Celebrate July 4th with this easy red, white and blue cake! White cake, cream cheese frosting, raspberries and blueberries are used to create a decadent Fourth of July cake. The cream cheese frosting adds tanginess, and the fresh berries add lightness and a touch of acidity. This Fourth of July cake will also work all year long, and you can use just one type of berry to simplify things.
How is it already July? Time has been flying lately. Since July 4th is just around the corner, I pulled this dessert together using tried and true cake and frosting recipes for a beautiful, celebratory dessert.
It will be perfect for your holiday gathering!
Ingredients in 4th of July Cake
To make this red, white and blue cake, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Cake flour
- Baking powder
- Egg whites
- Vanilla extract
- Spice rum (optional; see recipe)
- Unsalted butter
- Granulated white sugar
- Cream cheese
- Confectioners’ sugar
Equipment and Tools
How to Make Fourth of July Cake
I haven’t included step-by-step photos for the cake and frosting here, because you can see them in my standalone posts for white cake and cream cheese frosting. Here are some photos showing how I get the final look of this cake.
Step 1: Spread the cream cheese frosting evenly over the cake
I like using an offset spatula to do this, but any spatula will get the job done. I liked how it looked leaving the sides for a color variation, but you can frost the sides if you prefer.
Step 2: Place a layer of raspberries in the center of the cake
I tried to mostly use similar sized raspberries and blueberries for the topping for a more uniform look. Start by placing one raspberry in the center, then create a circle of raspberries around it. Then do this a third time.
Don’t use all of the raspberries or blueberries; create a second layer (or partial second layer) to add some height.
Step 3: Place a layer of blueberries around the raspberries
Same process as above. I left about an inch of space around the edges free of berries so the frosting is more visible (for the red, white and blue effect).
Step 4: Top with the remaining berries.
If you look closely, you’ll note that I didn’t completely cover the first layer of berries. I focused on filling in gaps and creating some height, but it doesn’t need to look perfect.
If the berries aren’t staying in place, you can dab them in some of the leftover frosting (just a touch; whatever is left on the spatula should be plenty) and use it to sort of glue the berries in place.
That’s it! Slice and serve. Keep in mind that unlike most buttercreams, cream cheese frosting should be refrigerated after a few hours to keep it from spoiling.
Fourth of July Cake Substitutions and Variations
This Fourth of July Cake recipe has plenty of flexibility! Here are a few suggestions:
- I’ve added 1 tablespoon of rum to the cake, which you can barely taste. It just adds a little something “extra.” However, you can omit the alcohol and substitute more cream or vanilla extract if you prefer.
- We’ve been having a brutal summer, so I made this cake as a single layer incase the heat causes the frosting to melt. However, you can easily turn this into a layer cake by doubling the cake and frosting. My standalone white cake and cream cheese frosting recipes are already doubled; you can find the links below in the recipe notes.
- You can use a variety of berries to get the same effect (strawberries, cherries, etc). You can also use just one type of berry and serve this cake at other occasions.
- You can macerate the berries in a bit of sugar and/or alcohol. This post from Williams-Sonoma explains how to macerate berries.
What is Half-and-Half?
If you live outside the USA, you might be confused by the term half-and-half. Read more about it in my post What is Half-and-Half (and How to Make Your Own).
How to Make Cake Flour From All-Purpose Flour
If you only have all-purpose flour in the pantry, there’s no need to run to the store. Learn how to make cake flour with this simple tutorial!
More Cake Recipes
You can also see my full archive of cake recipes here!
Fourth of July Cake
- 7 1/2 ounces cake flour (1 1/2 cups using <a href="https://www.savorysimple.net/how-to-measure-flour/">Scoop & Sweep Method</a>)
- 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 large egg whites
- 1/2 cup half-and-half (or 50% heavy cream + 50% whole milk)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (or seeds from 1 vanilla bean)
- 4 ounces unsalted butter, cubed and at room temperature
- 8 ounces granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon spiced rum (optional; you can substitute with half-and-half or vanilla)
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 2 ounces unsalted butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 - 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted (or to taste)
Mixed Berry Topping
- 1 pint blueberries, picked through
- 1 pint raspberries, picked through
Prepare the White Cake
- Place an oven rack on the center shelf and preheat the oven to 350 degrees Barely grease the bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan and top with parchment (do not grease the sides of the pan). Place the cake pan on a sheet pan (this will make it easier to move the cake in and out of the oven).
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, and kosher salt. In a separate large bowl, vigorously whisk together the egg whites until frothy, around 15-20 seconds. Whisk in the half-and-half and vanilla extract until evenly combined.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together on low speed for 3-4 minutes, until the mixture has lightened in color and fluffed up a bit. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- With the mixer on low speed, swiftly alternate between adding the dry and wet ingredients over 60 seconds, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, all the way to the bottom to catch any hidden dry patches, then turn the speed up to medium for 20-30 seconds to aerate the batter slightly.
- Pour the batter into the cake pan and level out as much as possible (I like using a small offset spatula to do this). Bake for 28-33 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown, the top is still slightly pale but firm, and a toothpick comes out clean from the center.
- Cool completely, then run an offset spatula or small knife around the edge of the cake to detach any areas that may have stuck. Place a large cutting board or cardboard round covered with parchment (my preferencover the cake pan and gently flip to dislodge the cake. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
Prepare the Cream Cheese Frosting
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using a large bowl and an electric mixer, combine the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla on medium-high to high speed until smooth.
- Turn the speed down to low and add the salt and sugar in 2-3 batches, then turn the speed back up to high and mix until the frosting is smooth.
- Use immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for two weeks. Bring to room temperature and whisk to aerate before frosting.
Assemble the Cake
- Place the cake on a stand, removing the parchment paper.
- Top evenly with the frosting, then add about 2/3 of the raspberries in the center (see photo. Add 2/3 of the blueberries around the raspberries. Press the berries very gently so they better adhere to the frosting (but without sinking into it).
- Top with a second layer of berries using the remaining raspberries and blueberries. You can optionally dip the bottoms slightly in some frosting to help them adhere to the other berries.
- Slice and serve! If the cream cheese frosting has softened up to much for tidy slices, you can chill the cake for 10-30 minutes to firm it back up.
- Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 5 days (or as long as the berries stay fresh).
Please read my full post for additional recipe notes, tips, and serving suggestions!
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