Cheers to the long weekend! If your Fourth of July holiday plans at all revolve around good food with friends—and we suspect they do!—show your enthusiasm for the day with one of these patriotic dessert ideas that utilize fresh summer berries. From a easy fruit cup to showstopping flag cupcakes, we’ve got a sweet red, white and blue treat for everyone.
For the Super-Chill, Adults-Only Dinner: Wine-Spiked Berries with Ricotta
This dessert—berries steeped in wine—is ideal for a casual, no-fuss dinner with friends. Prepare the red wine syrup and ricotta mixtures in advance, and all you have to do is assemble the glasses before serving.
For the Family Grillout: Classic Berry Tartlets with Pastry Cream
Who can resist a traditional berry tartlet, filled with a soothing dollop of pastry cream and topped with fresh-from-the-market berries? A no-roll crust and make-ahead pastry cream ensures stress-free preparation.
For the Dessert Show–Off: Currant-and-Berry Pavlova with Lime Curd
If you’re baking to impress, serve this meringue dessert (named after Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova) that’s filled with homemade citrus curd and piled high with a mix of whipped cream, currants and fresh berries.
For the Fourth That’s All About the Kids: Cupcake Flag
Making this crowd-friendly take on the old favorite—flag cake—is a fun way to get the whole crew involved. While it does involve baking three different cupcake flavors (coconut, red velvet and chocolate), cupcakes mixes can help cut down on the prep time.
For the Highbrow Party: Brûléed Buttermilk Tartlets with Fresh Berries
A swankier occasion calls for a dessert that’s just as festive but far more sophisticated. In this miniature dessert, tangy buttermilk is tempered by the richness of egg yolks and cream. The pièce de résistance is the toasty, glasslike brûléed topping.