5 Ways to Make Red, White, and Blue Desserts

Looking for a showstopping, star-spangled 4th of July dessert? Whether you use food coloring, fruit, or candy, try some of our patriotic ways to make red, white, and blue desserts.

Rule 1: Include Berries

Because of their naturally bright colors and fresh, summery taste, berry desserts are perfect for a 4th of July feast. Here are some ways to use berries:

  • Make a simple berry-topped tart.
  • Stay with the traditional and bake a blueberry, cranberry, or strawberry-rhubarb red, white, and blue 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.
  • Make strawberry and blueberry smoothies or ice cream, complete with whipped cream topping or toasted coconut.
  • Mix raspberries, bananas, and blueberries into cereal or yogurt, or make red-white-and-blue layered parfaits for an easy 4th of July berry dessert.

Get Our Best Fruit Dessert Recipes

Rule 2: Add Candy and Sprinkles

Add extra sweetness to your 4th of July dessert with red, white, and blue candy or sprinkles.

  • Let the kids decorate cookies, cupcakes, or our mini 4th of July s'mores using red, white, and blue sprinkles. Look for star-shape sprinkles, red and blue gum drops, or jelly beans for even more fun.
  • Mix red and blue candy-coated chocolate candies into crispy rice cereal treats, or try a fun spin-off, such as substituting popcorn for the cereal.
  • Dress up cupcakes or cakes with festive sparklers made from candy coating.

Rule 3: Use Food Coloring

There's a reason food coloring is the go-to method for making red, white, and blue desserts: It's a quick and easy way to make gorgeous, vibrant treats.

  • For patriotic cakes and cupcakes, tint basic vanilla cake batter. Go with all red, adding white frosting as an accent. To get a red, white, and blue cake, split the batter in three, coloring one third red and one third blue; leave the remaining third uncolored to serve as a white stripe. When coloring batter, look for gel paste or powdered food coloring—the liquid kind will alter the consistency of the batter.
  • Make a fun pattern or design with red, white, and blue frostings for a festive 4th of July dessert. Frost red and white stripes onto your dessert, or make each cookie or cupcake a separate color. 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 onto your 4th of July cake, watch as red and blue ribbons appear.
  • Use dried fruit as an alternative to food coloring to create red, white, and blue dessert decorations. Place 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.

Other Festive 4th of July Desserts

Rule 4: Shoot for the Stars

Get stylish this 4th of July with stunning star-shape treats. Using a star-shape cookie cutter, you can make starry scones and pie tops; bright, shining shortcakes; and more. Here are a few recipes sure to bring on the oohs and ahhs:

Rule 5: Look to the Skies

Let bold fireworks be your inspiration for wow-worthy red, white, and blue desserts. Here's how:

  • Use melted candy coating to create sparkler-inspired cupcake toppers. 
  • Use tall, skinny candles as cake toppers to imitate sparklers. Don't use real sparklers, though, as there's no safe way to put them out or protect the cake from residue.
  • Use Pop Rocks candies for a sweet explosion of taste. 
  • Use icing to pipe the design of a firework onto cake, cookies, or cupcakes.


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