Surprise Flag Cake (Fourth of July Dessert, Part 1)

This looks just like a regular cake with cream cheese frosting,

but when you cut into it...

an American flag is revealed!

This cake was a huge hit at a bbq I went to yesterday. Everyone was really impressed with the flag design hidden inside the seemingly normal cake. They were so impressed, in fact, that they devoured it before I could even take a picture of my creation! So I'm borrowing pictures from Glorious Treats, which is where I discovered this genius idea. I know the fourth of July is 365 days away, but you should go ahead and plan on making this next year.

Come back tomorrow to see how I used the leftover cake and frosting from this recipe to create my second fourth of July dessert!

Surprise Flag Cake
(Serves 12-16)

2 boxes vanilla cake mix, plus ingredients listed
Red food coloring
Blue food coloring

2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
2 sticks butter, softened
1 32-ounce package powdered sugar
3-4 Tbsp milk

To make cake:

Prepare two 8-inch* round cake pans by coating the bottom and edges with butter and dusting with flour. Preheat oven to degrees listed on box.

Prepare one box of cake mix according to box instructions; add red food coloring to mix. Bake cake according to instructions. While these cakes are baking, prepare second box of cake mix. Divide batter into two bowls; leave one half of the cake mix white, and add blue food coloring to other half.

When red cakes have baked and cooled, remove from cake pans and let cool completely on wire wracks. Prepare cake pans again by coating with butter and dusting with flour, and bake white and blue layers. Once all cakes are baked and cooled, you will have 2 red layers, 1 blue layer, and 1 white layer.

First, slice both red layers in half horizontally, so you have 4 8-inch red layers. Set aside one red layer (this layer will not be used for assembling the Flag Cake). Cut a 4-inch circle out of one of the three red layers. When you are done, you should have 2 8-inch red layers and 1 4-inch red layer.

Next, slice white layer in half horizontally. Take one of the white layers and cut a 4-inch circle; set aside remaining cake after 4-inch circle is cut (this will not be used for assembling the Flag Cake). When you are done, you should have 1 8-inch white layer and 1 4-inch white layer.

And finally, take the blue layer (do not slice horizontally) and cut a 4-inch ring out of the center.

When you are done, you should have:

1 thick layer of blue cake, with center cut out
2 8-inch layers of red
1 4-inch layer of red
1 8-inch layer of white
1 4-inch layer of white

*It is important to use 8-inch cake pans because you want thick layers. Thick layers make it easier to cut the cakes horizontally. I only had 9-inch cake pans, and while this worked fine, the flag design looks better and the cake is steadier with thicker layers.

To prepare frosting:

Cream butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Slowly add powdered sugar; mix until incorporated. Add milk as needed, until desired consistency is met. Refrigerate frosting until you are ready to assemble the cake.

To assemble cake:

Place one 8-inch red layer on cake stand. Spread a thin layer of frosting on top of this layer. Place one 8-inch white layer on top of frosting. Spread a thin layer of frosting on top of white layer. Place the second 8-inch red layer on top of frosting. Spread a thin layer of frosting on top of red layer. Place the blue layer on top of frosting. Place the 4-inch white layer in the middle of the blue layer. Spread a small amount of frosting on top of the white layer. Place the remaining 4-inch red layer on top of the white layer. Frost entire outside of cake; store any leftover frosting in the refrigerator (I had about 1 1/2 cups of frosting left over).

Nutritional Information (this is an approximate depending on how much frosting you use):
16 servings
Per serving:
Calories: 523
Fat: 26g
Fiber: 0.8g

-Very impressive

-Time consuming to assemble
-Caloric/high in fat

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5


  1. me, my mom, and my dad are sitting on the couch admiring your blog and cake! mom says she is already planning to make this for 4th of july 2013... but dad has requested I go ahead and make it now :) i'm sure it was delish, hope they left you a piece!

    1. Haha I love your parents! And there is nothing wrong with a little belated fourth of July celebration cake. So I'm with your and your Mom should try making it now! :)

  2. I just ate some more right now. Brad loved it almost as much as me. Not only awesome-looking but DELICIOUS!

    1. I'm so glad it was a hit! Next time I'll keep in mind the 100 degree weather and cream cheese frosting. Thanks for the tip :)


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