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Flag cake slices on plates

4th of July Flag Cake

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: 4th of July, banana cake with cream cheese frosting, vanilla cake
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 3 hours
Servings: 12
Calories: 686kcal
A patriotic cake perfect for 4th of July, Memorial Day, or any time of year!
Print Recipe


Vanilla Cake

  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract or 2 teaspoons extract and 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1 cup oil vegetable, canola, or extra light olive oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk Can be made with 1 cup milk and 2 teaspoons vinegar or lemon juice, add acid to milk and set aside for 5 minutes before use

Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

  • ½ cup unsalted butter set at room temp about 10 minutes but should still be cool
  • 8 oz cream cheese directly from fridge
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract always use pure vanilla extract if possible
  • 4 cups powdered confectioners sugar
  • 1 to 4 tablespoons heavy cream heavy whipping cream or milk- although I do like the richness that cream adds


Vanilla Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350*F.
  • Prepare cake pans (line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper, butter and flour the sides of the pans)
  • In a medium bowl, add cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir together with whisk, and set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, add eggs and beat 10-20 seconds. Add sugar and continue to beat on medium speed about 30 seconds. Add vanilla and oil, beat.
  • Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add about half of the flour mixture. Add half of the milk, then the rest of the flour and the rest of the milk. Beat until just combined. Scrap down the side of the bowl.

Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Place butter in a large mixing bowl and beat until smooth. Add cream cheese and blend until fully combined and smooth, about 30 seconds.
  • Add vanilla extract and powdered sugar and blend on low speed until combined. Increase to medium speed and beat until it begins to get fluffy.
  • Slowly add the heavy cream, a little bit at a time until desired consistency is met. (Don't add too much if you want the frosting to stay in place when piped on cupcakes.)
  • Beat until fluffy, about 1 minute.
  • Use at once or keep refrigerated. (This frosting will keep well in the refrigerator for several days, but you may need to re-beat it for the best texture.)


  • Prepare two 8″ cake pans by coating with a small amount of butter and flour, and placing parchment paper in the bottom.
  • Prepare one batch of batter and color it red (I used Americolor super red gel). Divide the batter equally and pour into the two prepared pans.
  • Bake for 22 - 30 minutes at 350 degrees
  • While the red cakes are baking, prepare another batch of batter. Divide the batter into two bowls and color one of the bowls of batter blue (I used Americolor royal blue). Leave the remaining bowl of batter uncolored.
  • When your red cakes have baked and cooled, remove from pans. Wash and then prepare pans for the white and blue batter. Bake.
  • Slice the two red cake in half (horizontally), so you’ll have a total of 4 red layers. Set aside one layer, this will not be used for the cake. Cut a 4″ circle out of one of the layers. So you want to have two 8″ round layers and one 4″ round layer.
  • Cut the white cake in half as well. Then use a 4″ cookie cutter to cut a circle out of one of the halves.
  • Use a 4″ cookie cutter again (or make a 4″ circle of cardboard and use that as your template) to cut out the center of your blue cake.
  • Assemble cake with a thin layer of frosting between each layer of cake, starting on the bottom with red cake, then white, then red, then blue. Add some frosting along the inside “ring” of the blue cake to hold in the next two layer which will fit inside the opening. Fill the hole in the blue cake with a 4″ round layer of with cake, some frosting, then the 4″ round of red.


Calories: 686kcal | Carbohydrates: 86g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 100mg | Sodium: 479mg | Potassium: 106mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 66g | Vitamin A: 621IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 107mg | Iron: 1mg