Fourth of July Dessert Bar

By Camille Styles
cherry almond tart

Taken a look at the calendar lately? It’s hard to believe how quickly this summer is racing by and that the Fourth of July is only 3 days away! The 4th is one of my favorite food days of the year, and I’ve been scouring my recipe files for ideas on what to toss on the grill (there’s still a debate going on at our house between burgers and fajitas.) But really, my favorite part of the Independence Day menu is always dessert, and no celebration is complete without some sweets in shades of red, white & blue. In preparation for this year’s shindig, I teamed up with Vitamix to create a Fourth of July dessert bar with a variety of treats highlighting the summer’s most patriotic fruit, and all using my Vitamix blender to make the entire process as easy as, well, pie. Keep reading for the recipes for Blueberry, Ginger & Coconut Cream Parfaits; Strawberry Mint Ice Cream Pie; and Cherry Almond Tart.

*photos by Jessica Attie, food styling by Kate LeSueur

This post was sponsored by Vitamix

Sometimes the best centerpieces require no flowers at all! We made the most of the season’s most beautiful berries and stone fruit to set in a big bowl on the buffet. They naturally lend themselves to a patriotic color palette and provide a great freshness to counterbalance all those sweets.

For the most luscious (and easy!) Strawberry Mint Ice Cream Pie, I used my Vitamix blender to crush up graham crackers for the crust and whip up the homemade ice cream filling!

I topped it all off with sliced strawberries and fresh mint. For a nod to the red, white & blue, three little felt flags added a whimsical touch to the final presentation.

Get the full recipe for my Strawberry Mint Ice Cream Pie here!

The Vitamix blender is perfect for making whipped cream in a flash, but for  our blueberry parfaits, I whipped up some coconut cream instead. That unexpected hint of tropical flavor paired perfectly with all the other fresh ingredients — and will be a welcome addition for that guest who’s cutting back on dairy.

Get the full recipe for my Blueberry, Ginger and Coconut Cream Parfaits here!

If you love the combination of flaky pastry dough paired with a creamy filling as much as I do, bookmark this recipe stat. What could possibly be better than puff pastry, mascarpone, and the season’s sweetest cherries?

Get the full recipe for my Cherry Almond Tart here!

We kept both the ice cream pie and parfaits chilled until just before serving time. Guests will flock to these desserts so quickly, melting won’t even be an issue!

Since the Fourth of July is all about kicking back and relaxing, hand-held desserts like this tart are a great way to set a laid-back vibe. Guests can grab a slice (or two) and enjoy utensil-free.

The watermelon, blueberries, strawberries and cherries all looked so amazing at the farmer’s market, we couldn’t possibly pick just one to serve, and it’s always nice to offer a few healthy sweets in addition to the buffet’s indulgences.

It’s true: everything tastes better – and looks cuter – when served in individual servings!  These ice cream bowls were the perfect vessel for layering up all the amazing ingredients in our parfait.

Don’t forget to give guests a comfortable spot to escape the hot sun. I set up a seating area under a big tree in my yard with just a couple of plush poufs, a blanket spread out for lounging, and a low wooden table that’s great for kids to eat on, too.

I fell in love with these summery lanterns, perfect for casting a gorgeous glow on your party as sun sets.

I’d love to know… what are you planning to cook up for Independence Day this year?

Comments (1)

  1. Vanessa @ Living in Steil says:

    I can’t believe it’s almost the Fourth of July already! This summer is going fast. All of these desserts look delicious. I love the idea of having something that guests can eat without utensils while mingling.

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