Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July everyone!  Today we headed to a friend's house for an Independence Day BBQ and it was a lot of fun!  I made a special cake to take over... I assure you, it tasted as good as it looked :)

I first made this cake three years ago.  I only used one box of cake mix that year, dividing the batter into three portions.  It worked but it was a short cake.  This year I used three boxes of cake mix (and obviously a lot less food coloring) and the cake was high and beautiful!

Making a cake to look like a flag is all about assembly.  You bake three cakes (red, white, and blue), do some slicing and cutting, and then arrange the layers with a thin layer of icing in between.  If you want to learn how to do the cutting and arranging, visit this post at sugarturntable.com

This year I used a Zenker Layer Cake Slicing Kit to slice my layers.  It was easy to use and allowed me to cut thin, even layers.  It was perfect for this cake!

I used RecipeGirl's White Wedding Cake Cupcakes recipe for the cakes which makes a seriously delicious semi-homemade cake using a boxed cake mix.  I also used her Wedding Cupcake Buttercream recipe which tasted great and was super easy to work with!  I made a double batch of the icing and that was just enough for this cake.

Of all the times I've made this cake, the inside looked great but the outside did not.  That first year, I covered the sides with shredded coconut because the icing looked so bad!  This year I was determined to make the outside pretty so I found some great instructional videos at zoebakes.com.  Part one: How to cut and fill a cake.  Part two: How to crumb coat your cake (so important!).  Part three: How to smoothly buttercream a cake

Thanks to RecipeGirl's recipes and Zoe's videos, I created a delicious and pretty cake!

I put buttercream icing into an icing bag and piped on small dots to stick on M&M's.  I had people ask about that at the party... I simply eyeballed the dots, no measuring, and luckily it came out well.  And yes, I actually went through a bag of M&M's and picked out all of the red and blue ones :)

I found this sprinkle shape trick via Pinterest and it works great!  You set a cookie cutter on top of the icing, pour enough sprinkles to cover the area, and then gently remove the cookie cutter.  It's such a simple and cute cake decoration!

I wasn't planning on making Cameron a patriotic outfit for today but she doesn't have anything red or (dark) blue and I had some extra time before our party.  I saw a this picture of a dress (no pattern) on Pinterest that looked like it would be super quick and easy to make... and it was!  This is so simple and it will have two lives.  This is a dress for a baby but it is also a skirt for an older girl!  Cameron can wear this again on another 4th of July a few years from now!

This is simply a rectangle of fabric (15" x 38"), hemmed along the top and bottom.  I sewed a contrasting fabric strip across the top, stitching along the top and bottom of the strip so that there was an opening big enough for a piece of wide (1") elastic.  I threaded the elastic through, sewed together the short sides of the rectangle, and added two shoulder straps.  The straps can later be removed, turning this dress into a skirt!  Dual purpose and cute... I love it!

So I baked a cool cake, made a cute little dress, and wrote a blog post about it all... I'm looking at this and wondering how I possibly managed to do all of that so I'm sure that some of you are probably wondering the same thing, right?  It might make you feel better to know that our dining room table is currently covered with sewing supplies, the sink is still full of dirty dishes, and there are piles of unwashed laundry in front of the washer.  Priorities :)

There were no fireworks on base this year due to budget cuts.  We could have gone over to the base beach to see the fireworks in Honolulu from a distance but Cameron was soundly sleeping in her crib at that point.  I took this fireworks photo three years ago... it's good to reuse for this occasion.

"O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain, 
For purple mountain majesties 
Above the fruited plain! 
America! America! 
God shed his grace on thee 
And crown thy good with brotherhood 
From sea to shining sea!"
~Katharine Lee Bates

Shared on Inklings & Yarns: Inky Linky 22 - visit that page to see more great DIY projects!


  1. You cake looks fabulous! You did an awesome job of getting smooth frosting. I have a blog post about my attempt to make this cake back in October 2011 where I called it Murphy cake because everything that could go wrong did. lol

    Glad to know you have a messy kitchen and dining room. I am trying to create a sewing craft room so I can hide my fall out ;)

    1. I dream of having a separate creative space in our house someday! Johnnie knows that it is a necessary feature in the house we buy when he gets out of the Air Force :)