Actually Delicious, Dye-Free Desserts That Are Naturally Red, White, & Blue

Jess Richardson | Jun 17, 2019 Food & Party
Actually Delicious, Dye-Free Desserts That Are Naturally Red, White, & Blue
Image: iStock

Red White and Blue Cake
iStock

The saying may be that nothing's as American as apple pie, but because apples are a fall fruit, what's super American and wonderful to serve on Independence Day, which happens in the height of summer? Well, fortunately, July 4th also occurs during the height of berry season. Our nation's farmers grow tons of beautiful produce, which we can use to celebrate our country's founding and make delicious, patriotic-themed desserts. And while we are absolutely not judging anyone who uses dyes in their home cooking -- we've done it plenty of times ourselves! -- there's something just way easier, less messy, and potentially healthier about using only natural red, white, and blue foods to help make our creations colorful. Ever tried to wash a bunch of blue food dye out of a 3-year-old's favorite shirt ... or scrub it off his sweet little face? 

Yeah, it's basically no fun at all for anyone involved -- least of all the kitchen counters, carpets, couches, walls ... really anywhere kids can get their little hands. So why not go the natural route instead? That's why we've rounded up this collection of 20 recipes that are perfectly red, white, and blue ... and involve exactly zero dyes. Many of the recipes use natural flavors like blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, watermelon, and cranberries, and while some of them are super healthy and use yogurt for the white part, others are more indulgent and playful, using Cool Whip, whipped cream, and other sweet treats. 

And why stop at dessert? For moms who are feeling extra patriotic (and crafty!) this Independence Day, check out July 4th breakfast ideas, which will make breakfast time extra fun for the holiday. And for anyone hosting a party or attending a potluck or cookout, check out these make-ahead Crock-Pot recipes, which make great party foods that don't involve heating up the kitchen -- not one tiny bit. 

  • Red, White & Blueberry Trifle

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    Red White and Blueberry Trifle
    iStock

    We love this healthyish recipe for red white and blueberry trifle, and we also love how incredibly easy it is -- it starts with a premade angel food cake, some berries, and a filling that's just four ingredients whipped together. 

  • Strawberry Blueberry Shortcakes

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    Strawberry Blueberry Shortcakes
    iStock

    These strawberry blueberry shortcakes are absolutely delicious, but if time's a factor (and when isn't it?), using a mix like Bisquick instead of making the shortcakes from scratch can be a real time-saver -- and just as tasty. 

  • Mixed Berry & Yogurt Popsicles

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    Mixed Berry And Yogurt Popsicles
    iStock

    These mixed berry and yogurt popsicles are incredibly cute and perfect for the holiday -- plus, they're free from refined sugar, in addition to being free of dyes. We love how cool and creamy these are (and healthy, too)!

  • American Flag Cake

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    American Flag Cake
    iStock

    We love a classic flag cake, but this recipe is great because it uses nonfat Greek yogurt -- and still tastes amazing. Alternatively, we recommend using the delicious frosting and smart decor tips for this American Flag cake on a premade sheet cake from the grocery store. 

  • Lemon Mousse Fruit Parfaits

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    Lemon Mousse Fruit Parfaits

    These great, no-bake lemon mousse fruit parfaits are so easy to make and are an amazingly easy way to get kids to eat their fruit -- plus the delicate lemon flavor makes it a little more elegant and elevated for the adults in the room. 

  • Easy Phyllo Fruit Cups

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    Easy Phyllo Fruit Cups
    iStock

    These easy phyllo fruit cups come together in a snap -- literally, just 15 minutes! -- and they're really charming, individual-sized desserts. Fill them with a mix of strawberry, raspberry, and blueberry for a themed display! 

  • Chocolate Hazelnut Berry Dessert Pizza

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    Chocolate Hazelnut Berry Dessert Pizza
    iStock

    This recipe for chocolate hazelnut berry dessert pizza only calls for strawberries, but throw a handful of blueberries and blackberries on top for a little more of a red, white, and blue theme (and drizzle with white chocolate for extra white stripes)!

  • Easy Watermelon & Berry Fruit Pizza

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    Easy Watermelon + Berry Fruit Pizza
    iStock

    This easy watermelon + berry fruit pizza is so simple and fun-looking -- not to mention healthful and tasty -- and with its color scheme, it's perfect for July 4th! It's also an assembly project for kids to DIY their own slices!

  • Red White & Blue Berry Coconut Slushies

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    Red White and Blue Berry Coconut Slushies
    iStock

    These red white and blue berry coconut slushies are as completely cute as they are totally healthy. While the recipe calls for agave nectar, if the lemonade is already sweet enough it probably won't be necessary with all the fruit!

  • Red White & Blue Cake With No Dyes

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    Red White and Blue Cake With No Dyes

    We love the idea of using this rainbow cake recipe to create a red white and blue cake with no dyes -- just select the colors and foods needed to give the special food-based dyes (beet or pomegranate, strawberry, or raspberry for red; blueberry for blue) and go to town!

  • No-Dye Red White & Blue Cookies

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    No-Dye Red White and Blue Cookies
    iStock

    These no-dye red white and blue cookies use dried cranberries and blueberries for a little dose of healthfulness (and white chocolate chips because there's such a thing as being too healthy, after all). 

  • Mixed-Berry Cheesecake

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    Mixed-Berry Cheesecake
    iStock

    Whether we have zero time and just want to grab a plain cheesecake from the store, top it with raspberries and blueberries, and call it a Fourth of July celebration cake, or we want to go all-out and make this mixed-berry cheesecake from scratch, we're still going to make our families incredibly happy. 

  • Individual Berry Trifles

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    Individual Berry Trifles
    iStock

    While this recipe for individual berry trifles calls for pound cake -- and the recipe for it is a delicious one! -- it's also totally fine to use a store-bought pound cake, which makes this recipe a whole lot faster. 

  • Mixed-Berry Frozen Yogurt Bark

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    Mixed-Berry Frozen Yogurt Bark
    iStock

    What we love about this mixed-berry frozen yogurt bark is how incredibly simple it is -- and it takes exactly zero heating up of the house or oven. Perfect for having little hands helping out!

  • Mini Berry Tarts

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    Mini Berry Tarts
    iStock

    These mini berry tarts are absolutely awesome -- we love that the cups are made from a refrigerated cookie dough, so it's still impressive-looking but doable even for moms with little time on their hands (so, all moms). 

  • Watermelon Blueberry & Feta Fruit Salad

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    Watermelon Blueberry and Feta Fruit Salad
    iStock

    If a cheese course counts as a dessert in France, we think this watermelon blueberry and feta fruit salad should definitely count as a great dessert here in US. It's delicious, healthy, salty and sweet, and super good for us, too. 

  • Patriotic Stars & Stripes Pie

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    Patriotic Stars and Stripes Pie
    iStock

    Yes, this patriotic stars and stripes pie is a little bit extra -- and definitely takes some work! -- but it's so cute, and with older kids, it can be a fun family activity making it. Besides, this is the kind of treat that is even better when it's imperfect and looks homemade.

  • Mixed Berry Banana Bread

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    Mixed Berry Banana Bread
    iStock

    This mixed berry banana bread is so delicious on its own -- and is so right for the holiday with blueberries and any red fruit, including cranberries, strawberries, cherries, or raspberries. It's even better with a little whipped cream cheese spread. 

  • Panna Cotta With Fresh Berries

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    Panna Cotta With Fresh Berries
    iStock

    We love this delicious recipe for panna cotta with fresh berries, which really elevates the idea of patriotic, flag-themed desserts into something more refined (while still being simple to make -- and no need to even heat up the kitchen!).

  • Lemon Tart With Mascarpone & Fresh Berries

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    Lemon Tart Recipe with Mascarpone and Fresh Berries
    iStock

    For a really elevated play on the patriotic cake theme, this lemon tart with mascarpone and fresh berries is so incredibly delicious and subtle. While it's a little more complex than some of the others on this list, it's still totally doable. 

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