4th of July Dessert – Red, White and Blue Tie-Dye Cake

4th of July Dessert - Red, White and Blue Tie-Dye Cake | HungryHappenings.com
This Red, White and Blue Tie-Dye Cake made for the 4th of July is the love child, so to speak, of two very popular cakes that I shared with you in the past few weeks, the Melting Rainbow Cake and the Rainbow Tie-Dye Surprise Cake.

This baby was born out of so much love, from you the readers, that is.

It’s always my hope that when I bring life to a project that it will be accepted and cherished, and dare I say, popular.

I honestly never know how people will respond to my creations, but am overjoyed when I produce something that really strikes a chord with people, and these cakes certainly have.

Can you see the family resemblance?

Both of the bright colorful cakes were created for my gig over at Tablespoon.com. Being able to share my work on the Tablespoon site, opens my projects up to a much larger audience than my own. Collectively those cakes have been seen by millions of people, which is unbelievably amazing. They are the most popular projects I’ve created.

This is all pretty exciting for me.

4th of July Dessert - Red, White and Blue Tie-Dye Cake | HungryHappenings.com

That excitement couldn’t be contained.

I couldn’t resist getting back into the kitchen and playing around with the techniques used to create those two cakes.

The next big holiday here is the 4th of July, so this new cake is red, white and blue. It may not be as pretty as rainbows, but it’s what we have to work for this holiday, and the colors really do play nicely with each other. They look pretty striking on this cake. 
This was actually my second attempt at making a patriotic cake. The first was, well …
muddy looking on top and too drippy on the sides. 
There were, however aspects of this cake that were amazing. I loved the red, white and blue tie-dye interior, maybe even more so than the rainbow colors. 
But, what made this cake for me, was the flavor. I have to say it’s the best cake I’ve ever made. 
4th of July Dessert - Red, White and Blue Tie-Dye Cake | HungryHappenings.com
Many readers asked if the tie-dye cake could be made using white cake mix instead of pound cake, I had to try it, but I was tired of plain cake, so I chose to doctor it up. I used a Betty Crocker Coconut Cake recipe and loved the nice subtle coconut flavor of the cake. 
The recipe called for a white chocolate coconut flavored frosting. I had a bag of Wilton’s Coconut Candy Melts and decided to pump up the coconut flavor by using them in place of the white chocolate called for in the recipe. 
The resulting frosting was spectacular – best coconut buttercream I’ve ever tasted. I love coconut, but have to admit that sometimes the texture of it is bothersome. This frosting has all the amazing flavor, but none of the grit from the coconut flakes. 
Slice of Red, White and Blue Tie-Dye Cake
I covered the delicate coconut cake with this unbelievably rich and creamy coconut frosting then topped it all off with colorful ganache. The colors are vibrant and bright and make a wonderful 4th of July dessert. 
I usually give my cakes away to friends and neighbors, but this one I wanted to keep all to myself. When I told my husband I wasn’t happy with the look of the first cake, he laughed and told me I just wanted to make another one so I could eat it too. I think he was right.


Here’s my latest version of the cake. I made this cake for Valentine’s Day.


Fourth of July Desserts

Red, White, and Blue Tie Dye Cake (serves 12)
     recipe adapted from Betty Crocker


Coconut Cake –
1 Betty Crocker Super Moist White Cake Mix
3 egg whites
1/4 cup water
1 1/3 cups coconut milk well shaken and stirred (from a 14 ounce can, reserve rest for frosting)
1/2 cup sweetened coconut
red and blue gel food coloring

Creamy Coconut Frosting –
1 – 10 ounce bag Wilton Coconut Candy Melts*
2 2/3 cup powdered sugar
remaining coconut milk from 14 ounce can used for cake mix (a little more than 1/3 cup)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

Red Ganache –
2 ounces Wilton Red Candy Melts, finely chopped
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons light corn syrup

Blue Ganache –
2 ounces Wilton Blue Candy Melts, finely chopped
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons light corn syrup

*Wilton’s Coconut Candy Melts are a limited edition and are only available for a short time, which is so sad. I’ve stocked up on them and will be making more treats using them soon. So, if you want to try this unbelievably amazing frosting, you need to do it this summer, before the Coconut Candy melts are all gone. I found them at Michael’s, but they also an be purchased from Wilton.com. If you can’t find them, just use white candy melts and add 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract to intensify the flavor, if you like. You can even stir in some sweetened coconut. 


Supplies Needed:

12 or 13 inch long loaf pan**
Reynolds Non-stick tin foil or use shortening and flour or non-stick flour cooking spray
mini food processor or knife
optional, 5-7 small star shaped cookies cutters of varying size

**You can use a regular 9 inch loaf pan, if you don’t have a long one. The shape of the cake will be different, but will look pretty cool too.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees (325 for dark non-stick pans)
Either line loaf pan with non-stick tin foil or grease with shortening and dust with flour or spray with non-stick flour baking spray. I prefer the tin foil. It’s easy and clean.

Easy Coconut Cake Recipe | HungryHappenings.com

Combine cake mix with egg whites, water and coconut milk. Beat on low for 30 seconds, then beat on high for 2 minutes. 
Finely chop the coconut, using a mini food processor or knife. 
Fold coconut into cake batter.

Red, white and blue cake recipe

Divide batter in half. Pour half into a large 18 inch pastry bag or two smaller bags. Divide remaining batter among two bowls. Color one red and one blue. Pour red batter into a pastry bag and blue into another bag. 
Pipe a small amount of blue batter in a squiggly pattern into pan. Pipe on some white then some red. Repeat until all the batter is gone.

You have twice as much white so that it actually shows through.

Red, white and blue cake recipe | HungryHappenings.com

Bake for 45-50 minutes until a toothpick poked into the center of the cake comes out clean.

I used Wilton Cake Bands to make sure the cake baked evenly. They keep the sides from browning too much which is especially nice with this cake, so you see more red, white and blue.

Red, white and blue cake

Allow the cake to cool completely. Level the cake by cutting off any cake that is domed on top. Cut a cake board so that it is 1/4 inch bigger on all sides of your cake. Set cake on board. I found it best to flip the cake upside down. That way I had a nice smooth surface to frost.

Coconut Buttercream Recipe

Make the frosting. Pour Wilton Coconut Candy Melts in a microwave safe bowl. Heat on high for 30 seconds. Let sit in microwave for 1 minute, then stir. Heat again on high for 25 seconds, let rest 1 minute, then stir. If not completely melted heat on high for 10 second increments, stirring after each until melted.

Coconut Buttercream

Pour powdered sugar, room temperature coconut milk, butter. Add hot coconut candy melts, stir to combine, then beat on medium speed until the frosting becomes light and fluffy.

Note: If any of your ingredients are cold or the candy melts stick to the sides of your bowl, your candy melts can harden and form little hard bits in your frosting. Try to pour the candy melts into the ingredients so they don’t touch the sides. If you end up with hard bits in your frosting, gently warm it in the microwave to allow them to melt, then beat until fluffy.

How to frost a rectangle cake

Frost cake immediately, reserving about 2 tablespoons of frosting for later. This frosting will become stiff quickly, so don’t dawdle. 
You want a nice smooth surface on the cake. I used a Wilton Icing Smoother, and it worked great. I also filled a tall glass with hot water and dipped my metal spatula in the water, dried it, then spread it over the top and sides of the cake. The hot spatula slightly melted the frosting, smoothing it out nicely.

Patriotic Cake

Arrange 5-7 small star shaped cookie cutters over the top of the cake. Gently press them into the frosting just far enough that they will keep the ganache from seeping underneath.

Candy Melt Ganache Recipe

Make red and blue ganache. Pour 2 ounces of the colored candy melts into a small bowl, pour on 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream and 2 teaspoons corn syrup. Microwave on high power for 25 seconds, let sit in microwave for 1-2 minutes then stir. If not all melted heat on high for 10 second increments until melted.

You want the ganache to be thin enough to drip but not so thin that it just drips off the side of the cake, so you may need to allow it to cool slightly. As you are working, you may need to warm it slightly, also.

Red, White, and Blue Melting Ganache Cake

Start at one end of the cake an drizzle on some blue, then some red, then blue, and red, until you’ve made your way all around the cake. Once you’ve added dribbles to the side of the cake, fill in the top, being sure you don’t dribble any ganache inside the star shaped cookie cutters.

Red, White and Blue Tie-Dye Cake recipe

Allow the ganache to harden, then remove the cutters.

Red, White and Blue Tie-Dye Cake recipe

Pour reserved coconut frosting into a zip top bag. Snip the tip off and pipe over the stars.

Just a note: you can skip using the star cutters and just pipe the stars on yourself. I was really hoping I wouldn’t have to add any extra frosting but I when I removed the cutters the edges of the stars were jagged, so I added the frosting. It was nice to just pipe over the shape, but you can just pipe them on over the blue and red ganache, if you prefer. 

4th of July Desserts

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– Beth

Items used to create this project are available on Amazon.com (commission earned for sales)


More 4th of July Recipes
from Hungry Happenings

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Thanks for sharing!


    • says

      Run to your kitchen right now and make that frosting. Don't even worry if you don't have a cake to put it on, just grab a big spoon:)

  1. says

    Hi Beth – I love that you failed the first time around. Ok let me back up… as an average baker at best, it's sometimes intimidating to go to a food blogger's professional blog and think… wow I could never do that. But then to see that you are normal too… WOW. THANK YOU!!! That was supposed to be a huge compliment!!! Anyhoo… I love love love both the tie dye and the patriotic cakes. I think I may even be able to follow your directions. Thanks so much and happy day! Hugs, Holly

    • says

      Hi Holly, having one flop is nothing compared to what I went through this week. I had an assignment to make a cake for Tablespoon, spent 4 day, went through 12 cake mixes, had cake batter ooze all over my oven, had two mixes go straight into the trash after mistakenly adding egg yolks, then when I was about to give up hope it worked and I finally got an amazing cake done! Some things go smoothly and other times you just have disaster after disaster.

      It happens to everyone. I hope I give you the courage to try something new and fun in the kitchen. The best thing about all my flops is there was a lot of cake to give to family and friends. The reject cakes may not have looked like I needed them too, but they tasted good and everyone enjoyed them. So, don't be afraid to try something. It's only food:)

  2. says

    Hello Hungry Happenings!! I know I always say this..but your treats are always amazing! All of your tie-dye cakes are really cool, but I also like the red/white/blue colors best. I've made a few coconut treats for my blog and the coconut flavor usually wins over the real coconut. (i ate an entire tupperware cupful of coconut as a kid and can barely tolerate it now..except for Mounds)

    Plus, the "progressive photos" feature you put together is awesome! Happy 4th!

    • says

      Thanks, Karen. I love the flavor of coconut, but hate chewing it. It's gritty and sticks in my teeth. This cake has all that wonderful coconut flavor without the textural issues. I love it.

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  4. Tyy says

    Hey ! your cakes are sooo beautiful. i was tryibg to see how you made the rainbow looking for dye cake with the 5 in it. i want to make a cake like that for my sons 2nd birthday.

  5. says

    How fun is this cake!! I am not sure if I have the patience to make it. But I know my kids would love it if I did. Maybe I can get them all in the kitchen and we can make it.

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