Rock out this 4th of July with this festive, Retro Red White and Blue Explosion Cake recipe!
The vibrant colors literally explode with the red, white and blue tie dye effect, marbled in a light and fluffy vanilla white cake easily by using your favorite cake box mix! It's topped with a super creamy, vanilla buttercream frosting and pretty patriotic sprinkles and stars.
Check out 10 Easy Patriotic Desserts and our 20 Red, White & Blue Patriotic Desserts to Proudly Hail! for more fun ideas!
Fun Cake Recipe for the 4th of July Celebration!
I love tie-dye! When I think of tie-dye, I think of peace, love, freedom, free-spirit, mellow, hippies, hipsters, coolness and the nostalgic 60's & 70's mostly, which ties in with the retro American theme of this cake!
So. Now...Have you ever made a multi-colored cake? It's not hard at all, but to get bright colors in the cake batter, it's better to use gel pastes because they are highly concentrated.
You don't have to use a lot to get awesome results. I really love using this 12 Color Cake Food Coloring Liqua-Gel Decorating Baking Set and it's very affordable and lasts a long time.
How To Make our Retro Red White and Blue Cake Recipe
I took a shortcut and used Pillsbury's Vanilla cake mix. I always find their cake mixes to be my favorite to use, when I'm not making a home-made version. The next step is adding colors to the cake and making the swirls in the batter.
How to Tie-Dye a 4th of July Cake
So more about these psychedelic swirls of our nation's colors...the red, white and blue!
- To get the tie-dye effect, all you do is make the cake batter and grab 2 bowls and pour ⅓ of the batter into each of the bowls and add red gel paste to one and blue gel paste to the other and mix them up until you get the color you want to achieve.
- The color is pretty true when you mix it up and will bake the same color you make it before baking.
- Pour the white cake batter into the pan and then pour in the other colors, by randomly pouring them however you want with the white batter.
- The less you swirl the the batters around the better, once all poured in, is best, but you can give it a few swirls. Otherwise you'll get other colors and you want it to stay red, white and blue as much as possible.
The Vanilla Frosting Recipe
You can of course, use your favorite frosting, bought or made, but I love to whip this easy frosting recipe for cakes and cookies all the time. It's so creamy and tastes amazing on about every dessert. It consists of softened butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, milk of choice and a dash of salt.
It's one of my favorite frostings ever that you can whip up so fast! Add some patriotic sprinkles and you're good to go!
Need other red, white and blue party desserts, check these 4th of July – Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Cup Double Stuffed Oreos out, these 4th of July Oreo Trufflesand our Red White and Blue Chocolate Chip Bars!
You may want to swoon over this amazing Chocolate Cream Layered Dessert as well! Definitely yummilicious!
Now let's party man, with party cake!
Retro Red White and Blue Explosion Cake
1 vanilla white cake box plus ingredients required for a 9 x 13 pan, using egg white version on box
- red gel paste
- blue gel paste
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons almond milk or milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Red white and blue sprinkles
Retro Red White and Blue Cake:
- Make vanilla cake according to box instructions, then evenly divide your cake batter into 2 other small bowls, keeping the vanilla in the original bowl you mixed it in. Use red gel paste in one bowl and blue gel paste in the other bowl and mix until color desired.
- Pour the white cake batter into a 9 x 13 cake pan, sprayed with non-stick spray. Then add the blue or the red by pouring on top, then swirl with a knife a few swirls, but not a lot, or you'll get other colors and it won't be red, white and blue.
- Bake cake until done and let cool.
- Once cake has cooled, make the frosting.
- Cream butter for a couple of minutes and then add in the powdered sugar, milk, vanilla, salt until smooth and creamy.
- Frost cake and sprinkle some sprinkles on top and serve.
Maria | kitchenathoskins says
Such a vibrant cake, perfect for the holiday and I love that it's so easy. Kids will totally go crazy for this and they'll definitely love to make it too. Perfect kids's baking project:)
heather (delicious not gorgeous) says
love the swirls! and love that you were able to keep the red looking red and blue looking blue post-baking; half the time the colors end up murky on my end lol.
Love your tricolori 🙂 Thank you and enjoy the day dear !
So easy Kelly, and thank you so much!
Thank you so much Laura! I think it's so fun.
Thank you so much Katherine! Hope you're doing well! 🙂
Kelly @ Kelly Lynns Sweets and Treats says
I love the pretty tie dye cake!! I have never made a tie dye cake before, but I agree that gel dye is the way to go!!! This is perfectly patriotic 🙂
There’s nothing like a festive cake for the 4th! And this one is gorgeous! I love the tie-dye effect! Pinning this recipe!
Katherine | Love In My Oven says
This is sooo pretty, Kim!! I love the swirls! Plus, you gotta love a cake called "explosion" cake!
Thank you Kelsie! 🙂
Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen says
LOVE IT! I'm all about a colorful cake, especially one made with a mix :). This is so perfect for the Fourth!