Flag Cake

5 from 1 vote

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This Flag Cake is the perfect dessert for Memorial Day and Fourth of July celebrations! It’s an easy, homemade vanilla sheet cake topped with cream cheese frosting and fresh berries but decorated as stars and stripes. It’s the perfect treat!

finished flag cake

Flag Cake | Perfect for Holidays!

Today I’m posting about this super patriotic, fresh, and fun Flag Cake recipe! I took my vanilla cake recipe and made it into a sheet cake then topped it off with my super yummy cream cheese frosting. After that, I decorated the whole thing with fresh berries and more frosting. This kinda reminds me of a fruit pizza but made with a cake base instead of a sugar cookie base.

I love a good celebration and this cake is the perfect way to be festive. Here are a few American Holidays to make this Flag Cake for:

  • Memorial Day
  • Flag Day
  • Fourth of July
  • Election Day
  • Veterans Day
  • Olympics

Main Ingredients Needed

Gather up these ingredients to make this Flag Cake from scratch! If homemade isn’t your thing you can always use a boxed vanilla or white cake mix and two tubs of frosting. All the decorating instructions stay the same.

For the Cake

  • Flour– obviously needed for structure and a *little* gluten to hold this cake together.
  • Baking Soda + Baking Powder– our leavening agents for this vanilla cake. I like using both.
  • Salt– believe it or not, salt makes a huge difference in the finished product of your final cake. Instead of sweet on sweet on sweet, the salt helps balance the flavor and brings out the vanilla flavor.
  • Granulated Sugar– used to make the cake sweet.
  • Vanilla Extract– ok, friends, you’re going to want to use a good vanilla extract. Look for ‘pure vanilla extract’ instead of imitation vanilla for best results. (Both will work, I just recommend pure vanilla extract. This is a great one.) 
  • Butter + Vegetable Oil– I love the combination of the two of these in cakes. Butter gives great flavor and vegetable oil helps keep the cake really moist. Canola oil also works in place of vegetable oil.
  • Eggs + Egg Whites– Eggs are needed for structure in the cake but the egg whites are whipped into the batter to lift and lighten the cake. 
  • Milk– used for moisture and the protein in the milk gives a soft crumb texture to the finished cake.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Salted Butter – softened. If you use unsalted butter just add a pinch of salt later.
  • Cream Cheese – softened. This is where all of that delicious tangy cream cheese flavor comes from.
  • Powdered Sugar – to sweeten and to help thicken.
  • Vanilla Extract – to loosen it up a bit and give it tons of flavor.

For the Decoration

  • Blueberries + Raspberries – you could also use thinly sliced strawberries if raspberries aren’t your thing. Also don’t let this stop you from making whatever type of flag you’d like. There are all sorts of colored fruits out there so the sky is the limit!

How to Make Flag Cake

For full details on how to make this American Flag Cake, see the recipe card down below 🙂

Step 1: Preheat + Prep

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line sheet pan with parchment paper and/or spray well with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

Step 2: Make Cake Batter

In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together to combine. Set aside. In a liquid measuring cup, stir milk and vanilla together. Set aside.

In a separate large bowl, mix butter, oil and sugar together until combined. Mix in eggs and egg whites, one at a time, until mixture becomes very light and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix again briefly.

Alternate adding in flour mixture with milk mixture, being sure to start and end with flour. Scrape the sides and mix again to ensure a smooth batter.

Step 3: Bake + Cool

Pour into the prepared sheet pan and smooth the top. Bake 15 minutes in the lower 2/3rds of the oven. The cake will be done when a toothpick comes out clean or mostly clean with a few moist crumbs. Depending on your oven, this will take more or less time. Anywhere between 12-20 minutes.

Cool completely before frosting and decorating.

Step 4: Make Cream Cheese Frosting

Place all ingredients into a large bowl. Stir with a hand mixer (or stand mixer) until completely combined, thick and smooth. Scrape the sides and stir again briefly to ensure a smooth frosting. Use as desired. If you don’t like cream cheese frosting, you can use just plain Vanilla Buttercream. (You’ll want to double the recipe if using mine.)

Step 5: Decorate

Over cooled cake spread half of the cream cheese frosting in an even layer. It doesn’t have to be perfect since its getting covered with berries and more frosting.

With a toothpick or butterknife, outline the best you can the American flag. You don’t need all 13 stripes, I only had room for 7.

Fill the upper left rectangle with blueberries. Then alternate adding raspberries to each flag line. I started and ended with a red stripe (so four red stripes total and three white stripes).

With remaining cream cheese frosting, place in a piping bag with a star-shaped tip. Pipe on a couple of ‘stars’ then pipe two lines in each place of a white stripe.

starting to decorate sheet cake with berries

Storing Leftover Flag Cake

Because this recipe calls for cream cheese frosting any leftovers need to be stored in the fridge. Cover with plastic wrap and store for up to 3 days. After that the berries tend to turn and the base starts to get a little soggy. While still totally edible, I’d recommend eating this Flag Cake within the first 24 hours.

flag cake

Make-Ahead + Freezing Instructions

Make this Flag Cake ahead of time by making the vanilla cake and cream cheese frosting in advance. Frost and store in the fridge for up to 4 days (reserving a bit of cream cheese frosting for later). Then when you are ready to serve, wash and dry those berries and go to town decorating.

To Freeze

You can even freeze this recipe in parts and then assemble it on the day you plan on serving it. Simply wrap the cake layer in plastic wrap a couple of times then freeze for up to three months. Similarly, you can freeze the cream cheese frosting in a separate container for the same amount of time. Let both items thaw for about a day. Give the cream cheese frosting a quick whip in the stand mixer or with a hand mixer then used it as normal. Top with fresh fruit and you’ve got yourself a fabulous dessert to share!

American flag cake

Even More Patriotic Treats to Try!

flag cake

The printable recipe card is down below, enjoy!

5 from 1 vote

Classic Flag Cake

This Flag Cake is the perfect dessert for Memorial Day and Fourth of July! It's an easy vanilla sheet cake topped with frosting and berries.
servings 24 servings
Prep Time 35 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 50 mins

Ingredients

  • 12 oz blueberries
  • 48 oz fresh raspberries

For the Vanilla Cake

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 cup salted butter softened (two sticks)
  • 16 ounces cream cheese softened (two 8 ounce blocks)
  • 2 pounds powdered sugar 32 ounces or about 7 1/2 cups
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

For the Vanilla Sheet Cake

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line sheet pan with parchment paper and spray well with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together to combine. Set aside.
  • In a liquid measuring cup, stir milk and vanilla together. Set aside.
  • In a separate large bowl, mix butter, oil and sugar together until combined. Mix in eggs and egg whites, one at a time, until mixture becomes very light and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix again briefly.
  • Alternate adding in flour mixture with milk mixture, being sure to start and end with flour. Scrape the sides and mix again to ensure a smooth batter.
  • Pour into prepared sheet pan and smooth the top. Bake 15 minutes in the lower 2/3rds of the oven. Cake will be done when a toothpick comes out clean or mostly clean with a few moist crumbs. Depending on your oven, this will take more or less time. Anywhere between 12-20 minutes.
  • Cool completely before frosting.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Place all ingredients into a large bowl. Stir with a hand mixer (or stand mixer) until completely combined, thick and smooth. Scrape the sides and stir again briefly to ensure a smooth frosting.

To Decorate

  • Over cooled cake spread half of the cream cheese frosting in an even layer. It doesn't have to be perfect since its getting covered with berries and more frosting.
  • With a toothpick or butterknife, outline the best you can the American flag. You don't need all 13 stripes, I only had room for 7.
  • Fill the upper left rectangle with blueberries. Then alternate adding raspberries to each flag line. I started and ended with a red stripe (so four red stripes total and three white stripes).
  • With remaining cream cheese frosting, place in a piping bag with a star shaped tip. Pipe on a couple of 'stars' then pipe two lines in each place of a white stripe.

Nutrition

Calories: 492kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 68mg | Sodium: 251mg | Potassium: 102mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 55g | Vitamin A: 653IU | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: flag cake

vanilla cake

cream cheese frosting double

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1 Response
  1. Melissa Whittaker

    5 stars
    This Flag Cake recipe was crazy easy to make and was perfect for the Fourth! And, of course, it was delicious, thanks Lauren 🙂

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