Rule 1: Include BerriesGet the Recipe: Berry Patchwork Tart
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.
Rule 2: Add Candy and SprinklesGet the Recipe: Mini S'Mores
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 ColoringGet the Recipe: Striped Red Velvet Cake
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.
Rule 4: Shoot for the StarsGet the Recipe: Apple, Rhubarb, and Raspberry Pie with Almond Star Crust
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 SkiesGet the Recipe: Sparkler Cupcakes
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.