For the Cake:
- 2 1/2 cups (360 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 3 cups (600 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- A tiny splash of almond extract
- 5 large eggs, at room temperature
For the Topping:
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 cup (75 grams) powdered sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups heavy cream, cold
- Fresh raspberries
- Fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced into rounds
- Fresh blueberries
- Fresh blackberries, sliced in half in big boys
- Bananas, sliced into thickish diagonals
- Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch pan. Cut a piece of parchment paper that fits in the pan lengthwise with a few inches of overhang to make the cake easier to lift out of the pan if you’d like. Lightly grease the parchment paper, too.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together butter, cream cheese, and sugar on medium speed. Beat until fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Stop the mixer occasionally and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Increase speed to medium-high for 1 minute or so. Beat in the vanilla and splash of almond extract.
- On low speed, beat the eggs into the batter one at a time, beating for 1 minute between each addition.
- Stop the mixer and add the dry ingredients all at once. Beat on low speeds until the flour just disappears. Stop the mixer and use a rubber spatula to scrape into the bottom of the bowl to incorporate any hidden pockets of unmixed batter or flour.
- Whip the batter for 45-60 seconds on medium-high speed on the mixer just to fully incorporate the batter.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth to an even layer.
- Bake until the cake is golden and puffed, until a cake skewer inserted in the cake comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, 60-65 minutes. Rotate the cake once during baking.
- Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting.
- Make the frosting while the cake cools. To make the frosting, in the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, addd softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, and salt. Beat on medium speed to soften the cream cheese further and incorporate the ingredients. Stop the mixer and bang the whisk on the side of the bowl to empty the whisk, and scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue to mix to thoroughly soften the cream cheese.
- With the mixer on medium speed, slowly add the heavy cream to the mixer. As the mixture starts to thicken, stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl the sides of the bowl before beating on high speed to soft but stiff peaks.
- To assemble the cake, decide if you’re going to keep the cake in the pan or serve it outside of the pan. Carefully lift the cake out if you’ve chosen that journey. If you’re making a Texas flag, use a star shaped cookie cutter to cut a star out of the left side of the cake and lift the star out. Spoon most of the frosting in heaps across the cake and swoosh with an offset spatula. Reserve some of the frosting to pipe stars across the cake.
- Chill the cake and top the cake with berries close to serving.
- For the blue section of the flag, layer blueberries and blackberries. Top with the star and a few stars of frosting.
- For the red section, layer raspberries and strawberries and top with a few stars of frosting.
- For the white section (I do this just before serving the cake), layer with banana slices and a few stars of frosting.
- Enjoy cake chilled.