I could not stop grinning the entire time I was baking, decorating, photographing, and, best of all, eating this American fruit Flag Cake. If I had any idea how much of a joy it would be to transform a fluffy yellow sheet cake into a patriotic Fourth of July dessert, I would have written Flag Cake at the top of my summer bucket list. If you are looking for further evidence that we are never ever too old to have fun with our food, this would be it.

American Flag Cake. Made with REAL ingredients! From scratch fluffy yellow sheet cake, topped with Greek yogurt cream cheese frosting, fresh strawberry, and blueberry to look like an American flag. The perfect patriotic dessert recipe for the Fourth of July, Memorial Day, and Labor Day. Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

Now, before I go on and tell you why of all the fruit flag cake recipes in the universe you should make this particular flag cake, let me clear up one tiny point: I did not invent flag cake. While I aspire to that level of culinary adorableness, I’ve never been particularly adept at fancy desserts or anything bordering on “theme” food.

Dear future parents of my hypothetical children’s classmates: please do not judge my children for their mother’s pitiful lack of décor at their birthday parties. The party may not have a theme, a cake in the shape of a dinosaur or Disney princess, or any semblance of order, but we will have sangria. I trust you can forgive.

Or maybe we’ll have Flag Cake, because SO CUTE. And so delicious. And so, so easy.

“Fourth of July” is an acceptable party theme for ages 1 to 17, is it not?

Or, here is an even better idea: let’s all make Flag Cake for the actual Fourth of July!

American Flag Cake. Perfect patriotic dessert for the Fourth of July, Memorial Day or Labor Day! A healthy version of the classic recipe featuring a soft and fluffy yellow sheet cake made with honey, Greek yogurt, and whole wheat flour, topped with Greek yogurt cream cheese frosting, fresh strawberry, and blueberry. Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

Although I’ve seen dozens of different recipes for Flag Cake—Jello, poke, and Cool Whip being three of the most common descriptors—every one of them seemed too heavy or even artificial to be a worthy sweet finale to a special summer barbecue.

Maybe I walked by this shirt too many times at Target, or maybe I have some culinary cuteness buried inside of me after all, but I became fixated on the idea of coming up with a healthier Flag Cake recipe. I craved a better cake than what Pinterest promised. I wanted it to be made from wholesome ingredients, and I wanted it to taste rich and indulgent enough to be a true crowd pleaser no matter where I served it.

American Flag Cake. Easy to make and absolutely beautiful! Perfect for any patriotic-themed party. Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

About This Flag Cake

After a few recipe attempts, this Flag Cake recipe is where I landed. The fluffy yellow sheet cake base is made with whole wheat flour and sweetened with honey, and part of the butter has been swapped for Greek yogurt.

The cream cheese frosting includes Greek yogurt also and isn’t overpoweringly sweet so that the flavor of the fresh berries can shine.

The Flag Cake is still on decadent side (I kept enough butter and sugar to make it taste like a real cake and not a flag muffin), but in comparison to most other flag cake recipes you’ll find, it leaves you the most wiggle room to serve yourself an extra-large slice, thank goodness. Extra large is the size you are going to want!

Easy Flag Cake recipe – looks absolutely beautiful and is easy to make! Fluffy yellow sheet cake topped with cream cheese frosting and decorated with fresh blueberry and strawberry to look like an American Flag. The perfect Fourth of July dessert. Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

With its no-fuss sheet cake style, this Flag Cake is ideal for transporting to parties and slicing to serve a crowd. After diving into a piece of the cake myself, I gave a generous serving to our painter. I thought he’d take it home, but he stood in my kitchen and quietly inhaled the entire thing in approximately 30 seconds.

The rest of the Flag Cake was gifted to friends who had company in town to enjoy it and who are accustomed enough to my blog leftovers not to mind a missing slice or two. They immediately texted to say the cake had been a hit and could I please send them the recipe early.

No one suspected this Flag Cake had been lightened up, and I guaranteed your party won’t either!

Make Ahead and Storage Tips

  • To Make Ahead. Cake can be made 1 day in advance, covered tightly at room temperature, and then frosted before serving. Frosting can also be made 1 day ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Let come to room temperature for easier frosting of the cake.
  • To Store. Store leftovers in the refrigerator, tightly covered, for up to 3 days.
  • To Freeze. You can also remove the fruit and store for up to 5 days in the refrigerator or freeze for up to 3 months.

Recommended Tools to Make This Recipe

American Flag Cake. Made with REAL ingredients! From scratch fluffy yellow sheet cake, topped with Greek yogurt cream cheese frosting, fresh strawberry, and blueberry to look like an American flag. The perfect patriotic dessert recipe for the Fourth of July, Memorial Day, and Labor Day. Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

Flag Cake

5 from 10 votes
A healthier version of the classic patriotic Flag Cake that looks beautiful and is easy to make. Fluffy, sweet, and absolutely delicious!

Prep: 45 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 1 hr 35 mins

Servings: 24 servings

Ingredients
  

For the flag cake:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature (1 stick)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour*
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup milk plus 2 tablespoons—any kind you like—I used 2%, at room temperature

For the frosting and decoration:

  • 12 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese Neufchatel, at room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 2-3 cups sliced fresh strawberries

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Generously grease and lightly flour an 11x17-inch half-sheet pan or coat with baking spray (the floured kind, like this). Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a large bowl with a hand mixer or spoon, cream the butter for 1 minute on medium speed, until it is smooth and creamy. Add the sugar on medium speed and beat until fluffy and light in color. Beat in the honey, then the eggs and vanilla until smooth and nicely combined, stopping to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl a few times. The mixture may look curdled. Beat in the yogurt on medium-high speed until blended.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda, and salt. Pour one-third of the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Beat on low speed for 5 seconds, then pour in half of the milk. Beat on low speed for 5 seconds. Repeat with the next third of the flour, then the remaining half of the milk. Add the last third of the flour and beat just until combined and the batter is smooth. Do not overmix.
  • Spread the cake batter into the prepared pan, smoothing it into a thin, even layer with a rubber spatula or offset spatula. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, rotating the pan 180 degrees once halfway through.
  • Place the baked cake on a wire rack and let cool in the pan completely. Meanwhile, make the frosting.
  • For the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a large bowl with a hand mixer or spoon, beat the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, yogurt, and vanilla on medium speed until smooth and combined.
  • Spread the frosting over the cooled cake. Arrange blueberries in rows in top left corner to form the “star” portion of the flag. Line the strawberry slices in 5 rows to form the “stripes.” Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Notes

  • *You can substitute the same amount of all-purpose flour for the 1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour. If you make this swap, reduce the amount of milk in the recipe to 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon.
  • Cake can be made 1 day in advance, covered tightly at room temperature, and then frosted before serving. Frosting can also be made 1 day ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Let come to room temperature for easier frosting of the cake.
  • Store leftovers in the refrigerator, tightly covered, for up to 3 days. You can also remove the fruit and store for up to 5 days in the refrigerator or freeze for up to 3 months.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice (of 24)Calories: 232kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 4gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 149mgFiber: 1gSugar: 21g

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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41 Comments

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  1. Yum! I love all things themed, and last year I made flag brownies!! :) This looks PERFECT for 4th of July!

  2. Hi Erin!

    This looks amazing, but I’m gluten free. Any thoughts on how to go about subbing the flour for either almond or coconut flour? Would that still taste just as good?

    Thank you!
    Cait

    1. Hi Cait, generally you can never swap almond flour or coconut flour for all-purpose, because they have such different properties. This is definitely something where you’d want to use a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend instead. I like the Bob’s Red Mill one! I hope you love it if you give the recipe a try!

  3. This cake is so beautiful! It will be great for me to make on our 4th of July wedding anniversary! Wish I lived nearby and could be a recipient of your blog leftovers! Thanks, Erin!

  4. This is adorable, Erin! I’d say you have some cuteness buried in there somewhere. :) And the strawberry stripes, especially, look beautiful! Yum!

  5. Loved the cake. Only disappointment, here in Fl. almost impossible to find boxes of strawberries
    close
    to the same size . By July they are huge with a mixture of sizes. However many compliments for the
    slices
    given. (they didn’t see the entire cake before being served).5 stars

    1. Dee, I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed the cake! Thanks so much for taking the time to report back!

    1. Lauren, you could experiment, though it will change the baking time. I’d fill the pan about 3/4 of the way full, then keep an eye on the cake. If you have extra batter, you can bake it as cupcakes. I hope you love the recipe!

  6. We made this for the Fourth and everyone LOVED it! It looked beautiful and the texture was so light and fluffy. Thanks for the recipe!5 stars

  7. Made this for the fourth and my friends loved it. I was hoping for leftovers but there werent any. Going to be a new tradition for us!5 stars

  8. My sister is turning 80 on the 4th of July! Neither of us can believe that! Until I moved away, every year I was elected to make a patriotic dessert for about 25 people. It’s been many years since I’ve done it, but your cake brings back such wonderful memories! I live at high altitude now, so will have to try the recipe with a few tweaks. Thank you for always giving me a brilliant idea for something that makes me look good to my husband! I love your post about the cake, it’s so cute and funny. Have a wonderful Fourth of July!

  9. Hi! This looks great! I don’t have wheat flour and was wondering if I can use all purpose flour only? Thank you!

    1. Megan, you do need a liquid sweetener for the correct texture. Pure maple syrup would work!

  10. Erin, this cake is amazing! I will make it again, and again for other occasions and maybe try some different fruits on it. I would not change a thing. I love that it is in a sheet pan and is a thin layer of cake. I also used a bit less frosting since the cake is so delicious I didn’t want to hide it. Thanks as always! This one is a winner!!!5 stars

  11. Hi, I don’t know why this recipe came up when I searched for vegan flag cake, however I like what I see so far…Ever made a eggless version so far? Anyone? 

    1. Hi Nikki! I’ve never tried this recipe without eggs, so it would be a complete experiment. If you decide to play around with it, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  12. This cake is delicious! Moist and rich and the frosting is a perfect topping with the berries. Most guests had second servings and raved about how good it was. I made in a 9×13” pan so baking times was 12 minutes longer.
    Thank you Erin❣️5 stars

    1. Hi Marianne! Thank you for the feedback! So glad you enjoyed it! Thank you for this kind review!

  13. The description she gives of this cake recipe is spot on! I found it to be moist, rich and decadent, and everyone in my house thought it was a huge hit! The icing is phenomenal also. I believe it’s true no one would suspect it to be a lightened up version. I used entirely AP flour and reduced the amount of milk as is indicated in her notes. If you try this, you will be making this many times for years to come!5 stars