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American Flag Cake Recipe:
How to Make a Flag Cake

That beautiful American flag cake recipe... we've all seen the results at 4th of July parties. It's one of the prettiest cakes you can make!
American Flag Cake Recipe
But 4th of July flag cake recipes are also some of the most flexible-- they can be as easy or as complicated as you like. Here, you'll get a recipe for a homemade white vanilla cake with vanilla butter cream frosting that works great for this. But if you're in a rush, you can also grab your favorite cake mix and pre-mixed frosting, and use that. It might not be quite as homemade, but it'll look just as pretty!

And the cake that you end up with isn't just any ol' 4th of July flag cake! As well as the basic recipe, I'll show you how to make a flag cake that's really special by changing up the process a little. You'll have lots of options!

What Cake to Use for a Flag Cake?

The recipe below for a white sheet cake with vanilla butter cream frosting is a tasty and easy basic option. But you can also make a flag cake from ANY cake, as long as it has white frosting. Try:

Seen enough American flag cake recipes to last you a lifetime? I've also got lots of recipes for other types of patriotic desserts for the 4th of July. You might want to check out:

White Sheet Cake for an American Flag Cake Recipe

Sheet Cake Flag Cake 4th of July Dessert Recipe

Of course, learning how to make a flag cake starts with... a cake! The flag is all in the decorating. Here is a simple (and always successful) recipe for a white sheet cake that works great for 4th of July flag cake recipes. But you can use whatever kind of cake you want! Have fun with it.

And if you're short on time, there's no shame in skipping the hard stuff and making a cake mix. Who will know?

The vanilla butter cream frosting recipe for the flag cake will follow, along with directions for decorating your 4th of July flag cake recipe.

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3 lg. eggs, at room temperature
1/2 C. unsalted butter, softened
1 C. granulated sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 C. cake flour, sifted
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 C. milk

Instructions: 1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9x13" baking pan. If you plan to serve your American flag cake recipe in the pan, just greasing it is fine. If you'd like to remove the cake for a prettier presentation, lightly flour the pan, as well.

2. In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

3. In another large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about three minutes.

4. One at a time, add the eggs to the butter mixture, beating on medium-high speed between each addition. Add the vanilla. Beat about 3 minutes, until well mixed.

5. Stir in a third of the flour mixture, followed by a third of the milk. Repeat twice more until all flour and milk have been incorporated. Mix your batter just til combined.

6. Pour into your pan, and bake until a tester comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

7. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Vanilla Butter Cream Frosting for a Flag Cake

This frosting is rich, smooth, creamy, and just sweet enough. It's perfect for a fruited cake, like a traditional American flag cake recipe, but you can use it on any cake you like. It's hard to mess it up... so much so that it may become your go-to frosting recipe from now on!

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1/2 C. unsalted butter, softened
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 C. powdered sugar, sifted
5-6 tbsp. light cream (or whole milk)

Instructions: 1. In a medium mixing bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until creamy and soft. Beat in salt and vanilla.

2. With the mixer set on low, alternate adding the sugar and milk, beating between each addition, until smooth and creamy. Keep stored in the refrigerator until ready to frost your cake.

How to Make a Flag Cake: Fruit Decorations

Decorating a 4th of July Flag Cake with FruitNow comes the fun part! Your cake is made and is frosted beautifully with your butter cream frosting. Now it's time to decorate this American flag cake recipe. To do this you'll need:

1 pint blueberries
1-2 pints raspberries or strawberries

Instructions: 1. If using strawberries, cut them in half.

2. Arrange blueberries in the upper left corner of the cake, on top of the frosting, to symbolize stars.

3. Create bars across your cake by adding stripes of raspberries or halved strawberries horizontally across the cake.

Bored? Check below for some more creative ways to decorate a flag cake for the Fourth of July.

Red, White, and Blue "Super Layer" Cake

Super Layer Red White and Blue on the Inside Flag Cake
While I love the standard version of this American flag cake recipe, I think this is probably the most impressive of all my "alternative" versions.

How to Make It: To make this version of a 4th of July flag cake, you'll want to make one and a half times the cake batter recipe above, and you'll want to double the frosting recipe. You'll also need some red and some blue food coloring.

Grease and flour three 9" round cake pans. When your cake batter is mixed, divide it into three equal-sized batches. Into one batch, add enough blue food coloring to turn it blue, to another add red, and leave the last plain. Put each color in its own pan, and bake according to the directions above (they may need less time to bake!).

Cool, stack into a layer cake (putting frosting between each layer), frost, and decorate as desired.

"Patriot on the Inside" Cake

Patriot on the Inside Flag Cake IDeaThis version of my American flag cake recipe isn't just a patriotic cake on the outside... it's patriotic on the inside!

How to Make it: Bake a white sheet cake as instructed above (or do two round layers in an 8 or 9" pan). Let cool completely.

When cake is cool, poke holes in it about 1/2" apart. Prepare one batch of red (whatever flavor) Jello and one batch of blue Jello according to package directions (but don't chill-- you want it liquid). Alternating colors, pour a little red food coloring in one hole, and a little blue in the next. You won't use all the Jello mixture, so don't try to!

Or, to make a layer cake as pictured, make one of your cake layers with the red Jello, and the other with the blue.

Chill, frost and decorate as normal, and wait for your guests to be surprised by the patriotic insides!

Bright and Tasty 4th of July Flag Cake

Cherry Flag Cake Bright Fruit Recipe July 4thThis American flag cake recipe is just like the standard one above... but I thought the topping made for a fun and tasty alternative.

How to Make it: Make a flag sheet cake as directed above. Buy a can of cherry pie filling, and rinse the sauce off the cherries (or leave it on-- your choice). Use your rinsed cherries to make your red stripes. Use mini marshmallows to make your white stripes.

Here, fondant was used to make a blue background and white stars... but I think the effect would be just as good or better with fresh blueberries, instead.

With the cherries, this one is particularly good with a cream cheese frosting!

Other American Flag Cake Decoration Ideas

Looking for some more ways to decorate a creative American flag cake recipe? Check out some of the flag cake photos below for inspiration!

The Star-Shaped Flag Cake

STar Flag Cake

This cake is baked in a star-shaped cake pan with sliced strawberries in the middle, piped-on white frosting accents, and pretty fresh blueberries.

The Double Raspberry Stripes Flag Cake

American Flag Cake Recipe with a Double Rasberry Stripe

Instead of the traditional strawberries, this fruit flag cake recipe uses a double-row of raspberries for the red stripes, and piped-on white frosting for the white stripes.

The Waving American Flag Cake

July 4th USA Flag Cake with Waving Strawberry Stripes

This flag cake looks like it's waving in the wind! To get this effect, the blueberries were arranged in a curving line, and stripes of sliced strawberries were arranged in a slightly wavy pattern.

The Fruit-Free Flag Cake

Traditional Flag Cake Recipe Made with Sugar Sprinkles

Prefer sprinkles to fruit? This American flag cake recipe was make with red sugar sprinkle stripes and star sprinkle stars. Be sure to use a steady hand when doing the stripes!

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Making an American flag cake recipe as part of a bigger July 4th party menu? Check out:

4th of July Appetizer Recipes


4th of July Party Foods

July 4

Coming Up...

Hippity, Hoppity,
Easter's on its Way

The date for Easter falls on April 20th this year!

Take a look at Easter Dinner and Party Planning for recipes, edd dye tips, assembling Easter baskets, and more!

And plan to make this adorable...

It's so cute, it may be the best thing you do this Easter.


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After all, what better way to pass on your knowledge than to share it with other hosts and hostesses?

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