Celebrate Independence Day in *delicious* style with these 25+ 4th of July desserts. Try easy handheld cookies and bars, or impress with this American flag pie or cake (see end of this post for cake decorating instructions). Whichever recipe you choose, the crowd will appreciate your sweet homemade addition to the Fourth of July festivities.
Favorite 4th of July Dessert Ideas
Be the star of your summer holiday gathering! Today I’m sharing 4th of July dessert inspiration—berry-laden pies, s’mores-inspired cookies, ice cream treats, and more—in one spot. However you choose to celebrate, any of these dessert recipes are sure to dazzle brighter than the fireworks and sparklers.
Lucky for us, the holiday falls in the middle of peak berry season. Blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries make for simple, yet tasty options for decorating desserts in blue and red. I use a combination of blueberries and strawberries to decorate this fresh fruit tart, plus some blackberries when assembling fresh berry cream cake.
Or skip the decorating completely and make a berry cobbler! 😉
If you’re up for a baking project, try your hand at an American flag pie using my homemade pie crust. I have a detailed recipe, video tutorial, and lots of helpful photos for you in that post. Complete the celebration with homemade whipped cream and/or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
If you’re craving something handheld for ease of serving, I have you covered there, too. Everyone adores these rice krispie treats and M&M cookie bars (use red, white, and blue M&Ms if you have them available to you). And party-goers will love these fireworks celebration cookies or watermelon sugar cookies.
Success Tip: Traveling With Your 4th of July Desserts
If you’re bringing along sheet cakes or bars, bake and transport them in a 9×13-inch pan with a lid. Transport layer cakes in a cake carrier; and a cupcake carrier works great for transporting not only cupcakes, but also cookies and pies.
25+ 4th of July Desserts
How to Decorate an American Flag Cake (Vanilla Sheet Cake)
Before I finish up, let me show you how to turn a 9×13-inch quarter sheet cake into a Fourth of July cake. Have you tried my vanilla sheet cake recipe before? That’s the cake you see pictured here. It uses the reverse creaming method for a pristinely soft and springy crumb, and the whipped frosting is out of this world. (Truly, taste testers go crazy for it! So much so that I decided to use it in my cream-filled chocolate cupcakes recipe, too.)
Make the cake: Follow my vanilla sheet cake recipe for the cake, or use your favorite 9×13-inch sheet cake recipe.
Make the frosting & decorate: Using the directions in the recipe card below, make the whipped frosting. Spread 2/3 of the frosting all over the cake, saving the remaining 1/3 for piping detail. Grab some fresh blueberries and halved strawberries and line them up to (mostly) mimic the stars and stripes on an American flag. I used Ateco 32 piping tip for the piping between the “stars” and Ateco 844 piping tip for the piping between the “stripes.”
This American flag cake would also make a lovely addition to your menu of Memorial Day recipes.Print
Decorate a 9×13-inch quarter sheet cake with homemade whipped frosting, blueberries, and strawberries to resemble an American flag.
- 1 baked and cooled quarter sheet cake (such as vanilla sheet cake)
Whipped Vanilla Buttercream
- 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 4 and 1/2 cups (540g) confectioners’ sugar
- 1/3 cup (80ml) heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- salt, to taste
- 1/2 cup (70g) fresh blueberries
- 2–3 cups (380–560g) halved fresh strawberries
- Cake: Bake and cool any 9×13-inch quarter sheet cake, whatever flavor you enjoy with vanilla frosting and berries. You can follow steps 1–4 for making my vanilla sheet cake, which is the cake pictured. Cool cake completely before decorating.
- Make the buttercream: With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add confectioners’ sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla extract. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then increase to medium-high speed and beat for 4 full minutes. Add up to 1/4 cup more confectioners’ sugar if frosting is too thin or another Tablespoon of cream if frosting is too thick. Add a pinch of salt if frosting is too sweet. (I add 1/8 teaspoon salt.) Frosting should be extra fluffy.
- Spread 2/3 of the frosting all over the cake (I use and recommend an offset spatula), reserving the remaining 1/3 for piping detail. Place whole fresh blueberries and halved fresh strawberries to mimic the stars and stripes on an American flag. Using a piping bag (disposable or reusable) and piping tips, fill in the space between the stars and stripes. I used Ateco 32 piping tip for the piping between the blueberry “stars” and Ateco 844 piping tip for the piping between the strawberry “stripes.”
- Slice and serve. Cover leftover cake tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: The frosting can be prepared and then covered and refrigerated overnight. Let the refrigerated frosting sit at room temperature for 10 minutes, then beat with a mixer for 1 minute to bring it back to a spreadable consistency. Add a splash of heavy cream if needed to thin out. Frosted cake (without berries) can be frozen up to 2–3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before decorating with berries and serving.
- Special Tools (affiliate links): Electric Mixer (Handheld or Stand) | Offset Spatula | Piping Bag (Reusable or Disposable) | Ateco 32 Piping Tip | Ateco 844 Piping Tip
Keywords: 4th of July dessert, American flag cake