberries or raspberries to form red stripes. Serve and enjoy!
Makes 10-12 servings
* Ideally, the butter and cream cheese should be left out at room temperature to soften (1-2 hours). If you need to soften them quickly, you can do it in the microwave. Just make sure to use a defrost setting so that they soften without melting.
What kids can do (with appropriate tools and adult supervision)
*Whisk cake batter and frosting
*Sift powdered sugar
*Crush freeze dried berries