A Spicy Perspective

American Flag Jello Cake (Icebox Cake)

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American Flag Jello Cake – Make this easy no-bake layered icebox cake recipe ahead of your summer festivities, and slice to reveal a beautiful red, white, and blue flag pattern on the inside!

Top down view of a slice of American flag jello cake on a white plate, with fork.

Why We Love This Recipe

Looking for a unique cake to serve this Independence Day? Our make-ahead Jell-O Icebox Cake is layered with a surprise American flag pattern on the inside!

The red and blue layers are made with graham crackers dunked in red and blue Jell-O. They do create a light red and light blue color, however, you can add additional red and blue food coloring to intensify the colors. Whipped cream is spread in between to make the white stripes. As the cake rests together in the freezer, the Jell-O absorbs into the graham cracker softening them into cakey layers.

This icebox cake is part Jell-O, and part graham cracker, with an ice cream feel from the whipped cream layered throughout. Guests will absolutely love this fun, festive, and oh-so-delicious frozen treat!

White rectangular icebox cake covered with red and blue coconut flakes. Cake is cut in the middle to show the inner American flag design.

Ingredients You Need

  • Heavy cream – for homemade whipped cream
  • Granulated sugar – you can sub with alternative sweeteners, but note that this will greatly change the taste
  • Vanilla and coconut extract – a great combination of flavors
  • Graham crackers – can be gluten-free, if you like
  • Boxed Jell-o mix – one each of blue and red, whichever flavors you like
  • Boiling water – to bloom the boxed gelatin
  • Shredded coconut – to coat the outside of the cake
  • Red and blue food coloring – to color the coconut, and add extra vibrant color to the graham crackers
Recipe ingredients: two boxes of red and blue Jello, box of graham crackers, heavy cream, red and blue food coloring, bag of coconut flakes, and two bottles of extract.

How to Make an American Flag Jello Cake

First, line a 5 x 9-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap. Set aside.

Wax paper lined rectangle baking pan.

Place the cold heavy cream in a large bowl. Add the sugar, vanilla extract, and coconut extract. Use a hand mixer to beat the cream into very firm whipped cream. Then cover and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Freshly made whipped cream in a metal bowl with green spatula.

Set out two wide shallow dishes that are big enough for dunking a whole gram cracker. Pour the blue Jell-O mix into one dish and the red Jell-O mix into another dish. Pour 1 cup of boiling water into each dish. Stir them both immediately to dissolve the Jell-O mixture.

Hand pouring water from a glass measuring pitcher into a clear glass baking dish with blue Jello powder.

Spread a very thin layer of whipped cream across the bottom of the bread pan. 

Dunk several small graham cracker pieces in the blue Jell-O, flipping once or twice.

Before they fully dissolve, move them to the bread pan. Line one long edge of the bread pan with blue soaked graham crackers. Repeat stacking the graham crackers five layers high to create the top blue corner of the American flag. If the graham crackers do not fill out the entire length of the bread pan, carefully trim small sections to stack at the end.

Adding a whipped cream layer to the cake pan.

Then dunk more graham crackers in the red Jell-O, flipping once or twice, and layering them on the other side.

Get the Complete (Printable) American Flag Jello Ice Box Cake Recipe Below. Enjoy!

Row of red colored graham cracker pieces in a rectangle bake pan.

After each even layer of red graham crackers, spread a thin layer of whipped cream across the entire pan creating the white stripes in the American flag.

Red, white, and blue layers of icebox flag cake in a metal rectangle baking pan.

Continue to layer red Jell-O soaked graham crackers and white whipped cream in even layers until the pan is filled to the top.

Adding whipped cream on top of the layer of red jello soaked graham crackers.

Cover the pan and freeze until the icebox cake is rock-hard, at least 3 hours. Place the remaining whipped cream back in the refrigerator for later use.

Meanwhile, divide the coconut into two small bowls. Drop 1-2 blue food coloring drops in one bowl and stir vigorously until the food coloring is blue. Then drop 1-2 red drops in the other bowl and stir vigorously until the coconut is red. Set the coconut aside for later use.

Adding red food coloring to glass bowl with shredded coconut.

Once the freezer cake is very hard, flip it out of the loaf pan onto a dish or cutting board.

Unwrapped frozen icebox cake.

Gently peel off the plastic wrap. Then spread the remaining whipped cream over the top and sides of the cake.

Adding whipped cream to cover the frozen icebox cake.

Sprinkle with red and blue coconut on all sides. Then place the ice box jello cake back in the freezer until ready to serve.

White rectangular icebox cake covered with red and blue coconut flakes.

When ready to serve, slice the cake into ¾ inch pieces and place on dessert plates.

Make sure to lay the flags out in the right direction!

Top down view of a slice of American flag cake on a white plate, with fork.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you make gluten-free flag cake?

Thankfully, there are many fantastic GF-friendly graham cracker options out there! Choose your favorite brand for this easy recipe.

Why is it called icebox cake?

A looooong time ago (ok, well maybe not that long ago) freezers used to be called “iceboxes.” This was because they very literally were large boxes built into refrigerators that mostly held just ice. It was this ice block that kept the entire fridge cold. When these no-bake cakes became popularized in the early-to-mid 1900s, they were assembled and kept in the ice box, thereby getting their apt name. Tah-dah!

How long does ice box cake last in the freezer?

Jello cake will keep well in the freezer for up to a month. Keep it wrapped tightly in a layer of plastic wrap, then in a layer of aluminum foil.

White rectangular icebox cake covered with red and blue coconut flakes. Cake is cut in the middle to show the inner American flag design.

Looking for More No-Bake Dessert Recipes? Be Sure to Also Try:

American Flag Jello Cake (Icebox Cake)

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Freeze Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 40 minutes
Make this easy no-bake layered Jello icebox cake recipe ahead of your summer festivities, and slice to reveal a beautiful red, white and blue American flag pattern on the inside!
Servings: 12 slices

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Line a 5 x 9-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap. Set aside.
  • Place the cold heavy cream in a large bowl. Add the sugar, vanilla extract, and coconut extract. Use a hand mixer to beat the cream into very firm whipped cream. Then cover and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  • Set out two wide shallow dishes that are big enough for dunking a whole gram cracker. Pour the blue Jell-O mix into one dish and the red Jell-O mix in another dish. Pour 1 cup of boiling water into each dish. Stir them both immediately to dissolve the Jell-O mixture. (Add extra red and blue food colroing, if desired, at this time.) Then carefully break several graham crackers into quarters along the perforated lines.
  • Spread a very thin layer of whipped cream across the bottom of the bread pan.
  • Dunk several small graham cracker pieces in the blue Jell-O, flipping once or twice. Before they fully dissolve, move them to the bread pan. Line one long edge of the bread pan with blue soaked graham crackers. Repeat stacking the graham crackers five layers high to create the top blue corner of the American flag. If the graham crackers do not fill out the entire length of the bread pan, carefully trim small sections to stack at the end.
  • Then dunk more graham crackers in the red Jell-O, flipping once or twice, and layering them on the other side. (See images within post.)
  • After each even layer of red graham crackers, spread a thin layer of whipped cream across the entire pan creating the white stripes in the American flag. Continue to layer red Jell-O soaked graham crackers and white whipped cream in even layers until the pan is filled to the top.
  • Cover the pan and freeze until the icebox cake is rock-hard, at least 3 hours. Place the remaining whipped cream back in the refrigerator for later use.
  • Meanwhile, divide the coconut into two small bowls. Drop 1-2 blue food coloring drops in one bowl and stir vigorously until the food coloring is blue. Then drop 1-2 red drops in the other bowl and stir vigorously until the coconut is red. Set the coconut aside for later use.
  • Once the freezer cake is very hard, flip it out of the loaf pan onto a dish or cutting board. Gently peel off the plastic wrap. Then spread the remaining whipped cream over the top and sides of the cake. Sprinkle with red and blue coconut on all sides. Then placed the freezer cake back in the freezer until ready to serve.
  • When ready to serve, slice the cake into ¾ inch pieces in place on dessert plates. Make sure to lay the flags out in the right direction.

Notes

To intensify the red and blue colors, add additional food color to the jello.
Jello cake will keep well in the freezer for up to a month. Keep it wrapped tightly in a layer of plastic wrap, then in a layer of aluminum foil.

Nutrition

Serving: 1pc, Calories: 503kcal, Carbohydrates: 47g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 33g, Saturated Fat: 20g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 90mg, Sodium: 317mg, Potassium: 164mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 28g, Vitamin A: 1166IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 80mg, Iron: 2mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Holiday
Author: Sommer Collier

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2 comments on “American Flag Jello Cake (Icebox Cake)”

  1. O my goodness this cake tasted like a tennis ball wrapped in hotdogs.

  2. ha, love this, I missed it for the fourth, but still happy to fly the flag! So thank you, great idea