Forks rest alongside a glass baking dish with a cake decorated to look like the American flag.

You’ll love this flag cake as an eye-catching dessert for summer holidays or any neighborhood barbecue. With bright berries in the flag pattern, it’s a fun dessert that grabs everyone’s attention. And it’s so easy to decorate, even the kids can help!

Not only is this American flag cake fun and festive, but it tastes awesome! The lemon cake compliments the fresh berries perfectly. And the cream cheese frosting holds the design well, adding stability to this beautiful cake.

Tight view of the top of a slice of cake decorated with berries.

What ingredients do I need for this easy flag cake with cream cheese frosting?

For the base cake, which is a sweet lemon cake, you likely already have most of the ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, butter, sugar, milk, and eggs. The one ingredient you might need to search out is the lemon extract.

Protip: Swap Smart!

If you don’t want to buy lemon extract for this recipe, you can replace it with pure vanilla extract or almond extract instead.

As for the frosting and cake decorations, you’ll be making a cream cheese frosting and topping it with fruit and mini marshmallows. You’ll need:

  • Butter
  • Cream cheese
  • Vanilla
  • Milk
  • Powdered sugar
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Powdered sugar

Protip: Dry your berries!

Pat the berries dry (especially the sliced strawberries) so the juice does not drip on the cake.

Overhead of fresh blueberries and strawberries decorating the top of a cake to look like a patriotic flag.

Can I use cake flavors other than lemon?

Absolutely! There are plenty of cake flavors that would work with this flag cake.

  • Yellow–Use vanilla extract instead of lemon.
  • White—Use clear vanilla extract and egg whites only (no yolks).
  • Funfetti–Follow the directions for the white cake and also add ½ cup of rainbow sprinkles to the batter.

How do I make an American flag cake with berries?

Collage of four simple steps to make a flag cake. A text overlay reads, "How to Make Flag Cake."
  1. Mix up the batter for the lemon cake. Bake in a 9”x 13” pan for about 30-35 minutes.
  2. Blend cream cheese frosting. Spread evenly on cooled sheet cake.
  3. Prep and slice berries. Arrange the blueberries in the upper left corner, and place the strawberry slices in lines to create the red stripes of the flag.
  4. Add marshmallows between the strawberries to make the white stripes, and finish with powdered sugar. Now it’s ready to enjoy!

Protip: Frost a cool cake!

Wait for the cake to cool completely before frosting, so the frosting does not melt!

How can my kiddos help with this American flag cake?

After the berries have been washed and sliced, the kids can place them on the cake in rows. Then add the marshmallows in between. Don’t worry about the lines being perfect, if you need to adjust the design, it’s easy to smooth the frosting back over and hide any changes.

A tall slice of cake stands on a small plate with a fork and fresh berries around.

Do I really need to sift the powdered sugar for the cream cheese frosting?

Yes, since powdered sugar has a tendency to clump, it’s important to sift it before making the frosting. You can use a traditional sifter (metal can with a crank), a fine mesh strainer, or a balloon whisk to break up any clumps and aerate the sugar.

Can I make this flag cake in advance?

Yes! This cake can be made up to 3 days in advance of serving. Just cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Overhead of a fully assembled flag cake with strawberry and marshmallow stripes and blueberry stars.

Can I freeze this American flag cake?

Yes, but only if you take the berries and marshmallows off the top. Wrap up the cake (or pieces) tightly with plastic wrap and keep it in the freezer for up to 3 months. To thaw, place the cake in the fridge overnight.

What can I serve with flag cake?

For a patriotic celebration, a Red, White, and Blueberry Trifle or Homemade Cherry Pie would be perfect on a dessert table with this vibrant flag cake.

And be sure to whip up a pitcher of Sun TeaHomemade Strawberry Lemonade, or Blueberry Margarita to enjoy alongside. So refreshing!

Got any more yummy recipes for summer holidays?

Forks rest alongside a glass baking dish with a cake decorated to look like the American flag.

Flag Cake Recipe

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Flag Cake is a perfectly festive dessert for Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day, or the Fourth of July. Topped with cream cheese frosting and berries, it’s always a hit!

Ingredients

For the Lemon Cake:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon extract (or 1 tablespoon lemon zest)

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup salted butter (1 stick), room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted (see notes)

For the Toppings:

  • 16 ounces strawberries (1 clamshell package)
  • 8 ounces blueberries
  • 1/2 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1 teaspoon powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×13” pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Stir the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl with a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the milk, eggs, and lemon extract to a large measuring cup or bowl. Whisk until combined.
  5. Add the wet and dry ingredients into the creamed butter, blending just until the mixture is combined. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is mixed in.
  6. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake cake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
  7. Add cream cheese, butter, milk, vanilla, and one cup of the powdered sugar to a large bowl. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, blend ingredients. Continue adding more powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until frosting is smooth and creamy.
  8. Frost the entire top of the cake.
  9. Wash fruit and pat dry.
  10. Place blueberries in a rectangle formation at the top left of the sheet cake.
  11. Slice stems off strawberries and discard. Cut strawberries into thin slices. Line the strawberry slices up, overlapping each other slightly, making 4 lines across the cake (see photos).
  12. Line mini marshmallows in between strawberries.
  13. Finish off the cake with a sprinkle of powdered sugar, focusing on the blueberries.

Notes

  • Start with 3 1/2 cups of powdered sugar and add more as needed to get the right texture (smooth and creamy).
  • Sifting the powdered sugar is an important step for making smooth, creamy frosting.
  • You can swap raspberries for the strawberries if you prefer.
  • If the strawberries are particularly juicy, after slicing them, pat the strawberries dry so they don’t leak red juice on the frosting.
  • This cake can be made up to 3 days in advance. Store it in the fridge, sealed with plastic wrap or a cover.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 705Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 144mgSodium: 394mgCarbohydrates: 99gFiber: 2gSugar: 72gProtein: 8g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

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