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In The Kitchen - Ina's Flag Cake

The famous Ina Garten Flag Cake. I would bet that if you’ve lived in America for any amount of time or even happened to visit in the summer months, you’ve seen some version of the Flag Cake. This time of year, the fruity stars and stripes are all over checkout aisle magazine covers and cooking shows. It’s so festive and fun - even Taylor Swift and her famous friends are fans of Ina’s Flag Cake.

My son Caleb was born on June 14th, Flag Day in the US. So for his first birthday I baked the cake. It was so much fun, and honestly, not difficult at all. This year I made it for a Memorial Day party. We happened to have some friends over that afternoon, so I let all the kids help with the decorating. It’s so interesting to see how they each add their personal touch. They loved it and could barely wait to get to the party and enjoy it!

The Pastry Decorating Kit and Icing Spatulas are the best tools. The icing spreads evenly - with those pretty little peaks that I always see on Pinterest cakes. (I used the large straight blade.) And the Decorating Kit is just so much fun and easy to use - makes me want to decorate everything with icing!

Our half sheet pan (the same one Ina uses) is the perfect size for the cake. When it comes to decorating, you don’t need to squish everything on to make the stars and stripes look good. And with the cover – I can frost and decorate, and then easily take it along to wherever we’re going.

No matter the occasion, whenever I make this cake it always gets so many compliments – I tend to make it for parties and bbqs throughout the summer. Having a party? Invite me - I’ll bring a flag cake!




18 tablespoons (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
3 cups sugar

6 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1 cup sour cream at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups flour
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

For the icing:
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/2 pounds cream cheese at room temperature
1 pound confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

To assemble:
2 half-pints blueberries
3 half-pints raspberries


Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour an 18 by 13 by 1 1/2-inch sheet pan (half sheet pan).

Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed, until light and fluffy. On medium speed, add the eggs, 2 at a time, then add the sour cream and vanilla. Scrape down the sides and stir until smooth.

Sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda in a bowl. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until just combined. Pour into the prepared pan. Smooth the top with a spatula. Bake in the center of the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool to room temperature.

For the icing, combine the butter, cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mixing just until smooth. Spread three-fourths of the icing on the top of the cooled sheet cake. Outline the flag on the top of the cake with a toothpick. Fill the upper left corner with blueberries. Place 2 rows of raspberries across the top of the cake like a red stripe. Put the remaining icing in a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and pipe two rows of white stripes below the raspberries. Alternate rows of raspberries and icing until the flag is completed. Pipe stars on top of the blueberries.

I serve this cake right in the pan (half sheet pan). If you want to turn it out onto a board before frosting, use parchment paper when you grease and flour the pan.


2002, Barefoot Contessa Family Style, All Rights Reserved

Comments on this post (7)

  • Aug 21, 2022

    Hi, I have made this cake and it is Devine
    Is it possible to devide the recipe by half?

    — Sabine

  • Aug 28, 2017

    I baked this cake and my daughter and granddaughter decorated it for the 4th of July. OMG! it was so good. I made it again and used the cream cheese frosting and smothered the top with coconut. Another hit.

    — Anita Vile

  • Jul 04, 2017

    Ina says this cake serves 20-24. Enjoy!

    — Cassandra's Kitchen

  • Jun 28, 2017

    What is the estimated number of servings for this cake made in this pan?

    — Pamela Grove

  • Jun 23, 2017

    I LOVE your recipes!

    — Judith Hahn

  • Jun 23, 2017

    I LOVE your recipes!

    — Judith Hahn

  • Jun 23, 2017

    I saw this cake in person and tasted the amazing frosting!! So yummy!!!!

    — Carrie

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