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!
The Charms of a "Naked 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.
Use Swiss Meringue Instead of Buttercream
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!
How to Make This Cake
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
- American Flag Pie
- Berry Tart
- Fresh Strawberry Pie
- 4th of July Buttermilk Pie
- Panna Cotta with Summer Berries
Red, White, and Blue Layer Cake
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.
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.
Serve the cake:
Serve the cake with any remaining berries alongside. The cake is best eaten the day it is assembled.