4th of July Desserts
The great thing about Independence Day being in the middle of summer? Nature's truest red and blue hues are at their prime, so this holiday, add a delicious burst of red, white, and blue to your Fourth of July desserts table with these perfectly patriotic sweet treats.
Red, White, and Blue Pops
Our Red, White, and Blue Pops will please guests of any age. Stay cool under the fireworks with these patriotic pops.
Sweet-and-Sour Cherry Tartlets
We like the "naked" look of a couple of tartlets with just a few star cutouts, as shown. If you don't, this recipe makes enough dough for each tartlet to have its own pastry lid.
Fresh Cherry Cheesecake Bars
With their combo of shortbread-like crust, creamy cheesecake, and fresh summer cherry goodness, these bars will make you the hit of the picnic.
S'mores Ice-Cream Sandwiches
If you don't have an ice-cream maker, soften 1 pint low-fat vanilla frozen yogurt, and place in a food processor; add 5 ounces toasted marshmallows, puree, and freeze until firm. For chocolate lovers, use chocolate graham crackers.
Photo: Courtesy of Oxmoor House
This luscious cheesecake is a showcase for the season's freshest, sweetest berries. With all its red, white, and blue, it's perfect for your next patriotic party or summer gathering.
Vanilla Frozen Yogurt with Fresh Cherry Swirl
Creamy and luscious with a touch of tart, this simple fro-yo was a clear staff favorite. A combination of half-and-half, plain whole milk yogurt, and a little corn syrup gives the frozen yogurt its supersmooth texture.
Blueberry and Blackberry Galette with Cornmeal Crust
This galette makes the perfect ending to any Independence Day menu. The rich, buttery pastry dough is easy and forgiving. Simply roll it out onto parchment paper with a lightly floured rolling pin, and then use the parchment to transfer it to a baking sheet. If you're lucky enough to find wild blueberries, use them in this rustic summer tart.
Smoked Cherry Bombs
Some flavor fireworks and fun surprises help light up the Fourth, and this whimsical dessert delivers. We free the main ingredient, maraschino cherries, from the cocktail garnish tray and flavor them with cherry wood smoke; then we wrap them with a creamy almond filling in buttery layers of phyllo.
Lemon-Cornmeal Pound Cake with Berries and Cream
This is a light and refreshing dessert that won’t leave you feeling overindulged. Fresh berries and fluffy whipped cream make a patriotic display of color that will complement any table.
Doug Flicker's White Balsamic-Marinated Berries with Sweet Buttermilk Curd
Photo: Christopher Testani
Keep to the simplest ingredients, like fresh berries and buttermilk, for an irresistible, refreshing no-bake dessert. Doug Flicker's (chef and owner of Piccolo) dessert is a mix of sweet, tart, and tangy sensations. Honey granules are available at specialty markets or online retailers like Amazon.
You can double this recipe to serve a larger crowd. Use 2 bowls to freeze the buttermilk, and thaw simultaneously in 2 colanders. There is a considerable amount of whey once the buttermilk thaws. Don't toss it all; Flicker recommends using it for an added boost in smoothies or adding it to cream soups and sauces for a tangy touch of acidity.
Fresh Cherry Pie
This not-too-sweet cherry pie is delicious on its own, and even better served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream under the fireworks.
Watermelon-Jalapeño Ice Pops
The ice pop gets a decidedly grown-up spin: It’s made from fresh melon, chile, and lime—both juice and rind. A bit of pectin helps keep all the ingredients incorporated evenly; without it, they tend to separate.
Though a beloved pie classic, rhubarb has a strong tartness that sometimes needs moderating. Sweet raspberries do that job perfectly here, while a splash of crème de cassis adds even deeper berry flavor. A slice of this pie absolutely screams for a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Warmed Berries with Honey and Fresh Cheese
You may adapt this dessert to your taste by adjusting the blend of berries, the amount of honey, or even the amount of cheese. The idea is luxury in the amount of berries. Fromage blanc is wonderfully subtle; you can sub Greek yogurt, which is tangier.
Sheet Pan S'mores
This summertime treat is perfect for a potluck. They are great served at room temperature, but if you want, pop the pan into a warm (250°) oven for 2 minutes just until the chocolate softens for the full gooey experience. For a fruity twist, place thinly sliced bananas over the chocolate layer before adding the meringue.
In Bordeaux, where châteaus and vineyards abound, a typical dessert is fresh strawberries sliced into a red wine glass and then topped with a great Bordeaux. Here, that regional tradition is adapted to make it more dessert-like. If you're pressed for time, do as the Bordelais do—quick and easy.
Green Tomato and Fig Cupcakes
Tomatoes and fig come together to create an unusual, yet oh-so-decadent dessert that everyone in the family will love.
Breakfast Parfait Pops
These kid-friendly parfait pops are a great option for breakfast on-the-run or a sweet protein-rich afternoon snack. Easily customize it with different fruits and flavors of granola.
Fresh Strawberry Shortcakes With Yogurt Cream
If you have a minute to spare, swap the vanilla extract for a vanilla bean. Split the bean lengthwise, scrape half of the seeds into the shortcake recipe, and whip the remaining half into the yogurt cream. It will add an extra level of flavor-packed intensity to the recipe.
Peach and Basil Shortcake
This summer-worthy shortcake is both beautiful and delicious. We love the unexpected flavor that basil brings to the table.
Blueberry-Mint Frozen Gimlet
1/2 cup fresh blueberries + 6 mint leaves + 11/2 ounces dry London-style gin + 3/4 ounce simple syrup + 1 ounce fresh lime juice = 185 calories of pure blueberry-mint goodness.
Go ahead, have your drink, and feel great, too.
Fresh tart cherries can be hard to find, which is why we add some dried ones to boost the flavor of this crisp. If you have access to fresh tart cherries, use 3 pounds and omit the dried fruit. Serve with vanilla low-fat ice cream, if desired; a small (1/4-cup) scoop will add 55 calories and 0.5 grams of saturated fat to each serving.
Makeover your cheesecake with a no-bake handheld version that makes an easy party treat. Lemon juice and zest blended with raspberries create a fresh summer confection.
Lemon-Earl Grey Squares
Lemon squares are a tried and true summer classic, but you know we've got to mix it up. Try these decidedly different sweet treats and you won't look back.
A simple mixture of powdered sugar, cream cheese, and amaretto transforms hollowed out strawberries into an ultra simple dessert or appetizer—perfect for spring gatherings.
Strawberry Cheesecake Pops
Perfect for kids and adults, we love this frosty twist on a classic treat—strawberry cheesecake on a stick, complete with a dip in graham cracker crumbs.
Rich Chocolate Pudding Pie
Melted chocolate binds cookie crumbs for the crust—and makes it extra delicious. Topped with raspberries and blueberries makes it the perfect Independence Day treat.
Gingered Blueberry Shortcake
Blueberries signal the arrival of summer's sweetest days, and this dessert highlights them perfectly. Crumbly shortbread and homemade whipped cream elevate a simple berry to a memorably indulgent treat. The components of this dish can be made in advance, then assembled just before serving.
Gin and Maple Macerated Berries
In this fruit salad, sugar, lime, and gin soften and preserve berries while extracting their natural juices to become a syrupy sauce.