Red, White and Blue Cheesecake Cake

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I’m celebrating summer holidays this year by sharing my SEVENTH cheesecake cake!  This one is a simple RED/WHITE and BLUE version.  I used a fabulous vanilla cake recipe that I tried recently and just added a little gel paste to the vanilla to make things extra festive.  It’s easy to make (I promise), and you might just impress people at a summer party if you show up with a cake like this Red, White and Blue Cheesecake Cake.

red, white and blue cheesecake cake sliced into to see the inside- displayed on a white plate

It’s a layer of vanilla cheesecake sandwiched between two layers of vanilla cake that have been colored festively for 4th of July or Memorial Day weekend.  For me, it’s the best of both worlds since I can never decide if I want cheesecake or cake!

slice of red, white and blue cheesecake cake on a plastic plate on a wood surface

Slices of this cake are so cute.  Everyone loves a good, festive cake, and this one definitely fits that bill perfectly!

round layer of red cake on a white plate with white frosting spread on top

How to make a Red, White and Blue Cheesecake Cake:

The red cake layer is topped with a small amount of frosting to act as the “glue.”

red layer of cake on a white plate topped with a cheesecake layer

The frosting is topped with a cheesecake layer (a frozen one that you can pick up with your hands and place on top… but you make it and freeze it yourself– it’s not from the frozen food section).

layer of red cake topped with a layer of cheesecake and then frosting on a white plate

Again, the frosting is added to the top of the cheesecake to glue the next layer.

three layers of cake close up- red cake, white cheesecake and blue cake on top

And the next layer, of course, is BLUE.

white frosting on a red white and blue layer cake on a white plate

A little trick I used from somewhere:  if you have a tender cake or a cake that is colored, it’s a good idea to apply a “crumb coat” of frosting first.  This is a very thin layer.  Then I pop it in the freezer for a little bit to firm things up.

white frosted layer cake on a white plate

When things are firmed up, you can add the remaining frosting and the crumbs won’t get mixed into the top layer since they’re firm and frozen on the cake.  It looks neater and prettier this way.

red white and blue sprinkles on top of a white layer cake on a white plate

Since I had red/white and blue sprinkles in my pantry, I figured this was a good way to use them up.

overhead shot of the red white and blue sprinkles on top of a cake on a white plate

The cake needs to be kept in the refrigerator until ready to slice and serve.  You want it to remain somewhat firm for easy slicing, and you don’t really want the cheesecake layer to get super, super soft either.  The cheesecake will defrost on its own in the fridge.

slice of red, white and blue cheesecake cake on a plastic plate with a silver fork

Reviews on this cake:

I made this cake years ago while I was still living in San Diego.  The kids in the neighborhood knew what I was up to so I brought it out to the street to share as soon as it was done.  I had 6 boys lined up to get their slice.  They gobbled and licked their plates clean (they’re boys).  They thanked me and told me that they loved it.  

A couple hours later I received a text from my next door neighbor.  It said, “Jack just got home and heard about the cake that his brothers got to eat while he was gone.  He’s outside circling the culdesac on his scooter, hoping you’ll come out and give him a slice too.”  The text made me smile, and I immediately brought a slice out to Jack… who was very happy indeed.  Read the reviews in the comments below– it seems that adults have enjoyed it too!

I hope you’ll attempt this one for fun summer parties!

Here are a few more cheesecake cakes you might enjoy:

red, white and blue cheesecake cake sliced into to see the inside- displayed on a white plate
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4 from 5 votes

Red, White and Blue Cheesecake Cake

This is an incredibly festive cake for summer holiday parties!
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Cooling & Freezing: 6 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 16 servings
Calories 595kcal
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword red white and blue cheesecake cake

Ingredients

CHEESECAKE:

  • Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated white sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

CAKE:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • cups granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • concentrated gel paste- classic red and royal blue (see tips in Recipe Notes below)

FROSTING:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • sprinkles, optional

Instructions

PREPARE THE CHEESECAKE LAYER:

  • Place a 9x13-inch pan on the bottom rack of the oven and fill it halfway with water. Place your other rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick spray, then line the bottom of the pan with parchment, then spray again. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to blend the cream cheese until it is smooth and creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Mix in the sugar and salt and blend for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl to make sure all is mixed in. Add the eggs, one at a time, blending after each addition. Finally, mix in the sour cream, whipping cream and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Set the pan on the middle rack in the pre-heated oven. Bake the cheesecake for 45 minutes. It should be set to the touch and not jiggly. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack for at least an hour. When it has cooled, place the pan into the freezer and let the cheesecake freeze completely (4 to 5 hours or overnight).

PREPARE THE CAKE:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray two 9-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment; spray the parchment as well. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large glass bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together the sugar and butter on medium speed until combined, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the eggs and beat well, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture, beating until combined. Add the milk and vanilla and beat until just combined. Scoop half of the batter into another glass bowl and use gel paste (classic red and royal blue) to color the each half a deep hue. Scrape the batter into each of the prepared pans. Bake until firm to touch and a toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cakes cool in pans on wire racks 15 minutes. Turn out cakes onto racks to cool completely.

PREPARE THE FROSTING:

  • In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together the butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed until pale and creamy, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to medium. Add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the salt, 3 tablespoons milk, and vanilla and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add an additional tablespoon of milk if you'd like the frosting to be more creamy.

ASSEMBLE THE CAKE:

  • Place the red cake layer on a cake plate and spread a small amount of frosting on top. Remove the (frozen) cheesecake from the pan and place the cheesecake layer on top of the red layer (be sure to measure it and make sure that it fits on top... you may need to place it on a cutting board and shave off some of the edge with a sharp knife to match the size of the cake layer). Spread a small amount of the frosting on top of the cheesecake layer. Add the blue layer on top. Scoop some frosting on top of the blue layer and cover the entire cake in a VERY THIN LAYER of frosting (you're just doing a "crumb coat.") Then place the cake in the freezer for a few minutes, just until the cake and frosting are a little bit firm. Then add the remaining frosting to the top of the cake, spread across the top evenly and down the sides. Sprinkle festive sprinkles on top, if desired. The cake should be refrigerated until ready to serve.

Video

Notes

  • *Concentrated gel paste color can be found at craft stores or baking supply stores (not the regular market). Wilton sells it. I don't recommend using the liquid coloring for this recipe. The gel paste is concentrated, and you won't be adding liquid to the batter.  You can also use Americolor:  http://www.amazon.com/Americolor-Soft-Paste-Food-Color/dp/B001O8KQP6.  Just keep adding color until you get a nice, strong hue.
  • *The frosting included in this recipe just barely covers the cake. It's enough, but if you want any sort of piping, you might consider using another frosting recipe like the one included in > this recipe.
  • *If you have 8-inch pans, you can make this cake in those. You can try making the cheesecake in a cake pan, but it's pretty tricky to get out of the pan.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 595kcal | Carbohydrates: 79g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 146mg | Sodium: 265mg | Potassium: 200mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 66g | Vitamin A: 1060IU | Calcium: 112mg | Iron: 1.3mg
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Comments

  • Zoie Penick wrote:

    This cake recipe was delicious! My sister and I made it today for Labor Day weekend. It’s the perfect iconic theme for Labor Day. My family and I loved it so much! The cheesecake layer is what made it nice and creamy.

  • Amy wrote:

    Tried making this for my neighbors citizenship party….The cheesecake came out yellow? I make cheesecakes all the time and they are white…..

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I’m not sure what happened– you can see my photos and the reviews on the recipe. I’ve never had a problem with it being yellow, but you could always use egg whites only and make sure you use butter that isn’t significantly yellow.

  • A wrote:

    My cheesecake sank as well. After 45 minutes it was still pretty jiggly

  • Jaya wrote:

    Hi. I plan on making this soon, but I have two questions. 1) How much gel paste is used? 2) Do we need to take the cheesecake out of the springform pan to cool?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      You just need to eyeball the amount of gel paste until you get the color you want. The cheesecake can cool completely IN the pan.

  • Jessica D Jones wrote:

    Hey Lori!
    I’m a novice home baker & make my family the Guinea Pigs of anything & everything! This turned out AH-MAZING!! I even decorated the other layer with a red, white, & blue stripes! Needless to say we devoured it within minutes! Looking forward to testing more of your recipes!

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      Awesome! Glad to hear you enjoyed this one!

  • Gus Richter wrote:

    This was fantastic. My daughters and I plan on making this for future holidays. (Orange and black for Halloween, red and green for Christmas…). They (11 and 14) were able to help with a lot of this and they loved it even more as a result. The cheesecake part of this was especially amazing and I have been making cheesecakes for over 20 years.
    I was wondering about different flavor options like mint at Christmas. I can make mint cheesecakes easily enough but am just curious how to pursue that in terms of the cake. Any thoughts (besides me making this 30 times in experimental fashion)?

  • Anne wrote:

    I made this for a Memorial Day party and it was a big hit. Thanks for the thorough instructions. I even picked up a couple of tips i was not aware of.

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      Happy to hear it was a big hit!

  • Jill Roberts @ WellnessGeeky wrote:

    Gorgeous pictures. I made this red white and blue cheesecake cake for the super bowl party and it was a crowd favorite. Thanks for sharing, Lori!

  • Beckie wrote:

    I make this cake all the time!! Labor Day… my husbands birthday and now my birthday lol. I used red velvet!! I can’t wait to eat it

  • Eve wrote:

    I’m not a big cake eater, but the idea of cake and cheesecake together sounds appealing!

  • Juliana wrote:

    I’ve been looking for a festive red, white, and blue cake that would be a challenge but not so much that I’d discourage myself from making it. This looks like the one!
    I’m going to make this for Memorial Day! Hoping it comes out well!

  • Dolores L wrote:

    Made this as a welcome to USA cake for our Swedish in-laws. Delicious–a definite hit!!!

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      How fun!

  • Andrea P. Harris wrote:

    This was a fun cake to make. I can’t wait until my neighbors cut into at our 4th of July party.
    I’ll report later the response and to how it tasted.

  • Jeanette Fields wrote:

    Made this today and it was yummy! Thanks for the fun recipe.

  • Lindsey wrote:

    I have 2 questions. It it fine just to use food coloring to dye the cakes? And, if i wanted to substitute the cheesecake layer for another layer of regular cake, how would I make the recipie, would I divided it by 3? it would be great if you could get back to me! Thanks! 🙂

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      Food coloring is liquid… so it may affect the outcome of the texture of the cakes. The gel paste is a more intense color- so you’ll be able to get the color you want without adding a ton of liquid food coloring. I suppose you could divide the cake batter into three portions, but the cakes will be much thinner than pictured. Good luck!