Saturday, July 2, 2011

US Flag Cake & Cupcakes and Back to America

These treats were made for a big party we threw last night. Obviously we don't observe the July 4th holiday here in Germany. However, we had another big reason to celebrate America. After five long years in Iraq Dr. B has accepted a position at the United Nations in New York City. We are moving in August. 

We gathered close friends and family for a garden/pool barbecue to wish him/us well in our next adventure. Considering the timing, it was like a faux Fourth of July party for me and a great excuse for some patriotic baking.

Although sad to leave Germany, we are excited to start this new chapter of our lives. Most of all, I am thrilled he will be out of Iraq for good. 

Five years of repeatedly seeing him off and welcoming him home from a war zone has been hard. Every single time we said our goodbyes, it felt like a little piece of me broke. Over the years I can't even count the amount of people who have said to me "I don't know how you do it". Today is the day he goes back to Baghdad for the last time for a few weeks to wrap up his job. We are now a final short step from standing on the other side of those five long years. It feels amazing.

Dr. B will have to get used to a job where rockets aren't being launched in his direction daily. At least not real live ones anyway. I have been been busy making arrangements for our move and things are falling into place nicely.

Now onto the cake and cupcakes.

Ever since I saw this fantastic creative cake by Elissa at Baking at 17 I have wanted to try making one myself. I followed the instructions to the letter (a tutorial on Glorious Treats was also extremely helpful.) Despite a huge moment of self doubt when it came to finally cutting the cake (I was sure everything would turn out upside down or sideways), it worked perfectly and every layer was in its proper place.

I used a Classic White Cake Recipe for the cake part and Wilton's No Taste Red and Royal Blue gel past food coloring to tint the layers. For the frosting I made a batch of Magnolia Bakery's vanilla buttercream. Most bloggers who make this cake leave it unadorned as it adds to the drama of seeing the surprise inside once cut.

As readers of this blog know by now, the word "unadorned" is not in my vocabulary. I couldn't help sprinkling several different kinds of red and blue decorations on top.

The cake was delicious but very sweet. I am biased, however, as white cake with vanilla buttercream is my absolute favorite cake.

For the cupcakes. I thought after all that white vanilla indulgence of the flag cake, some chocolate was in order. Specifically from the Magnolia Bakery's Chocolate Cupcake RecipeI whipped up some Cream Cheese Frosting which was also colored with Wilton's no taste red and Royal Blue paste food colorings. Once frosted, the cupcakes were decorated with sprinkles, edible sparkle sugar and non pareils the same color as the frosting.

This is my last month in Germany for a while. I plan to enjoy it before coming home to America.


  1. OMG! This cake and these cupcakes are good as the news you shared with them. I'm so excited for you and the Dr. Congratulations to him on this new position! Moving is always filled with mixed emotions and as much as you and your relatives hate to say goodbye, there is always the anticipation to looking forward to seeing one another again...when they come to visit you in NEW YORK! :)
    Best wishes with the move!

  2. You did SUCH an awesome job with that flag cake - it is beautiful! I'd love to see it done with flags for other countries...though, some would be quite easy...

  3. Oh yay! I'm so excited for you! and for me...because it means you'll be living TWENTY BLOCKS AWAY FROM ME (at least, that's how far the UN is). That's less than a ten minute run. Seriously.

    This cake is GORGEOUS. I still haven't figured out what I'm making for the 4th...but this may have to be it.

  4. Happy fourth! And how exciting about the news.

  5. Wow! Big news!!! Congratulations to your Dr. B! Sounds like your move will change your lives for the better and you can catch up on time you missed out on while he was away in Baghdad. Sending you lots of luck and best wishes from Frankfurt on your move to NYC!

  6. Hallo,

    habe durch Zufall deinen Blog, bzw. diesen Blogeintrag entdeckt und bin ganz begeistert - den Kuchen werde ich möglichst bald nachbacken!
    Von außen vermutet man noch gar nicht, was innen ist und beim Anschnitt hat man dann die große Überraschung - wirklich klasse!

    Viele liebe Grüße

    (da du ja in Deutschland wohnst, hab ich mir einfach mal erlaubt, einen Kommentar auf deutsch zu schreiben ;-) )

  7. Everything looks perfect! Congratulations on the move, I couldn't be more thrilled!! And New York is probably the best place to be, as you know.
    I will be in NYC over Labor Day weekend, thinking of planning a little wanna meet up??

  8. Wow! Don't know how I missed this post. Was reading a more recent one and you referred to your upcoming move to NYC and I was like 'whuwhuwhuWHAT?'! Such amazing news and very exciting. Best of luck and can't wait to read about your NYC adventures! :-)

  9. I was looking for a flag photo for my July 4th post on my blog and really love your cupcake flag. I would like to use this photo in my post, giving you full credit of course and also will link to your blog here as well! Hope you are enjoying living in one of the best cities in the world!!


Thank you for your comments and feedback. I love hearing from you!