by Nichole Ferello


This Memorial Day, as we gather together and remember the men and women in our armed forces, many of us turn to Pinterest to find something patriotic and fun to make for dessert. There are so many options that range from easy to difficult and navigating them all can be intimidating! Your Memorial Day (or Fourth of July!) dessert doesn't have to be difficult or require special tools.

Every recipe can be modified to use a box mix if you're not a baker. A few of these ideas require fresh berries and it's the perfect season to buy strawberries and blueberries at your grocery store or farmer’s market! So take a look at some of these traditional and modern desserts for your Memorial Day gathering.

b2cc8787-8947-45f5-b0d8-0b4ea9d67d86Festive swirl cupcakes. Bake cupcakes in Wilton Color Cups in a patriotic design, found at your local craft store such as Michael's or JoAnn Fabrics. These cupcake cups don't lose their color when baked, making them a festive centerpiece for your party! Top them with an easy buttercream swirl using 1M tip. Add decorations such as mini American flags or other patriotic banners, which can also be found at craft store. Learn more about using the 1M tip from Wilton.

Level: Intermediate

Patriotic trifle. Lovely layers of pound cake, berries and whipped cream make trifles a light and delicious treat for your barbecue. Trifles can be as easy or as difficult as you want them to be. Your cake can be homemade, store-bought or a box mix! It's up to you. Layer with homemade or store-bought whipped cream. Add blueberries and strawberries for a red, white, and blue treat. Get detailed instructions from The Food Network.

Level: Easy

American flag cake. This crowd favorite has been popular for years, both for of its stunning presentation and ease of preparation! After baking up any type of 9” x 13” cake that you like, create a simple American flag by making a square of blueberries and neat rows of strawberries atop of whipped cream or vanilla icing. Like the trifle, your cake and icings can be homemade or store bought! Check out more detailed directions from Kraft.

Level: Easy  

Burger fake out cupcakes. If you really want to impress your guests and put a smile on their faces, make cupcakes that look just like real burgers! What you need is a batch of yellow cupcakes and either chocolate cupcakes or brownies. Slice the yellow cupcakes in half for “buns”. Cut your chocolate brownies into circles or slice the tops off of chocolate cupcakes for your “burgers”.

Use green, yellow and red icing to hold it all together. These serve as your lettuce, mustard and ketchup. Take them to the next level by sprinkling on some real sesame seeds (attach with water). Check out Dunkin Hines for more detailed instructions.

Level: Intermediate

Surprise inside cake. This showstopper is a surprise until cut! It's a little more time-consuming, so give yourself plenty of time to bake, cool, and assemble. Bake up a double batch of white cake and dye 1/3 blue, 1/3 red and leave 1/3 white. Bake one 8″ blue cake, one 8″ red cake, and one 8″ white cake. Optional: for more layers, torte your red and white cakes.

Next, cut your circles out of your cakes (hint: partially freeze your cakes for better cuts!). For your bottom layer, use a large 8″ red circle, then place a white ring next, followed by a small red circle in the middle. Your next layer is reversed (white, red, white). For your last layer, place down a red circle and put a 4″ circle of blue.

Cover your cake with white icing and wait until the big reveal! Take your cake up a notch by getting fancy with your decorations or just leave it completely plain! For more detailed directions, check out this Instructable.

Level: Advanced


Nichole Ferello owns a custom cake business out of Quakertown, PA. She also writes a cake blog with more tips, tricks, and recipes at

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