I’ve been looking around for some fun 4th of July treats, because my daughter has the honor of having a birthday the same week so we often turn the day into a double celebration. However, I’m an apartment dweller; a hot oven in the summer equals a hot apartment. So I always love finding treats and recipes that don’t have “preheat oven to 450” anywhere in the directions.

I will tell you though, it’s harder than you might think to find fun 4th of July-themed recipes that don’t look awful. I’m not a fan of fake whipped cream in a tub, or dying vanilla ice cream with bright red food color. So I found a balance here — some more indulgent treats made red white and blue with the help of sprinkles and M&Ms, and lots of fruity treats that get festive from fresh berries.  I’m an equal opportunity snacker.

Related: 7 Independence Day treats the kids can (almost) whip up without you



4th of July Popcorn Treat recipe at Our Best Bites

4th of July Popcorn Treats at Our Best Bites

This mama knows how to throw one heck of a patriotic party! She has tons of easy, fun, kid-friendly treat recipes but I really like her idea for patriotic popcorn. (Evidently this is popcorn that is very committed to our nation’s growth and wellbeing.) The ingredient list is so simple: some white almond bark or white chocolate, some sprinkles, and if you want, red and blue M&Ms which our local candy store has in bulk. Click over for all the details.


4th of July treat: red white and blue fudge recipe from Kleinworth & Co. No cooking!

4th of July Fudge recipe at Kleinworth & Co

If you’ve ever spent time in tourist towns along the Atlantic, you may also think of fudge as a symbolic treat of summer. So I think it’s a fun idea to make this white chocolate fudge complete with red and blue M&Ms. Five minutes to prepare, and no baking. That’s my kind of treat.


4th of July Ice Cream Sandwich Treats | Taste of Home

4th of July Dipped Ice Cream Sandwiches at Taste of Home

Clearly red white and blue sprinkles are a good thing to have on hand if you’re thinking 4th of July treats. Stacie found this recipe a few years back and it still sticks in my mind. It’s so easy, and even easier if you just dip one side. I’m also fascinated by her suggestion for mixing the candy melts with shortening.


4th of July Ice Cream Cone Cupcake Treats - use store bought mini cupckaes to avoid cooking | Love from the Oven

4th of July Ice Cream Cone Cupcake Treats at Love from the Oven

I have weird kids – they love cupcakes, but always leave the frosting. (Actually, I like the cake part best too, but their friends think they’re weird.) To me, this is a fantastic way to serve mini cupcakes from the store — stuffing them into ice cream cones, then letting the kids slather the top with just a little frosting, enough to hold the sprinkles. I’m guessing the cone/cupcake to frosting ratio makes it all somehow more palatable to them.



4th of July Rice Krispy Treat Pop recipe and free printables | The Girl Creative

4th of July Marshmallow Treat Pop at The Girl Creative

So let’s just be honest: It’s a Rice Krispy treat and anything else is a poor imitation. I like Diana Miller’s super easy recipe idea, and you can even substitute homemade Rice Krispy treats for the base since it’s all just about microwaving anyway, and use real white chocolate over candy melts. She also offers free 4th of July snack printables, which is a nice touch for a party.


4th of July treats: Red, White and Blue Yogurt Popsicles at View From Great Island

Red White and Blueberry Yogurt Popsicles for 4th of July at The View from Great Island

For something else that feels a little healthy but still very treat-like, check out this recipe that Stacie shared in her fantastic roundup of 4th of July party ideas last year. The popsicles takes a little time, but most of that is spent waiting for layers to freeze. Your patience will be rewarded, grasshopper! Or if you’re impatient — no judgments — try a Zoku popsicle maker which is a staple in my house over the summer.

Related: 10 easy, healthier popsicle recipes for kids that let you say “yes” to frozen treats all summer long.


4th of July Milkshake recipe topped w homemade strawberry slushie | Kirbie's Cravings

4th of July Milkshake recipe at Kirbie’s Cravings

What’s a perfect no-cook treat for the 4th of July? Vanilla ice cream! Or if you want to make it more special for the kids, try a vanilla milkshake and pop in a red or blue straw. However I really appreciate Kirbie’s attempt to bring fruit into the mix and skip the food coloring. She confesses that blending real berries can make a milkshake pink and purple, instead of red and blue, which lead her to this great idea featuring an easy layer of homemade strawberry slushie on top. All the details are on her site.


4th of July Berry Skewers with Dip recipe via the Driscolls blog

4th of July Berry Skewers with Yogurt Dip at Driscoll’s blog

Don’t forget, we’re smack in the middle of prime berry season, and that’s automatic red and blue colors right there. But since everyone knows kids like anything better if A) it’s on a stick or B) you can dip it, this recipe is a double whammy. The dip recipe is an easy blend of strawberries, raspberries, greek yogurt, and a little vanilla extract. It also calls for chia seeds, but you can omit if your kids get squeamish about “things” in the dip like mine do.

Alternatively, make watermelon fruit “fries” for dipping, which we featured in our post on ways to serve a watermelon thanks to Real Simple. Just add blueberries to the plate for color. It’s pretty a matter of slicing watermelon into long rectangular strips. Also, not to be confused with watermelon fruit flies, which is something totally different.


Watermelon Blueberry Salad: World's easiest 4th of July Treat | The Whole Serving

Watermelon Blueberry Fruit Salad at The Whole Serving

How’s this for easy: A watermelon blueberry salad. She has some nice ideas for serving, like drizzling with balsamic over greens, but I could just eat this right out of a bowl all day. If you want to get fancy, you can also carve the watermelon into 1/2″ thick slices, and take a star cookie cutter to it. Simple! And really cute.