Whether you're planning to host a 4th of July barbecue or you've been tasked with bringing something sweet to somebody else's shindig, you might be on the lookout for some patriotic dessert recipes right about now. Actually, make that patriotic dessert recipes that don't require too much time or effort in a hot kitchen, because chances are you're hot enough these days. Fortunately, there are plenty of holiday desserts to make that don't require any cooking (and even the ones that do are still pretty no-sweat). So what are some easy 4th of July desserts?
Depending on your taste, you've got lots of choices. Several of these treats are even legit healthy, thanks to the many nutritional benefits of such naturally red and blue edibles like berries. From refreshing beverages to colorful homemade candies to elegant Pinterest-worthy creations, there's something on this list no matter what you're trying to achieve. Plus, you can even get the kids involved in making some of these (anything that keeps little ones entertained for a little while during summer vacation scores extra points).
Most of these can be made in advance, too, so you can actually spend time hanging out and relaxing instead of whipping up the last course last minute.
1. Patriotic S'mores Cookies
These cute little cookies from Bake Love Give look like a treat from a bakery, but they're incredibly easy to make (thanks to store-bought mini graham crackers).
2. Red, White & Blue Firecracker Popsicles
A much healthier take on the red, white, and blue popsicles most of us grew up eating, these ice pops from Brown Eyed Baker use yogurt and strawberry and blueberry purées for the different layers.
4. Red, White & Blue Berry Trifle
Trifles are a great choice for the tricky chef with no time: They look super fancy, but they're so easy effortless. This one from Brown Eyed Baker uses layers of angel food cake, berries, and a cream cheese/pudding/Cool Whip filling.
5. Red, White & Blue Stained Glass Jello Stars
Not only will kids love eating these pretty stained glass Jello stars from The Brown Eyed Baker, they'll love helping to make them, too (because, cookie cutters).
6. Mixed Berry Star Puff Pastry
Speaking of star shaped cookie cutters, these fun, fruit pastries from DIY Candy use frozen puff pastry (which saves you hours of stress and mess).
7. Red, White & Blue M&M's Cookie Bars
The best thing about bar cookies like these patriotic blondies from No. 2 Pencil is that you don't have to go through the hassle of dropping spoonfuls of dough on a cookie sheet or (worse) rolling dough out to cut it into shapes.
8. Red, White & Blue Giant Marshmallows
All you need to make these festive pops from Pint Sized Baker is a bag of pretzel rods, a bag of marshmallows, and candy melts in red and blue. Definitely get the kids involved in prepping these, too.
9. 4th Of July Milkshakes
This pretty milkshake from Pint Sized Baker is all vanilla, but it looks anything but plain... and really, you can't beat a vanilla milkshake. Especially with whipped cream on top.
10. Easy Fruit Tart
Fool everyone into thinking you've been secretly attending culinary school with this foolproof tart from Pint Sized Baker, made using frozen puff pastry, pudding and fresh fruit.
11. Red Velvet, White & Blueberry Cheesecake Trifle
The 4th of July is a cool reason to get creative with red velvet cake, and the cheesecake filling in this trifle from Something Swanky is the perfect complement.
12. Strawberry Banana 4th Of July Smoothie
A good-for-you dessert (or breakfast) filled with antioxidants and vitamins, this smoothie from Your Cup of Cake is naturally colorful (nothing artificial).
13. Fruity Brownie Dessert Pizza
This clever dessert pizza from Seeded at the Table is made with boxed brownie mix for convenience, but it'll definitely impress everybody at the patriotic potluck.
14. Patriotic Rice Krispie Stars
If you know how to make Rice Krispie treats (and doesn't everybody?), then you know how to make these patriotic stars from Princess Pinky Girl. Food coloring and star shaped cookie cutters are the only additional things you'll need!
15. Red, White & Blue Oreo Pops
Unforgettable as party favors, these Oreo pops from Happiness Is Homemade don't require any actual cooking, just a bit of melting, dipping, and decorating (so, just the fun stuff).