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Dessert Shooters for 4th of July

Updated on August 7, 2013

Dessert Shooters are a perfect complement to any 4th of July picnic!

Dessert shooters, those adorable mini desserts that are popping up on restaurant menus everywhere, are the perfect dessert choice following a 4th of July picnic, or any picnic for that matter. There are plenty of ingredients that will create adorable red, white and blue dessert shooters. Top them off with sparklers for the most festive presentation ever.

Photo from Flickr: Katie Harbath photos.

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Selecting the glass for your 4th of July dessert shooters

For ease of transport and for ease of cleanup, I suggest that you purchase clear plastic cups or glasses. Most dessert shooters are designed to be mini dessert so keep the size of the glass to 4 ounce or less. And, figure on 2 or 3 dessert shooters per guest - more probably for children!

The below are all good options and can be found on

Think red, white and blue for the theme for your 4th of July shooters

The very best dessert shooters combine flavors and textures to keep these mini desserts interesting and delicious. Since it's the 4th of July, you need to think red, white and blue.

Here's some red dessert shooter ingredients:

Red jello

Red hot cinnamon candies

Red velvet cake


Poundcake soaked in strawberries overnight (the cake will be red in the morning)

White dessert shooter ideas:

Whipped cream

Vanilla ice cream

Pound cake

Sponge cake

Any white cookies such as lemon coolers, vanilla wafers, or sugar wafers

Blue dessert shooter ideas - here's where we stretch....if you're a purist, move along. The sad fact is there are no natural blue dessert foods (even "blue"berries are purple...)


Blue M&Ms

Blue jello

Pound cake soaked in blueberries overnight (the color from the berries will bleed down and color the cake)

Blue chocolate sprinkles

Blue food may be in short supply... - ...but not blue decorating items!

These blue items on Amazon are wonderful additions to any kitchen. Draw stars or stripes on the inside of the dessert shooter glasses, and you're on your way to creating a festive mini dessert.

My advice to you is not to inquire why or whither, but just enjoy your ice cream while it's on your plate. That's my philosophy. ~Thornton Wilder

George Carlin's famous routine... - "Where's the blue food?"

This classic routine has some very good points - just perfectly delivered in George Carlin's deadpan style.

4th of July survey

4th of July in Washington, DC is quite the scene, but I rarely go down and mingle with the hoards. I'm curious as to what my readers do to celebrate Independence Day.

How do you celebrate the 4th of July?

See results

Ok, I'll start you off with this great dessert shooter, and then you'll have to get creative yourself. For this specific dessert shooter, select a dessert glass that flares out into a bowl shape, instead of a taller, thinner mini dessert glass. A martini glass is perfect. I happened to find the exact right martini glass for my 4th of July dessert shooter as it has a red stem!

Prep time: 10 min
Ready in: 10 min
Yields: 2


  • 1 cake decorating pen in red
  • 1 cake decorating pen in white
  • 1 cake decorating pen in blue
  • 4 strawberries
  • 1/2 t sugar
  • Vanilla bean ice cream
  • 1 slice angel food cake cut in cubes
  • Blue star garnishes or red
  • white and blue chocolate jimmies
  • 2 T toasted almonds
  • Whipped cream


  1. Note: if you don't want to purchase the icing pens (see the amazon items below this module), you can make your own blue and red icing by putting just a bit of vanilla frosting in 2 small bowls. Add one drop of red food coloring into one bowl, and one drop of blue food coloring into the other. Mix each bowl well and add additional drops of food coloring if you like deeper colors. Trust me though; the icing pens are way easier. That's what I used to make the dessert shooter in the photo accompanying this module.
  2. Alternate drawing red, white, and blue lines with the icing pens down the inside of the dessert shooter glass from bottom to top. Note: If using your own colored icing, use a piping bag with a straight tip to set the icing in place. Allow enough space between the red stripes to add in white icing and the blue stripes. Once all the stripes are done, place glasses in the freezer for 3 or 4 minutes so the icing sets up and doesn't smear when you start adding the dessert shooter layers.
  3. While the dessert glasses are chilling, mash the strawberries with the sugar so that the juices start to flow.
  4. After glasses are chilled, add 1/2 of the strawberries to the bottom of each dessert shooter glass. Top with 1/2 of the toasted almonds for an interesting dessert shooter texture.
  5. Drop in small cubes of angel food cake; Drop the cubes in s-l-o-w-l-y so as not to streak the icing.
  6. Top the angel food cake layer with a sprinkling of toasted almonds.
  7. Add in a layer of vanilla bean ice cream and a smear of whipped cream. Decorate top with red white and blue chocolate jimmies (see sidebar to the right for very cool star garishes which were not available at the time of this publishing). For added fun, garnish with a miniature American Flag.
Cast your vote for Stars and Stripes Forever Dessert Shooter...

A Berry Berry Cool Dessert Shooter....

...can't get any more true blue than this one!

I came up with this 4th of July dessert shooter when I was in the grocery looking for blue items - not as easy as you may think to find.

To create this delicious mini dessert, mix graham cracker crumbs with a bit of sugar and melted butter. Put in the bottom of the dessert shooter glass and add in cubes of Berry Blue Jello. Add some more crumbs, strawberries and whipped cream. I topped mine with cinnamon candies which gave it a nice texture and bite. Mom loved this 4th of July dessert shooter!

Red, white, and blue dessert shooter toppings

I told you to use your imagination - you won't get much more imaginative than garnishing your 4th of July dessert shooters. The below items add a festive touch that is sure to delight your dessert shooter recipients.


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