Red, White and Blue Berry Cake – layers of raspberry cake, vanilla cake and blueberry cake, with vanilla buttercream and fresh fruit.
As promised, with two days until the Fourth, here’s my new Red, White and Blue Berry Cake! This cake was so fun to make and I am so pleased with how it turned out.
Red, White and Blue Berry Cake
For this year’s 4th of July cake, I originally planned to make a cake inspired by those rocket popsicles we ate as kids. But, after I finished the cake layers and saw how gorgeous the cake layers turned out, I knew they needed to be the start of the show. The cake wouldn’t need much else. Plus, last year’s Fourth of July Funfetti Cake was a bit more extravagant. So, this year, I decided to keep it simple and I’m so happy I did!
How to Make Cake Layers
For the base of this cake, I used my Classic White Cake recipe. It’s so good on it’s own, but also really versatile if you’re ever looking to add a flavor to it. For this cake, I knew I wanted the red, white and blue colors, but I also wanted different flavors for each cake layer. However, I did not want to make three different batches of batter. So, I got a little creative.
I ended up making my Classic White Cake up until the buttermilk needed to be added. Everything else was in the batter and mixed well. I then split the batter into three portions and added ⅓ cup buttermilk to one portion, ⅓ cup raspberry puree to another, and ⅓ cup blueberry puree to the third portion. Because I had already done plenty of mixing in my Kitchen Aid stand mixer, I folded in these liquids to make sure not to over mix the batter (which is a reason our cakes sink in the middle sometimes).
How to Create Colors and Flavors in Cake Layers
After adding the raspberry and blueberry purees to two of the cake layers, I wasn’t satisfied with the flavors or the colors of the batter. I wanted more of both. To enhance the flavors, I added a teaspoon of raspberry emulsion to the raspberry cake and a teaspoon of blueberry emulsion to the blueberry cake. This amped up the flavors perfectly!
I also added one drop of Americolor red food gel to the raspberry layer and one drop of blue food gel to the blueberry layer. I love how the colors turned out a bit vintage looking.
Filling and Frosting
In between the layers, I added fresh berries along with my Vanilla Buttercream. I give several tips about making the perfect buttercream in my post about my Classic White Cake. Be sure to check it out HERE.
Take a peek at my video below to see the step by step process of how to decorate my Red, White and Blue Berry Cake. I use my go-to Ateco Cake Scraper to make the lines on the side of the cake. It’s the best two dollars you’ll ever spend!
Red, White and Blue Berry Cake
Layers of raspberry cake, vanilla cake, and blueberry cake, covered in vanilla buttercream.
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 20 mins
FOR THE CAKE
- 4 large egg whites at room temperature
- 1 whole egg at room temperature
- 3 teaspoons (12.6 g) clear vanilla extract
- 3 cups plus 3 tablespoons (366.5 g) cake flour
- 1 3/4 cups (350 g) granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon (16 g) baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon (4.2 g) salt
- 12 tablespoons (169.5 g) unsalted butter room temperature and cut into cubes
- 1/3 cup (80 g) buttermilk
- 1/3 cup (34 g) raspberry puree
- 1 teaspoon (4.2 g) raspberry emulsion
- 1/3 cup (34 g) blueberry puree
- 1 teaspoon (4.2 g) blueberry emulsion
FOR THE BUTTERCREAM
- 2 cups (452 g) unsalted butter chilled (I take the butter out of the fridge 30 minutes before I make my frosting)
- 6 cups (750 g) powdered sugar measured and then sifted
- 3-4 tablespoons (43.3-57.75 g)heavy whipping cream
- 2 teaspoons (8.4 g) clear vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- Berries for garnish
- *This buttercream recipe makes enough to fill and cover your cake. If you want to add additional piping, you’ll want to make an extra 1/2 batch.
FOR THE CAKE
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Spray three 8-inch round pans with nonstick spray, line the bottom of each pan with parchment paper and spray again. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl or measuring cup, combine and stir the egg whites, whole egg and the vanilla. Set aside.
- In a bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the dry ingredients together on low speed for 30 seconds.
- With the mixer on low speed, add the butter one piece at a time, about every 10 seconds.
- Once all the butter is added, turn the mixer to medium-low speed and add the egg mixture in three additions, scraping the bowl down between each addition. Mix just until incorporated.
- Using a kitchen scale, divide the batter into three portions, in three separate bowls.
- In the first bowl, fold in 1/3 cup buttermilk.
- In the second bowl, fold in 1/3 cup raspberry puree and 1 teaspoon raspberry emulsion.
- In the third bowl, fold in 1/3 cup blueberry puree and 1 teaspoon blueberry emulsion.
- Pour each of the different cake batters into their own cake pan, spreading evenly with a small offset palette knife.
- Bake until a cake tester or toothpick comes out with a few crumbs when inserted into the center, about 25 to 30 minutes. Check cake at 23 to 25 minutes or a couple minutes before, and then set the timer for 2 to 3 minute intervals if the cake needs to bake longer. You're looking for a few moist crumbs to come out on the toothpick when inserted into the center of the cake.
- Let the cake layers cool on racks for 10 minutes before inverting onto greased wire racks. Gently turn the cakes back up so the tops are up and cool completely.
- Once the cakes are cooled completely, level the tops if needed.
- Wrap each cake layer with plastic wrap and chill in freezer for at least an hour before using. The cake layers can be stored for up to a few days wrapped once in plastic wrap and frozen. To store longer than a few days, wrap twice in plastic wrap, then in foil, and seal in a zip-lock bag.
FOR THE BUTTERCREAM
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter for about 2 minutes. This will soften the butter without it having to be warm.
- With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the sifted powdered sugar, one cup at a time, mixing a little in between each addition.
- With mixer on medium speed, add whipping cream, vanilla and salt.
- Turn the mixer to medium-high speed and beat for an additional 5 to 7 minutes. The frosting will become lighter in color and texture.
- Before spreading on your cake, spend a couple minutes mixing the buttercream by hand with a wooden spoon to push out the air pockets.
- Place the first cake layer, top side up. Add about 1 cup of frosting. Spread over the cake layer as evenly as possible. Make sure to get eye level with the cake to ensure the frosting is spread evenly over the cake. Add fresh berries, if using.
- Repeat this step until you get to the final cake layer, which you will lay top side down.
- Apply a thin coat of frosting around the entire cake to lock in the crumbs. Freeze for about 10 minutes.
- After the crumb coat is set, continue frosting and decorating the cake.