Show off your American pride with this surprise-inside USA flag cake, decorated like a soccer ball for the World Cup. Also perfect for Memorial Day and the Fourth of July.
Today the USA soccer team takes on Ghana for their first game in the 2014 FIFA World Cup. USA is in Group G with Ghana (obviously), Portugal and Germany. In other words we’ve got some tough teams to play. To have any hope of being one of the two teams to advance from the group, team USA must beat Ghana as they are likely the most beatable. Unfortunately, Ghana has knocked the USA out of the last two World Cups. Obviously this means it’s time for a fun cake.
To celebrate game 1 for the USA, I originally planed to make cupcakes decorated as soccer balls but decided to take it a step further and try out my own version of a surprise-inside cake – a soccer ball decorated cake with a USA flag inside! Alternating layers of red and white cake are segmented with a round of blue cake which when cut, looks like a miniature flag. This cake would also be perfect for Memorial Day or the upcoming July 4th holiday.
One year ago: Cinnamon-Chocolate Chip Pancakes
Three years ago: Homemade Whole Wheat Pita Bread
USA SOCCER CAKE
3 eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup vanilla or plain Greek yogurt (I used Chobani)
1 box white cake mix
Red and blue gel food coloring
9 oz. white baking chocolate coarsely chopped
1/4 cup milk, divided
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease three 6-inch cake pans.
- In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, oil, extract, milk and Greek yogurt until smooth. Sift in cake mix (prevents lumps of white in the colored batter). Divide evenly between three bowls. Add red gel food coloring to one and blue to another, leaving one portion white.
- Pour each color of batter into the prepared baking pans. Bake for 25-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool on rack for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely.
- While the cake cools, prepare the frosting. Microwave chocolate with two tablespoons of milk in microwavable bowl on medium-high for 1-2 minutes; stirring halfway through the cooking time. Stir until smooth and set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together shortening, butter and vanilla. Gradually add the sugar, one cup at time, beating on low speed. Add remaining two tablespoons of milk and cooled chocolate. Beat until light and fluffy.
- Once the cakes are cool, slice off the tops to level if necessary. Slice the white and red cakes into two or three layers*. Alternating red and white, frost each layer and stack into two cakes. Press a 3-inch round cookie cutter into the center of one stack, then use a long, thin knife to slice all the way through in order to cut out a column. Repeat on the blue cake, then place the red and white column into the center of the blue cake. Stack on top of the untouched layer (reserve extra cake) and finish frosting, reserving some for decoration.
- To decorate you can either dye the leftover frosting and pipe on a soccer ball pattern or use cake ball fondant. For cake ball fondant mix the cake scraps and a small amount of leftover frosting, roll out like sugar cookie dough, and cut out pentagons and/or hexagons. Arrange to resemble a soccer ball. (I used some cake ball fondant to create stripes on the sides as well.)
- Slice and enjoy!
* Try chilling in the fridge or freezer for easier slicing.