Festive Red, White and Blue Cake that starts with boxed white cake mix! This patriotic 4th of July Cake has three layers in red, white and blue and is topped with homemade buttercream, sprinkles, and cherries.
I love 4th of July desserts! If it has a theme, I am all about it like my mini cheesecakes or red, white, and blue ice cream. This patriotic cake is my newest festive treat – it’s the perfect dessert for all your summer parties.
Patriotic Layer Cake Recipe
If you’ve never made a layer cake before you are going to LOVE this easy recipe. It looks way more complicated than it is to make – it’s the perfect centerpiece for your 4th of July party!
What makes it so easy is white cake mix – yep, we’re taking a big shortcut! I love to use cake mix for layer cakes because they’re always consistent so each layer turns out perfect.
We’re adding homemade buttercream frosting for the homemade touch. It’s rich and creamy and the red, white and blue cake layers really pop when you slice through the cake to pull out a slice.
This patriotic dessert will be the hit of the party – everyone will think you had it custom-made at a bakery!
Ingredients for 4th of July Cake!
- White cake mix – Use your favorite box cake mix brand. You will need two 15.25-oz boxes.
- Egg whites – I omit the egg yolks so the cake is a bright white.
- Vegetable oil – This makes a moist and fluffy cake!
- Red and blue food coloring – We love using a gel food coloring for a bright color.
- Softened unsalted butter
- Powdered sugar
- Garnishes: Cherries and red, white and blue sprinkles
How to Make a Fourth of July Cake
Mix: Combine the cake mixes, egg whites, oil, and water in large bowl with an electric mixer. Mix until the cake batter is smooth.
Tint: Divide the cake batter evenly between three bowl. Tint one red, one blue, and leave the other one white.
Bake: Pour the red cake batter into one prepared cake pan, the blue into another, and the white into a third cake pan. Bake the cakes until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool: Leave the cakes in the pan for five minutes and then turn them out onto cooling racks to cool completely.
Frosting: Whip butter and powdered sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy.
Assemble: Place the red cake on a cake platter and spread the frosting on top. Top it with the white cake and another layer of frosting. Add the blue cake on top. Frost the cake with the rest of the frosting.
Decorate! You should have enough frosting left to pipe some onto the cake for decoration. Add the cherries and sprinkles and it’s done!
Chill: Place the cake in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving it.
What kind of food coloring should I use?
I like to use gel food coloring because it’s more concentrated and creates vibrant colors.
What’s the best way to store this cake?
If you want to make it ahead, make and frost the cake and then store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve it. You can do this three to five days in advance.
Leftover cake should also be stored in the refrigerator.
We love using this Cake Server Storage container!
Funfetti 4th of July Cake: For a twist, add patriotic sprinkles to the white cake batter for a funfetti effect!
Fruit variations: Instead of cherries, decorate your cake with fresh berries like raspberries, strawberries and blueberries.
Frosting variations: You can also use store-bought frosting if you want to make it easier, or you can substitute cream cheese frosting for the buttercream frosting.
Decorating ideas: Instead of white frosting, color it red or blue. You can also add any clear extract to the frosting for flavor – almond extract is great with cherries or try clear vanilla extract.
I hope you try this 4th of July cake this year! It’s a fun and impressive dessert that will get you rave reviews. Enjoy!
More 4th of July Recipe Ideas
- Love cupcakes? My Red, White and Blue Cupcakes are another fun patriotic treat!
- Or, make a batch of July 4th Sugar Cookies. They’re decorated with icing that hardens so they’re great for parties!
- Cool off with a Patriotic Jello Salad – everyone will want a taste of this fun recipe made with Cool Whip, layers of jello, and fresh fruit!
- You won’t be able to stop eating these baked Red, White, and Blue Mini Cheesecakes.
- Bright, fun and festive Red, White and Blue Ice Cream is a No Churn Ice Cream recipe that is the perfect patriotic dessert!
- Jello Patriotic Parfaits are fun, easy, and family friendly!
- 2 white cake mixes 15.25 ounces each
- 6 egg whites
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups water
- Red and blue food coloring
- 2 cups unsalted butter 4 sticks, softened
- 2 pounds powdered sugar
- Cherries and patriotic sprinkles for garnish
- food coloring
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray 3, 8-inch cake pans, with cooking spray and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer or stand mixer combine the 2 cake mixes, egg whites, oil and water until combined.
- Evenly divide your batter between 3 bowls. Then use the red food dye in one and the blue food dye in the other. Just a few drops of each to get your desired shade. Mix each until combined.
- Next pour the red batter in one pan, the blue in another and the white batter in a third pan.
- Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of each cake comes out clean.
- Let the cakes cool in their pans for 5 minutes before inverting them onto a cooling rack to finish cooling completely.
- When the cakes are completely cool, after about a hour, it is time to make the butter cream.
- In a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer or stand mixer combine the butter with the powdered sugar and whip until light and fluffy. If you have a hard time getting the frosting to a fluffy consistency you can add a tablespoon of water or milk at a time until you get your desired consistency.
- Place the red layer on your cake plate and spoon a bit of the frosting in the middle and spread out evenly over the top of cake.
- Stack the white layer on top of the red, add frosting to the top of the white layer and spread out evenly then repeat with the blue layer.
- Once your layers are stacked finish completely frosting the cake with the buttercream.
- I like to take whatever buttercream is leftover and place into a piping bag and pipe around the edges and top with a star tip.
- I add sprinkles and maraschino cherries to decorate.
- Place the cake into the fridge for at least an hour to chill and set up.
- If you want to make it ahead, make and frost the cake and then store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve it. You can do this three to five days in advance.
- Leftover cake should also be stored in the refrigerator.
- Funfetti 4th of July Cake: For a twist, add patriotic sprinkles to the white cake batter for a funfetti effect!
- Fruit variations: Instead of cherries, decorate your cake with fresh berries like raspberries, strawberries and blueberries.
- Frosting variations: You can also use store-bought frosting if you want to make it easier, or you can substitute cream cheese frosting for the buttercream frosting.
- Decorating ideas: Instead of white frosting, color it red or blue. You can also add any clear extract to the frosting for flavor – almond extract is great with cherries or try clear vanilla extract.