Canadian Flag Cake

Happy Canada Day to Kitchen Parade's many Canadian readers!

Canadian Flag Cake

I sure hope you have a good imagination or better yet, a good sense of humor, because when my Inner Martha Stewart emerges, it’s not pretty, it’s just not.

Let’s back up.

For the Americans who read, July 1 is Canada Day, that’s like the 4th of July only cooler and low-key.

Last week, I asked my Canadian family from my mum's side, all of them great cooks, “What do you cook for Canada Day? What is the traditional Canadian food that binds Canada Day celebrations like hot dogs, potato salad and cold beer do for Independence Day menus?”

The answer? Absolute silence.

I couldn’t help myself, I so wanted to inspire a generation of Canadians! my own family at minimum! with a special treat for Canada Day. The Canada Flag Cake caught my eye awhile back. It’s from Kraft, it uses a cake mix, how hard could it be?

Now me being me, I set out to make not one but two cakes – stop laughing, cousins! – the first one with a cake mix, jello and Cool Whip, just to practice. The second cake, I fantasized, would be a homemade sponge cake with a fruity layer and whipped cream frosting. Both cakes would be ooo-ahhh-like-fireworks beautiful – the strawberries perfectly aligned to form the proud Canadian maple leaf and stalwart red side bands.

With a little imagination, okay, a lot, you might conjure up a maple leaf from my strawberries. That first cake undid me entirely, the homemade cake must wait for another day, another year, maybe another decade.

But y'know, for my Canadian family and Canadian readers, an easy but festive cake just might work. When it comes to summer, especially low-key summer celebrations, perfection just might be, well, un-Canadian.

AMERICAN FLAG CAKE for the 4th of JULY Follow the same idea, perhaps substituting frozen blueberries for strawberries in the jello. To decorate, create a star field with fresh blueberries, then red stripes of fresh strawberry.

TALK ABOUT a RACKET How much will we pay for sugar? I paid $.57 for a box of Jello, the equivalent of $30 a pound! Yikes!

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Okay Canadians, do YOU have a favorite recipe for celebrating Canada Day that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture.

CANADIAN FLAG CAKE

Hands-on time: 30 minutes
Time to table: 6 - 24 hours
Serves 20
    CAKE
  • 1 white cake mix
    STRAWBERRY LAYER
  • 2 small boxes sugar-free strawberry Jello
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 3 cups ice cubes
  • 16 ounces (450g) frozen strawberries, thawed and sliced
    TOPPING
  • 12 – 24 ounces (340 – 680g) Cool Whip Lite, thawed (see TIPS)
  • Fresh strawberries, about 1 pound (450g), trimmed and sliced thin

CAKE Bake as directed on package in a 9x13 pan. Let cool completely.

STRAWBERRY LAYER In a large bowl, stir the boiling water into the jello, stir until the jello dissolves completely. Add the ice cubes and stir until cool, then remove any remaining ice. Stir in the strawberries. If you want the mixture to soak into the cake, pour the mixture over the cake, distributing the berries as evenly and flat as possible, otherwise, let the mixture thicken up a bit, then pour over.

TOPPING Cover the cake evenly with 12 ounces Cool Whip. Chill for four hours (overnight works). If using a second layer of Cool Whip (see TIPS), apply again, then chill for an hour.

Two or three hours before serving, print the maple leaf template, cut it out, then trace the outline with a toothpick (see TIPS). Fill the maple leaf with slices of strawberry, then line up slices on the sides.

SERVE Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Will keep for several days although the top becomes increasingly stained by the berries.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE (How many calories in Canadian Flag Cake? How many Weight Watchers points in Canadian Flag Cake?) Per Slice: 223 Calories; 5g Tot Fat; 4g Sat Fat; 0mg Cholesterol; 205mg Sodium; 33g Carb; 1g Fiber; 21g Sugar; 2g Protein; Weight Watchers 5 points
Adapted from Kraft Canada, including a video.

ALANNA’s TIPS Be sure to get the Cool Whip out early to thaw, it takes forever to thaw! The original recipe calls for 2 cups Cool Whip. When I used this amount, the strawberries stained through, not pretty, so I added another layer. The whole “trace the maple leaf template with a toothpick” thing didn’t work for me because of adding a second layer of Cool Whip, it was just too soft.


That's a Maple Leaf, Eh?


Canadian Flag Cake by Kitchen Parade

It's the thought that counts, right, please?


More Canadian Recipes

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More Ideas for Canada Day & the Fourth of July

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Two-Bite Brownies Homemade Frozen Yogurt with Blackberry Sauce Summer Berry Pie




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What a fun take on a flag cake -- could easily be adapated for 4th of July.
 
That is the cake I make for Canada Day, it is so easy and I really like that you posted it.

My favourite Canada days memories are celebrating it on Lake of the Woods with fireworks by Canadian campers on the 1st and then by the American campers on the 4th.
 
If you’re at the lake/up the lake, that’s why they don’t fuss, Alanna!
 
Nothing says Canada Day like Nanaimo bars!!! In fact, I just posted my own low carb version (for diabetics) on my own blog.

http://dreamaboutfood.blogspot.com

I can very much imagine the sound of crickets when you asked what people traditionally eat on Canada Day! What's "traditional Canadian cuisine"?
 
What a fun cake! I love the design!
 
Well Canadian food is a very regional beast as Canada has a very diverse culture as you move accross the country. Traditional Canadian foods usually have roots back to the people who lived here prior to European contact (Aboriginal People) and to the cultural groups that settled the lands after the arrival of Europeans. We also have a great deal of traditional Quebecois foods that reflect French Canadian Culture. Some of our traditional foods are similar to those of the US and England. For more information on traditional Canadian foods visit the wiki article....http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_cuisine.
 
Anonymous ~ Thanks for that thoughtful statement. Canada and the States share that combination of not-well-documented food of its indigenous peoples and those of its immigrants. I'm headed for Canada soon and intend to look for a cookbook or two that might help me in this exploration.
 
If you are living in the capital I would say that standard Canada Day food would look something like this:

- All-Canadian Beef Burgers with a side of poutine (Fries covered with gravy and cheese curds)
- Salt and vinegar or ketchup potato chips
- Beaver tales (stretched deep-fried dough covered in cinnamon and sugar)

and if you stop in at Cora's for some breakfast some sucre á la crème (Sugar fudge)

That's Canada Day for me.
 
Hello Canadian Anonymous ~ May I hang out with you next Canada Day?

PS I'm happy to say I've tasted all those things, well, except the sugar fudge which, wow, for breakfast? sounds wonderful!

Thanks so much for adding your Canada Day food favorites!
 

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna