Happy Independence Day aka Fourth of July! On this Day in 1776, the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, freeing the colonies from Britain.
During this holiday, there is a dessert that’s made hundreds of ways each year, but it always makes a statement: Flag Cake!
Flag Cake- Cake Mix Way
This Recipe includes making a yellow cake with cake mix and tubbed whipped cream: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/22987/red-white-and-blue-strawberry-shortcake/
Is there a difference in using cake mix vs making a homemade cake? According to thekitchn.com, there’s not a huge difference. However:
- Cake Mixes are coated in preservatives and chemicals to prolong the shelf life of the mix.
- You can’t control the amount of ingredients in a cake mix. If you make a homemade cake, you know exactly what’s in it.
- The taste and texture are very different. Homemade cakes normally taste better, because of the lessened chemicals. And if the baker has a better take on a recipe? There’s no match.
As for prep time, cost wise (unless you’re taxed like crazy), and bake time, they average about the same.
Soscuisine has an opinion on the Whipped Cream: https://www.soscuisine.com/blog/whipping-cream-vs-cool-whip/
Whipping Cream has its drawbacks no matter what, but whipped brands have a bunch of ingredients that shouldn’t be in whipped cream (like corn syrup and vegetable oil). These cause trans fats, which aren’t good for your heart. There’s also a LOT more sugar in the canned or tub brands than if you made the cream yourself.
However, Whipping Cream has more calories and fats in general. But if you’re running around on the Fourth of July, playing with a kids or running away from lit fireworks, whipping cream will give you that extra boost.
Healthier Flag Cake
Do you like Greek Yogurt? This is a wonderful Flag Cake recipe that includes it as part of the frosting (mostly to cut down the fat and calories). It also calls for raspberries as well!
A few things popped right out at me in this recipe. Why would the recipe call for:
- Canola oil
- Whole Wheat Pastry flour or All-Purpose Flour
- Cake Flour (there’s such a thing as cake flour?)
- Greek Yogurt
Canola oil, according to livestrong.com, has monounsaturated fats.
Personal Note: Looking back at my Father’s Day article, Saturated Fats are fats that won’t dissolve properly in the body and can cause high cholesterol. “Mono” meaning one and unsaturated fats means that there’s only one type of fat in canola oil and it can dissolve in the body.
Furthermore, Canola oil has a neutral flavor, so it won’t be overbearing on the sweeter ingredients. There are calories in this oil, but compared to vegetable oil (which has a varied calorie count), it remains pretty stable at 124 calories per tablespoon. In this recipe, there are roughly 5 tablespoons.
- Whole Wheat Flour is made from milling down the entire wheat berry in a wheat stalk. Certain flours (like Pastry flours) are made from grinding the soft part of the wheat berry. Wheat Flour is much more dense and can be very bitter. The Protein count is high compared to other flours, but this also means more gluten is created during the baking process.
- Whole Wheat Pastry Flour has less protein and gluten because only the soft wheat berry is used in the grinding process. It’s less dense than regular Whole Wheat Flour and it allows cakes to be lighter.
- White Pastry Flour (Cake Flour) has one of the lowest counts of protein (and gluten) as it has been refined several times. This creates a very light and airy taste in the cake.
- All Purpose Flour can be either bleached (which has been treated with quick aging chemicals) or unbleached (which is aged, still with chemicals, but it takes longer). This flour is used if you want to bake something with a little bite to it.
For this recipe, the Whole Wheat Pastry Flour and Cake Flour might be best for a more airy and light cake. There’s also less Gluten involved. All Purpose Flour can be used, but it’ll make the cake denser.
You can use the cream cheese in the recipe for the frosting, but to lower the calories even further, you can make the frosting out of Greek Yogurt, vanilla extract and sugar. Take a look at this recipe for more details: http://www.cupcakeproject.com/2009/05/greek-yogurt-frosting-healthy-frosting.html
Have fun today on Independence Day! Bake a cake, grill some burgers and keep a fire extinguisher handy!