One of my favorite ways to celebrate the Fourth of July is with a killer dessert table. When I was younger, I’d always make a beeline for the blueberry pie my mom would pick up from our favorite bakery in Florida, which was topped with at least two scoops of vanilla ice cream.
Today, I’m still a blueberry pie fanatic, but I’ve also added a handful of other sweet and simple treats (think: tarts, icebox cakes, no-churn ice creams, and cookies) to my repertoire so that I can satisfy any craving.
From a super-colorful tart starring the season’s best fruits to chocolate-dipped mint ice cream sandwiches you can make days ahead of time, here are 17 easy dessert recipes to keep bookmarked for the Fourth of July holiday.
You don’t need to turn on the stove to make this ultra-refreshing, sweet-tart lemon ice cream, thanks to this recipe from peach farmer and cookbook author, Dori Sanders. Just juice, zest, stir, and freeze.
You’ll be hard pressed to find a more showstopping summer dessert than this roasted raspberry peach tart from our resident baking pro, Erin McDowell. But don’t worry—this tart’s easier to make than it looks, with a small ingredients list and extra-simple instructions.
To say that I’m obsessed with these chocolate buckwheat cookies (that just so happen to be gluten-free) would be an understatement. Their pure chocolate flavor and soft, crumbly texture make it impossible to have only one…or six.
Prep the fresh raspberry ice cream and lemon-coconut shortbread a day or two ahead of July 4th so that all you have to do the day of is scoop, stack, and serve.
Harbor Bars—chocolate-dipped ice cream sandwiches made with soft chocolate chip cookies—might be a Maine thing, but they make the most refreshing treat no matter where in the world you happen to be.
Bright, fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice stars in this pillowy-soft cake, while mint adds a light touch to the crunchy, sweet glaze that’s drizzled over top; the whole thing’s as simple as stirring the wet and dry ingredients together, and mixing the glaze in a bowl.
It wouldn’t be summer without icebox cake, and this s’mores-inspired version is one of our all-time favorites. It’s got all the usual suspects—graham crackers and marshmallows—plus a homemade chocolate pudding that stands in for a Hershey’s bar.
This berry-filled summer pudding from our co-founder, Merrill Stubbs, couldn’t be easier to make. You’ll need just white bread, sugar, summer berries, and heavy cream, which soak overnight and transform into a layered, fragrant sponge cake.
It should come as no surprise that this Genius whipped, citrusy pie is one of our most popular of all time. Clocking in at just eight ingredients (including butter, sugar, and salt), it’s unbelievably easy (some might even call it lazy) and tastes just like summer.
Bring on the nostalgia this Fourth of July with these blackberry and yogurt ice pops that look just like the rocket pops you had every summer as a kid.
If you’re really hoping to impress your friends and family, make them this gorgeous strawberry-lime crostata. The lime zest and juice (instead of the more typical rhubarb) brings out the sweetness of in-season strawberries and matches up nicely with the buttery crust.
These oatmeal chocolate chip cookies offer the best of both worlds: the rich, yet not overstated spice of chewy oatmeal cookies and the caramelly crunch of crispy chocolate chip cookies.
13. Oreo Dessert
In the words of EmilyC, who created this chocolatey, super-creamy recipe: “This dessert is true frozen bliss.” Even better, it’s totally no-bake—and quick, too.
This dessert earned the Genius stamp of approval for many reasons, including the fact that it calls for just five ingredients (including Ritz crackers!).
This fluffy, perfectly sweet banana and coconut cake absolutely lives up to its title of “world’s best.” Don’t believe me? Give it a try and see for yourself.
The beauty of this tender pound cake is not only that you can top it any which way you like (whipped cream, berries, you name it), but also that it starts baking in a “cold” oven (meaning it’s not preheated).
These berry-filled cupcakes skip the frosting but do have a sweet surprise at the center: a lemony cream cheese filling with bursts of fresh raspberries.
What desserts will you be whipping up this Fourth of July? Tell us in the comments below!