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4th of july with cake sparkler topper
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5 from 5 votes

4th of July Cake

This red, white, and blue flag themed cake is a fun decorated dessert for holidays such as Memorial Day or 4th of July. Using a white cake recipe, with red and white striped buttercream frosting, a blue chocolate ganache drip, and chocolate covered strawberries this cake is perfect for your next patriotic picnic or party!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Decorating and Resting1 hr
Total Time2 hrs
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12
Calories: 933kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 3/4 cups cake flour (305 grams)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk (240 ml) room temperature
  • 2 tsp clear or pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (230 grams) room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar 350 grams
  • 5 large egg whites room temperature
  • cup red white and blue sprinkles optional
  • 1 tbsp cake or regular flour optional

American Buttercream

  • 2 cups butter softened
  • 6 cups powdered sugar 1 ½ pounds
  • 2 tsp clear vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp milk or cream optional
  • red food coloring

Navy Blue Chocolate Ganache Drip

  • ½ cup white chocolate melts
  • 3 tbsp heavy cream
  • navy blue food coloring
  • pastry or ziplock bags optional

Decorating 4th of July Cake

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray three 8 or 6-inch cake pans with baking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl mix the 2 ¾ cup cake flour, 1 tbsp baking powder, and ¾ tsp salt.
  • Combine 1 cup buttermilk and 2 tsp vanilla in a bowl
  • In a standing mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar for 5 minutes. The butter should be very pale, light, and fluffy.
  • Alternate adding the dry ingredients and wet ingredients, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. So, you’ll add the mixes for flour, milk, flour, milk, flour. Mix each until barely combined. You do not want to overmix.
  • In a separate bowl (or using the same bowl cleaned very well), whisk the 5 egg whites to stiff peaks. 
  • Gently fold ⅓ the egg whites into the batter. Once combined, fold in the remaining egg whites.
  • If adding sprinkles, mix together 1 tbsp flour and ⅓ sprinkles. Then, gently fold into the batter.
  • Pour the batter evenly into the prepared cake pans. Tap on the counter to spread it evenly and release any air bubbles.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 26-35 minutes, depending on the size of the pan you use. You’ll know it’s done when you can insert a toothpick and it comes out clean and it gently springs back when you touch it.
  • Let cool in the pan for 20 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  • Make sure the cakes are completely cool before starting to frost.

American Buttercream Frosting

  • In the bowl of a standing mixer or using a hand held mixer with a paddle attachment, whip the butter on medium for 2-3 minutes until very light and fluffy.
  • Turn the mixer on low and add powdered sugar. Mix until the powdered sugar is combined with the sugar.
  • Add the vanilla and turn to medium and mix an additional 2-3 minutes until the frosting is light and fluffy. 
  • If the frosting is too thick you can add a tbsp or two of milk or cream. If it’s too thin you can add a few tablespoons of additional powdered sugar.

Frosting the Cake

  • Once the cake has completely cooled, frost the cake.
  • This cake works best if you have a cake turntable to assist with frosting. Place a tiny bit of frosting on a cake board in the middle of the turntable and add the first layer. This helps it stick when you are frosting the cake.
  • Add about ½ cup frosting on top of the first layer and spread around evenly. Then add the second layer of cake and add another ½ cup frosting. Add the third layer and then cover the entire cake in a crumb coat, which is a thin layer of frosting that keeps the cake from getting crumbs in the next thicker layer of frosting.
  • Chill the crumb coat in the fridge for at least 20-30 minutes.
  • Once the crumb coat is chilled, add a thick layer of frosting and even it out using a cake smoother/scraper.
  • Using a striped cake scraper, scrape deep grooves into the cake. Chill for a few hours or overnight.
  • Add red food coloring to the remaining buttercream.
  • Cover the cake in red frosting, making sure all the grooves are filled with frosting. You can also add the red frosting to a pastry or ziplock bag with tip cut off, and fill in the groves that way.
  • Using a flat edges cake smoother, start scraping/smoothing away the outer layer of the frosting. It will look messy at first, but keep scraping until you have clean and clear stripes. Make sure to clean the scraper after every ½-1 turn of your cake turntable. This helps keep the cake clean and helps with clean stripes.
  • Keep smoothing the cake until you are satisfied with the stripes.
  • Chill the cake until you are ready to add the drip and decorating.

Navy Blue Chocolate Ganache Drip

  • Chop up ½ cup white chocolate melts and add to a microwave safe bowl
  • Add 3 tbsps heavy cream
  • Microwave in 20 second intervals, stirring in between each interval, until the chocolate is melted and smooth.
  • Stir in navy blue food coloring and mix until combined.
  • Let the ganache cool for 15-30 minutes until it is about 85-95 degrees.
  • Once it’s cooled, add to a pastry bag.
  • Cut off the tip of the bag and drip the ganache around the edges of the cake and then fill in the top with the ganache. Smooth the top of the ganache with a cake spatula if needed. You can also pour the ganache directly on top of the cake and let it drip naturally, but you have less control of the drips this way.

Decorating this 4th of July Cake

  • Once you’ve added the drip you can top with more sprinkles, chocolate covered strawberries and red, white, and blue cookie pops and you're ready to serve! 

Notes

White Cake Recipe adapted from Live Well Bake Often 

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 933kcal | Carbohydrates: 116g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 51g | Saturated Fat: 31g | Cholesterol: 131mg | Sodium: 471mg | Potassium: 215mg | Sugar: 93g | Vitamin A: 1505IU | Calcium: 105mg | Iron: 0.4mg