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Patriotic Pleasures: Memorial Day Desserts

Today’s desserts are so visually exquisite that it’s nearly impossible to pass by the dessert table at a holiday celebration without stopping. Image credit: blog.hwtm.com

I’ll be honest: when I think about holidays, I think about dessert. Something about parties—especially holiday parties—makes it easier to rationalize eating dessert. It’s as if the nature of celebrating elevates the importance of dessert. Instead of being an indulgence like it is during a typical week, it’s a staple of most social events. Really, when was the last time you attended a party that didn’t have dessert?

Since desserts and entertaining are so entwined, there’s no shortage of delectable treats that taste as good as they look. Photo credit: thegirlcreative.com

Every holiday comes with its own array of candy, cakes and cookies decorated and arranged to celebrate the season (shout out to Pinterest® here). Whether it’s pilgrim hats fashioned from mini Reese’s® Peanut Butter cups or cupcakes covered in coconut “grass” and jelly bean “eggs”—creative minds and talented chefs have made it nearly impossible for us to pass up holiday desserts. Desserts are no longer just tasty, they’re now unbelievably cute.

All I can say is: “Yes!” I love dessert, and I love having an excuse to indulge guilt-free at holiday parties. So here’s a look at some of my favorite red, white and blue desserts— perfect for Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, and any other day that ends in “y.”

Truly Decadent

Beautiful and delectable, this red velvet cake layered with a fluffy cream filling and accented with strawberries and blueberries is sure to impress. Photo and recipe: MyRecipes.com

No Bake, Fun to Make

Simple ingredients and a no-bake recipe make this patriotic treat a winner. Just dress up pretzel rods and graham cracker squares with red, white and blue frosting. Image Credit: bakespace.com

Light and Healthy

Waffle cone dessert is light but delicious.

The waffle cone dessert above is one I recently prepared and brought to a party. Not only does it have all the right colors for a patriotic celebration, it was fun, easy and healthy. I put a large marshmallow in the bottom of each waffle cone and then filled it with strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. Then I packed them in a box filled with tissue paper to keep them upright.

Timeless Classic

All-American cherry pie with a twist. Photo and Recipe: Woman's Day

Nothing’s more American than cherry pie, and this one takes the cake with its addition of  blueberries and a stars-and-stripes piecrust design.


Red, white & blue sprinkles make the ordinary festive. Image Credit: noblepig.com

Dress up ice cream cones, or plain ice cream sandwiches, with red, white and blue sprinkles for a custom look that can be done in minutes.

Patriotic Ice Cream Sandwiches. Image Credit: livinglocurto.com

Next time you’re at a holiday party, remember that dessert is practically compulsory. Because if you are going to eat dessert, shouldn’t it should be a guilt-free experience?

For even more patriotic dessert ideas, check out this Pinterest board.

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