Red, White, and Blue Layer Cake

DessertFourth of JulyCake

Happy 4th of July! This layer cake is easy to assemble and will make the day feel extra-special. The Swiss meringue frosting also holds up exceptionally well on a hot day.

Photography Credit: Cindy Rahe

This Red, White, and Blue Layer Cake is ideal for any 4th of July spread—everyone loves cake, and a pretty layer cake like this one makes the day feel extra special.

It starts with tender and moist vanilla buttermilk cake, which then gets layered with fluffy Swiss meringue (which will hold up well on a hot summer day). Top it off with plenty of ripe summer berries—strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries!

Fourth of July Cake


This is a “naked” style cake, which is much less risqué than it sounds. It simply means that the sides are left unfrosted, so you see little peek-a-boos of the berries around the exposed sides of the cake.

Leaving a cake naked also saves you the fuss of frosting the whole thing, and it feels fresh and light for summer.

Swiss meringue without butter


Instead of a traditional buttercream or whipped cream, I use a Swiss meringue for frosting this cake. It has an airy yet sturdy, marshmallow-like texture, and it holds up well without melting on a warm day.

You can even toast the billowy tips with a crème brulee torch to bring out the marshmallow flavor even more!


This cake is really two recipes brought together in one, Vanilla Buttermilk Cake and the Swiss Meringue, with the addition of berries.

The cake layers can be baked and cooled, wrapped tightly in plastic, and stored on the counter for several days. Make the Swiss meringue and frost the cake the same day that you’re planning to serve it.

You’ll need these recipes to make this cake:

More Desserts for the 4th of July

Red, White, and Blue Layer Cake Recipe

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 to 12 slices

Note that the prep and cook times for the layer cake and the Swiss meringue are not included in this recipe; both recipes should be prepared in advance before beginning this recipe.

The cake layers can be baked and cooled, wrapped tightly in plastic, and stored on the counter for several days. Make the Swiss meringue and frost the cake the same day that you're planning to serve it.


Special equipment:


1 Prep the berries: Wash and dry all the berries. Hull the strawberries to remove the stems. Cut the majority into slices for layering into the cake; cut a few in half or in quarters for decorating the top.

2 Layer and frost the cake: Place one of the layers of vanilla buttermilk cake onto a cake plate and spread a third of the Swiss meringue over the top using an offset spatula. Distribute about 1 cup of berries and sliced strawberries over the Swiss meringue.

Top with the second layer of cake. Spread another third of the frosting over top and another cup of berries and strawberries.

Repeat with the remaining layer of cake, ending with a layer of Swiss meringue topped by the remaining berries and the halves or quartered strawberries. Fourth of July Cake add the meringue Summer Cake add the berries

3 Serve the cake: Serve the cake with any remaining berries alongside. The cake is best eaten the day it is assembled.

Vanilla Cake Recipe serve the cake

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Cindy Rahe

Cindy Rahe is the recipe maker and picture taker behind Hungry Girl por Vida. She loves to bake from scratch and make things that taste as good as they look. Cindy was born near Seoul but grew up in California and Nevada. She believes strongly in homemade birthday cakes, creamy coffee, and making room for dessert.

More from Cindy

One Comment

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. mike

    This cake was absolutely delicious and beautiful. The recipe states that it is best eaten the day of- I found that the next day the cake didn’t look as good because the meringue dissolved into the cake but the taste was actually even better. definitely recommend.


Red, White, and Blue Layer Cake