The author of What's Gaby Cooking: Everyday California Food calls this dessert "a total crowd-pleaser."
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Credit: Victor Protasio

The author of What’s Gaby Cooking: Everyday California Food calls this dessert “a total crowd-pleaser.”

Gaby Dalkin’s Chocolate Brownie Flag Cake

2½ cups granulated sugar
1½ cups unsweetened Dutch process cocoa
1 tsp. kosher salt
1½ cups (12 oz.) unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided
1½ Tbsp. vanilla extract, divided
4 large eggs
1 cup (about 4¼ oz.) all-purpose flour
1 cup dark-chocolate chips
1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, at room temperature
3½ cups (about 14 oz.) powdered sugar, divided
5 cups fresh raspberries (about 1¼ lbs.)
½ cup fresh blueberries (about 3 oz.)

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 13×9-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides. Spray foil with cooking spray.

2. Combine sugar, cocoa, salt and 1¼ cups butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until butter is melted, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in 1 tablespoon vanilla. Add eggs, 1 at a time, stirring well after each addition. Add flour, and stir until smooth. Fold in chocolate chips. Spoon batter into prepared pan, and bake in oven until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, about 1 hour.

3. Using foil as handles, lift brownies out of pan. Transfer to a serving plate; discard foil.

4. Beat together cream cheese and remaining ¼ cup butter in bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer on medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Gradually add 2 cups powdered sugar, beating until smooth. Stir in remaining 1½ teaspoons vanilla. Using an offset spatula, spread frosting over top of cooled brownies.

5. Toss half of the raspberries and a handful of the blueberries in remaining 1½ cups powdered sugar. Arrange blueberries in a square in upper left corner of brownies, using sugar-coated berries as “stars.” Arrange raspberries in rows, alternating uncoated and sugar-coated berries in horizontal lines on brownie to create “stripes.”

Serves: 24

Active time: 30 minutes

Total time: 2 hours, 10 minutes

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