Coming back to review this as a solid 4 stars. I knew it would be a horrendous idea for someone like me to try to cut a cake horizontally. Thus, I made two 9" round cakes to be stacked. This way does require a little more water mixed into the gelatin (try 3/4 cup instead of 1/2), and a little less pudding mixture (maybe half the batch), but I feel like it was a "safer" option for me...otherwise, I might have had to turn it into trifle! I poked both cakes with a fork and split the gelatin between the two. I always prefer to make cakes from scratch, but this recipe takes long enough without going to that trouble. It is definitely worth it to do the pokes- it looks neat and tastes really good.
Also, I made whipped cream myself because I think the frozen stuff is gross- plus you can control the amount of sugar. Given that the cake is round and not rectangular, it obviously cannot take on the design of the flag, but I made a symmetrical design with all the items and you can tell it is supposed to be patriotic. Finally, I think this would probably be just as lovely without the marshmallows. If the cake is not eaten the first day, they begin to soak up the moisture from the whipped cream and they get mushy/slimy. Still tastes good, but with a strange texture.
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Coming back to review this as a solid 4 stars. I knew it would be a horrendous idea for...