By Katie Houdek
The 4th of July marks the offical height of Summer fun! We celebrate with an actual bang and mark our nation’s independence with fireworks, parades, and most especially… food! Whether your hosting a backyard bbq or a poolside picnic make sure that you drench as much as you can in the offical colors of the day. Let the stars and stripes influence your spreads and before you know it your shindig will be the envy of all your neighbors!
So on that sweet note… look at these sweet, sweet little patriotic faces. You know what they want?
They want sweets… all of them! We’ve got loads of ideas for you to easily throw together a gorgeous patriotic dessert bar that will make all your little guests believe they’ve gone to dessert heaven! And believe it or not, they’re all actually pretty easy!
Nature helps out with these ideas! Get on over to the produce section of your local grocery store or your favorite farmers market and load up on red, white, & blue! This is a great time of year for berries and watermelon which lend themselves to the theme beautifully! All of these desserts utlitized fruit and if you’re making one you might as well make them all because they’re just that easy. The more desserts your spread has to offer the more impressive it becomes!
Start with the simpilest of all the possibilities. Toss together any combination of red, white, and blue fruits for a lovely fruit salad that even make even the healthiest eater at your party feel like they got a chance to really endulge their sweet tooth. Berries and watermelon are almost a requirement and any good 4th of July party!
One step further is a parfait station. Pick up a pound cake at the bakery and cut it into small cubes. Whip up some fresh cream (because homemade is easy and tastes so much better!) and layer cream, pound cake cubes, and blue and red berries in a small glass or jar and you have a quick and easy dessert that looks absolutely incredible!
Another incredibly easy patriotic dessert is the quinessental flag cake! You can use any base you’d like. Sponge cake, sheet cake, and brownies all work wonderfully for this dessert. Simply decorate your cake as Old Glory. You can use buttercream frosting or whip cream for your white accents. Blueberries or blackberries and strawberries, raspberries, or cherries for the red and blue accents. You could also replace the fresh berries for pie filling and if you’re looking for a healthier version skip the frosting/cream for banannas.
This dessert is fun and easy to prepare and looks like you really knocked yourself out! Simply head over to your local craft store (Michael’s and JoAnne’s are great options) and you’ll find a candy making section. You can get the chocolate and supplies you need to make these beautiful treats. Who doesn’t love a chocolate covered strawberry? You can also drop blueberries in chocolate too and make cute little chocolate berry bombs that your guests will love popping in their mouths!
The 4th of July is usually accompanied by the heat. Keep your guests cool with some fun treats designed to punch down the heat!
Take a bunch of that fruit you’ve already chopped up and make some sangria! Most 4th of July parties need to be a little boozy so make one of these amazing recipes out there for red, white, and blue sangria! Make sure to make kiddos a non-boozy version that they can enjoy too!
Nothing cools off a hot day like a popsicle! Not only do the kids love ’em but so do adults. This treat will please almost everyone in the crowd! These popsicles are super easy to make they only thing they really require of you is a bit of patience while making them. You’ll need to start these a minimum of a day before so each layer can get a good enough freeze so that the colors don’t blend together.
There’s nothing better than some deliciously soft baked goods! Round out your dessert bar with a couple of red, white, and blue baked goods. These desserts are perfect for your party because they’re easily handheld and don’t require plates for people to eat them. Best yet, you just can’t go wrong with some buttery baked good delights!
Sugar cookies with royal icing are a great idea for all sorts of celebrations. They’re kind of perfect because they can be so easily tailored to the even. Baby showers, Super Bowl, St. Patrick’s Day, and of course, The 4th of July! All of these are perfect examples of how verstile this dessert can be. You don’t have to be particularly skilled to pull this off but you probably want to go real simple with your design if you’re a beginner.
Cake Pops might seem daunting and we’ve all seen enough Pinterest Fails to know that the whole thing can go sideways if you’re not doing it right but just check out this simple tutorial and you’ll be set. You can use the same melting chocolates you picked up at the craft store for your dipped berries. Make the job even easier by picking up an already made cake at the bakery section of the store and mash it all up, frosting and all! Watch the tutorial above to find the tip that helps your cakepops stay on the stick when being dipped so you avoid this kind of fail. Also, make sure you actually adhere to the refridgeration time.
And this is perhaps the grandaddy of all picnic desserts. The classic cupcake! Put as much effort into this one as you want. You can bake them from scratch or pick them up at the store. Even plain old store cupcakes can be pepped up with some red and blue sprinkles. These red velvet cakes with vanilla buttercream frosting and red and blue sprinkles are a delight. Festoon with a wee American flag and your table is complete!
Sweet Bonus – Patriotic Pets
Look at these patriotic pets! Just look at them. It really doesn’t get any sweeter than this! Happy 4th of July to all! I hope it’s as sweet as can be!