Star-Spangled Patriotic Desserts for the Fourth of July

Cheesecake Cupcakes
Photo: Photographer: Alison Miksch Food Stylist: Erin Merhar Prop Stylist: Prissy Lee

Every summer, Southerners pack up and head to a lake, beach, or neighbor's backyard to celebrate Independence Day. We spend this patriotic holiday with the four Fs: family, fun, food, and fireworks. The fireworks bring the fun, and the family brings the food. Cap off your 4th of July celebrations with one of these star-spangled desserts that feed a crowd. We're talking berry-filled cupcakes, All-American pies, and flag-themed treats. Which festive dessert is for you? Peruse all of the red, white, and blue—and find out. Here are 30 of our most patriotic dessert recipes. Let freedom ring!

01 of 30

Blueberry Chiffon Mini Pies

Blueberry Chiffon Mini Pies
Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Blueberry Chiffon Mini Pies are a rich a velvety dessert option for your Independence Day celebration. The mascarpone cheese-and-whipped cream combo is both tangy and light. After pre-baking 6 mini pie crusts, just fill and chill, then top with whipped cream and blueberries for an elegant yet easy dessert.

02 of 30

Strawberry Tart

Strawberry Tart
Photographer Victor Protasio, Food Stylist Ruth Blackburn, Prop Stylist Heather Chadduck

This strawberry delight comes together with just seven easy-to-find ingredients. Pre-bake store-bought piecrust then fill with a ricotta base that’s creamy, lightly sweet, and a little tart. Fresh strawberries top the pie and then brushed with a strawberry-orange jelly glaze. Eat this dessert the same day it prepared, the crust may soften the next day.

03 of 30

Strawberry Shortcake Sheet Cake

Strawberry Shortcake Sheet Cake
Johnny Autry; Food and Prop Styling: Charlotte L. Autry

Enjoy a stress-free 4th of July with our easiest-ever strawberry shortcake recipe. Get a double-dose of strawberries, which are added to both the biscuit base and the topping. After the base is baked, a mascarpone-and-whipped cream mixture is spread on top with a final layer of soft and juicy macerated strawberries. This easy-to-prepare shortcake should be enjoyed the same day it’s made.

04 of 30

Blueberry Galette

Blueberry Galette
Photographer Victor Protasio, Food Stylist Ali Ramee, Prop Stylist Heather Chadduck

This fruit-filled dessert comes together in a pinch thanks to frozen puff pastry sheets. The puff pastry gets packed with blueberry filling that cooks down as it bakes. Serve with vanilla whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

05 of 30

Cheerwine Cherry Cupcakes with Cherry-Swirl Frosting

Cheerwine Cherry Cupcakes with Cherry-Swirl Frosting
Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Kathleen Varner

Cherry-flavored soda creates a delectably sweet and airy cupcake. If you can find it, try Cheerwine, the cherry-flavored soda invented in North Carolina in 1917. These cheery cupcakes are piped with pink frosting and a maraschino cherry on top.

06 of 30

Red, White, & Blue Donut Wands

Red, White & Blue Donut Wands
Southern Living

Store-bought donut holes make this recipe as easy as one, two, three! After dipping the donut holes in white chocolate, it’s time to have fun decorating with bold red, white, and blue sprinkles and sanding sugars. These turn into held-held treats, with three donut holes per straw, that are sharable and fun to pass out to kids on the go at your Fourth of July party.

07 of 30

Cherry-Pecan Swirl Bread

Cherry-Pecan Swirl Bread
Greg DuPree

Hosting guests for the holiday for a few days? Wow your Independence Day crowd with this Cherry-Pecan Swirl Bread. This is a make-ahead bread but worth it when your guests devour a piece with a nice cup of coffee. This bread is stuffed with tart dried cherries and toasted pecans, then finished with an orange-juice glaze.

08 of 30

Chocolate-Key Lime Cupcake Pies

Chocolate-Key Lime Cupcake Pies
Jennifer Davick; Styling: Lisa Powell Bailey

Mini cheesecakes are a lot easier to make than a full-size cheesecake, and these cupcake-sized portions are perfect for parties. The fresh key lime juice and zest combined with cream cheese filling is sweet, tart, and tangy. Garnish with blackberries and cherries on whipped cream for a patriotic presentation.

09 of 30

Cherry Flag Pie

Cherry Flag Pie
Photo: Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas; Food Styling: Torie Cox

It doesn't get much more All-American than classic cherry pie with a patriotic twist. Made-from-scratch crust and fresh Bing cherries make this pie extra special, but the flag cutout topping is beyond—we predict your tasters will appreciate it. For the deep, golden brown crust brush on an egg wash before baking.

10 of 30

Red, White, and Blue Poke Cake

Red, White, and Blue Poke Cake
Jennifer Causey

There's nothing basic about this poke cake. This special recipe has not one, but two fresh fruit fillings—oh, and a deliciously creamy mascarpone frosting. The fun part of this recipe is poking holes in the cake and then spooning in the blueberry and strawberry fillings alternately to create the red, white, and blue effect.

11 of 30

Red, White, and Blue Popsicles

Red, White, and Blue Popsicles
Jennifer Causey

We all remember chasing down this nostalgic popsicle from the ice cream truck. Try your hand at the festive treat at home with this easy and super fresh recipe. Use ice-pop molds to recreate the Bomb Pops and Firecracker treats of our youth but updated with healthier ingredients of fresh blueberries and strawberries.

12 of 30

Cornmeal Cookie Berry Shortcakes

Cornmeal Cookie Berry Shortcakes
Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas; Food Styling: Torie Cox

These cute shortcakes will steal the show at your Fourth of July party. Even better: The components can all be made ahead. Up-cycle the star cutouts by baking them and using to garnish your festive presentation.

13 of 30

Red Velvet-Berry Cobbler

Red Velvet-Berry Cobbler
Jennifer Davick

Everyone's favorite classic layer cake deserves a spot at the summer cookout, too. This cobbler take makes it easy to serve to a crowd in plastic cups. As a bonus, this recipe includes a variation for cherry chocolate fans.

14 of 30

Ultimate Apple Pie

Ultimate Apple Pie from Buxton Hall
Greg Dupree; Prop Styling: Christine Keely; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Feel like the ultimate All-American with this ultimate apple pie recipe. Everyone's always happy to see this traditional dessert on the table. Fresh and dried apples along with apple butter create deeper flavor. If it’s a hit on the Fourth of July, make it again for Thanksgiving.

15 of 30

Tenntucky Blackberry Cobbler Sundaes

TennTucky Blackberry Cobbler
Jennifer Davick

This isn't your typical cobbler. It's way better. Savor in-season blackberries with this cobbler topped with a warm caramel sauce, crunchy roasted pecans, and vanilla ice cream.

16 of 30

Watermelon Pie

Watermelon Pie
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Refreshing watermelon is a Fourth of July staple. Who knew you could make a pie out of watermelon? This chilled dessert has a tapioca and fresh watermelon base with a more melt-resistant topping of whipped cream and mascarpone cheese.

17 of 30

Red Velvet Ice-Cream Cake

Red Velvet Ice-Cream Cake
Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Cool off with a slice of ice cream cake, red velvet edition. This layer cake makes an impressive summer centerpiece. To prevent this frozen cake from melting down in the heat, unflavored gelatin added to the frosting will help it stabilize.

18 of 30

Red, White, and Blue Cheesecake Bars

Red, White, and Blue Cheesecake Bars
Linda Pugliese; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Torie Cox

We declare these cheesecake bars...potluck-perfect! Creating swirls in the cheesecake batter with strawberry and blueberry puree will impress. Make up to two days in advance to save you time before the summer barbecue. 

19 of 30

Cherry Pie Bars

Cherry Pie Bars
Greg Dupree

Like cherry pie—but better for a party. This is the easiest and most delicious way to make cherry pie portable for the Fourth of July. Not only does this batch feed a crowd, but this recipe can be made up to three days ahead of time.

20 of 30

Sour Cream Flag Cake

This pretty and patriotic dessert is a colorful centerpiece for your summer parties. This cake bakes in a 10 x 15 jelly roll pan to feed a crowd and features a moist sour cream base, a thick vanilla-sour cream frosting, and fresh, seasonal berries. Have fun decorating the top in a flag made from berries, guests will surely be impressed.

21 of 30

Strawberry-Lemonade Cake

Strawberry-Lemonade Cake
Jen Causey

Have you ever seen a happier slice of cake? We think not. Lemon cake layers spread with tangy strawberry-lemonade jam, and dressed with a fresh strawberry frosting pull together our favorite the summer flavors into one pretty, pink cake.

22 of 30

Peach-Bourbon Upside-Down Bundt Cake

Peach-Bourbon Upside-Down Bundt Cake
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Lindsey Lower; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Because there's something patriotic about topping off a caramelized peach Bundt with bourbon. This hybrid recipe combines an upside-down cake with a bundt cake that’s both sculpted and fruity on top. Not only is it a show-stopper, but tasty as all get-out, too.

23 of 30

Red, White, and Blue Ice-Cream Cake

Red, White, and Blue Ice-Cream Cake
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Just looking at this ice cream cake cools us off. This dessert is perfect for the hottest of Independence Day celebrations. This cake is a breeze to assemble using store-bought items like frozen pound cake, preserves, sorbet, and ice cream. 

24 of 30

Classic Apple Cobbler

Classic Apple Cobbler
Photo: Stephen DeVries; Prop Styling: Kaye E. Clarke; Food Styling: Torie Cox

We'll take a hearty helping of this hot, bubbling, old-fashioned apple dessert any summer's day. Brown sugar, cinnamon, and Braeburn and Granny Smith apples baked with golden biscuit topping. Make the cobbler in an 8 x 8-inch backing dish, or follow the instructions for eight individual ramekins.

25 of 30

Patchwork Cobbler

Patchwork Cobbler
Hector Sanchez

Make the most of your summer peaches, plums, and blueberries in this just-sweet-enough cobbler. Topped with squares of sugar-crusted pastry, this cobbler is a crowd-favorite. Dough is arranged in a patchwork pattern for a pretty presentation.

26 of 30

Plum-Berry Cornmeal Sheet Cake

Plum-Berry Cornmeal Sheet Cake
Alison Miksch

Have you met your go-to summer dessert for a crowd yet? No? Let us introduce. This not-to-sweet, fruit filled cake is served with fresh whipped cream is simple and homey. Plus, it’s easy to transports and happily feeds 12 people. 

27 of 30

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pretzel Pie

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pretzel Pie
Iain Bagwell; Prop Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine; Food Styling: Hadas Smirnoff

We gave nostalgic strawberry-pretzel salad a fun makeover with rhubarbs and piecrust. This pie hits a lot of flavor notes from the salty-sweet pretzel crust, tangy cream cheese filling, and zippy rhubarb tempered by sweet strawberries and jam. Chill the pie for at least 2 hours to set, then serve with a warm rhubarb-strawberry sauce.

28 of 30

Peach-Raspberry Buckle

Peach-Raspberry Buckle
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer; Prop Styling: Mary Clayton Carl Jones

Want something a little more subdued? This streusel-topped cake has the fruit you love from a cobbler but the texture of a crumb-cake. We added a twist to the usual way buckles are made by folding fruit into the batter and also spooning it on top before baking for a more fruit-forward dessert.

29 of 30

Blueberry Cobbler with Sugared Star Shortcakes

Blueberry Cobbler with Sugared Star Shortcakes
Photo: Becky Stayner; Styling: Buffy Hargett

This recipe is begging to be set out as a build-your-own bar! It all comes together in less than 20 minutes, and we suggest using a half-and-half mix of blueberries and strawberries for a red, white, and blue look. Just three quick components—berry mixture, refrigerated buttermilk biscuits cut into stars, and whipped cream—make this an easy dessert for a busy, jam-packed holiday.

30 of 30

Mixed Berry Cheesecake Cupcakes

Cheesecake Cupcakes
Photographer: Alison Miksch Food Stylist: Erin Merhar Prop Stylist: Prissy Lee

Made-from-scratch cheesecake doesn’t seem so hard when made as cupcakes where there’s no water bath, springform pan, and long chilling time required. These 12 party-perfect portions can be made up to two days ahead of your Fourth of July celebration. For even more flexibility, use whatever berries you choose as your topper. 

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles