4th of July Layered Cake (from box mix)

This Fourth of July cake recipe is a fun and easy idea to upgrade your patriotic celebration in an easy way! No need to make a homemade cake (although our homemade white cake recipe would be great in this!), use boxed cake mix and a quick vanilla frosting to get this fun layered look.

NellieBellie shows how to make a beautiful layered Red White and Blue Patriotic Cake

You could certainly go buy some 4th of July cake decorations and skip the frosting swirl. But I'm telling you, once you have mastered the art of swirled frosting you'll be using this fun trick a-lot!!

(note: you can use a large Ziplock bag instead of a piping bag, if you like. Just put your frosting into the bag and cut a tiny slit into the corner of the bag.)

I prefer to use an organic brand of cake mix and food dye that doesn't have the preservatives and stuff most cake mixes have. But gosh darn, use your favorite brand!

Your family and friends will be so impressed with your cake making skills regardless of what brand you use.

layered red, white, and blue 4th of July cake from NellieBellie

This is a fun cake for the kids to get involved with! Any desserts that involve food coloring kids just love! Let them help stack, frost, and load the sprinkles.

I set up my sprinkling "machine" on a cookie sheet to keep the mess contained AND so I can reuse the sprinkles that fall into the pan.

Have the kids wash their hands and then show them how to gently press the sprinkles against the cake.

(I'm going to bet they "accidentally" get their hands into the frosting and have to stop and lick them off. Have the camera handy!)

layered 4th of July cake

When it comes time to cut into that cake, let them build up the excitement for what's inside. If they are old enough, let them cut the cake and serve the first piece. They are DYING to see the reactions.

Note: this is a fun cake to serve with sparklers on top. But don't let children slice cakes with activated sparklers, for obvious reasons :).

Try changing up the colors on this cake for other celebrations than 4th of July. Christmas, Valentine's Day, even St. Patrick's Day are great times of the year to bring out this fun layered cake!

NellieBellie shows how to make a beautiful layered Red White and Blue Patriotic Cake

4th of July Layer cake

| 12 slices
Prep Time | 20 mins
Cook Time | 25 mins
frosting/decorating | 30 mins
Total Time | 45 mins
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Use boxed cake mix to make this delicious and beautiful Red, White, and Blue Patriotic layer cake!


  • 2 boxes of French vanilla cake mix
  • 2 C whole milk, cold
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 C unsalted sweet cream butter softened (2 sticks)
  • Red and Sky Blue food coloring

Vanilla Frosting

  • 3 C unsalted sweet cream butter softened
  • 8 C powdered sugar
  • 3 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 5 tbsp heavy whipping cream
  • 3 Containers of confetti patriotic sprinkles
Check out our Kitchen Reference Guide for help with unfamiliar terms.


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray the cake pans with baking spray
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix together cake mix, milk, eggs, and butter until combined and smooth
  • Split the batter evenly between the 3 mixing bowls
  • Add in a few drops of sky blue color into one of the bowls
  • Add in a few drops of red into the second bowl and mix until combined
  • Leave the third bowl white
  • Pour the red batter into one cake pan
  • Pour the blue batter into the second cake pan
  • Pour the white batter into the third cake pan
  • Bake the pans in the preheated oven for 21-25 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean
  • Allow cakes to cool completely on the counters
  • Remove cakes from pans and place onto a cutting board
  • If desired, cut the domes off the cakes to create an even layer.

Frosting directions

  • Using a standing mixer, beat together all ingredients until smooth and stiff peaks form, about 5-7 minutes
  • Scoop out two cups of frosting and place into another small bowl
  • Directions on putting the cake together
  • Place the Red cake layer onto the cake board
  • Scoop about 1 ½ C of frosting onto the cake layer and spread evenly
  • Place the white cake layer on top of the frosting
  • Scoop 1 ½ C of frosting onto the blue layer and spread evenly
  • Place the Blue cake layer on top of the second layer or frosting
  • Once the layers have been stacked on top of each other, use the remaining frosting and frost the entire cake completely
  • Place the cake onto a large cookie sheet
  • Open one container of patriotic sprinkles and coat the sides of the cake completely
  • Divide the frosting into three bowls, add a few drops of red food coloring into one bowl, blue food coloring into the second bowl and leave the third white
  • Using a large cup and the piping bag, scoop the red frosting onto one side of the piping bag
  • Scoop the blue frosting onto another side of the piping bag
  • Scoop the white frosting into the piping bag
  • Pipe dollops of frosting around the top edge of the cake in the swirl effect.
  • Sprinkle some more patriotic sprinkles onto the top of the cake
  • Remove cake from cookie sheet and place into the fridge for one hour before removing and cutting slices out.
  • Enjoy

Other fun 4th of July dessert ideas to try:

sugar cookie fruit pizzas

Patriotic Sugar Cookie Pizzas are super easy and delicious!

easy berry tart with puff pastry crust

Puff Pastry Berry Tart is nothing but easy, easy, easy! Puff pastry with a simple cream cheese spread and berries to make this darling dessert!

Berry Monkey Bread uses purchased cinnamon or orange rolls, cream cheese, and berries to make a beautiful and easy monkey bread that everyone loves!

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