Need an easy-to-make, easy-to-take cake for Fourth of July celebrations? Here’s just what you need! My Red, White, and Blueberry 4th of July Cake, baked in a square cake pan, covered with vanilla frosting and decked out in the Red, White, and Blue! Fun, easy, and so delicious — Ready, Set, BAKE!
This Red White and Blueberry 4th of July Cake Gets the Party Started!
Here’s hoping you can celebrate doing whatever you enjoy the most. Picnic? Cookout? Backyard grill-fest?
Or maybe you’re reading a great book inside with air con? Swimming in pool, lake, river, or ocean? Watching some fireworks or gathering with friends and family?
Whatever your fourth holds, I hope it is a glorious fun day.
If you’re traveling, it’s easy to Take The Cake!
For this one-layer dessert, I used the Shenandoah Valley Blueberry Cake recipe from my cookbook, Southern Cakes: Sweet and Irresistible Recipes for Everyday Celebrations.
I used half blueberries and half raspberries in the cake, but you could use strawberries chopped to the size or blueberries if you like.
On top, I decorated it with sliced and halved strawberries, but you could use raspberries lined up in rows with beautiful results.
Prepare Your Cake Pan with Lots of Butter
Ordinarily, I serve this cake right from the pan, unadorned and cut into squares. That means no parchment paper lining, which helps ALL the cake come out perfectly. See how my cake stuck to the bottom a bit —- I should have used more butter, but sometimes this happens anyway.
I simply scooped it up and placed it back on the bottom of the cake, pressing it in, to get maximum cake goodness.
Since this cake gets turned out and served from a plate (or in my case, a cutting board), you could line the pan with baking parchment or waxed paper, to make for easy removing with no stuck bits. Be sure to grease the paper as well as the pan if you go this route.
Your 4th of July Cake can be plain or fancy!
Here’s the cake, turned out on to a cutting board and then turned gently right side up onto another one. I will say that this is one fine cake ready to go right here — the icing is a big flourish.
If you want to serve it simply, skip the icing! You can simply cut this deliciously basic blueberry cake into squares and treat each serving to a big dollop of whipped cream or ice cream and a giant spoonful of berries on the side.
OR go all out as I did below, and make that cake into Old Glory! It’s a Grand Old Flag…….CAKE and you are sure to smile as you put it together.
Because this icing has butter and milk and is a soft texture, I like to refrigerate it for an hour before serving —- longer is fine too, up to 1 day with the fruit; 2 days without the fruit.
The cake without the berry decor freezes well, even iced if you want something wonderful on hand in the freezer. Let it stand a room temperature for 30 minutes or so if time. But you know what? This cake is just easy and good, cold or room temp, so don’t worry about timing.
What Other Fruit Could Work for This Flag Cake?
For Fourth of July week, use raspberries instead of cut strawberries, for a neat, precise look. They’re a more expensive option, but a time-saver, since you’ll skip trimming and slicing strawberries. Remember their delicate nature—buy and add to cake close to serving time; ideally the very same day.
For later in the summer, think blackberries, peaches, chopped cherries, mango……? An organized design can work, or go for a fun-fetti of colorful fruit chunks all over the top. A third option? Blueberries for the win — an all-blueberry version, inside and out. That’s a go-to cake for me.
About the Recipe
This Shenandoah Valley Blueberry Cake is a favorite in my cookbook, Southern Cakes. Sometimes I use a mix of blueberries and raspberries in the batter, instead of all blueberries. It’s based a recipe from The Best of the Bushel, a delicious volume of recipes from the Junior League of Charlottesville, Virginia.
How about the Strawberries and Blueberries: Fresh or Frozen?
For the berries inside the cake, you can use frozen blueberries. Try it with blackberries or raspberries too, fresh or frozen, for stirring into the cake batter. If you use frozen, no need to thaw — just pull right from the freezer and stir them in at the end.
You could use chopped fresh strawberries in the cake too. Chop them to be about the same size as the blueberries. Chopping frozen strawberries works too — just know that they may be juicy and add splashes of red or pink to the cake. I think that’s a plus, not a drawback, but I do want you to know what to expect!
It’s a Grand Old Strawberry and Blueberry Flag…Cake!
This classic vanilla icing or frosting is one of my favorites. I love its texture and richness — more like a true buttercream icing, but simpler to make.
Creamy Vanilla Icing
It requires a little cooking on top of the stove to mix the flour and milk into a velvety base for the frosting. Then it’s as easy as beating butter and sugar and vanilla together, and then adding in the flour-milk mixture. These combine into an irresistibly luscious icing for your favorite cakes.
Other Icing Options
If you’re looking for speed, use your favorite Cream Cheese Frosting, or confectioner’s sugar frosting — any other favorite cake finishing-touch. If you’re serving right away, you could even use Whipped Cream as an all-over frosting. Whip heavy cream to firm peaks; spread it generously over the cake; decorate with strawberries and blueberries; and voila! Your Flag Cake is ready to light up your party table.
This icing, your favorite confectioner’s sugar recipe, whipped cream, ice cream — or just this berry-ful cake. Plain or fancy, I love it and hope you do, too!
Recipes to Round Out Your Summertime Party Menu:
If you like this Easy Red White and Blueberry Cake for Fourth of July celebrations, here are more ideas for great summer dishes to cook and share at summer gatherings:
How Do Blueberries Grow, Anyway?
While you’re waiting for your blueberry cake to come out of the oven, here’s a fun little video about blueberries! Don’t forget to set the timer, though….!
FOR THE CAKE
- 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (do not thaw)
FOR THE OLD TIME VANILLA ICING
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (1 sticks butter, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
FOR THE BERRY-FLAG DECORATIONS
- About 3 cups fresh strawberries
- About 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
Preparing the Cake
- Heat the oven to 375 F, and generously grease a 9-inch square or round pan. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl, and stir with a fork to mix well. In a medium bowl, combine the butter and sugar, and beat with a mixer at high speed until well combined. Add the egg and beat well for 1 to 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down the bowl, until the mixture is smooth and light.
- Stir in half the flour mixture, and then half the milk, mixing just enough to keep the batter fairly smooth and well combined. Add the remaining flour, and then the milk, mixing gently. The batter will be very thick.
- Spread half the batter into the well-greased pan, making sure to cover the entire bottom with thick batter. It will look thin --- but don't worry, your cake will rise up nicely. Sprinkle on the blueberries, distributing them evenly over the batter. Then sprinkle on the raspberries or strawberry chunks, again distributing them evenly over the batter, with lots of white space left.
- Scoop up the remaining batter and plop it all around the berry-covered cake batter in big blobs. Then gently and lightly spread it to cover the berries. Try not to tear them up too much --- but don't worry. It will be lovely even if you end up with berry-batter. Smooth the top. A few berries may show through -- that's fine.
- Place the pan in the hot oven and bake at 375 F for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the cake is puffed up and golden, springs back when touched gently in the center, and is pulling away from the sides of the pan.
- Serve the cake right from the pan, warm or at room temperature, cut into squares. Or let it cool in the pan on a wire rack or folded kitchen towel for 10 minutes, and then turn it out to cool on a wire rack, top side up. Or let it cool in the pan completely, and then loosen it up and turn it out onto a cutting board when ready to serve; and then flip it over so that the top side is up, for icing or for serving just as is. Makes 1 8-inch or 9-inch cake, square or round.
Preparing the Icing
- Combine the milk and flour in a small or medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring often and well with a whisk or large spoon, until the mixture becomes thick, shiny, and white, like very softly whipped cream. Set aside to cool.
- To complete the frosting, beat the butter with a mixer at high speed until light and fluffy. Add the sugar in 2 batches, beating well each time. Add the vanilla and then the thick, cooled milk mixture. Beat for about 2 minutes more, stopping often to scrape down the bowl, until the icing is fluffy and soft, and thick enough to spread.
Decorating the Frosted Cake
- To create the flag design, trim caps from strawberries, and slice them into half-moon shapes, about 1/4 inch thick.
- Place blueberries in rows in the top left corner of the cake, filling a space half way across and about 1/3 of the way down the surface of the cake.
- Arrange the strawberries in rows, covering the remaining open surface of the cake. Put similar sizes and shapes of strawberries together to make defined rows, leaving a little space between rows for the white stripes.
- Reserve extra berries for fruit salad, smoothies and snacks.
- Place cake in the refrigerator if it's more than 30 minutes until serving time. To serve, remove and bring to cool/room temperature, for an hour or so before serving time.
- Cut into squares and serve.