Why You Should Freeze Your Fourth Of July Flag Cake Before Decorating

This summer will no doubt see plenty of family and friend gatherings for the Fourth of July, so who wouldn't want to impress their guests with one of the best red, white, and blue desserts for this patriotic holiday? One classic dessert choice is a Fourth of July flag cake — a rectangular sheet cake decorated to look just like the U.S.'s stars and stripes. Frosting and decorating such an intricate design may sound daunting, but the process can become much simpler if you freeze your cake beforehand.

You can decorate this Fourth of July cake in two different ways. Arguably, the easiest route is to spread a solid white frosting base over the entire cake before using blueberries and either raspberries or strawberries to form the flag's pattern. Alternatively, you can opt for the more complicated preparation, in which you can use three different colors of frosting to "paint" on the flag's stars and stripes.

Either way, you'll have a delectable cake, and both methods could benefit from that cake having some chilling time in the freezer — in fact, this is a game-changing step that can benefit any frosted dessert. As the cake cools in the freezer, its texture get a chance to solidify, which helps ensure that frosting spreads on smoothly without lifting up crumbs from the surface.

How to properly freeze a cake

When making your flag cake, the freezer will come in handy for multiple reasons. As the holiday approaches, you'll likely have to prepare more than just a cake; cleaning, cooking, and all kinds of prep work are required for a party, so a cake can't take up all of your time.

First and foremost, it's essential to work with a cool or room-temperature cake before frosting. Working while it's still warm is one of many mistakes people make when frosting a cake. Instead, let the dessert steam its heat off before you pop it in the freezer. You can then use that time to prepare the frosting. The exact amount of time in the freezer can vary, but a couple of hours should be plenty.

You may also want to prepare your Fourth of July cake the day before so that when the day of the party comes, you can just focus on the frosting. A wrapped cake can sit in the freezer overnight with no issues (in fact, it could last in the freezer for months). There are certain things you should do when freezing a cake, like wrapping it in plastic wrap — this will both protect it from the harsh freezer air and prevent it from drying out. The cake will be completely frozen the next day, though, so make sure to account for a few hours of thawing time before you frost it.