Firecracker Bundt Cake – An Explosive Red, White and Blue Dessert

by Sugar on May 18, 2015 · 80 comments

Post image for Firecracker Bundt Cake – An Explosive Red, White and Blue Dessert Print

American holidays like the 4th of July and Memorial Day are the perfect time to make easy and delicious red white and blue desserts. My Firecracker Bundt Cake is fun to make and will have everyone wondering how you got all the colors in there.

I originally developed this recipe for Betty Crocker and it has been extremely popular on their site too. The great thing about this cake is the main ingredients are cake mix, frosting and some food coloring. It’s the secret tricks in the baking and frosting that make it so beautiful. You want to make sure that you mix your ingredients well with a good mixer. The Bosch Mixer has some of the best mixing abilities for any kitchen mixer.


  • 1 box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® white cake mix
  • Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix box
  • Red food coloring
  • Blue food coloring
  • 1 (12 oz) can Betty Crocker® Whipped Fluffy White Frosting


Heat oven to 325°F. Generously grease a 12-cup tube cake pan. Make cake batter as directed on box. Pour 1 cup of batter into a bowl and add the red food coloring, mix well. Pour another cup of the batter into a bowl and add the blue food coloring, mix well.

Pour the red cake mix into the bottom of the greased pan. Carefully pour the white batter over the red batter in pan.  Then carefully pour the blue batter over the white batter.

The blue batter does not need to cover the white batter completely.  It looks better if it just forms a ring in the center of the white batter.

Bake as directed on box or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes. Turn pan upside down onto cooling rack that is placed over a cookie sheet. Cool cake completely, about 30 minutes.

Once cake is cool, equally divide the frosting into 3 bowls. Microwave the white frosting for a few seconds on high until it is smooth enough to drizzle over the cake. With a spoon, drizzle the white frosting back and forth around the whole ring in a striping pattern until you use it all.

Then microwave one of the other bowls. Before drizzling, mix in a few drops of blue food coloring. Then drizzle over the cake, scattering back and forth. Repeat with the red food coloring, making sure you can see the red, white and blue colors. Set cake aside to dry.

Cooking Tips:

When you add the batter, do not mix with a spoon. Just pour it in so the colors don’t mix but rather, just rest on top of each other in the pan.

Store loosely covered and unrefrigerated.

Cake can be made a day or two in advance.

The recipe above originally appeared on Betty  Please share this recipe with a friend.  Just click on the cute little icons below this sentence to share these on your Facebook page, twitter page, etc. with just one click!

Jacqueline Didia says:

I just made this cake for the Fourth of July and everyone loved it!! Thanks for the recipe.

Sugar says:

Oh I am so glad to hear that. :)

Leah says:

Hey Sugar! Mine is in the oven as we speak! It is my son’s 22nd birthday today and I am making it in his honor! He lives in California and I am in Alabama, but I am going to put a candle in it and Skype with him after while so I can sing Happy Birthday to him and tease him with this beautiful cake! (His girlfriend baked him a cake as well!) Thank you so much for this festive and patriotic recipe! EZ-PZ too! My hubs is already drooling. HaPpY 4th!

Sugar says:

Oh how sweet. Well I wish him a very happy Birthday and many more. :)

Leah says:

Thank you! It turned out perfectly! Your step by step tutorial was very helpful! He loved it and so did his Dad and I! I can’t wait to try different color/flavor combinations!

Sugar says:

I’m so glad you liked it. :)

Jen says:

Ok, just made this, but my blue color rose higher than my white. It’s still good, just looks like more of a mushroom cake than a bundt. Any idea why?

Sugar says:

Jen sometimes cakes have a mind of their own. :)

Teri says:

Mine is in the oven right now! I opted to get a super moist coconut cake mix rather than white and it subdued my food colors a bit since the batter was more off white. But I love coconut and was willing to sacrifice the bold colors for flavor 😀 Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!

Sugar says:

Yum!! I love coconut!

Josi Fisher says:

Will this work w/ a cake mix/instant pudding addition?

Sugar says:

Sure Josi that will work just fine. Enjoy!

Ruth Evens says:

I found it! this is what I am making for the church picnic 4th of July contest! Thanks so much for sharing this!!!!

Sugar says:

Oh I’m so glad you like it. I hope you win. Enjoy :)

steph says:

why cant it be refrigerated?

Sugar says:

It isn’t necessary to refrigerate this cake.

lucinda says:

Yippee!! I just flipped the second one out of the pan and it is perfect! After examining the first one I think you were right it just needed to bake longer. Thank you and I am sure everyone will appreciate this beauty this week-end. Have a safe and Happy Holiday!

Bright Blessings,

Sugar says:

Oh great to hear. Enjoy! :)

lucinda says:

Hi I just made this and as far as the colors came out great but the cake broke apart. Can you tell me what could have possible went wrong. It almost seems like it’s to moist. I am heading to the store for another box of cake mix. Love the idea hope I can get it right this time.

Thank you

Sugar says:


I’m not sure. Maybe you didn’t bake it long enough or measure properly. Thousands of people have made this cake without any issue like that. Keep me posted on how the next one turns out. Good luck.


McKenzie says:

it is so cool! dont you think. and fun to make with mom. but ours came out tie die!

Sugar says:

Yes it is fun and they all look pretty no matter what the pattern. Right?


Kassidee says:

I usually bake from scratch. Would any white cake recipe work with this or is there something specific to the density of the cake mix that ‘makes’ it work? Thanks :)

Sugar says:

Any cake will work but the super moist is dense so it holds up well so the colors stay separate.

Kassidee says:

Thanks! Can’t wait to try it! :)

Claudia says:

Has anyone done this with christmas colors? if so would love to see a picture.

Sugar says:

Claudia, I did mine and it came out amazing. I submitted it to Betty Crocker so I can’t post it until after they do.

I should have mine up by Wednesday.


ALEX says:

thanks for all your awesome recopies

Sugar says:

Oh you are so sweet for leaving me sure nice feedback.

Glad you like them.

Be sure to share my site with your friends and family.

Sugar :)

This was a HUGE hit in our house. My husband was very skeptical when I showed him the picture and said I was making it… but he told me it was the best desert I had ever made! :) My blog post about it goes up tomorrow (crediting you of course!) Thanks!

McSides says:

Cake did not even last at our get together. Niece and nephew loved so much that we are making a rainbow version of it this afternoon. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

Sugar says:

I’m so happy to hear that. :) I’m making a rainbow one this week too. Enjoy!

Hillary says:

Cake is in the oven now. My 8 year old and I put together the batter so it’s a family affair!

Sugar says:

I just love baking with the kids. Have fun frosting it too.

Jen says:

My daughters both got so excited about making this cake! We baked it this afternoon and will share it with our family on the 4th at our family picnic! Thanks for sharing :)

Sugar says:

Thanks for the feedback. Have a wonderful day.

Gayle says:

My red doesn’t look like that…it is brown (until I cut into it). Did I cook it too long? Help! I am making this for a small community picnic tomorrow and the outside looks horrible.

Sugar says:

It should be fine when you cut into it. :)

Chris Patterson says:

This is going to be perfect for the 4th of July potluck we Canadians have been invited to in Port Hardy, B.C. by our U.S. summer neighbours from Idaho.. I think they’ll be amazed!!

Sugar says:

Have a wonderful time today

V. Kahler-Anderson, aka HomeRearedChef says:

I love it! This recipe is not only fun but easy, and so colorful it will definitely WOW company. Thank you for the inspiration to bake!

That first picture makes me oh-so happy :) totally gorgeous and such a fun idea!

Sugar says:


Thanks so much for the feedback. It is a fun dessert for the 4th of July that makes everyone smile. Enjoy! :)

Melissa Loh says:

Loving all those colours! They’ve made me smile and think of fireworks. All it needs is sparklers! (^_^)

Sugar says:


That is such a great idea. When I make it for the 4th I’m going to use sparklers. How fun! Thanks for the feedback. :)

Tavette says:

I put sparklers on a birthday cake and 2 guys at the party rushed over to put them out. Apparently, for safety reasons, you should NEVER use sparklers inside a house.

Sugar says:

Oh that is too funny! :)

colleen says:

Very cute! what type /brand of food coloring did you use? mine always comes out pink rather than true red

Sugar says:


Betty Crocker makes Gel food Coloring in a box that I used for this, but I also use McCormick. They make a Red that is sold in a bottle on it’s own in a 1 oz bottle. It’s a true red and is perfect for red velvet too. You can find it in the super market.:)

Alex says:

Use more food coloring to make it even more red!

Kalyn says:

Wow. So gorgeous for a Fourth of July dessert!

Sugar says:

Thanks. It is a fun dessert to make and the kids just love it. :)

Sugar says:

It turned out great. :)

Sugar says:

WOW that lookd great. Thanks for sharing. :)