This cherry-studded flag cake is the perfect patriotic dessert to bring for a Memorial day or Fourth of July barbecue! Blueberries and cherries on top are super easy and so festive!
For the cake
(15.25 oz) box yellow cake mix
(6 ounce) box cherry Jell-O (dry, not made into jello)
(14 ounce) cans red tart cherries, drained
For the frosting
cup (1 stick) salted butter, softened
(8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
pound (about 4 cups) powdered sugar
or 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract, optional
can cherry pie filling
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13 inch cake pan. Set aside.
In large bowl or stand mixer, beat together cake mix, eggs, oil and dry Jello mix on high speed for about 2 minutes, scraping the sides and bottom.
Open the two cans of cherries and drain well in a colander. I did not add all the cherries to the cake, although I'm sure you could. I used about 1 and 1/2 cans of cherries, and I ate the rest. (Good in smoothies or on top of Greek yogurt!)
Fold in the cherries with a spatula. Pour into the prepared 9x13-inch pan. Use a very sturdy spatula to scrape it all in. You might think you are working with an enormous wad of chewed bubblegum at this point, but don't worry, it turns into a delicious cake, I promise.
Bake at 350 until fork inserted in center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. The cake will be rather brown on top. Browner than a normal cake. Cover it with foil if you're worried about it. Test the cake with a toothpick to see if it is baked completely. Dry toothpick=finished cake.
Allow cake to cool completely. I stuck mine in the freezer.
In a large bowl, make frosting by beating cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar. Add milk and salt. Add in the coconut extract if you are using it.
Frost cake evenly.
Start decorating with the blueberries first. Use the spatula to draw a line in the frosting where you think the blue corner of your cake should be. Line the edges with blueberries, then dump the rest in. (You could line them all up, but I'm pretty lazy I guess.)
Pour the cherry pie filling into a bowl. Carefully use a spoon to add one cherry at a time for the stripes. I actually used the colander to drain out some of the pie filling liquid.
I recommend serving this cake on the day you make it, but it could easily be made a few hours ahead of time and refrigerated.