4th of July Cake

Are you ready to WOW your guests this summer? A fun layer cake packed with strawberry and berry blue Jello will have this refreshing 4th of July cake requested all summer long.

Looking for a new dessert for the 4th of July? This recipe combines two favorites: the classic Jello cake and a two layer buttercream cake.

You can decorate the outside of the cake as fancy or as simple as you’d like, but when you cut inside, you’ll see those drips of red and blue Jello. They’ll take you back to your childhood summers of strawberry Jello cake.

a 4th of july cake with red white and blue frosting and stars

About this 4th of July Cake Recipe:

  • Flavor: This cake has a fruity flavor thanks to the red and blue Jello inside. Otherwise, the white cake has a traditional simply sweet flavor. And although the recipe calls for vanilla extract in the frosting, you can change it to be any flavor you’d like.
  • Texture: You may wonder if a Jello cake is soggy, but I assure you it is not. The Jello firms up inside and helps keep the cake tender.
  • Method: This bakes in the oven, then has to chill in the fridge as the Jello sets. It is best served cold.

What is a poke cake?

Poke cakes are cakes that have holes filled with liquid of filling that includes flavor. Sometimes they are filled with sweetened condensed milk or pudding, but the most common poke cakes are filled with Jello.

two round cakes, one with red jello and one with blue

Buttercream Frosting

Frosting always works best when you use stand mixer to mix. You want to whip air into the frosting to make it light, and a stand mixer or high powered hand mixer will do this. Here are a few tips while making this frosting:

  • You can use all butter instead of shortening, but it will give the frosting a slightly yellow hue.
  • Make sure the butter is at room temperature, but not at all melted. Melted butter gives frosting an oily texture.
  • Color the frosting whatever color you’d like. Gel coloring works great to get vibrant colors.
  • The buttercream should be at room temperature in order to spread it easily.
  • This recipe makes enough buttercream to frost the entire cake, but also to
a cake spatula spreading white frosting on a cake

Recipe Variations

  • Use sugar free pudding to cut the calories slightly.
  • Instead of buttercream frosting, frost with Cool Whip. If you use Cool Whip, store the cake in a cake carrier or cover loosely with plastic wrap.
  • Add small dots of colored frosting to the bottom of the cake such as red and blue. With a spatula push the in an upward motion softly. This will create a tie- dye effect.
a piece of patriotic jello cake on a spatula

Storage Instructions

This cake should be stored in the fridge before serving. It needs to be served cold. The frosting will seal the cake before it is cut, but once it is cut, store it in an airtight container to prevent it from drying out.

Store in the fridge for up to 3 days, then freeze any leftovers for up to 2 months.

the inside of a two layer patriotic jello cake
the inside of a two layer patriotic jello cake

4th of July Cake

5 from 2 votes
Are you ready to WOW your guests this summer? Take a fun Jello cake packed with strawberry, and berry blue Jello will have this refreshing 4th of July cake requested all summer long.
Servings 15
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Chill Time 4 hours

Ingredients
 

For the cake:

  • 1 box white cake mix 15.25 ounces
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour 130 grams
  • 1 cup granulated sugar 200 grams
  • 1 cup water 8 ounces
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 large egg white use only the white
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

For the Jello:

  • 2 cups boiling water divided
  • 1 box Strawberry Jello 3 ounces
  • 1 box Berry Blue Jello 3 ounces

For the frosting:

  • 1 cup Crisco shortening
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 5-6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or almond or coconut extract

Instructions
 

Make the cakes:

  • Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Grease two 9-inch cake pans with shortening, then dust with flour. You can also line them with parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set the greased pans aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl whisk together, cake mix, all-purpose flour, and granulated sugar.
  • Slowly add in water, sour cream, eggs, egg white, heavy cream and vegetable oil, continuing to mix while you are adding.
  • Scrape the sides of the bowl and continue to mix all until well combined.
  • Divide cake batter between two prepared 9-inch cake pans.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until the center bounces back when you touch it.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes on a cooling rack.
  • While the cake is cooling, prepare the Jello. In a mixing bowl add 1 cup of boiling water to the strawberry Jello until whisk until dissolved. Repeat in another bowl with the blue Jello.
  • Use a fork or a bamboo stick to poke holes all over the cake.
  • Pour strawberry Jell-O carefully over one of the baked cakes. Carefully, pour berry blue Jello over the other cake.
  • Cover the cakes and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

Make the frosting:

  • With an electric mixer, cream together butter and shortening until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Add in heavy whipping cream and vanilla extract. Mix well.
  • Slowly add in confectioner’s sugar a ½ cup at a time. If frosting is too thick you can add 1 teaspoon of heavy whipping cream until you have reached the texture you are looking for.
  • Mix frosting for another 2 minutes on medium speed.
  • Use gel food coloring to color some of the frosting if you'd like red or blue swirls. This is optional.

Assemble the cakes:

  • Remove cakes from cake pans. Place 1 cake layer on a cake stand and spread about 1 cup of frosting on top.
  • Place remaining cake on top of frosting. Spread the top and the sides with a light coating of frosting until the cake is completely covered. This is called a crumb coat and will "set" the cake for its final frosting.
  • Refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes.
  • Spread another layer of white buttercream
  • Decorate the cake with colored frosting (use a large piping tip: Wilton 1M or 2D) and sprinkles.
  • Place cake in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Notes

Refer to the article above for more tips and tricks.
The calories shown are based on the cake being cut into 15 pieces, with 1 serving being 1 slice of cake. The frosting makes the calories higher, so to lower the calories, use less frosting. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information. The information in the nutrition box are calculated through a program and there is room for error. If you need an accurate count, I recommend running the ingredients through your favorite nutrition calculator.**

Nutrition

Calories: 702kcal | Carbohydrates: 99g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 320mg | Potassium: 72mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 77g | Vitamin A: 616IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 102mg | Iron: 1mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 702
Keyword easy layer cake, july 4th, patriotic cake recipe

Other Poke Cake Recipes to Love

Poke cakes are perfect for any season! Here you’ll find everything from pumpkin poke cakes to tiramisu to tropical jello poke cakes.

About Julie Clark

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