Memorial Day Sheet Cake: A Patriotic Dessert to Celebrate the Heroes

memorial day sheet cake

Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States that commemorates the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. This day is observed on the last Monday of May every year and is a time for Americans to remember and honor the brave souls who gave their lives for the country. Apart from parades, flag ceremonies, and other patriotic activities, Memorial Day is also a time for families and friends to gather and celebrate with delicious food and desserts. One such dessert that has become a staple for Memorial Day celebrations is the Memorial Day Sheet Cake.

In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about the Memorial Day Sheet Cake, including its history, ingredients, recipe, and tips for making the perfect cake.

Table of Contents

  1. What is Memorial Day Sheet Cake?
  2. History of Memorial Day Sheet Cake
  3. Ingredients for Memorial Day Sheet Cake
  4. Recipe for Memorial Day Sheet Cake
    • Step-by-step instructions
  5. Tips for making the perfect Memorial Day Sheet Cake
  6. Serving and storage suggestions
  7. FAQs
  8. Conclusion

What is Memorial Day Sheet Cake?

A sheet cake is a large rectangular cake that is baked in a sheet pan and typically served in slices. A Memorial Day Sheet Cake is a patriotic version of this classic dessert, decorated with the colors of the American flag: red, white, and blue. The cake is usually made with vanilla or white cake batter, and the frosting is often buttercream or cream cheese frosting that is tinted with food coloring to create the flag’s colors.

History of Memorial Day Sheet Cake

The history of Memorial Day Sheet Cake is unclear, but it is believed to have originated in the United States during World War II. As soldiers were deployed overseas, families on the home front found ways to show their support and patriotism. Baking a sheet cake and decorating it with the colors of the American flag was a way to honor their loved ones in uniform and celebrate their service to the country.

Ingredients for Memorial Day Sheet Cake

To make a Memorial Day Sheet Cake, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • Red and blue food coloring
  • 4 cups buttercream frosting

Recipe for Memorial Day Sheet Cake

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F and grease a 9×13-inch baking pan with butter or non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  6. Add half of the flour mixture to the mixing bowl and beat until just combined.
  7. Pour in the milk and beat until smooth.
  8. Add the remaining flour mixture and beat until the batter is smooth and well combined.
  9. Divide the batter evenly into three separate bowls.
  10. Tint one bowl of batter with red food coloring until the desired shade of red is achieved. Repeat with another bowl of batter and blue food coloring.
  1. Spoon the red batter into one side of the prepared baking pan, and the blue batter into the other side. Use a spoon or spatula to spread the batter evenly and create a clear line between the two colors.
  2. Bake the cake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  3. Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting.
  4. Tint 2 cups of buttercream frosting with red food coloring, and another 2 cups with blue food coloring.
  5. Use a spatula or piping bag to frost the red and blue sections of the cake.
  6. Leave the center section of the cake unfrosted, or frost it with white buttercream.
  7. Use a piping bag or star tip to pipe white buttercream around the edges of the cake to create a border.
  8. Serve and enjoy!

Tips for making the perfect Memorial Day Sheet Cake

  1. Use gel food coloring for vibrant colors that won’t fade or bleed.
  2. Make sure the cake is completely cooled before frosting to prevent the frosting from melting or sliding off.
  3. If you don’t have a piping bag or tips, you can use a zip-top bag with the corner snipped off to pipe the frosting.
  4. If you want to make a larger cake, you can double the recipe and bake the cake in a larger sheet pan or multiple smaller pans.
  5. You can also experiment with different cake flavors and frosting combinations to make the cake your own.

Serving and storage suggestions

A Memorial Day Sheet Cake is best served fresh, but it can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If you’re making the cake ahead of time, you can bake the cake and frost it the day before serving, but keep it refrigerated until ready to serve.


Can I use a different type of cake mix for the Memorial Day Sheet Cake?

  1. Yes, you can use a vanilla or white cake mix instead of making the cake batter from scratch.

Can I use fondant instead of buttercream frosting for the cake?

  1. Yes, you can use fondant to decorate the cake, but keep in mind that fondant can be more difficult to work with than buttercream.

Can I make the cake without food coloring?

  1. Yes, you can make a plain white sheet cake and decorate it with patriotic sprinkles or fresh fruit instead of using food coloring.

Can I use a different shape of cake pan?

  1. Yes, you can use a round or square cake pan instead of a rectangular sheet pan, but the size and baking time may vary.

Can I freeze the Memorial Day Sheet Cake?

  1. Yes, you can freeze the unfrosted cake for up to 3 months. Allow it to thaw completely before frosting and serving.


A Memorial Day Sheet Cake is a delicious and patriotic dessert that is perfect for celebrating the sacrifices of the brave men and women who have served our country. Whether you make it from scratch or use a cake mix, this cake is sure to be a hit at any Memorial Day gathering. With these tips and instructions, you’ll be able to make the perfect cake to honor our heroes.

I hope this article has inspired you to try making a Memorial Day Sheet Cake for your next patriotic celebration. Remember to use high-quality ingredients, take your time with the decoration, and most importantly, enjoy the process of creating this special dessert.

Whether you’re honoring a family member who served in the military or simply celebrating the spirit of America, a Memorial Day Sheet Cake is a sweet and meaningful way to do it. So gather your loved ones, raise a slice of cake, and toast to the heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

Thank you for reading this article, and happy baking!

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