Did Ina Garten invent the American flag cake? No. She all but 'fessed up to Food52 about this last year, when our own Sarah Jampel dug into the bewilderingly complicated origins of this patriotic rectangular slab. (I neither love nor hate flag cake, though I know of some who harbor strong opinions about it.) But the Fourth of July dessert has come to be associated with Garten in the popular imaginary, largely because she’s been making and selling it for more than a decade now.
Last Thursday, Garten posted a time-lapse video of her speedily adorning her flag cake with blueberries, raspberries, and icing. It appears as if she’s working from muscle memory; the practice is second nature to her, after all. “It's a 4th of July tradition!” her caption reads. “I’ve made so many flag cakes over the years and I've gotten really fast at decorating them!!” She’s encouraging others to share their own photographs with the #bcflagcake trending topic; join in if you’d like.
The video’s collected just over 324,000 views and counting, and, folks, let me tell you: People are obsessed. Tasting Table tells me she decorates it “like a boss”; Delish cautions readers they “won’t be able to stop watching” it. “Downright mesmerizing,” chirpsFood & Wine. Are they right? Decide for yourself.
Join The Sandwich Universe co-hosts (and longtime BFFs) Molly Baz and Declan Bond as they dive deep into beloved, iconic sandwiches.
Mayukh Sen is a James Beard Award-winning food and culture writer in New York. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, Bon Appetit, and elsewhere. He won a 2018 James Beard Award in Journalism for his profile of Princess Pamela published on Food52.