Animals & Wildlife Magazine

Lesson 1536 – Flag Cake Made Wrong

By Wendythomas @wendyenthomas

Flag cake. It’s been a part of all my kids’ childhoods since early on.

So easy to make (especially when you’re busy managing 6 little kids) and yet so dramatically memorable, so literally finger licking good. A tiny pretense of being good for you.

Helpers standing on chairs pulled up to the kitchen counter. Red Stripes becoming straighter over the years as little hands grew and developed coordination.

Every. Single Fourth of July – flag cake sat patiently, a shining jewel at the end of the table, waiting for us all to end our meal so we could finally pay it the proper attention it deserves.

“I want the strawberries.” “I want some of the blue part.” “I just want a piece.” “Can I have more?”

Flag cake is so loved in our house that on one special occasion, it was even requested (over the choice of an ice cream cake) as the birthday cake of choice.

So imagine how happy I was to unearth a 1998 magazine clipping with the original Sara Lee Flag Cake recipe.

Lesson 1536 – Flag Cake Made Wrong

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!

I had plans to frame the recipe. Put it in a place of honor in our kitchen- an heirloom to be shared by all, memories of growing up.

But then I looked closer. Do you see what I see?

Lesson 1536 – Flag Cake Made Wrong


Are you kidding me? You mean I’ve been making Flag Cake wrong for the last 19 years? I’m sorry, I didn’t know.

I hang my head in shame.


Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at

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