Home » DIY Tutorials » DIY Holiday » Make-a-Cake Series: Flag Cake

Make-a-Cake Series: Flag Cake

Have you noticed all the American flags showing up in the stores?

It has to mean the 4th of July is coming up and I could not be more excited.
It’s not for a few weeks but I can’t wait!
The 4th is my favorite holiday. I love the parades, the barbecues, the fireworks.
I appreciate the time to remember how lucky I am to live in America.
I could not let my favorite holiday go by without a special cake to take to our barbecue.
This cake not only looks delicious but it has a little surprise inside.
When you cut it open……
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…….it’s an American flag!
Cute right?
Perfect for our celebrations.
Here is how you can have your own.
  • Two 9 inch round pan
  • Sky Blue gel color
  • Wilton round cookie cutter set — purchased at Micheal’s
  • White cake mix
  • Red velvet cake mix
There are going to be 5 layers to this cake.
Mix your red velvet cake mix.
Don’t forget these baking tips if you need them.
Put 2 cups of batter in each pan.
(And save the rest of the red batter for a later step.) 
Bake for 13-15 minutes.
Cool for a few minutes, turn over onto a cooling rack, wash the pans.
Mix your white cake mix using 4 egg whites instead of 3 whole eggs.
This will keep your cake mix white and not tinted yellow.
Put 2 cups of your white cake mix in an another bowl and use the gel dye to turn it blue.
Take the second largest cookie cutter and place it in a pan.
My cookie cutter was 4.25 inches across. (One a little smaller will also work.)
Use what you have.
Spoon 1 cup of the blue into the outside of the pan. Using the back of a spoon to smooth it out.
Then fill the inner circle with 3/4 a cup of white.
Lift the cookie cutter straight up out of that batter.
Repeat this in the other pan……but with red (leftover from earlier) in the middle.
Bake both of these.
Put the rest of your white batter (about 2 cups) into a pan and bake.
After they cool, wrap them all in saran wrap and freeze for 24 hours.
I used cream cheese frosting for this cake.
There are so many cream cheese frosting recipes out there
and I took what I liked about a few and created my own recipe.
Here it is if you would like to use it.
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 pound cream cheese (two packages) — room temperature
3 sticks butter — room temperature
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 pounds powder sugar
Cream the cheese and butter together on low speed with a mixer.  Scrape the bowl. Add lemon juice and vanilla. Mix together. Add powder sugar on low until incorporated.  Mix on med-high for 3 minuets to make the frosting a bit lighter. Chill for 1/2 hour to stiffing up before using.
When you are ready to finish your cake. Stack and ice your cake in this order:
Blue and red
Blue and white
Remember to thinly ice the cake (called a crumb coat).  Let it set for 20 minutes and then frost again with a thicker coat. 
Instead of giving this cake a smooth perfect look I went for messy and loose.
You can decorate this any way you want.
You can cover it with fondant and place stars like this, make it smooth and leave it white, or be creative and design a whole new look.  Go for it!
Using a straight spatula, I made marks going every which way.
It has no pattern……….just let it be free form.
To make the circles, take your cookie cutters and dip them in food coloring.
Then place them on the cake and lift straight up. Use multiple sizes and colors.
Now you’re ready to take a beautiful confection to a party.


And only you will know about  the surprise that waits inside!
Happy decorating……..and happy 4th of July!
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  1. Alisha says:

    oops, sorry, didn’t mean to ask twice- I didn’t think my first one sent :)

  2. Alisha says:

    Can I make the frosting a day ahead of time or will it be too thick to handle?

  3. Alisha says:

    Can I make the frosting a day in advance or will it be to hard to work with?

  4. karen lucas says:

    cute will try to make it this july. hope it turns out as good as this one

  5. natalie s. says:

    this was so amazing! i tried it for the fourth as my brothers birthday cake (yes, his birthday is the fourth of July) and everyone in the family LOVED it! there was only one piece left! it turned out a lot better than i expected, having no help at all, and i am only 12! thank you so much for the great instructions!

  6. Donna A. says:

    I made this for our 4th celebration yesterday (2012) and it was amazing. The only thing I will do next time is level the tops of the layers so the layers don’t “slide” when frosting. Otherwise, it was delish and everyone thought I was so smart. I fessed up and emailed your link to five people today. Thanks for such a great tutorial.

  7. Alyssa says:

    Omg this frosting is to DIE for. I even used low fat cream cheese and it is just the fluffiest, lightest thing to ever hit my tongue….I am usually really opposed to pre-made cake mixes, but for time and money’s sake, used them according to the instructions. I gotta say, bombing. :D
    I can’t wait for my friends to cut into this at the BBQ today!!! :D

  8. katie r says:

    the rings would be cool for an olympic cake :)

  9. Hannah says:

    I made this and it was a HUGE hit! The icing recipe is amazing too!

  10. Kierston Shae says:

    I love this! I featured it on my blog at come check it out & grab a button!

  11. Elyse Ellis says:

    This cake looks amazing! We feautred it on our blog! We love your blog!

  12. Julya says:

    I made this cake last 4th of july and it was a big hit! Can’t wait to make it again, so festive!

  13. Hannah says:

    Brittany, you are amazing! i made this cake awhile back for the 4th of July and it turned out great. I love all your work! Happy baking!

  14. Grandma says:

    This was a big hit at our fourth of July dinner. I too would add to remind us to save the red velvet cake batter. Silly me had to mix another batch but they loved the cupcakes too. This will become a tradtion.

  15. CHELZERS says:

    I tried it and it was a hit! My girls especially liked it! :) I think it will be a tradition! Take a peek at my blog where I posted pics and linked back to you. Thanks for the tutorial!

  16. D'On Marx says:

    Love it and tried it! It was great. The only thing I would suggest is adding in the directions to save the remainder of the red velvet cake. :) I tossed mine and ended up with a four layer cake instead of five. hahaha. It still turned out cute and I loved it. Overall, it was fun and tasted awesome.

  17. erin, maker of chimes says:

    This was such a hit with my family!

    I did strawberry cake mix instead of the red velvet and it was quite yummy if I do say so myself :)

  18. Amy B says:

    I just made this!! The frosting is beyond good!!! I used too much of the white making the blue so I had to be creative – next time I know though! I posted some pictures on my blog –

    Thanks for the wonderful way to celebrate the 4th!!

  19. I Do Faces says:

    Thanks for the EASY tutorial!! I was reading some of the comments before I baked this cake and just fyi for lacycox…..using "clear vanilla" helps keep your frosting white. Its really easy to find, I get it at Walmart!
    HAPPY 4TH!!

  20. Lora says:

    I love this and want to make it…for tomorrow! That leaves me with much less than 24 hrs to freeze the cake layers. Is that okay??

  21. Brittany says:

    Trinette- I had that thought too. I think if you added a bit of water to the food coloring before you applied it might help.

    Amanda- By the time you get the cake out of the freezer and stacked it will be between frozen and thawed, this will be the perfect time to frost. If your cake is more room temp I would suggest putting it in the fridge for a half hour to cool it down.
    Good luck!!

  22. Amanda says:

    Quick question (since I'm making it tomorrow)…after freezing for 24 hours, do you frost it while it's still frozen or thaw it completely first? How long does cake take to thaw anyway? Making this for a work potluck.

  23. lcrowley20 says:

    This was sooo CUTE!!! I am not a baker by any means, but you made it sounds easy. I decided to try and it turned out great.

  24. Trinette Hayslip says:

    Quick question-
    I have all the supplies and I super exited to make this, but won't the food coloring on the outside dye your mouth when you bite into it? Just curious. Maybe I am missing something. I can just see this being a huge mess for kids.

  25. Gypsy Heart says:

    Brilliant! I will definitely try this ~

    Thanks so much for sharing!


  26. Staci says:

    I am definitely bookmarking this post! How creative and cute :)

  27. PeaceLoveApplesauce says:

    Just wanted to let you know that I featured this on my blog today. :)

  28. Annabelle says:

    Girl! You have some great stuff on your blog. I'm loving this cake. I came over from, well, honestly I don't know. But I'm sure it was a great blog! LOL

    Feel free to use my free crochet pattern if you'd like – it's red white and blue bangles/bracelets. Great for the 4th! Just click my icon and you're on your way.

    I'll be back soon!

  29. Tiffany says:

    I never FULLY read the post, thinking I didn't have the cake pans. Duh!!! You didn't say there was a cheat. Thanks so much for sharing, I LUV to bake :)

  30. Janna says:

    Thank you so much! My daughter and I made this cake this week for a potluck and I am so excited! This was my first EVER stacked cake in nine years of marriage! It came out (on the outside) looking almost just like your picture. Not quite on the inside, but I bet it's delicious.

  31. Jilly Beanz Thingz says:

    Me likey!!!

  32. Brittany says:

    lactcox–Mine just turned out that color but I have fix for you! Wilton makes white coloring for frosting. It's next to the other gel dye at your craft store. It's called Wilton white icing color.

    Here is the link on Amazon:

    You can use it to make your icing more white or if you are coloring something and get too dark, it will lighten it up again.
    Good luck!

  33. lacycox says:

    How did you get your frosting so white?! Ha ha I tried it and mine turned out yellowish….please help :)

  34. Natalie Ruth says:

    haha this is soo great! I WILL be making this cake for the 4th of July. My dad is a cake fanatic and he will absolutely get a kick out of this cake. Hopefully he'll leave some for the rest of us! Thank you for your awesome recipes

  35. Reagan Law says:

    Oh my goodness! I have to make this!! That is so cool!

  36. Brittany says:

    anglesey- I don't think you could freeze this frosted unless you were not worried about the outside frosting getting messed up. If you wanted to do it wrap it tight with plastic wrap and freeze it. Who knows the plastic wrap might give it a cool texture!
    Also, I used strawberry last year just for fun. The red velvet is more red and goes really well with cream cheese frosting so I went that way. You can use either!!
    Good Luck!

  37. angleseyfamily says:

    I am so excited to make this! My husband's birthday is on the 5th so we always try and do something at the campout. Can I freeze it frosted too to take up there? I have a question though, on your referenced 4th of July cake (using fondant stars) you used a strawberry cake mix for the red layer instead of the red velvet. Any particular reason? Thanks for such a cute idea!

  38. The Nicholson's says:

    I love this! Thank you so much for sharing your skills with us! I am really going to make this for the 4th of July (and maybe for Pioneer Day on the 24th too!

  39. Ned says:

    The original version of this cake came from 17 and Baking last year.. This version with the ring mold makes the assembly a bit easier but breaks up the blue field into layers. But this is cute too.

  40. Huugagirl says:

    This is sooo cute! I may have to try this (when the kiddos aren't around!)

  41. Angie says:

    So cute! You are awesome! I am dying to give your fondant a try for my daughter's birthday next month. I better get to practicing!

  42. Jill says:

    That is awesome! I love fun cakes like this! I think I will have to try this one this year!

  43. Amy B says:

    The 4th is one of my favorite holidays too and I love this cake! I can't wait to try it – thanks for posting it!

  44. rainbowcreek says:

    Cute, cute cake. I remember my mom had a little metal ring thingy that she used to make checkerboard cakes. I have been trying to figure that out for a long time. Now I see how it worked. I am definitely going to do a red white and blue cake this year! thanks!

  45. Shawn says:

    Too flippin' Cute!! I am going to link this post in my blog! Thanks for the directions! I am going to try this for my sister's Bday! It happens to be on the 4th of July!


  46. evolve by mona says:

    that is awesome. All i can say is wow your cakes and ideas are incredible.

  47. ificould says:

    That's amazing!!

  48. Heather says:

    This is AWESOME!!

  49. Chiemi says:

    Wow! I love how that cake looks! It's so pretty! I cannot wait to try this.

  50. Kourtney says:

    I've never been good with cakes but I think I'm feeling inspired!

  51. Maggie says:

    OH MY GOSH!!!! This is amazing!!! I can't wait to try it out! :D

  52. Heather says:

    That is way too cute! :)

  53. Rachel says:

    Whoa. I cannot WAIT to try this!

  54. - Sarah :-) says:

    Aww… This is awesome! I'm LOVIng it! Definitely going ot have to steal this idea…

  55. Macy says:

    Ooooooh this is too too cute!:). If I'm lucky, I might be able to convince my mom to make this! Hah! :-D

  56. Ginger says:

    Not the "typical" flag cake with berries on top! Your cake is MUCH better! Thanks for sharing your beauty and for giving the tutorial as well!
    Definitely a great addition to a summer party

  57. Monica says:

    That cake looks SOOO yummy. It doesn't help to drool over this when I am trying to eat right, but I must make it for the 4th! Thanks!

  58. Shirley says:

    I'm not one for making cakes, but this one definitely makes me want to! I so want to try it out!

  59. Laura and Dustin says:

    This is so cute!! I love this idea of a flag layered cake!!
    My niece turned 5 a couple of weeks ago and she wanted a rainbow cake and so her mom did a 7 layer cake-each one a color of the rainbow and then she sprinkled skittles on top! It was so cute and fun!!

  60. bethanndodd says:

    I love it! Thank you for posting it sooner than later. We are having an annual carnival/fireworks party on the
    26th and this is the perfect dessert!!!

  61. Amy@ServingPinkLemonade says:

    That is one of the coolest cakes I have ever seen. WOW! If I'm really brave I might try it.

  62. Kinley says:

    Cute Brittany! You are just so clever! Love it!!!

  63. Lorie says:

    Thanks for the tutorial! I love it!

  64. Kari @ Ucreate says:

    How cool is this?! Coolest summer cake ever!

  65. Amy Juhasz says:

    This is so so cool!

  66. Stephanie Lynn @Under the Table and Dreaming says:

    This is simply amazing! Looks fabulous! TFS – Super cute. ~ Stephanie Lynn

  67. Amanda says:

    Wow, I love it! Even if I don't use the layering idea (my small family would never finish a 5 layer cake!), I still like the colorful circles on the white frosting.

  68. Mandy @ mintnclandycreate says:

    Oh my goodness! This is great! Thank you.

  69. Nana's Fun Stuff says:

    What a cute cake!! Love it and think I'll give it a shot! Thanks and have a great day!

  70. Beth McC. says:

    I am so making this!! Thanks for the directions!! Yay!!

  71. marykaye says:

    So Cute! you could use star cookie cutters too!

  72. Amanda Joy says:

    Sweet! I can't wait to try this:)

  73. Echo @ Sweetwater Creek says:

    This is so cute! I want to try it!

  74. Rebekah says:

    So cute! I can't wait to make this one for our family bbq!!!!

  75. Kami @ Everyday Heaven says:

    SO CUTE! I have been a little tired of the blueberry and strawberry cake, this is perfect! Thank You!

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Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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