Wednesday 6 July 2016

Aboriginal flag cake for NAIDOC Week

It is NAIDOC Week in Australia.  The name comes from 'National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee' when moves were made to have a public holiday to celebrate Indigenous culture in Australia.  Now we have a week of celebrations.  This year I decided to make an Aboriginal flag cake to observe the week.

NAIDOC Week heralds a variety of events including flag raising ceremonies, talks, family days and a march.  We don't often get along to many events but I like to go to a local neighbourhood house for craft.  Above is a selection of some of the Aboriginal flags from the craft session.

I made the cake the day before with Sylvia and her friend who was over for a play date.  They were great at helping to measure and mix all the ingredients.  As only small children can be!  I iced the cake and left it overnight with a tea towel over it.  The next day I went to the supermarket seeking inspiration for the cake.  Initially I had decided to pipe dots of icing until I worried about making a black icing.  I had thought of using smarties but then I would have so many lollies leftover.

At the supermarket I found red and black liquorice.  Back home I hunted through my cupboards and found a bag of lollies I rescued out of the Minion pinata from earlier in the year.  Yes!  I still had some pineapple liquorice for the sun.  It does pay to keep old lollies in the back of the cupboards!

I used strips of liquorice to outline the flag.  This made it much easier to colour in.  Then Sylvia helped me chop the liquorice into dots to use to fill in each space.  I had initially thought they might look like Aboriginal dot painting but the liquorice had ridged that made it look more like the sea of hands that was planted outside Parliament House in Canberra to mobilise non-Indigenous support for reconciliation.

For those of you not familiar with the Australian Aboriginal flag, the black represents the Aboriginal people, the yellow represents the sun which gives life, and the red represents the ochre of the earth and the Aboriginal people's relationship with the land.

The cake that we made was a Butterless Butter Cake that I have made previously.  I doubled the recipe and used aquafaba instead of egg yolks.  It is more my sort of cake than the Victoria Sponge we made recently but any cake would do.  I am very pleased to have made this large cake.  We will eat some of it at home but I have plans for some of the cake that I will share soon.

Meanwhile to quote poet Oodgeroo Noonuccal, "to our children's children, the glad tomorrow".  

More posts on Aboriginal people on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Aboriignal Street Art in Melbourne (2) for NAIDOC Week
Choc almond slice and Koorioberee 
Porridgies, children's books, racism and recognition
Reconciliation damper, snags and dead horse
Street Art in Melbourne #6 Aboriginal art for Sorry Day
Walnut hedgehog and a museum visit (including Bunjillaka) 

Butterless butter cake
Adapted from Have Your Cake via Green Gourmet Giraffe

4 eggs
6 tbsp aquafaba (or 2 egg yolks)
1 1/2 cup rice bran oil (or other neutral oil)
1 cup honey*
1 cup orange juice
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 cup wholemeal plain flour
1 1/2 cup white plain flour
2/3 cup desiccated coconut
6 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 180 C.  Grease and line a lamington tin (9 x 13 inch) and 3 cupcake holes.

Beat eggs, aquafaba (if using) and oil until creamy (I used electric beaters).  Beat in honey until well combined.  Add in orange juice and vanilla essence.  Gently stir in dry ingredients.

Pour mixture into prepared tin and cupcake cups.  Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Leave in tin for about 20 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack.

NOTES: To make this cake into an Aboriginal flag cake, cover with buttercream, use liquorice strips to outline the areas of the flag and then fill in each part with chopped liquorice (black, raspberry and pineapple).  *This cake is really sweet - I might be tempted to halve the honey next time, though it gives a lovely flavour to the cake.

On the Stereo:
Costello Music: The Fratellis


  1. I really appreciate this blog post Johanna and your cake is lovely, what a way to decorate - with licorice is marvellous - I want to try a slice, esp, the bit with the pineapple!

  2. What a great cake and creative decorating - I love the idea and your liquorice colours / flavours. I don't think I've ever seen pineapple flavour before!

  3. What a wonderful cake and a good way to remember an important week in our history. And yes I have countless lollies in my pantry for that very reason!

  4. I see you are already a fan of aquafaba, too! :D The cake is lovely, and I can't even imagine how much time it took to cut up all that licorice. Sylvia is clearly also very talented in the kicthen! What a wonderful way to celebrate the week.

    1. Thanks Ricki - yes I love aquafaba - though I don't use it enough - but if I have some in the fridge I always find a use for it. Sylvia loves being in the kitchen with me esp when there is sweet food involved.

  5. Ah the cake looks so pretty! You were so creative making the flag out of licorice and lollies. Nice!
    Happy NAIDOC Week =)

  6. What a fabulous cake and a great way to celebrate NAIDOC week.

  7. Great post Johanna. The cake looks lovely and the decoration is very creative. Perfect for NAIDOC week!


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