This 4th of July Flag Cake is the perfect size for serving a crowd this Independence Day. The white Texas sheet cake base is perfectly sweet and delicious paired with fresh fruit in red, white, and blue colors to make a simple flag design that is easy enough for anyone to pull off.

A 4th of July flag cake with fresh fruit decorations.


Table of Contents
  1. What You'll Need
  2. How to Make a Flag Cake
  3. Recipe FAQ's
  4. Tips for Success
  5. Storage Instructions
  6. More 4th of July Recipes
  7. 4th of July Flag Cake Recipe Recipe

When it comes to 4th of July desserts, it doesn't get much easier than using fresh fruit to make a flag design on a simple sheet cake. The effect is impressive and patriotic without any complicated decorating or piping skills needed.

Make this for Flag Day, Memorial Day, or Veterans Day, not just the 4th of July. It's one of our go-to patriotic dessert recipes and everybody loves it!

You can also just enjoy the white Texas sheet cake recipe plain or use any fruit you like the rest of the summer!

If you need more red, white, and blue dessert inspiration, be sure to check out our Patriotic Popsicles, Patriotic Pretzel Rods, and our 4th of July Fruit Kabobs with Yogurt Dip.

What You'll Need

Scroll down to the recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

  • Flour - Regular all-purpose flour works great for this cake recipe.
  • Sugar - You'll use white granulated sugar for the cake batter and powdered sugar for the icing.
  • Eggs - A couple of eggs helps bind the cake and give it a nice flavor and texture.
  • Sour Cream - Adds moisture and richness to the cake base.
  • Butter - You will need butter both for the cake itself as well as the icing. I use salted butter in almost all my baking unless otherwise specified.
  • Baking powder & baking soda - These are leavening agents that give the cake a nice lift and tender crumb.
  • Vanilla & almond extract - I love the little something extra that a little almond extract gives to this cake, especially when paired with the fresh fruit.
  • Water - Water adds moisture to the cake batter to bring it together.
  • Milk - For the icing, which is sort of a cross between a frosting and a glaze.
  • Salt - Keeps things from being bland or overly sweet.
  • Fresh fruit - I used sliced strawberries and blueberries this time, but I have also used blackberries and raspberries in the past for blue and red options.
Ingredients for a 4th of July sheet cake.

How to Make a Flag Cake

  1. Prep. Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray an 11x17-inch half-sheet baking pan with baking spray.
  2. Whisk dry ingredients. Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to a large bowl and whisk them together. The method of adding melted butter and water to this cake batter is a little different so it's important to not skip this step of whisking the dry ingredients together or you can end up with clumps of baking powder or baking soda that aren't evenly mixed in.
Whisking dry ingredients in a bowl.
  1. Combine butter and water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat until melted. Add to mixing bowl along with flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Mix until combined.
  1. Add remaining wet ingredients. Whisk in the eggs, sour cream, and vanilla to finish the cake batter. Pour the cake batter evenly into the prepared pan.
  1. Bake. Bake the cake for 17-20 minutes until done. A toothpick inserted into the cake should come out clean with just a few crumbs when the cake is done. Cool for 20 minutes before icing.
  2. Make the icing. Heat butter and milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat until butter has melted and the liquid comes to a boil. Remove from heat and add powdered sugar and vanilla.
  1. Pour. Whisk the icing ingredients until combined, then pour over the cake while both are still warm, tilting the pan for even coverage. The icing will start to set up quickly so you will want to pour it over the cake as evenly as possible, tilting the pan immediately for the smoothest finish rather than using a spatula or knife to spread it around like more traditional frosting.
  1. Decorate. Use blueberries to fill in the upper left hand corner of the cake, then arrange sliced strawberries in rows with empty space between them to represent the red and white stripes of the flag.
A decorated 4th of July patriotic flag cake.

Recipe FAQ's

What are good red fruits for patriotic dessert recipes?

Our favorite red fruits for using in 4th of July recipes include strawberries, raspberries, and watermelon. But cherries, rhubarb, plums, and even red grapes can also sometimes work, depending on how you use them.

What are some good blue fruits for patriotic dessert recipes?

Blueberries are the obvious solution, but purple grapes, blackberries, pluots, black plums, and boysenberries are more options that could work as well.

What are good white fruits for patriotic dessert recipes?

White or light yellow fruits like apples (soaked in a little salt water to prevent browning), dragonfruit, pineapple, white peach, lychee, and coconut can all potentially work if you are looking for white fruits to use in a themed patriotic dessert.

Tips for Success

  • Use star cut outs. Another cute decorating idea if you don't want a flag design is to just arrange red and blue fruit in another decorative pattern or randomly around the top rather than in a flag design. Then use a small star cutter to cut out sliced strawberry stars, water melon stars, pineapple stars, or apple stars instead for another great design. I have more helpful tips on how to do this in my patriotic popsicles post where I show pics of how it's done.
  • Make it funfetti! Add some red, white, and blue sprinkles to your cake batter just before pouring it into the pan to bake for a confetti surprise.
  • Don't skimp on the fruit. The pieces with both blueberries and strawberries are most popular, so I like to serve this with a bowl of additional blueberries on the side since they cover the least amount of cake.

Storage Instructions

You can prepare the cake up to 3 days in advance and it will still taste fresh and delicious if you keep it covered with a layer of plastic wrap or foil. Use a couple of toothpicks stuck into the top of the cake to tent the foil or plastic wrap so it doesn't actually touch the surface of the cake and store it in the fridge without the fruit decoration for best results.

I recommend waiting to top with fruit until shortly before serving because the strawberries have a tendency to release their juices on sliced and in contact with the sugar in the frosting.

More 4th of July Recipes

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Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.

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4th of July Flag Cake Recipe

No ratings yet
Amy Nash
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 24 servings
This 4th of July Flag Cake is the perfect size for serving a crowd this Independence Day. The white Texas sheet cake base is perfectly sweet and delicious paired with fresh fruit in red, white, and blue colors to make a simple flag design that is easy enough for anyone to pull off.

Ingredients
  

Cake

  • 1 cup salted butter, cubed
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (250g)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract (optional)

Frosting

  • ½ cup salted butter
  • cup milk
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Assembly

  • blueberries or blackberries
  • strawberries or raspberries

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray an 11x17-inch half-sheet baking pan with baking spray.
  • Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to a large bowl and whisk them together. The method of adding melted butter and water to this cake batter is a little different so it's important to not skip this step of whisking the dry ingredients together or you can end up with clumps of baking powder or baking soda that aren't evenly mixed in.
  • Combine butter and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat until melted, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and add to the mixing bowl with the dry ingredients. Mix until combined.
  • Whisk in the eggs, sour cream, and vanilla. Pour the cake batter evenly into the prepared pan.
  • Bake the cake for 17-20 minutes until done. A toothpick inserted into the cake should come out clean with just a few crumbs when the cake is done. Cool for 20 minutes before icing.
  • Heat butter and milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat until butter has melted and the liquid comes to a boil.
  • Remove from heat and add powdered sugar and vanilla. Whisk well until combined, then pour over the cake while both are still warm, tilting the pan for even coverage.
  • Use blueberries to fill in the upper left hand corner of the cake, then arrange sliced strawberries in rows with empty space between them to represent the red and white stripes of the flag.

Notes

  • Storage: You can prepare the cake up to 3 days in advance. Keep it covered with a layer of plastic wrap or foil using a couple of toothpicks stuck into the top of the cake to tent the foil or plastic wrap so it doesn't touch the surface of the cake. Store it in the fridge without the fruit decoration for best results. I recommend waiting to top with fruit until shortly before serving because the strawberries have a tendency to release their juices on sliced and in contact with the sugar in the frosting.
Adapted from Taste of Home.

Nutrition

Calories: 300kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 178mg | Potassium: 32mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 37g | Vitamin A: 410IU | Vitamin C: 0.04mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe? Show me on Instagram!Mention @HouseOfNashEats or tag #houseofnasheats!

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About the author

Hi, I'm Amy

I enjoy exploring the world through food, culture, and travel and sharing the adventure with mostly from-scratch, family friendly recipes that I think of as modern comfort cooking.

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