Happy 4th of July everyone! Hope all of you in the US did something fun today: attended a party, had a BBQ, watched a parade, baked an apple pie, played with fireworks, etc.
Today I have a pretty cake to share with all of you. It's an adaptation of Sprinkle Bakes's "Crown Jewel Cake", which is based on a vintage Jello recipe. I remember seeing this cake on Sprinkle Bakes and being wowed by how wonderfully gorgeous and colorful it is. I loved that Heather replaced the dream whip with actual whipped cream and added a tasty jaconde to make the "cake" an actual cake.
I took this cake and gave it an Independence Day twist, inspired by the American flag (red/white/blue + stars & stripes) and patriotism (hence the hearts). The jaconde does use a lot food coloring, but there are alternatives for those of you wary of food coloring. First, you could make a chocolate jaconde instead, brown instead of blue with three lines of frosting: red, white, and blue. Or second, you could skip the jaconde and make a graham cracker crust for the bottom instead, like in the vintage recipe (and as I did with the extra filling).
Another great thing about this cake is that it can easily be adapted to any other holiday/theme just by changing the colors of the jello, jaconde, and frosting. Imagine, a red jaconde with red and pink jello for Valentine's Day. Or a purple jaconde with purple, yellow, and green jello for Mardi Gras. Or change the colors to coordinate with the colors of your favorite sports team. The possibilities are endless so try this cake out!
P.S. To add to the fun, I used the extra jello from the filling to make some Broken Glass Jello, an additional dessert for my 4th of July menu (recipe also posted after the jump).
Red, White & Blue Jewel Cake
adapted from Sprinkle Bakes
1 cup almond flour
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 egg yolk
1/2 tbsp blue gel food coloring
3 egg whites
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Spray a jelly roll pan (11 x 17") with nonstick spray and line it with parchment paper; set aside for now. Grease your cake pan, either a 6" or 7" round spring-form pan or cake ring*. If using a cake ring, set it on top of a plate and cut out a round of parchment paper that will go under the ring.
Mix the almond flour, powdered sugar, and flour in a bowl. Add in the 3 eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition. Add the egg yolk and blue gel food coloring and mix.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until foamy. Gradually add the 1/4 cup sugar and continue mixing until stiff peaks form.
Carefully fold the egg whites into the blue mixture from before. Add the melted butter and fold it in gently.
Pour the cake batter into your prepared jelly roll pan and smooth it out. Place it in the oven for 5-8 minutes; watch the cake carefully as it burns easily.
Once finished baking, remove the cake from the oven and flip it onto another baking sheet covered with a sheet of parchment paper. Peel off the parchment used to line the bottom of the jelly roll pan**.
From the cake, cut out a round of cake the same diameter as your spring-form pan/cake ring***. Then, cut out a long strip (the same height as your pan) to line the side of your pan/ring. Chances are it won't be long enough, so cut out a rectangle of cake to fill in the gap.
Now line the sides of your pan/ring with the long cake strip + rectangle. Then press the cake round into the bottom of the pan.
*I used a 6" cake ring, but since mine is too short, I added a 1" tall ring of cardboard on top of it to augment the height making it 3" tall in total.
**Removing the parchment might also peel off the "skin/crust" on your cake. That's totally fine. I just peeled it all off with the aid of a knife, which revealed the blueness of the cake and used the side without the skin on the outside of my cake. Btw, all this should be done right after the cake is taken out of the oven; don't wait for the cake to cool because it'll be less flexible and harder to shape.
***The easiest way to get this round piece of cake is to press your pan/ring into the cake to leave and imprint that you can trace with your knife to cut out.
1 tbsp powdered gelatin
1 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup cold water
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 tbsp powdered sugar (if the pineapple juice is sweetened, skip)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1-1 1/2 cups prepared red and blue jello cubes
Sprinkle the gelatin over the pineapple juice in a small saucepan and mix. Heat the mixture over low heat until the gelatin is dissolved. Remove from heat and mix in the cold water. Pour into a small bowl and let cool a bit. Then cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for about 5 minutes, so that it is no longer warm but is still liquid.
While the gelatin is chilling, put the whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract in a large bowl and mix with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Once the gelatin mixture is cool, whisk it into the cream.
Randomly drop the jello cubes into the mixture, shaking the bowl so the jello sinks to the bottom to make more room for more jello (don't mix it or else you might crush the jello).
Pour the mixture into your cake lined pan and chill for at least 6 hours, or overnight.
Decorating the Cake
1 recipe Decorator's Frosting (below)
red gel food coloring
red heart sprinkles
Tint 1/3 of the frosting with red gel food coloring. Place the red frosting and 1/2 of the remaining white frosting into separate plastic piping bags (keep the rest of the white frosting covered with plastic wrap). Remove your cake from the spring-form pan or cake ring.
Cut a little bit off the tip of the piping bag with the red frosting. From the top edge of the cake, pipe semicircles around the whole cake. Repeat with the white frosting, piping semicircles that also start at the top edge of the cake but go below the red semicircles.
Place the rest of the white frosting in a piping bag with a small star tip. Use the white frosting to pipe a shell border along the top edge of the cake. Then pipe frosting stars to cover up where the red and white frosting semicircles meet along the top edge of the cake. To finish, from above, stick a red sprinkle into each frosting star.
adapted from Betty Crocker's Cake Decorating
1/3 cup shortening
2-3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/4 tsp almond extract
Cream the shortening with 1 cup of powdered sugar. Add the milk and almond extract. Continue adding the rest of the powdered sugar until you get a frosting consistency that is stiff enough to hold designs but fluid enough that it can be squeezed through a piping bag.
Broken Glass Jello (for leftover Jello)
adapted from Food Librarian
extra jello cubes
1/4 cup cold water
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
3/4 cup boiling water
1/2 of a 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
Place the extra jello cubes in a greased container; set aside for now.
Sprinkle the envelope of unflavored gelatin over the 1/4 cup of cold water and mix.
Pour the boiling water over the mixture to dissolve the gelatin.
Mix in the 1/2 can of condensed milk. Let the mixture cool to room temperature. Once cool, pour the condensed milk mix into the container with the jello cubes. Cover the container with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator overnight.
To serve, cut the jello into cubes.