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Easy, eye-popping desserts for your Fourth of July barbecue or gathering

Easy, eye-popping desserts for your Fourth of July barbecue or gathering

Here's a list of local rules for this year's Fourth of July firework use.

Have you ever accepted a last-minute barbecue invite and scrambled to come up with a quick and delicious dessert to take?

Semi-homemade is perfect for such an occasion.

With the combination of ready-made products and fresh fruit, in a matter of minutes you can whip up an eye-popping treat. (Of course, if you have the time, all of the recipes we share can be made from scratch.)

We have three showstoppers for you.

A little prep or freezing time is required but none take more than 15 minutes to assemble.

Angel Food Cake with Berries

1 angel food cake

Two 8 ounce tubs whipped topping, thawed

7 ounces marshmallow creme

2 teaspoons almond extract

Berries (1 container each) strawberries, blueberries, red raspberries, blackberries

Mint, optional

1. Clean and cut the fruit, set aside.

2. Whip together one tub of whipped topping and marshmallow creme until smooth. (To easily remove the marshmallow from the jar, heat in microwave for 30 seconds.)

3. Fold in second tub of whipped topping. Add almond extract and stir. Refrigerate until ready to assemble cake.

4. Divide cake into thirds. Use toothpicks and a ruler to divide the cake into thirds, then use a serrated knife to cut the cake using the toothpicks as guides. (see photo)

5. Layer cake, whipped topping mixture and berries. Repeat layers finishing with berries and mint, if using.

6. Refrigerate until serving or serve immediately. It’s recommended to serve within 6 hours of layering or the whipped topping may make the cake soggy.

7. Store leftovers in fridge.


* * *

Fourth of July Ice Cream Cake

This simple dessert starts with a store-bought pound cake that is sliced into four layers to make room for … ice cream. Since it’s the Fourth of July, we used raspberry sorbet to mimic the stripes of the American flag, but the flavor combination is totally up to you.

The benefit of a store-bought pound cake is you can build this dessert right in the pan it came in. Simply line the pan with plastic wrap, alternate layers of cake and ice cream, wrap it up and toss in the freezer for a few hours.

Serves 8

16-ounce frozen pound cake

1½ pints ice cream or sorbet

1½ cups whipped topping

½ cup raspberries, for topping

½ cup blueberries, for topping

Red, white and blue sprinkles, for topping

1. Remove the pound cake from the container and set it aside. Line the container with plastic wrap so that it hangs over on all sides.

2. Using a serrated knife, carefully slice the pound cake in half lengthwise then slice each piece in half again to form four long slices. Arrange the bottom slice in the lined container then top it with a third of the ice cream or sorbet, spreading it into an even layer.

3. Add a second slice of pound cake atop the ice cream, top it with another third of the ice cream then another layer of pound cake and the remaining ice cream. Add the top layer of pound cake then wrap the plastic wrap securely around the cake and place it in the freezer until frozen solid, about 4 hours.

4. When ready to serve, remove the cake from the freezer and use the plastic wrap overhangs to lift it out of the container and onto a serving platter. Top it with the whipped cream, raspberries, blueberries and sprinkles. Slice and serve immediately.


* * *

Fourth of July Brownie Bites

30 bite-sized serving

30 brownie bites, store bought (or homemade)

8 strawberries, quartered

½ cup blueberries

8 ounces whipped topping

3.2 ounce package instant vanilla pudding

1 cup milk

1. To make whipped topping, whisk milk and instant pudding mix in a medium-sized bowl for 1 minute. Fold in whipped topping. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

2. Transfer whipped topping to a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip.

3. Pipe topping on the brownie tops and layer with strawberries and blueberries.

NOTE: If you are in a pinch for time, you can use whipped topping without the pudding.

Adapted from

Omaha World-Herald: Omaha Dines

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