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Fruited-Cheesecake Flag

Strategically placed berries make this rich, creamy, and indulgent dessert even more memorable. Cut into diminutive squares, the patriotic cake affords guests equal opportunity in their pursuit of the perfect summer sweet.

  • yield: Makes 48 squares

Ingredients

  • Vegetable-oil cooking spray
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • Coarse salt
  • 12 ounces (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons light-brown sugar
  • 32 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 6 ounces (1 1/2 cups) blackberries
  • 8 3/4 ounces (2 cups) blueberries
  • 1 pound strawberries, hulled and sliced lengthwise into thirds (optional)
  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
  • 12 ounces (3 cups) raspberries

Cook's Note

For truly white stripes, cover alternating rows with just confectioners' sugar rather than lightly dusted strawberries.

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Coat a 13-by-18-inch rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Line with parchment, leaving a 2-inch overhang on the long sides. Coat parchment with spray.

  2. Step 2

    Sift flour and 1 3/4 teaspoons salt into a bowl. Cream butter with a mixer on medium-high speed, occasionally scraping bowl, until fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. With the mixer running, slowly add light-brown sugar, beating until very pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add flour mixture all at once, and beat on low speed until just incorporated.

  3. Step 3

    Transfer dough to sheet. Use a large piece of plastic wrap to press dough into an even layer that covers the bottom of the sheet. Cover and refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes.

  4. Step 4

    Bake dough until entire surface is golden brown, about 40 minutes. Let cool completely in sheet on a wire rack. Raise oven temperature to 350.

  5. Step 5

    In a clean bowl, beat cream cheese with a mixer on medium speed, occasionally scraping bowl, until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low, and add granulated sugar in a slow, steady stream. Scrape bowl, then mix in lemon zest, vanilla and almond extracts, and a pinch of salt until well combined. Scrape bowl, then beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until incorporated. The mixture should be very smooth; scrape bowl as necessary. Pour over crust, and spread into an even layer.

  6. Step 6

    Bake until filling is set, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely in sheet on rack. Refrigerate until firm and cold, about 4 hours (or overnight).

  7. Step 7

    Run a sharp knife along short sides of sheet, and use parchment to lift out cheesecake. Run knife under hot water and dry well. Use it to cut cheesecake into 48 squares, wiping knife clean between cuts.

  8. Step 8

    Transfer squares to a serving platter, reforming the rectangle. Decorate top left squares (3 down and 4 across), placing a blackberry in the center of each square and mounding blueberries around it. Using a long offset spatula, slide out 4 squares from bottom row. Top each square with 3 strawberry slices, dust with confectioners' sugar, and return to rectangle. Repeat with remaining 4 squares on bottom row and then squares on alternating rows. Alternatively, omit strawberries and dust alternating rows generously with confectioners' sugar. Place raspberries on every unadorned row, beginning with top row. Serve immediately (or refrigerate overnight).

Source
Martha Stewart Living, July 2008

Reviews (28)

  • 28 Jun, 2011

    This recipe was great for a cookout, because of the individual servings. The squares did take quite a bit of effort to cut. I would recommend using white raspberries as the white stripes and the strawberries as the red stripes, so you don't have to add sugar.

  • 1 Jun, 2010

    Also, I used whole wheat pastry flour and substituted flax meal for 1/4 cup of the flour and it was scrumptious -

  • 31 May, 2010

    YUMS! This recipe was pretty straight forward, looks and tastes great. I used sliced white peaches for the white stripes rather than sugar dusted strawberries. I will definitely make it again, but I'll decrease the crust next time because it is about 1:1 crust vs. cake, and I prefer my cheesecake a little cheesier.

  • 6 May, 2010

    The cheesecake flag looked great and tasted great. It is a simple recipe to make for a crowd, and everyone raved about it!

  • 27 Aug, 2008

    This recipe was easier than I thought it would be, and tasted and looked great! I made it in a disposable half sheet cake pan, which made it super easy to transport to a party. Yum!

  • 27 Aug, 2008

    This recipe was easier than I thought it would be, and tasted and looked great! I made it in a disposable half sheet cake pan, which made it super easy to transport to a party. Yum!

  • 15 Jul, 2008

    Everyone could barely keep their hands off this cake until serving time on Independence Day! A number of people in my family don't care for cheesecake but tried this because it was so delicious looking. They all loved it! The crust-cheesecake ratio is 1:1 so non-cheesecake loving friends and family will find it enjoyable. I didn't have a 13x18 pan but my 11x17 rimmed cookie sheet worked just fine!

  • 15 Jul, 2008

    Everyone could barely keep their hands off this cake until serving time on Independence Day! A number of people in my family don't care for cheesecake but tried this because it was so delicious looking. They all loved it! The crust-cheesecake ratio is 1:1 so non-cheesecake loving friends and family will find it enjoyable. I didn't have a 13x18 pan but my 11x17 rimmed cookie sheet worked just fine!

  • 6 Jul, 2008

    This cake was a HIT at the 4th of July party. Lots of compliments on the look and taste. We would make it again for sure. Conveniently, I found a 13x18 pan by Martha at Macy's.

  • 6 Jul, 2008

    This cake was a HIT at the 4th of July party. Lots of compliments on the look and taste. We would make it again for sure. Conveniently, I found a 13x18 pan by Martha at Macy's.

  • 3 Jul, 2008

    Stop the cattiness ladies/gents. How many variations are there of brownies, meatloaf, potato salad. I don't think it's appropriate at all to use this as a slam Martha site. If you think Martha is a rip off then don't use her site. How dare you tsk tsk her. Start your own company or hang with Ina Garten.

  • 3 Jul, 2008

    Stop the cattiness ladies/gents. How many variations are there of brownies, meatloaf, potato salad. I don't think it's appropriate at all to use this as a slam Martha site. If you think Martha is a rip off then don't use her site. How dare you tsk tsk her. Start your own company or hang with Ina Garten.

  • 2 Jul, 2008

    Food has been around for a long time and just like music a lot of it is bound to be "riffed". Who cares! It's all great food. As for Ina, if you want her recipes, go to her site, this is Martha Stewart's website. Either way, it all "comes out" the same....no diss intended to Ina; I for one love both Martha and Ina!

  • 2 Jul, 2008

    Food has been around for a long time and just like music a lot of it is bound to be "riffed". Who cares! It's all great food. As for Ina, if you want her recipes, go to her site, this is Martha Stewart's website. Either way, it all "comes out" the same....no diss intended to Ina; I for one love both Martha and Ina!

  • 30 Jun, 2008

    Ladies, it's cookies! Just a little bit different than a cake.I Don't know too many people that haven't tweaked a recipe to make it their own. BAY

  • 30 Jun, 2008

    Ladies, it's cookies! Just a little bit different than a cake.I Don't know too many people that haven't tweaked a recipe to make it their own. BAY

  • 30 Jun, 2008

    out of curiosity i checked ina's recipe on food network's site for her "flag cake" and the recipes are completely different! in the same class of dessert maybe, but the ingredients are very different. i can't wait to try this recipe for the 4th..i'm saving my calories just for it! (sorry i don't usually comment unless i've tried something already, but i couldn't tie my fingers down!)

  • 30 Jun, 2008

    out of curiosity i checked ina's recipe on food network's site for her "flag cake" and the recipes are completely different! in the same class of dessert maybe, but the ingredients are very different. i can't wait to try this recipe for the 4th..i'm saving my calories just for it! (sorry i don't usually comment unless i've tried something already, but i couldn't tie my fingers down!)

  • 30 Jun, 2008

    Of course they have Lagunasgr8 -but this is an obvious riff (or rip-off) of the cake that Ina wrote about in an old issue of MSL. It was not a cheesecake of course which this is. Now if you keep making faces like that your face will freeze that way! :-)

  • 30 Jun, 2008

    Of course they have Lagunasgr8 -but this is an obvious riff (or rip-off) of the cake that Ina wrote about in an old issue of MSL. It was not a cheesecake of course which this is. Now if you keep making faces like that your face will freeze that way! :-)

  • 30 Jun, 2008

    ANOP2006 - I WOULD GUESS KOSHER SALT, ALTHOUGH MARTHA CLAIMS TO HAVE 32 VARIETIES "AT HAND" TO COOK WITH! SHEESH IS RIGHT.

  • 30 Jun, 2008

    ANOP2006 - I WOULD GUESS KOSHER SALT, ALTHOUGH MARTHA CLAIMS TO HAVE 32 VARIETIES "AT HAND" TO COOK WITH! SHEESH IS RIGHT.

  • 30 Jun, 2008

    when recipe calls for coarse salt, does it means sea salt or regular salt??

  • 30 Jun, 2008

    when recipe calls for coarse salt, does it means sea salt or regular salt??

  • 30 Jun, 2008

    Berries have been around long before Ina Garten put them on a cake. Sheesh. I put fruit faces on pancakes, make berry designs on brownies, and fruit pizza.

    In fact, I am making a face right now: ;P

    Max

  • 30 Jun, 2008

    Berries have been around long before Ina Garten put them on a cake. Sheesh. I put fruit faces on pancakes, make berry designs on brownies, and fruit pizza.

    In fact, I am making a face right now: ;P

    Max

  • 30 Jun, 2008

    Egad - another version of Ina Garten's Flag Cake - tsk tsk Martha!

  • 30 Jun, 2008

    Egad - another version of Ina Garten's Flag Cake - tsk tsk Martha!