American Flag Cake

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There isn’t much better way to celebrate American Independence Day than with this festive dessert!

July 4th is a time to celebrate and we can’t think of a better way to show your patriotic American spirit than with this delicious and festive cake. After a cookout of hamburgers, hot dogs, baked beans, and corn on the cob, serve this scrumptious moist white cake with buttercream frosting and fresh fruit to end the perfection celebration!

An overhead view of a cake that is decorated with blueberries, sliced strawberries, and vanilla icing to look like an American flag.

How To Make American Flag Cake


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The Ingredients You Will Need

You could go with a cake box mix for this cake and it would be just fine. But, there is nothing much better than homemade, and this recipe is not difficult at all. The buttercream icing puts it over the top. Here’s what you’ll need to have on hand:

For the Cake

Unsalted butter – Room temperature.
Flour – All-purpose.
Leavening agents – Baking powder AND baking soda.
Salt – Table salt is best.
Eggs – Room temperature.
Sugar – Granulated.
Vanilla extract – We love Nielsen-Massey.
Buttermilk – Whole or low-fat.

For the Icing

Unsalted butter – Room temperature.
Cream cheese – Room temperature.
Powdered sugar – aka Confectioner’s sugar.
Vanilla extract

EXPERT TIP: Be sure your eggs are at room temperature. Let them sit out for 1 to 2 hours. You will need to beat them on high for about 4 minutes to reach soft peaks.

A person using a large red spatula to fold soft peak egg whites into a mixing bowl filled with a white cake batter.

Tips for Making the Perfect American Flag Cake

Don’t Over Mix the Batter – When folding in the soft peaks, don’t over mix, if you do, you’ll deflate the egg whites. The will appear a little lumpy when you transfer it to the pan, but this is normal. The cake should be moist, but not too dense.

If Possible, Use a Piping Bag – For a spectacular look, pipe in the buttercream icing between the fruit stripe and along the base of the cake. A star tip provides a classic look. Use a small star tip for the stars and a large star tip for the rows between the stripes.

Don’t Add the Fruit Too Far in Advance – The cake can be made up to 24 hours in advance of serving. Apply the base layer of icing and then cover it with a large inverted roasting pan (to keep it from drying out). Add the fruit and piped icing within an hour of serving. Make sure your fruit is as fresh as possible.

EXPERT TIP: The dough for the cake is somewhat thick and may even appear a bit lumpy when you transfer it to the greased and floured cake pan. This is normal. It will rise and become smooth as it bakes.

A person transferring a dense white cake batter from a mixing bowl into a cake pan that has been greased and dusted with flour.

How To Serve<.h3>

We love to invert the pan after the cake has cooked (and cooled) onto a flat surface, such as a large cutting board or marble slate. This allows us to decorate the entire cake, tops, and sides.

However, you can absolutely leave the cake in the pan and simply decorate the top. This makes the cake much easier to transport. We use our 9×13 cake pan to bake the cake as seen here.

If desired, you can pour the batter into two 9-inch round cake pans or a half-sheet pan. If baking in a sheet pan, make sure the side of the pan is at least 1 inch in height.

Serving the cake with homemade vanilla ice cream puts the dessert over the top and is always a huge hit with kids and adults alike!

A view from above of a white cake that has been inverted out of the cake pan onto a slab of marbel.

Other Festive Desserts to Serve

No cookout or gathering of family and friends would be complete without a delicious homemade dessert. Here is a collection of some of our favorites:

Red, White, and Blue Trifle
Banana Pudding Trifle with Meringue Topping
Classic Peach Cobbler
All-American Apple Pie
Strawberry Pavlova
The Ultimate Fudge Brownies
Key Lime Pie
Chocolate Cupcakes with Marshmallow Filling
Best-Ever Lemon Bars
Homemade Raspberry Linzer Bars
Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

These are all amazing, without a doubt. But, in the meantime, isn’t this patriotic classic dessert calling your name?

A small metal spatula being used to raise an square piece of an American flag cak that is topped with fresh blueberries and buttercream icing.

This is about the most festive, patriotic, and delicious dessert you’ll ever prepare, serve, and eat.

Every single time we serve this for our yearly 4th of July bash, everyone raves about it.

It’s just so much fun, beautiful, and scrumptious. As mentioned, serve it with homemade vanilla ice cream for a dish that just might overshadow the main dishes!

A close-up view of an American Flag Cake that has a piece cut from the corner to reveal the white cake interior.

Ready to make a dessert that Uncle Sam would cheer for? Go for it!

And when you do, be sure to take a photo of it, post it on Instagram, and tag @HowToFeedaLoon and hashtag #HowToFeedaLoon!

An overhead view of a cake that is decorated with blueberries, sliced strawberries, and vanilla icing to look like an American flag.

American Flag Cake

This dessert is about as festive as they come. The cake is moist and so flavorful. The buttercream icing is the perfect match for the white cake filling. Add the fruit within 1 to 2 hours before serving.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: 4th of July dessert, how to make a flag cake
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Cooling Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 12
Calories: 695kcal



For the Cake

  • cups all-purpose flour plus extra for dusting the pan
  • tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 3 egg whites
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar divided
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • cups buttermilk

For the Icing and Decorating the Cake

  • cup unsalted butter 3 sticks, room temperature
  • 1 lb cream cheese room temperature
  • ¾ lb powdered sugar about 3 cups
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ pint blueberries fresh
  • 1 pint strawberries fresh, stemmed and sliced


Prepare the Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Grease the cake pan with butter and then sprinkle flour all over it, shaking the pan to remove excess flour. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
    2¾ cups all-purpose flour, 2½ tsp baking powder, ¾ tsp baking soda, ¾ tsp salt
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, or, in a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with 1 cup of sugar until soft peaks form, about 4 minutes. Set aside.
    3 egg whites
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter with the remaining 1 cup of sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides once or twice. Mix in the whole egg and vanilla extract.
    ¾ cup unsalted butter, 2 cups sugar, 1 whole egg, 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • Turn the mixer to medium-low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the buttermilk and beginning and ending with the flour, and beat until combined. Scrape down the sides and then beat for another 30 seconds.
    1½ cups buttermilk
  • Use a spatula to gently fold the egg whites into the batter until fully incorporated, taking care not to over-mix and deflate the peaks.
  • Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let the pan cool for at least 10 minutes, and then invert onto a board and let cool completely before icing.

Ice and Decorate the Cake

  • Make the icing by adding the softened butter, softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract into a large bowl. Use an electric hand mixer to combine the ingredients until a smooth consistency is reached.
    1½ cup unsalted butter, 1 lb cream cheese, ¾ lb powdered sugar, 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Use an offset spatula to ice the top and sides of the cake. Place rows of blueberries in the top left corner of the cake, about a 5"x7" rectangle. Make four rows of "stripes" with the strawberries across the top of the cake. Pipe in rows of icing (with the large star tip) between the strawberry "stripes" and along the edges of the top of the cake. Use the small star tip to make 3 to 4 rows of "stars" across the top of the blueberries.
    ½ pint blueberries, 1 pint strawberries


See the video near the top of the blog post for visual guidance. If you liked the video, please subscribe to our YouTube channel
The cake can be made and iced (the base icing) up to 24 hours in advance of serving. If possible, cover the cake with an inverted roasting pan to keep it from drying. Add the fruit and piped icing within 1 to 2 hours before serving. 
Leftovers will keep covered in the fridge for up to 5 days. The fruit will spoil faster than the cake. You may need to remove the fruit if kept in the fridge for more than several days. 
The cake (pre-iced) can also be frozen for up to several months. Let thaw completely before icing and decorating. 


Calories: 695kcal | Carbohydrates: 93g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 116mg | Sodium: 388mg | Potassium: 308mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 68g | Vitamin A: 1.301IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 129mg | Iron: 2mg
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    • Hi Ginny, we aren’t experts in high altitude baking. I know how high of an altitude can make a difference as well. There are numerous variables to consider. Here is an article from Colorado State University that is considered to be well researched and respected. You may not have to make any changes and it would turn out just fine. I believe going with a little less baking powder, slightly increasing the buttermilk, and possibly baking at a slightly higher temperature are all points that could help. Let us know if you bake the cake and how it turns out! Best, Kris & Wesley

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