A charmingly festive flag cake with a delicious buttercream frosting. This patriotic cake will be the centerpiece of all your red, white and blue holidays.
No matter what sparkly, spangly dessert you make, you won’t go wrong with this flag cake, a berry patriotic cake, firecracker cupcakes or a big batch of these edible eagles, either way you’re guaranteed to make a sweet impression.
Flag Cake Recipe
Is it cliché to make a flag cake for a fourth of July celebration? It probably is, but who really cares because it’s a showstopper on any dessert table!
Related: Patriotic Oreo Balls
And let’s clear this up…I am not a cake decorator. I could be if I practiced, but I currently do not have that luxury of time. However, the simple design of this flag cake, just repeating stars, is about the easiest pattern to make.
If you can fill and squeeze piping bags, you’re not going to have any problem baking this cake.
While I love baking from scratch, there are many of you who shy away from doing it.
For this flag cake recipe I’ve doctored up a vanilla cake mix and turned it into a super delish dense cake that tastes like it was homemade.
You can’t mess it up.
Ingredients for a Flag Cake with Buttercream Frosting
Since we’re doctoring up a vanilla cake mix, you’re going to completely disregard any ingredients on the box and instead add sour cream, whole milk, eggs and butter. Red and blue food coloring will be used to color swirls in the cake.
The buttercream frosting is a standard recipe with butter, shortening, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract. Red and blue food coloring is used again to color it the frosting in batches.
How to Make a Patriotic Flag Cake
It’s easier than you think.
We are go to start by taking a boxed cake cake mix and leveling it up with ingredients that are not listed on the box.
Once the batter has been poured into the baking pan, red and blue food coloring are gently swirled in the batter to create a red, white and blue cake as per the pictures.
The cake can be frosted once it has completely cooled.
Making buttercream frosting requires a mixer, but is fairly simple.
Once made, the frosting will need to be divided into three separate bowls, coloring one batch red, another blue and leaving one white.
Frosting will be added to three piping bags. A large star tip is used to create each individual star.
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Where Do I Find the Pastry Tips and Piping Bags?
You can find them at any big box store or craft store or for the most inexpensive option, this set of bags and tips is a great deal.
Can I Used Canned Frosting?
You totally can, you will need two to three cans of vanilla frosting.
However, the homemade buttercream is so delicious, if you have the time I urge you to give it a shot.
My Cake Didn’t Come Out as High as the Pan, Is that Okay?
Yes, it’s okay!
This is a denser cake with extra fat added to the box mix. If you’re looking for a fluffier cake, you can make the cake according to direction’s on the box.
My Frosting Seems Very Thick, What Can I Do?
Add more water by the teaspoon until it is the perfect consistency. Remember, it needs to be stiff enough to pipe into stars on the cake.
How Many Servings?
This cake can easily be sliced into fifteen pieces for a larger group.
At twelve slices the pieces are much larger, it just depends on how many people you are serving and how big you prefer the serving to be.
You can easily get eighteen pieces, which is perfect if you also have other desserts to serve.
Other Patriotic Recipes
- Patriotic Pretzels
- Red, White and Blue Sangria
- Patriotic Cones
- Mixed Berry Pretzel Dessert
- Maraschino Cherry Ice Cream
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- 1 box vanilla cake mix
- 1 cup full fat sour cream
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
- 2 large eggs
- red and blue food coloring
- 1 cup butter, room temperature
- 1 cup shortening
- 2 lbs confectioners sugar
- 1-1/2 tbsps water
- 1-1/2 tsps vanilla extract
- red and blue food coloring
- 1 tbsp red, white and blue sprinkles
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine cake mix, sour cream, milk, butter, and eggs. Using a hand held or stand mixer, mix on high for 4 minutes.
- Pour batter into your baking pan and spreading it out evenly.
- Add drops of the blue food coloring to the top of the batter. Using the back of a spoon, swirl the food coloring into the batter until it begins to mix in. Repeat with drops of the red food coloring to the top while carefully swirling the red color around (make sure you don't over mix it, or you will end up with a purple cake).
- Bake for 25-28 minutes until a toothpick can be inserted from the middle and comes out clean.
- While cake is cooling, put together the buttercream. (The cake needs to be completely cooled down before frosting it.)
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and shortening at medium-high speed, until they are well combined. Turn speed down to low and slowly add in confectioners' sugar until incorporated.
- Add water and vanilla and mix on high for 4-6 minutes, until light and fluffy.
- Divide frosting into three separate bowls, coloring one batch red and another blue. Leave one white. Place your frosting into three piping bags with a large star tip.
- Flip the cake onto a tray or you can leave it in the original baking pan.
- To make the flag design, hold the piping bag straight up and down, gently squeeze the bag until there is a dot of frosting. Immediately stop the pressure on the bag and pull the bag straight up.
- Start out piping the blue rectangle on the top left by adding four lines of the frosting dots about 5 inches long and 3inches wide.
- Make the red and white strips starting out with the red line on top and alternating colors on each row going down to the bottom until the cake is completely covered.
- Add sprinkles to the top of the cake.
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