This semi-homemade and super easy Flag Cake is made using a boxed cake mix, instant vanilla pudding, Cool Whip and is topped with fresh strawberries and blueberries to make a patriotic dessert! It is a deliciously simple way to use all those ripe summer berries and celebrate America. The cake mix makes this flag cake recipe quick and easy, but the fresh strawberries and blueberries make it taste totally homemade! The perfect summer dessert and a great way to celebrate the 4th of July!

flag cake decorated with strawberries and blueberries

With Memorial Day just around the corner and then the 4th of July coming up next, I thought it would be fun to share a festive and patriotic dessert. This red, white and blue cake could not be easier and turned out SO delicious!

A tender, moist cake is dressed with fluffy, vanilla-flavored whipped topping and decorated with strawberries, blueberries, shredded coconut and marshmallows to make the perfect 4th of July dessert. This flag cake recipe is the ultimate summer dessert and will be your go-to for celebrating the season.

There are lots of different 4th of July desserts out there to try, but I don’t think any of them could top this absolutely incredible flag cake. I sure hope you’ll give it a try this summer! Now, let’s get to all of the delicious details!

slice of flag cake with whipped topping and strawberries

flag cake ingredients

There are three main components needed for making this easy flag cake recipe: the cake, the whipped topping and the decorations. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • For the cake. You’ll need either a yellow or white box cake mix. My personal favorite for this recipe is Betty Crocker’s® Super Moist White Cake Mix (15.25 ounces) (not sponsored). To make the cake extra flavorful and moist, ignore the ingredient instructions on the box and instead stir the cake mix with 3 large eggs, 1/2 cup sour cream, 1 cup cold milk and 1/2 cup melted butter. You won’t believe how good this cake tastes — truly bakery style!
  • Whipped topping. Instead of a heavy frosting, this flag cake is topped with a vanilla pudding and Cool Whip mixture that is light and airy. I really prefer this type of topping over frosting because it’s light and not overly sweet.
  • To decorate. Use fresh blueberries, strawberries, shredded coconut and marshmallows to create the look of a flag on top of the cake. Totally adorable and really delicious too! If you prefer, the marshmallows and/or shredded coconut could be omitted. The whipped topping is white, so it will still look just like a flag.

how to make a 4th of July cake 

Not only is the ingredient list simple, but making this American flag cake is a breeze! You’ll find the full, printable recipe at the bottom of the post, but here’s a quick rundown of how to make this patriotic dessert:

  • Make the cake. Stir together all of the cake ingredients and transfer the batter to a 9×13″ baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Follow the instructions on the cake mix box for bake time.

mixing together ingredients for a yellow cake

 

  • Make the whipped topping. Whisk the cold milk with the instant vanilla pudding (small box) for about 2 minutes and until thickened. Then, stir together the pudding with the whipped topping (I used Cool Whip) until completely combined.

mixing together vanilla pudding with cool whip

  • Decorate. Spread the vanilla whipped topping over the completely cooled cake. Start decorating, by outlining a square in the top left corner with blueberries. Fill in with remaining blueberries, leaving some white space showing through. You can leave the white space to represent the stars or fill them in with mini marshmallows. Line the strawberry slices in 4-5 rows to form the stripes. In between rows of strawberries, you can fill in with shredded coconut or leave the space white. After a good hour or so in the fridge, this flag cake comes out cool, creamy, fruity, and so delightful. Enjoy!

using strawberries and blueberries to make a flag cake

variations and substitutions

I’m pretty fond of this flag cake as-is, but there are lots of tasty ways to get creative with this patriotic dessert. Here are a few ideas:

  • Homemade cake. Since this flag cake is made with a box cake mix, it’s pretty effortless, but you can always substitute your favorite homemade cake recipe.
  • Buttercream frosting. I’m a huge fan of the whipped topping because I love that it keeps this summer cake from being too heavy, but if you prefer a buttercream or even cream cheese frosting that will totally work. Make your own or use store-bought.
  • Use raspberries. If you prefer raspberries over strawberries, they can be used to make the stripes.
  • Different decorations. If you’re wanting to make this cake for a celebration other than Memorial Day or 4th of July, simply top it with a layer of fruit. Make the berries into a fancy pattern or don’t, either way it will be delicious!

slices for 4th of July cake served on small white plates with forks

tips for the best flag cake

This flag cake recipe really could not be easier, but here are a few tips, so that your cake is absolutely perfect!

  • Number one tip: Make the cake the night before. This dessert works best with fully cooled cake and the cake gets more flavorful and moist when it sits out overnight.
  • Let the cake cool completely before adding the topping. You don’t want warm (or hot) cake melting the whipped topping. As stated before, it works great to make the cake the night before and then you can decorate it the day you will be serving it.
  • Use the freshest and ripest strawberries and blueberries available to decorate your flag cake. Make sure they are washed and thoroughly dried before topping the cake.
  • In my opinion, this cake is best enjoyed cold. I recommend storing it in the refrigerator at least 1 to 2 hours before serving.

piece of yellow cake topped with strawberries, blueberries and shredded coconut

what we love about this flag cake

There are many reasons why I will be making this patriotic cake on repeat all season, but here are just a few:

  • Tastes incredible. This American flag cake is so delicious, my family couldn’t seem to stay out of it and after a day spent swimming and laughing together, there wasn’t a single slice leftover! This 4th of July dessert is cool, refreshing and not overly sweet. It’s absolutely perfect!
  • Make ahead dessert. This flag cake is best served cold, so it works great to make it in advance to give it chill time in the refrigerator.
  • Feeds a crowd. This recipe makes a large 9×13″ cake and serves 24. Bring it along to all of your potlucks, summer parties and barbecues!

serving of flag cake on a small white plate with a fork

make ahead and storage recommendations

  • Make ahead. Feel free to make the cake 1 day in advance. Once completely cooled, cover it tightly and place it in the refrigerator. Add the whipped topping and fruit decoration just before serving. The whipped topping can also be made 1 day ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Give it a good stir before spreading it over the cake. To save even a bit more time, wash the strawberries and blueberries a few hours or up to a day in advance. Dry them thoroughly and then store in the fridge.
  • Storing leftovers. Tightly cover leftover flag cake and store it in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.
  • Freezing cake. I would not recommend freezing cake that has already been decorated. However, you can freeze the cake before decorating for up to 3 months. Wrap it in plastic wrap and then store it in a freezer-safe container or bag.

serving of yellow cake topped with strawberry slices and blueberries

You will not be disappointed by this red, white & blue cake! It’s so simple, comes together fast and everyone loves it!

more delicious summer desserts

No-Bake Cherry Cheesecake

No-Bake Oreo Pie – Only 3 Ingredients!

The Best Banana Pudding Ever!

Chocolate Delight

If you try this easy flag cake recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves it as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. It’s so fun to see what you’re cooking! Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.

flag cake decorated with strawberries and blueberries
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Flag Cake

This semi-homemade and super easy Flag Cake is made using a boxed cake mix, instant vanilla pudding, Cool Whip and is topped with fresh strawberries and blueberries to make a patriotic dessert! It is a deliciously simple way to use all those ripe summer berries and celebrate America.

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 1 box white or vanilla cake mix (I use Betty Crocker’s® Super Moist White Cake Mix (15.25 ounces))
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup cold milk
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted

For the topping

  • 2 cups cold milk
  • 1 (3.4 ounce) small box vanilla instant pudding
  • 1 (8 ounce) container whipped topping, thawed (I use Cool Whip)

For decorating

  • Blueberries
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Sliced strawberries
  • Unsweetened shredded coconut

Instructions 

  • To prepare the cake, in a large mixing bowl, stir together the cake mix, eggs, sour cream, milk and melted butter. Transfer cake batter to a greased 9x13" baking dish (I use a glass dish). Bake cake according to package instructions.
  • Once cake has cooked and cooled, make the topping. Whisk instant pudding with milk for two minutes and until thickened, according to package instructions. Stir together the pudding and whipped topping until combined. Spread whipped topping mixture over the cake.
  • To decorate, outline a square in the top left corner with blueberries. Fill in with remaining blueberries, leaving some white space showing through. You can leave the white space to represent the stars or fill them in with mini marshmallows. Line the strawberry slices in 4-5 rows to form the stripes. In between rows of strawberries, you can fill in with shredded coconut or leave the space white. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Notes

  • Make ahead. Feel free to make the cake 1 day in advance. Once completely cooled, cover it tightly and place it in the refrigerator. Add the whipped topping and fruit decoration just before serving. The whipped topping can also be made 1 day ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Give it a good stir before spreading it over the cake. To save even a bit more time, wash the strawberries and blueberries a few hours or up to a day in advance. Dry them thoroughly and then store in the fridge.
  • Storing leftovers. Tightly cover leftover flag cake and store it in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.
  • Freezing cake. I would not recommend freezing cake that has already been decorated. However, you can freeze the cake before decorating for up to 3 months. Wrap it in plastic wrap and then store it in a freezer-safe container or bag.
 
 
 
 
 
Photos by Molly at Yes to Yolks.
Serving: 1serving, Calories: 107kcal, Carbohydrates: 9g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 52mg, Sodium: 127mg, Potassium: 69mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 250IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 53mg, Iron: 1mg

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