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American Flag Cake

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close up shot of American Flag Cake
This beautiful red, white, and blue American flag cake is the perfect dessert for any Memorial Day or 4th of July gathering!
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Table of Contents
  1. American Flag Cake Ingredients
  2. How To Make This American Flag Cake Recipe
  3. How To Serve
  4. Storage
  5. More Recipes You’ll Love
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

This beautiful red, white, and blue American flag cake is the perfect dessert for any Memorial Day or 4th of July gathering. The flag cake starts with a from-scratch vanilla sheet cake recipe and then, by using white icing, strawberries, and fresh blueberries, the pattern and design of an American flag are created.

close up shot of American flag cake topped with strawberries and blueberries in a baking dish

American Flag Cake Ingredients

You’ll need:

For the Cake

  • ¾ cup butter
  • 1¾ cups sugar
  • 2½ cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk

PRO TIP:

You can make your own buttermilk using whole or 2% milk and lemon juice or distilled vinegar. For every 1 cup of milk, stir in 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar.

For the Almond Cream Cheese Icing

  • 2½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup butter 
  • ½ cup cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Pinch of salt

For Assembling the Flag

  • 25 strawberries
  • 50 blueberries

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

CAKE: We love this creamy, traditional cake recipe. But, you can substitute your favorite cake recipe in place or use a box cake mix if you prefer.

How To Make This American Flag Cake Recipe

STEP ONE: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 12×17-inch cake pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

STEP TWO: In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar with a paddle attachment for 4 to 5 minutes on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.

American flag cake process shot of ingredient being mixed together in a bowl

STEP THREE: While the butter and sugar are creaming, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt and set it aside.

American flag cake process shot of dry ingredients being whisked together in a bowl

STEP FOUR: Beat the eggs into the butter mixture one at a time. Scrape the sides of the bowl after each addition and then add the vanilla extract.

eggs and vanilla mixed together in a bowl

STEP FIVE: Add the sour cream and vegetable oil and mix until combined.

American flag cake process shot of ingredients in a bowl

STEP SIX: Alternate adding the flour mixture with the buttermilk ⅓ at a time, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Do not over mix!

American flag cake process shot of ingredients in a bowl

STEP SEVEN: Spread cake batter into the pan and bake cake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Check at 15 minutes. Allow the cake to cool while you slice strawberries in half and prepare the icing.

OUR RECIPE DEVELOPER SAYS

Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to check your cake at the lower end of the recommended baking time. 

STEP EIGHT: For the icing, mix the cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed for 1 minute with the whisk attachment.

PRO TIP:

Make sure your cream cheese is at room temperature or you will end up with lumps in your icing.

STEP NINE: Add sugar all at once and turn the mixer on low to combine. Once combined, add cream, salt, and almond extract, and mix on medium-high speed for 4 to 5 minutes. 

remaining ingredients mixed in a bowl

STEP TEN: Ice cake using an offset spatula and decorate the top of the cake with strawberries and blueberries. Space rows of strawberries for the red stripes with a “row” of white icing between them for the white stripes. I like to use a star icing tip to pipe stars using the remaining icing in between blueberries. Pipe a shell border around the cake to finish the edges if you wish.

PRO TIP:

It’s important to make sure that your fresh fruit is completely dry when you put it on the cake, otherwise it can cause the icing to get soggy and it will ruin the look of your beautiful cake.

ice cake and decorate with berries and frosting on the cake

How To Serve

This perfect patriotic dessert will be the star of the show at your festivities this year. It would be a fantastic centerpiece surrounded by a few of our yummy summer potluck dishes including grilled chicken and egg pasta salad.

For another star-spangled treat, try our 4th of July sugar cookies. You could also customize our sugar cookie bars with white icing and red, white, and blue sprinkles for a fun and patriotic treat.

Storage

IN THE FRIDGE: This cake will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days covered with plastic wrap.

IN THE FREEZER: If you have space in your freezer, you could make the cake ahead of time and freeze it. Wait to ice it and decorate it with the berries until you are ready to serve it.

close up shot of a slice of American flag cake topped with strawberries and blueberries on a plate

This American flag cake is bound to blow everyone away at your next gathering. It makes the perfect centerpiece and dessert all in one. The flavors are perfectly balanced between the vanilla creaminess of the cake mix and the cream cheese frosting while the fresh berries add a tart and fruity accent.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Could I use raspberries in place of the fresh strawberries?

Instead of strawberries, you could use rows of raspberries for the red stripes on your flag cake.

Can I make this cake ahead of time?

If you want to make the cake ahead of time, you can, although we would suggest that you wait to decorate it with the icing and berries until you are ready to serve it.

Can I use a boxed cake mix instead of making the cake from scratch?

You can use boxed cake mix in whichever flavor you prefer instead of making the cake from scratch.

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close up shot of American Flag Cake

American Flag Cake

5 from 1 vote
This beautiful red, white, and blue American flag cake is the perfect dessert for any Memorial Day or 4th of July gathering!
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 16

Ingredients
  

Cake

  • cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¾ cup butter
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Almond Cream Cheese Icing

  • cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • ½ cup cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • pinch salt

Toppings

  • 25 strawberries
  • 50 blueberries

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 12×17-inch cake pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Cream butter and sugar with a paddle attachment in a stand mixer for 4 to 5 minutes on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
  • While butter and sugar are creaming, whisk together the dry ingredients.
  • Beat in the eggs one at a time. Scrape the sides of the bowl after each addition and then add the vanilla extract.
  • Add sour cream and vegetable oil and mix until combined.
  • Alternate adding the dry ingredients with the buttermilk ⅓ at a time, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Do not over mix!
  • Spread the batter into the pan and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Check at 15 minutes. Allow the cake to cool while you slice the strawberries in half and prepare the icing.
  • For the icing, mix the cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed for 1 minute with the whisk attachment.
  • Add sugar all at once and turn the mixer on low to combine. Once combined, add cream, salt, and almond extract, and mix on medium-high speed for 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Ice cake and decorate with strawberries and blueberries. Use a star icing tip to pipe stars in between blueberries. Pipe a shell border around the cake to finish the edges if you wish.

Video

Notes

  • You can make your own buttermilk using whole or 2% milk and lemon juice or distilled vinegar. For every 1 cup of milk, stir in 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar.
  • Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to check your cake at the lower end of the recommended baking time. 
  • Make sure your cream cheese is at room temperature or you will end up with lumps in your icing.
  • It’s important to make sure that your fresh fruit is completely dry when you put it on the cake, otherwise, it can cause the icing to get soggy and it will ruin the look of your beautiful cake.

Nutrition

Calories: 429kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 100mg | Sodium: 308mg | Potassium: 164mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 862IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 1mg
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