Surprise your guests by serving them a slice of American Flag cake. This cake uses cake mixes as a base for the recipe and doctors them up to create a moist, berry flavored cake.
Make pound cake according to box instructions in a 9" loaf pan. When completely cooled, cut into 1/2" slices and use a mini star cutter to cut 40 stars. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour two 8" round pans, or coat with baking spray. Wrap pans in bake-even strips if desired.
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix on low speed for 30 seconds. Scrape bowl then mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour into prepared pans and bake. Start checking cakes at 30 minutes for doneness. Baking time may vary; cakes are done when the top bounces back and a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
Remove from oven and allow to cool on a cooling rack for 10-15 minutes. Remove from pan and allow to cool completely. Once cooled completely, level cakes and torte into 1" layers. Set one layer aside to snack on or eat later as you will only need 3 layers. Use a 4" cake pan or circle pattern to cut the center out of one of the layers. The outer ring of this layer will not be needed.
Follow the same instructions as for the red cakes but you will only use one 8" pan. (Note that this cake uses only the whites of the eggs.)
As with the red cake, level and torte the cooled white cake and cut a 4" circle out of one of the layers. You will not use the outer ring of this layer either.
Prepare one 8" cake pan by greasing and flouring, or spraying with baking spray. Grease and flour, or spray, another 4" cake pan/cake ring and set in the center of the 8" pan.
Follow the same instructions as for the previous cakes for making the batter. Spoon enough batter into the ring of the cake pan to completely cover the bottom. Place the pound cake stars on top of the batter and fit them snuggly around the entire ring, trying not to touch the sides of the pan. Spoon the rest of the batter on top of the stars, covering them. (You may not need all the batter.)
Bake at 325 degrees. Start checking for doneness at 30 minutes. When inserting toothpick, be careful not to insert into a star or you will get a false reading. When done, remove from oven and allow to cool on a cooling rack for 10-15 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely.
When completely cooled, level top of cake but DO NOT torte. If necessary, cut out any cake that may have spread to the center so that there is a circle in the middle of the cake.
Lay one red layer on serving plate and top with buttercream icing. Lay one white layer on top of that and top with more buttercream icing. Repeat with an additional red layer and more buttercream.
Lay blue ring cake on top of the layers. Spread buttercream along the sides on the inside of the ring. Insert the small white cake circle into the center of the ring and top with buttercream. Finish with the small red cake layer.
Crumb coat the entire cake in a thin layer of icing and refrigerate for about 30 minutes to allow crumb coat to harden. Finish by icing with a final coat of buttercream. Decorate as desired.
*Use your favorite buttercream frosting recipe. I used Elizabeth Marek's Easy Buttercream Frosting. That recipe can be found HERE.