5 Easy Fourth of July Dessert Recipes
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
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)
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)
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)
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)
~~ 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?