There's a reason food coloring is the go-to method for making red, white, and blue desserts: not only is it quick and easy, but food coloring also makes gorgeous, vibrant treats. To make your own Fourth of July dessert in a snap, mix blue or red food coloring into your batter or frosting.
- Food Coloring in Batter: For patriotic cakes and cupcakes, tint basic vanilla cake batter. Go with all red, adding white frosting as an accent. To get all three colors split the batter in three, coloring one third red and one third blue; leave the remaining third uncolored to serve as a white stripe. Editor's Tip: When coloring batter, look for gel paste or powdered food coloring -- the liquid kind will alter the consistency of the batter.
- Food Coloring in Frosting: Make a fun pattern or design with red, white, and blue frosting for a festive July Fourth dessert. Frost red and white stripes onto your dessert, or make each cookie or cupcake a separate color. Editor's Tip: To create red and blue ribbons of color in white frosting, use food coloring to paint two stripes opposite each other on the inside of a decorating bag. Fill the bag with white frosting and as you squeeze the frosting out, watch as red and blue ribbons appear.
Because of their naturally bright colors and fresh, summery taste, berries are perfect for Fourth of July food decorating. Here are some ways to use them:
- Stay with the traditional and bake a blueberry, cranberry, or strawberry-rhubarb pie.
- Top cupcakes or cake with halved strawberries and a sprinkling of blueberries.
- Serve crackers with raspberries, cream cheese, and blueberries for a star-spangled snack.
- Put a patriotic twist on traditional s'mores by adding a layer of strawberry jam on one of the graham crackers.
- Scoop out a watermelon and pile in blueberries and peaches. (A fabric flag on a dowel plays up the ship theme even more.)
- Use dried fruit as an alternative to food coloring to create red, white, and blue dessert decorations. Place the dried strawberries and blueberries directly on the cake, or buy freeze-dried fruit and use a food processor to grind them into a powder. Sprinkle the powder over your dessert for natural, vibrant red and blue.
- Mix raspberries, bananas, and blueberries into cereal or yogurt, or make red-white-and-blue layered parfaits.
- Make strawberry and blueberry smoothies or ice cream, complete with whipped cream topping or toasted coconut.
Add extra sweetness to your Fourth of July dessert using red, white, and blue candy or sprinkles.
- Let the kids decorate cookies or cupcakes using red, white, and blue sprinkles. Look for star-shape sprinkles, red and blue gumdrops, or jelly beans for even more fun.
- Mix red and blue candy-coated chocolate candies into Rice Krispies Treats, or try a fun spinoff, such as substituting popcorn for the cereal.
- Dress up cupcakes or cakes with festive sparklers made from candy coating.