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

  • Tricia wrote:

    My first from scratch cake! Turned out great and was so delicious. Everyone loved the festive colors. 

  • Bryn wrote:

    The recipe was delicious! We are so happy we made it! We froze the cheesecake cake for 10 minutes after the crumb coat, it was a fabulous tip! We did not freeze the cheesecake for as long as told. We let the cheesecake cool and then put it into the freezer for about 1 hour. Doing that caused no problems. Unless you want a frozen cheesecake, we do not see a purpose in doing so. Does the freezing enhance the flavor? Or is there a purpose in freezing? We don’t known if it’s the oven, but we had to bake the cheesecake for about 1 hour, and it was still a little jiggly. It was all perfect in the long run though! Our colors definitely were not as vibrant as the picture. Did you use a whole ton of gel paste or photoshop? Lol I’m just confused.  

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I did not photoshop the cake! I don’t recall using a ton of gel paste- just a vibrant red and royal blue. Just kept adding in a little at a time until I was happy with the color. Glad you enjoyed the cake!

  • connie wrote:

    Just finished making this, turned out wonderful, my family loves it!!  I will make this again next year .

  • Sheri wrote:

    This cake turned out awful. Don’t waste your time

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      Sorry it didn’t work out for you. It would be helpful if you gave us some more information as to what went wrong for you… since others have enjoyed it!

  • Lesley wrote:

    What a great recipe! I’m making it now for the 4th but am a little disappointed in the colors of my cakes. I bought the Wilton sparkling gel paste in red and blue from AC Moore. Reading some feedback it looks like others weren’t able to achieve your vibrant coloring! I would definitely recommend editing the post to include the specific paste you use and warn of steering away from that recommendation. Here’s to hoping it still tastes as good 🙂 thanks again for th recipe

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      Hmmm, I’m not sure about the sparkling… a good classic red and royal blue gel paste is what works best in the recipe. Anything that deviates from that might lend an “off” color. Hope you enjoyed it regardless!

  • Stephanie Lehouillier wrote:

    Hi! How far in advance can you make this? Is there any problems with the color “bleeding” if it’s in the fridge too long? Would a day in advance be ok? Thanks so much!

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I don’t think I’ve had any bleeding problems. A day in advance should be just fine!

  • Pat f wrote:

    I just saw this posted on my facebook and I was wondering if there is a way to make this a little more diabetic friendly?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I’m afraid that’s not my specialty- sorry!

  • Paula Spalding wrote:

    I just saw this on pinterest and immediately decided it was going on my 4th of July party dessert table – right in the center!  I do have a question….I tend to make most things in advance of parties, so can you please tell me if this can be frozen (without icing)?  Cakes and cheesecakes can generally be frozen, but since the cheesecake will be pre-frozen, I was not sure if it could be re-frozen!

    Thanks so much!

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      Well, I have never used a (purchased) frozen cheesecake, so I’m a little worried there may be a lot of condensation upon defrosting… but I’d probably suggest that you wrap the cake layers and freeze those separately… then frost the whole thing and refrigerate on the day of serving.

  • Rita Techtman wrote:

    My son sent me the link to this patriotic and delicious looking cheesecake cake; which of course means that Mom will be making this for the 4th of July! HAHA! Would AmeriColor Soft Gel Paste work to obtain the deep red and blue color shown in your cake? Do you recall the actual hue name of the paste that you used?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I’m sure it was just a classic red and a classic navy blue. I cannot recall the specifics- sorry!

  • Lisa W wrote:

    Could I use box cake mixes and box cheesecake or one or the other? Also, can I use already made frosting? I need a way to make this cheaper and the pre-made cake mixes and frosting will help.

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      You can certainly mess around with it and try some shortcuts, but I haven’t tried them so you’re taking a chance 🙂

  • Michelle wrote:

    Made this cake for our family 4th of July celebration. I barely got a taste so I made it again for MY family birthday celebration. I changed the cake colors to pink and purple and added a fresh strawberry purée to each layer. I can hardly wait to eat it tomorrow!! Dessert can’t come soon enough! Thanks for sharing such a delicious, versatile cake!!

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      you’re welcome!

  • Amanda Grzyb wrote:

    I did the water pan trick and my cheesecake still has cracks around the rim?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      It happens sometimes. Cracks don’t matter much when the cheesecake is hidden between the two layers of cake. How did the finished cake turn out for you?

  • Pammy wrote:

    I don’t know what I did wrong…I put in 2 tubes of blue and 2 red. I have 1 green layer and 1 pink. Neither layer rose much and looks like brown pancakes. Cheesecake was wonderful. I didn’t put on the sprinkles since my cake was neither blue or red. Disappointed.

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      Sounds like you used decorator gel that you buy from the grocery store (the kind that you use to decorate the top of a cake?) You need concentrated gel paste… which you can buy at Michael’s or baking supply shops (it’s Wilton brand). You’ll only need a small amount of the concentrated paste to obtain deep hues of blue or red.

  • Sonia wrote:

    I made this for my husband’s birthday (july 1 but we celebrated july 3). It’s yummy – love the cheesecake layer! I used Wilton gel colors and my red is good but the blue is a bit light. If I had to change anything I’d put less sugar in the frosting – it’s really sweet! But then I’ve been low-carbing for a year now and avoiding all sugar so it’s just a shock to my system! This made the perfect amount of frosting to cover the cake – if I had put less sugar in it there wouldn’t have been enough!

  • Karen Burris wrote:

    This was one of the hardest cakes and one of the best cakes I have ever made!!! I bake a lot and I thought what the heck ill try it, because we were going to a party and it was the hit of the party, thank you for sharing your receipe!!!!!!

  • Ammie wrote:

    I made this for our 4th of July celebration and it was delicious! I have to ask though, what brand of gel coloring did you use and how much? I had Wilton gels on hand and my colors didn’t turn out nearly as vibrant as your cake’s. I used almost half a bottle of the red and it still looked like more of a strawberry red. Anyhow, thanks so much for sharing this delicious, festive recipe!

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      They come in little cylindrical containers, and you buy them at craft supply stores (like Michaels)- “Icing Colors… concentrated gel paste”

  • Carolyn wrote:

    Made this for my birthday – July 3rd. Is awesome. And the plain cake is very good all by itself too. Had to taste the crumbs as I went, don’t you know? lol
    Anyhow, thanks so much for the recipe and the cheesecake cake ideas. Will be making more of these in the future.

  • Sharon wrote:

    I am still confused. I posted a question about using the frosting for your Red Velvet Cheesecake cake. In that post the recipe has you using 2- 8oz cream cheese with ONLY 2 1/2 cups of powdered sugar. This recipe has you use 4 oz cream cheese with 5 cups of powdered sugar. Is this correct?? Please can someone help me ASAP?? I want to bring this to work in the AM tomorrow (July 4)
    Thanks
    Sharon

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      Hi Sharon- I emailed you directly today, but perhaps it went to your junk mail? In any case, here’s the scoop. The two frosting recipes are completely different. This one listed here has more powdered sugar and less cream cheese. The frosting recipe for the red velvet cake has more powdered sugar. If you use the one listed here for the red white and blue cake, you’ll have enough to cover the cake, but it won’t be a thick layer. The other frosting suggested makes a larger amount, allowing for a thicker layer.

  • Christi @ Love From The Oven wrote:

    Wow! Lori, this may be one of the most gorgeous cakes (and photos) I’ve ever seen. Amazing job!

  • Chocolate Covered Katie wrote:

    This looks gorgeous, Lori! 🙂