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Make a spectacular red white and blue cake that’s beautifully festive, delicious, and incredibly easy to put together!

A slice of red white and blue cake topped with fresh berries.

A Festive Cake to Love!

Patriotic holidays like the Fourth of July and Memorial Day deserve festive desserts! We love to incorporate the colors of independence and the flavors of summer in our celebrations like this Red, White and Blue Cake.

Best part about this fun and festive cake, is that it’s not only delicious, but it’s rather simple as well. The colorful layers are perfect for celebrating and simple to achieve.

Why we love it:

  • Anyone can do it. We’ve made it easy to achieve with step-by-step directions so even a novice baker/cake decorator can enjoy this beautifully tasty cake.
  • Customize. Make it yours with different decorations and toppings from sprinkles to fresh fruit!
  • Show-stopper. This cake has a beautiful presentation with red, white, and blue layers, a festive 4th of July dessert or Memorial Day dessert!

Ingredients

Cake

  • 3⅔ cups cake flour – To make your own, add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch into a 1-cup measuring cup. Fill it the rest of the way up with all-purpose flour. Level the top. Dump the contents of the measuring cup into a bowl and use a whisk to sift them together. 
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1½ cups unsalted butterHow to Soften Butter Quickly
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 whole eggs – room temperature eggs incorporate best.
  • 2 egg whites  How to Separate Egg Whites
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups buttermilk  or make Homemade Buttermilk for this recipe.
  • red and blue food coloring – I use blue gel food coloring and red gel food coloring to get a deeper color. Using too much liquid food coloring can affect the texture of the cake batter.

Frosting

  • 1½ cups unsalted butter – softened
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • ⅓ cup milk or half and half
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • sprinkles – or other patriotic decorations
  • optional – add fresh blueberries and strawberries to the top

How to Make Red White and Blue Cake

  1. PREP. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 3 (8-inch) cake pans with parchment paper, then grease and set aside.
  2. BATTER. In a medium bowl, whisk 3⅔ cups cake flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and ¾ teaspoon baking soda, and set aside.
    • In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat 1½ cups butter and 2 cups sugar until light and fluffy. Add 3 eggs, 2 egg whites, and 1 tablespoon vanilla, and mix until smooth.
    • With the mixer on low, gradually add the dry ingredients, until well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Pour in 1½ cups buttermilk and mix until combined.
  3. COLOR. Divide the batter into 3 bowls and add red food coloring to one and blue to another, keeping the third white. Pour into three prepared cake pans.
  4. BAKE. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
Adding sprinkles to a frosted layered cake.

Frost and ASSEMBLE

  1. FROSTING. To make the frosting, beat 1½ cups butter in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy.
    • Add 6 cups powdered sugar, ⅓ cup milk, 1½ teaspoons vanilla, and a pinch of salt. Mix to combine. Add milk or powdered sugar as needed to make a smooth frosting. Beat on high for 2 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  2. ASSEMBLE. Level the tops of each of the cake layers with a serrated knife.
    • Place the blue cake layer down on a cake turntable or serving platter.
    • Spread on one cup of frosting.
    • Place the white cake layer on top and spread with another cup of frosting.
    • Place the red cake layer on top, then spread the frosting around the top and sides of the cake.

Tips for Frosting and Assembling

  • How to level cake tops. Once each cake layer has cooled, level the tops. Use a long serrated bread knife to cut off the domed portion of the cake leaving a flat and level top.  
  • Crumb coating. For a smoother look, add a light layer of frosting (known as a crumb coat) around the top and sides of the cake (after assembling), then refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.
    • Once the cake has chilled slightly, spread a thicker layer of frosting around the sides and over the top, and add dollops of frosting for decoration, if desired. Sprinkle with patriotic sprinkles. Refrigerate any leftovers.
Frosted and decorated patriotic layer cake.
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5 from 16 votes

Red White and Blue Cake

By: Lil’ Luna
Make a spectacular red white and blue cake that's beautifully festive, delicious, and incredibly easy to put together!
Servings: 12
Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Cool Time: 20 minutes
Total: 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients 

Cake

  • 3⅔ cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • cups butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • cups buttermilk
  • red and blue food coloring

Frosting

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Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!

Instructions 

Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 3 (8-inch) cake pans with parchment paper, then grease and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk cake flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda, and set aside.
  • In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the whole eggs, egg whites, and vanilla, and mix until smooth.
  • With the mixer on low, gradually add the dry ingredients, until well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Pour in buttermilk and mix until combined.
  • Divide the batter into 3 bowls and add red food coloring to one and blue to another, keeping the third white. Pour into three prepared cake pans.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool completely.

Frosting

  • To make the frosting, beat the butter in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy.
  • Add powdered sugar, milk, vanilla, and a pinch of salt. Mix to combine. Add milk or powdered sugar as needed to make a smooth frosting. Beat on high for 2 minutes, until light and fluffy.

Assemble

  • Level the tops of each of the cake layers with a serrated knife.
  • Place the blue cake layer down on a cake turntable or serving platter.
  • Spread on one cup of frosting.
  • Place the white cake layer on top and spread with another cup of frosting.
  • Place the red cake layer on top, then spread the frosting around the top and sides of the cake.

Notes

Crumb coating. For a smoother look, add a light layer of frosting (known as a crumb coat) around the top and sides of the cake, then refrigerate for 20-30 minutes. Once the cake has chilled slightly, spread a thicker layer of frosting around the sides and over the top, and add dollops of frosting for decoration, if desired. Sprinkle with patriotic sprinkles. Refrigerate any leftovers.
Adding the sprinkles to the bottom sides of the cake works really well while putting a baking sheet under the cake to catch all of the excess sprinkles so I could use them again.
Make ahead of time. Make the cake rounds ahead of time and store them until ready to assemble and decorate the cake. Wrap cooled round in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3-5 days. Add a layer of aluminum foil and freeze up to 3 months.If desired, layer the cakes and add a crumb coating (light thin layer of frosting) over the entire cake. The light layer will help keep the cake from drying out and it can be kept in the fridge overnight.  
Store frosted cake at room temperature or in the fridge for a couple of days. Use a cake keeper or cover with a large bowl to keep dust off. Be aware of odors in your fridge that could seep into the cake. Do not top with fresh berries or fresh flowers until 1-2 hours before serving. 
Store leftover cake. Remove any fresh fruit before storing it. Keep the cake in an airtight container(s) at room temperature for 3-5 days or in the fridge for 5-7 days.
Freeze frosted cake. Wrap the cake in plastic and freeze for 3-4 months. It will be safe for longer but will begin to lose some of its flavors.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice, Calories: 952kcal, Carbohydrates: 123g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 49g, Saturated Fat: 30g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 13g, Trans Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 167mg, Sodium: 688mg, Potassium: 164mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 94g, Vitamin A: 1539IU, Calcium: 84mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
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Recipe FAQ

  • berries: fresh strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries
  • Maraschino cherries 
  • decorate with patriotic sprinkles or candies
  • forgo candles and top with sparklers
  • color the frosting
  • Using a box cake makes this recipe easier and faster to make. Make the batter according to the instructions on the box. Separate it into 3 pans, add food coloring, and bake according to the box.
  • Use a large kitchen knife to cut a 4-inch diameter circle right in the center of the cake. 
  • This will also create a 2-inch band around the perimeter of the cake. Cut that band into 1-inch sections (wedding-size pieces) or 1½ inch sections (party-size pieces).
  • Once the outer pieces have been served, slice the remaining center circle into 6-8 triangles. 
  • Make the cake rounds ahead of time and store them until ready to assemble and decorate the cake. Wrap the cooled rounds in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3-5 days. Add a layer of aluminum foil and freeze up to 3 months.
  • Remove any fresh fruit before storing. Keep the cake in an airtight container(s) at room temperature for 3-5 days or in the fridge for 5-7 days.
  • Wrap the cake in plastic and freeze for 3-4 months. It will be safe for longer but will begin to lose some of its flavors.

For More Patriotic Cakes:

About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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5 from 16 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating




17 Comments

  1. Leslie says:

    5 stars
    I have made many of your recipes. They are always delicious. the directions are easy to follow. This cake is very pretty and dramatic. I especially appreciate the suggestions for frosting. I knew about the crumb coat, but I never knew about refrigerating afterward. That is quite helpful.

  2. Kara Evans says:

    5 stars
    This is definitely a recipe that I will be making again!

  3. Mayra Nevil says:

    5 stars
    This was amazing to make. Easy to follow.

  4. Ann cade says:

    5 stars
    Beautiful cake for elders who wish to drink tea et have a delightful snack!indoors.

  5. Ann cade says:

    5 stars
    Beautiful cake for elders who wish to drink tea et have a delightful snack!

  6. Mary says:

    5 stars
    What a beautiful cake. I can’t wait to make this for 4th of July. I especially like the sprinkles around the bottom of the rounds and the berries on top. Absolutely beautiful.

  7. Sherri says:

    Looks delicious can’t wait to bake it

    1. Lil'Luna Team says:

      Hope you enjoy!!

  8. Barbara cannon says:

    Perfect timing! My granddaughter picked this cake to make.

  9. Diane Gebhardt says:

    5 stars
    This cake truly screams Fourth of July!!! My grandsons love frosted cake. I am not the most talented cake decorator, but with this cake, the slices are the showstoppers.

  10. Lisa says:

    5 stars
    Your recipes sound and look amazing! Newbie on your site. Cannot wait until I use them.