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5 Easy Fourth of July Dessert Recipes

Updated on May 6, 2014

BBQs, fireworks, parades -- who has time for fancy Fourth of July dessert recipes?

My kids love that "limited edition" red, white & blue ice cream that comes out every July 4, but last year I wanted to try some Fourth of July dessert recipes that were a little more creative -- yet fast and easy. I hunted the web for ideas that really are red, white and blue (yes, a plain blueberry pie is absolutely all-American, and delicious, but somehow it lacks that July 4 pizzazz). I meant to test all of these and report back last year, but time got away from me, and I ended up just focusing on the most dramatic looking, potentially crowd-pleasing treat. Read on for what we did, and please do let me know in the Comments section if you take any of these recipes for a spin.

[photo: KarateKatGraphics ... can't believe I got that shot without the blurs :-) ]

July 4 Ice Cream Pops

I got so excited when I saw this one, because I've never met anyone (kid or adult) who doesn't like classic ice cream sandwiches. All you have to do to dress 'em up for Independence Day is add a popsicle stick at the end, coat the (ice creamy-y) sides all around with red & blue sprinkles & stick the end into a fun cupcake liner.

The recipe, with photo: Spangled Sandwich Pops (source: Family Fun)

July 4 Cake

fourth of july dessert recipes 6
fourth of july dessert recipes 6

Ooooh ahhhh! You won't just hear that at the fireworks if you make this beauty for dessert. Granted, this is more time consuming than the other options I've offered, but it might be worth it if you're serving a crowd. And the recipe link has a video, so you can cook along with the cake's inventor, "Barefoot Contessa" Ina Garten. Sold!

Recipe: Flag Cake (source: Food Network)

(photo: Liz West cc)

July 4 Cookies

Tangy dried fruit -- blueberries and cranberries -- offset sweet white chocolate in this festive cookie recipe. Perfectly portable, for bringing to a BBQ.

Recipe, with photo: Independence Day Cookies (source: Allrecipes)

(not so easy -- but inspiring! July 4 pie)

Wow! Look at this gorgeous all-American pie!

(photo: janeyhenning cc)

July 4 Cupcakes

Recipe: You could just use white frosting and blue and red sprinkles - easy peasy. But for an almost-as-easy but (just slightly) healthier version, prepare yellow/white/vanilla cupcakes as directed, using a boxed mix. Frost with white frosting. Put a single blueberry on top, in the center of each cupcake. Slice strawberries lengthwise so you have thin, flat, almost heart-shaped slices. Place those in a circular pattern around the blueberry on each cupcake.

July 4 Trifle

The perfect combo of healthy & not so healthy, and utterly lovely to look at, this dessert overcomes the essential English-ness of a trifle by employing that all-American confection, red velvet cake. The recipe calls for whipped topping such as Cool Whip, but whipping heavy cream is so easy with the KitchenAid mixer (just add a little sugar & vanilla to the cream and whip in a clean, dry, chilled metal bowl) that I think I'll go that route.

Recipe and photo: Red, White and Blue Trifle (source: Food Network)

Anchor Hocking Presence Trifle Footed Dessert Bowl
Anchor Hocking Presence Trifle Footed Dessert Bowl

I'm getting this trifle dish as a Mother's Day gift for myself! Not only do I need it for the July 4 red velvet trifle, but I'd love to make big yogurt, fruit & granola parfaits to put on the table when we have people over for brunch.

Update: I got this, love it, and was pleased to discover it is made in the USA! And thus extra-perfect for fourth of July dessert recipes :)


We did it! One of the kids helped me make the July 4 trifle. Instead of Cool Whip we whipped up a quart of cream w/ powdered sugar & vanilla. Not a diet dish, but easy, pretty & delish! Our family of 5 serious fruit / dessert eaters demolished half of it, so I'd say the trifle serves 10 easily. Happy 4th!

July 4 Fruit Stars

These little plated stars are so pretty, simple & relatively healthy. A great way to get kids excited about eating fruit, and a nice palate cleanser post-cookout.

Recipe: Star Spangled Dessert (source: Family Fun)

july 4 bbq invite
july 4 bbq invite

~~ throw a party! ~~

The best possible showcase for these colorful, easy desserts? A festive 4th of July BBQ, of course. Fire up the grill...

What will you make for dessert this July 4?


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    • aviwolfson profile image

      Avi Wolfson 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great lens, thanks for sharing!

    • verymary profile image

      Mary 5 years ago from Chicago area

      @Anastacia EG: aren't they cute? think I'll adapt for everyday summer treat too, using multicolor sprinkles

    • Anastacia EG profile image

      Anastacia Gutierrez 5 years ago

      I absolutely love the spangled sandwich pops idea! So simple, so appealing. I didn't need anything more from this lens :)

    • profile image

      lovemicheala 5 years ago

      Amazing lens! Great recipes!

    • joannalynn lm profile image

      joannalynn lm 5 years ago

      I've never tried dried blueberries in cookies....I'm going to make these most definitely. The invitations are great.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      These desserts are yummy.

    • profile image

      cleanyoucar 5 years ago

      Great recipes! Squidliked

    • senditondown profile image

      Senditondown 5 years ago from US

      Food looks good. When do we eat?

    • JoanieMRuppel54 profile image

      Joanie Ruppel 5 years ago from Keller, Texas

      Your Fruit Stars! Thanks much!

    • HtCares profile image

      HtCares 5 years ago

      These are beautiful and look delicious!

    • ArthurF LM profile image

      ArthurF LM 5 years ago

      These... are... so... AWESOME!

    • AskPat profile image

      AskPat 5 years ago

      These desserts look delicious! Love the cake! Great ideas!

    • profile image

      purpleslug 5 years ago

      Thanks for the great ideas! I like the ice cream pops.

    • HonoluluMom profile image

      HonoluluMom 5 years ago

      Thank you for sharing! It's really the perfect time to have desserts with berries and to celebrate! I'm inspired to make something yummy.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Not going to be there but enjoy the celebration. Have a good one.

    • PaigSr profile image

      PaigSr 5 years ago from State of Confussion

      Its a toss up between the cupcakes and the fruit starts. Looks like I will have to make them both and tast test them first.

    • squidoogiftsfor profile image

      squidoogiftsfor 5 years ago

      Happy July 4th - great lens!

    • BLemley profile image

      Beverly Lemley 5 years ago from Raleigh, NC

      Everyone should celebrate the 4th with one of these great looking 4th deserts! I'll have 4ths! B: )

    • verymary profile image

      Mary 5 years ago from Chicago area

      @travelerme: thank you!

    • verymary profile image

      Mary 5 years ago from Chicago area

      @Barbie Crafts: wow, thank you!

    • Barbie Crafts profile image

      Barbie Crafts 5 years ago from United States

      I nominated your lens for the July 4th LOTD!

    • SheilaMilne profile image

      SheilaMilne 5 years ago from Kent, UK

      You have some collected very attractive ideas here and they could easily be adapted for other holidays.

    • profile image

      travelerme 5 years ago

      Delicious looking how about being nominated for Lotd

    • profile image

      cupcakeideas2011 5 years ago

      I love adding some fresh fruits on a cupcake specially strawberry, apple, peach, and berries.