This fun and festive American flag cake is a 6 layer cake made entirely vegan and dairy free! Based off of Erin McDowell’s American flag layer cake design, this festive vegan Fourth of July cake recipe is layered with lemon, strawberry and almond cake for the ultimate red, white, and blue cake! Using all-natural vegan food colors!

How to make an American Flag Cake (Vegan!)

As we’re getting all of our vegan Fourth of July recipes ready, we have just one more recipe to share with you this year!

It’s this incredible American Flag Cake, but made entirely vegan, eggless, dairy free, and even with an option for gluten free!

With naturally colored, red, white, and blue striped cake layers throughout the cake, this vegan Fourth of July recipe is sure to impress any crowd, vegan or not!

A twist on a classic Fourth of July dessert:

I’ve actually made an American flag layer cake before, but this year I wanted to do something even more fun. Instead of making it an entirely vanilla vegan American flag cake, I wanted each stripe and color to be it’s own flavor.

That way, when you bite into each color, it’s something new and exciting!

american flag cake

For the flavors, I did:

  • The red stripes as strawberry cake
  • The white stripes as lemon cake
  • And the blue stripe as almond cake!

Naturally, the frosting had to be none other than classic American cream cheese frosting. Did you know it even has a dedicated day to celebrate National Cream Cheese Frosting day?!)

How to make an American Flag Cake (but vegan!)

This Fourth of July cake recipe is simple in method to make but does take patience and time.

For the full written instructions and ingredient measurements, see the bottom of this post in the recipe card. You can also hit the “jump to recipe” button at the top of this post! Here, we’ll go over a brief overview of the steps, along with providing visuals for a better understanding of the recipe.

The red and the white stripe cake layers will be baked into three cake layers, and the blue cake layer will be baked into one cake layer. The red and white stripes have nearly identical measurements. The blue cake layer has been reduced to two thirds of the original recipe to match being at the same height as two stripes combined (if that makes sense!).

vegan fourth of july cake layers

I recommend baking these cakes as if you were baking three separate cakes. I realize that’s a lot of work. However, it will be way less confusing and much easier to keep track of if you go like this. Plus, you won’t need 7 cake pans at once, rather just 1-3.

For the vegan food colorings: I used Suncore Foods powders, which are available on Amazon. For blue, I used Blue Butterfly Pea Flower Powder. The red cake layer, I actually used a combination of Pitaya Powder and Beet Powder. This is because I’ve found that beet powder on its own doesn’t yield the proper red color. But with a bit of a more saturated pink, it helps!

Assembling the American Flag Layer Cake:

Once your cake layers are baked and cooled, you can begin to torte the cakes. This just means that you’ll level off the domes of the cake. You can do this with a large serrated knife or with an actual cake torte.

Next, you’ll make sure that the blue stripe and its accompanying red and white stripe are ready to go as well for when you assemble the cake.

how to make an american flag layer cake

Essentially, we’re fitting two cake layers (1 red and 1 white) into the middle of the blue cake layer to create the effect of the American Flag. To do this, I used a 6″ small bowl and cut a circle out of the blue cake layer. The outer circle of the blue cake layer will be used for the cake. Then do the same for the red and white cake layers; this time saving the inner circle as the part that will be used for the cake.

Then we’ll assemble the flag cake! Stack the layers in this order: red, white, red, white, BLUE with red then white in the middle. You’ll apply an even amount of cream cheese frosting in between each layer.

To insert the middle stripes into the blue cake layer: you’ll assemble the red and white mini cakes together in that order. Then carefully place the cake in the middle of the blue cake layer once the blue cake layer has been assembled on top of the rest of the cake.

Then simply frost your cake as you’d like!

sliced vegan american flag cake

This vegan American Flag cake is such a fun way to celebrate Fourth of July! If you make this cake, please be sure to tag us on Instagram and Pinterest, so we can see your beautiful creations!

For more vegan Fourth of July recipes, check out the below linked recipes. And make sure to sign up for our newsletter as well!

Happy baking!

More vegan Fourth of July recipes you’ll love:

Lemon Berry Vegan Trifle

Vegan Strawberry Shortcake

Best Vegan Chiffon Cake

Amazing Healthy Herbed Potato Salad

Best Vegan Pasta Salad

Easy Vegan Lentil Burgers

Want to save this recipe for later? Add it to your favorite recipe board on Pinterest!

How to make an American Flag Cake (Vegan!)

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and a rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below. This helps others to find the recipes! As always, I absolutely love to see your beautiful creations on Instagram and Pinterest, so be sure to tag me there as well!

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
How to make an American Flag Cake (Vegan!)

How to make an American Flag Cake (Vegan!)

  • Author: thebananadiaries
  • Prep Time: 50
  • 30 minutes cooling time:
  • Cook Time: 90
  • Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 22 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This fun and festive American flag cake is a 6 layer cake made entirely vegan and dairy free! Based off of Erin McDowell’s American flag layer cake design, this festive vegan Fourth of July cake recipe is layered with lemon, strawberry and almond cake for the ultimate red, white, and blue cake! Using all-natural vegan food colors!


Ingredients

Units Scale

White Cake Layer:

  • 300 grams unsweetened dairy free milk, room temperature
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar (to be mixed with dairy free milk milk)
  • 460 grams organic flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 250 grams granulated sugar
  • 170 grams salted vegan butter (I recommend Flora Plant butter), room temperature
  • 190 grams unsweetened applesauce, room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Juice from 1 lemon + 1 tsp lemon zest

Red Cake Layer:

  • 300 grams unsweetened dairy free milk, room temperature
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar (to be mixed with dairy free milk milk)
  • 460 grams organic flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 250 grams granulated sugar
  • 170 grams salted vegan butter (I recommend Flora Plant butter), room temperature
  • 130 grams unsweetened applesauce, room temperature
  • 130 grams strawberry jam
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Red food color: 1-2 tsp pitaya food coloring powder + 1 tsp beet powder or your favorite vegan red food coloring

Blue Cake Layer:

  • 200 grams unsweetened dairy free milk, room temperature
  • 1 1/3 tsp apple cider vinegar (to be mixed with dairy free milk milk)
  • 310 grams all-purpose flour or gluten free 1:1 baking flour
  • 1 1/3 tsp baking powder
  • 2/3 tsp baking soda
  • 165 grams granulated sugar
  • 114 grams salted vegan butter (I recommend Flora Plant butter), room temperature
  • 130 grams unsweetened applesauce, room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • Blue Food coloring: 3 tsp Blue Butterfly Pea Flower Powder or your favorite vegan blue food coloring

Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1 cup vegan butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup vegan cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Please read through all instructions before beginning. It’s also helpful to read through the blog post as well for visual references when assembling the cake.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350F.  If you have seven 8″ cake pans, then you can prepare them all, or prepare just three 8″ cake pans by lining the bottoms with parchment paper and oiling the sides. You’ll bake the cakes in three rounds, so you can use the three cake pans for each round (except the blue, in which you’ll only need 1 cake pan. Measure out all of your ingredients before beginning each cake section. Prepare the vegan buttermilk. Combine the dairy free milk with the apple cider vinegar, and set aside to sit for 5-6 minutes. You can weigh and measure the remaining ingredients during this time. 
  3. Make the white cake layer first. It’s best to begin here! 
    1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
    2. Make the batter: In a stand mixer with paddle attachment or a large bowl with hand mixer, cream together the vegan butter and sugar until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides as needed. Then add in the applesauce, lemon juice + zest, and vanilla extract. Mix again on medium speed until combined, scraping down the sides and at the bottom of the bowl as needed. Add in about half of the dry mixture, along with half of the vegan buttermilk, and mix on medium speed until just combined. Add in the remaining dry mixture and vegan buttermilk, and mix on medium speed until there are just no more dry streaks. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl as well as the sides.
    3. Divide the batter. Divide between the three cake pans evenly, and bake for 27-30 minutes in 8″ cake pans, or until the toothpick comes out clean. 
    4. Remove from the oven. Allow the cakes to cool in their pans for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely. Now move onto the next cake layer.
  4.  Make the red cake layer: prepare the vegan buttermilk again. Repeat sub-steps 1-4 of the white cake layer again, swapping out the lemon juice + zest for the strawberry preserves. Additionally, you’ll add in the vegan red food coloring after you’ve added in the applesauce, preserves, and vanilla extract. Mix until the color is evenly distributed, then bake the layers according to sub-steps 3 and 4. Once the cakes have been cooled and transferred to fully cool on a cooling rack, move onto the last cake layer.
  5. Make the blue cake layer: Make the vegan buttermilk again. Repeat sub-steps 1-4 of the white cake layer again, this time swapping in almond extract for the lemon juice + zest. Additionally, you’ll add in the blue food coloring right after the addition the vanilla and almond extract. Mix until the color is evenly distributed, then bake the layers according to sub-steps 3 and 4. Once the cakes have been cooled and transferred to fully cool on a cooling rack.
  6. Once the cakes have fully cooled: you can torte any cake layers that need to be leveled off, saving the scraps for another dessert, like cake pops or truffles!
  7. Carve the blue cake layer, one of the white cake layers, and one of the red cake layers: see the above photos in the blog post for visuals, along with watching Food52’s video tutorial.
    1. Blue cake layer: You’ll take a small bowl that’s about 6″ in diameter, and measure a circle directly in the middle of the blue cake layer. Use a serrated knife and carve a circle into the cake. Carefully remove the inner blue cake circle, saving the blue cake ring. The blue cake ring will be your blue part of the flag. You can save the small blue circle for another project!
    2. The red + white cake layers: I find it easiest to stack the two on top of each other for this part. The order doesn’t matter. Place the 6″ bowl directly in the middle of the top cake layer and use the serrated knife again to carve a circle into both cake layers. Now carefully remove the cake ring this time. The center smaller cake circle will be your stripes for the cake. 
  8. Make the vegan cream cheese frosting: in a stand mixer with whisk attachment or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream the vegan butter and cream cheese together until fluffy and lighter in color, about 3-4 minutes. Then sift in the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time as your mix on medium-high speed, allowing each cup to integrate into the butter-cream cheese. Add in the vanilla extract last, and cream together until fluffy. Store in the fridge until ready to assemble the cake.
  9. Assemble the flag cake: make sure that your frosting is moveable and ready to frost the cake and that the cake layers are fully cool. I recommend using a cake turn table, as it will be easiest to frost the cake. For the stripes, I decided to do red as the bottom, then white, red, white, and then red then white as the inner stripes (see photos in the blog post). Keep the order in mind, as you’ll need to know for the inner stripes which color goes on the bottom and the top. 
    1. Start stacking the cakes. Apply about 1/3 cup frosting to the bottom cake layer (red), and frost until the edges. The frosting shouldn’t be a thick layer. Then stack a white cake layer on top and repeat. Repeat again for the red cake layer, followed by one more white cake layer. 
    2. Assemble the inner stripes. On a separate plate, place the smaller red cake layer on the bottom, and apply about 1/8-1/4 cup of frosting. Then place the smaller white cake layer on top. Set this aside and return to the main larger cake.
    3. Place the blue cake ring on top of the top of the large cake. Then carefully place the smaller cake with the two red and white cake layers inside the hole of the blue cake ring. I used a large spatula to help me with this. 
  10. Crumb coat the cake and place the cake into the fridge to chill for 20 minutes. Once chilled, then frost the rest of the cake with the remaining frosting. 
  11. Store in the fridge until ready to serve. If you’re serving the next day, you can still store the cake in the fridge for about an hour, then carefully wrap the outside of the cake, and place it back into the fridge until ready to serve!

Notes

For gluten free: use gluten free 1:1 baking flour, such as Bob’s Red Mill in the blue bag.

If you don’t want the flavors: you can make this an entirely vanilla cake instead. Just make sure to adjust the applesauce quantity in the red cake layer back to the same as the white cake layer.

Please read the full blog post before beginning, and take a look at the visuals. They will help!

Keywords: american flag cake, american flag layer cake, fourth of july cake, vegan fourth of july recipes