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75 Fourth of July Desserts That Are More Dazzling Than Fireworks

Before the fireworks go off, be sure to enjoy plenty of tasty 4th of July desserts including all-American pies, tasty ice cream treats and easy-peasy bars.

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Grandma’s Old-Fashioned Strawberry Shortcake

When my grandma served this shortcake, she usually topped it with homemade vanilla ice cream. —Angela Lively, Conroe, Texas

Go to Recipe

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Berry Apple Pie Exps Ft22 42356 F 0511 1

Berry Apple Pie

Our active family is full of big eaters. So I’m happy for our raspberry patch, our apple orchard and pie recipes like this one. You can substitute frozen berries for fresh.—Heidi Jo Keranen, Bruno, MN
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Watermelon Cupcakes

My granddaughter and I bake together each week. She was inspired by her mommy’s flavored syrups, so we came up with these watermelon cupcakes. If you are not going to pipe the frosting, you can reduce the amount of frosting by half. —Elizabeth Bramkamp, Gig Harbor, Washington
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Strawberry Pretzel Pie

This cool no-bake strawberry pretzel pie is the perfect way to satisfy your sweet tooth this summer. Made with pantry staples and, well, as easy as pie to make, it’s become one of my family’s most requested warm-weather treats. —Shauna Havey, Roy, Utah
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Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches

My mom sent me this recipe for homemade ice cream sandwiches. We love it, and so does company I serve it to. —Kea Fisher, Bridger, Montana
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Key Lime Blondie Bars

Here’s my tropical take on a beloved treat. These Key lime bars combine the taste of the classic pie with a blondie batter and cream cheese frosting. You can make a thicker crust if desired. —Kristin LaBoon, Austin, Texas

For more patriotic dessert inspiration, check out these 4th of July bars.

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Star-Spangled Parfaits

The best time for this dessert is midsummer, when the blueberries are thick in our northern woods. Red raspberries can be added to the mixed berries, too, to brighten the patriotic colors.—Anne Theriault, Wellesley, Massachusetts

If you like this patriotic parfait, you’ll love these red, white and blue desserts.

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Apple Tartlets

Good-for-you things come in small packages when you make a batch of these tiny apple tartlets. Sweet and cinnamony, these mouthwatering tarts are a delightful addition to a dessert table or snack tray. —Mary Kelley, Minneapolis, Minnesota
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Mixed Berry Tiramisu

Because I love tiramisu, I came up with this deliciously refreshing twist on the traditional coffee-flavored Italian dessert. Fresh softened berries star with crisp ladyfinger cookies and mascarpone cheese. Serve it from a glass bowl or in clear dishes to show off the luscious layers. —Najmussahar Ahmed, Ypsilanti, Michigan
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No Churn Blueberry Graham Cracker Ice Cream Exps Thjj19 233903 E02 20 10b 1

No-Churn Blueberry Graham Cracker Ice Cream

This sweet and creamy no-churn ice cream features a fresh blueberry jam swirl and graham cracker pieces. You can use raspberries instead of the blueberries for a different berry flavor. —Heather King, Frostburg, Maryland
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Strawberry And Peach Lime Custard Bars Exps Rc21 264531 E09 09 4b

Strawberry and Peach Lime Custard Bars

After I baked, my dad would always find his way to the kitchen and ask if he could try what I made. I enjoyed asking him to taste test different creations, like these bars. He was always ready with a compliment. Other fruits can be arranged over the custard, depending on what’s in season. —Carlin Tou, Chandler, Arizona
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Oklahoma Coconut Poke Cake Exps Ft22 168930 F 0422 1

Oklahoma Coconut Poke Cake

Coconut is the star of this cake. You get a double dose, once in the mixture that soaks into the cake and second with the coconut sprinkled on top. Don’t worry though, it’s a nice flavor treat…it’s not too much coconut. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Greendale, Wisconsin
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Berry-Patch Brownie Pizza

I just love the combination of fruit, almonds and chocolate that makes this brownie so unique. The fruit lightens the chocolate a bit and makes it feel as though you are eating something sinfully healthy. —Sue Kauffman, Columbia City, Indiana
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Strawberry Crunch Ice Cream Cake

While growing up, I loved treats from the ice cream truck that rolled through my neighborhood. This ice cream cake is inspired by one of those crunchy, strawberry novelties. —Lisa Kaminski, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
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Banana Pudding Tart

Here’s a tart version of the classic banana pudding. Use the entire box of vanilla wafers, reserving 1/4 cup to sprinkle on the whipped cream topping. Add chai spice to make it interesting! —Tania Gordon, Chicago, Illinois
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Bomb Pop Cookies

The sound of the ice cream truck has even my husband running out to the curb with money in hand. Our neighborhood has a big potluck on the Fourth of July, so I decided to make cookies that resemble Bomb Pops. These were a big hit! —Darlene Brenden, Salem, Oregon
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Audrey’s Lemon Meringue Bars

We are always trying to find new ways to use the fruit from our lemon tree. My 13-year-old daughter, Audrey, decided to combine two of my lemony favorites: lemon bars and lemon meringue pie. After several intense hours in the kitchen (and warding off her horde of brothers), these delicious lemon meringue bars were born. —Monica Fearnside, Rancho Palos Verdes, California
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Patchwork Quilt Cake

This cake has a great homemade flavor and tender crumb. Be sure to pile on the buttery frosting, which adds a burst of vanilla. And don’t forget to go all out with decorations for 4th of July desserts like this! Taking a little time will make a major impact. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Cherry Fudge Truffle Coconut Cheesecake Exps Tohdj20 241418 B08 01 2b 4

Cherry Fudge Truffle Coconut Cheesecake

Cherries and chocolate come together in this dazzling coconut cheesecake. It’s a holiday showstopper! —Jeanne Holt, Mendota Heights, Minnesota
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Frozen Fruit Whip

A fast finale to any meal is as close as the freezer. Everyone has room for some of this light, refreshing dessert.—Tanya McKay, Wells, Nevada
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Fudgy S'mores Brownies

I combined the perfect summer snack with my favorite brownie recipe to get these s'mores brownies. They're sure to wow at your next big party. —Judy Cunningham, Max, North Dakota
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Creamy Layered Blueberry Ice Pops

These delicious ice pops can also be made with raspberries or blackberries. The rosemary sprig and lemon zest bring another layer of flavor. The pops are quick, easy, kid-friendly and freezable. —Gloria Bradley, Naperville, Illinois
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Vanilla Cream Fruit Tart

It’s well worth the effort to whip up this creamy fruit tart bursting with juicy berries. A friend gave me the recipe, and it always receives rave reviews at gatherings. —Susan Terzakis, Andover, Massachusetts
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Roasted Strawberry Sheet Cake Exps Thjj19 232733  E02 19 4b 58

Roasted Strawberry Sheet Cake

My Grandma Gigi loved summer berry cakes. Almost any time I’d call her during the warmer months, she’d invite me over to taste her latest masterpiece. This cake is a tribute to her. —Kristin Bowers, Rancho Palos Verdes, California
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Berries with Vanilla Custard

What a simple, delectable way to enjoy fresh raspberries. For a change, also try the custard with strawberries or peaches. —Sarah C. Vasques, Milford, New Hampshire
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All-American Pie

With apples, cherries and blueberries, this patriotic slab pie even tastes American. If the day doesn't call for stars and stripes, feel free to use any shaped cookie cutters you like for this awe-inspiring potluck dessert. —James Schend, Culinary Deputy Editor, Taste of Home
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Bourbon Ice Cream

The brown sugar in this decadent bourbon ice cream gives a hint of caramel flavor, which complements the bourbon. When the custard is still liquid, before it goes into the ice cream maker, add more or less bourbon to suite your taste. —Peggy Woodward, Taste of Home Senior Food Editor
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Watermelon Rice Krispie Treats Exps Tohas21 261266 B04 09 4b 14

Watermelon Rice Krispies Treats

Not only do these watermelon Rice Krispies Treats look like your favorite summery fruit, they taste like ’em, too! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Dr Pepper Cake

This is my favorite “go-to” recipe for any time I have to take food anywhere. Everyone loves it. When it is baked in layers rather than in a single layer, it presences will make people say “wow.” It is a crowd-pleaser! —Shannon Parum, Vernon, Texas
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Watermelon Bombe Dessert

When cut, this sherbet dessert looks like an actual watermelon slice—complete with seeds. It is refreshing and fun to eat. —Renae Moncur, Burley, Idaho
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Easy Key Lime Pie

This refreshingly easy Key lime pie is a winner on all counts. It's quick and easy enough to make for a weeknight dessert, but special enough to take to weekend potlucks. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Red Star Cookies

These super stars are plenty sweet and sturdy, making them great for shipping. Slip decorated cookies in stacks of three inside plastic storage bags then rest stacks in disposable plastic containers. Put containers in a cardboard box, then add crumpled newspaper so everything is tightly packed. Seal it with a kiss—or a card. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Pineapple Pudding Cake

My mother used to love making this easy pineapple sunshine cake in the summertime. It’s so cool and refreshing that it never lasts very long! —Kathleen Worden, North Andover, Massachusetts
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Strawberry Jam Cake

When I need a cake for a special occasion, this is my go-to recipe because everyone is crazy about it. Every year I make it for a Relay for Life cake raffle we have at work. It has raised a lot of money for a very good cause. —Tammy Urbina, Warner Robins, Georgia
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Rhubarb Crisp

I found this strawberry rhubarb crisp recipe on a box of Quaker Oats about 20 years ago. It’s quick and easier to make than pie. It’s versatile, too, because you can add strawberries in spring or apples in fall. I usually pop it into the oven shortly before we sit down to eat so it’s still warm for dessert! —C.E. Adams, Charlestown, New Hampshire
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Lemon Coconut Streusel Ice Cream Cake Exps Tohjj20 242458 E02 06 8b 4

Coconut-Lemon Ice Cream Cake

This lemon ice cream cake is a cool treat my family loves anytime, but we find it especially refreshing on a hot summer day. The cream of coconut and lemon juice make a delicious combo, and the streusel adds a nice crunch. You can substitute any crunchy sugar, lemon or coconut cookie in place of the shortbread, as long as each cookie is about 2 inches. —Janet Gill, Canton, Ohio
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4 Ingredient Watermelon Sorbet Exps Fttmz21 32576 E03 05 7b 4

4-Ingredient Watermelon Sorbet

No ice cream maker is needed to make this easy, 4-ingredient watermelon sorbet recipe. We couldn’t keep enough watermelon in the house to keep up with the demand! —Kory Figura, Waverly, Iowa
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Red, White and Blue Dessert

4th of July desserts don’t get more festive than this! —Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
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Peach Blueberry Cobbler

Everyone loves a peach blueberry cobbler. This one is the perfect, scrumptious treat! If you’re taking it to a party, you might want to make another one for yourself. There won’t be leftovers! —Laura Jansen, Battle Creek, Michigan
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Red, White & Blueberry Poke Cake

A sweet treat in the summer, this patriotic poke cake with dazzling red and blue stripes is a fun one to make with the kids. —Elisabeth Schulz, Blossvale, New York
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Frozen Strawberry Dessert

My grandpa gave me many of my grandmother’s and great-grandmother’s recipes, including this frozen strawberry dessert, along with many wonderful stories about them. —Kate Murphy, Union Bay, British Columbia
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Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

After sampling this flavor at an ice cream stand, I kept trying to duplicate it until it was just right. This blueberry cheesecake ice cream is a hit! —Melissa Symington, Neche, North Dakota
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Patriotic Ice Cream Cupcakes

These frosty cupcakes are practically a fireworks display on their own. The little treats feature red velvet cake, blue moon ice cream, a creamy white topping and star-spangled sprinkles. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Banana-Split Blondies

These banana blondies combine all the beloved flavors of your favorite sundae with a warm, gooey bar. —James Schend, Taste of Home Deputy Editor
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Star-Studded Blueberry Pie

Family and friends say this patriotic pie is better than a local favorite from one of our best neighborhood restaurants. Sometimes, I switch things up and use gooseberries for half of the blueberries. —Nancy Barker, Silverton, Oregon
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Upside-Down Strawberry Shortcake

For a tasty twist, this special shortcake has a berry layer on the bottom. The tempting strawberry upside-down cake is a sweet that our family has savored for years. —Debra Falkiner, St. Charles, Missouri
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Banana Split Icebox Cake

One day a friend showed me how to make a traditional icebox cake with just cream and graham crackers. I make it extra special with the fruit. Now everyone at the potluck can have a banana split with no fuss! —Shelly Flye, Albion, Maine
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Coconut Custard

My family always thought baked custard was a treat…and I especially like this coconut custard version. —Ruth Peterson, Jenison, Michigan
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Berry White Ice Pops

Nothing says summer like an ice pop. Kids and adults alike love this fruit-filled version. —Sharon Guinta, Stamford, Connecticut
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Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

Everyone gets a kick out of this fun take on the popular red velvet cake. Take a shortcut and use packaged cream cheese frosting for the filling. —Judi Dexheimer, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin
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Chocolate Bavarian Torte

Whenever I take this eye-catching torte to a potluck, I get so many requests for the recipe. —Edith Holmstrom, Madison, Wisconsin
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Berry & Ganache Cheesecake Bars

I use fresh blueberries and raspberries with chocolate ganache to make cheesecake bars that dare you to walk away. —Carmell Childs, Ferron, Utah
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Strawberry Banana Pudding

I add in additional fruit to get a little closer to all those servings you need every day. You can also try using different flavored puddings and fruit to switch up the recipe. —Jackie Termont, Richmond, Virginia
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Strawberry-Lime Bars

Our family loves fresh strawberries, so I look for different ways to use them. This tempting, yummy dessert has sweet strawberries, tart lime and salty pretzels. —Alexandra Barnett, Forest, Virginia
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Peanut Butter Pudding Pie

This peanut butter pudding pie is pretty enough to serve to company... if your family doesn't get to it first! No one can resist a sweet piece of this creamy chocolate and peanut butter dessert. —Valerie Sisson, Norton, Ohio
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Red, White & Blue Berry Trifle

This luscious trifle tastes best if made the day before serving. Keep additional berries on hand for decoration. —Kaia McShane, Munster, Indiana
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Red, White and Blueberry Pie

This creamy pie gets dressed up with berries to make a showstopping display at any Fourth of July party or summer get-together. It's as pretty as it is tasty! —Kimberly McFarland, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
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Dar's Coconut Cream Pie

When I whip up a toasted coconut cream pie, my family goes wild and the pie vanishes. —Darlene Bartos, Shoreview, Minnesota
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Lemon Chiffon Blueberry Dessert

This cool and creamy no-bake dessert is perfect for hot summer days. I sometimes replace raspberries for half of the blueberries to make it look more patriotic. —Jodie Cederquist, Muskegon, Michigan
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Juicy Cherry Pie

Lucky you! Tart, or sour, cherry season is in the heart of summer. Choose fresh tart cherries that are bright in color, shiny and plump. They should feel relatively firm when pressed lightly. —Karen Berner, New Canaan, Connecticut
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Mama S Blackberry Cobbler Exps Sdfm19 231715 B10 10 8b 36

Blackberry Cobbler Recipe

Alabama has some tasty fresh blackberries. Decades ago, my mama was heading out to pick blackberries to make a cobbler, but she ended up going to the hospital to have me instead. This is her mama’s blackberry cobbler recipe. The blackberries start on top, but then end up tucked under a golden brown crust after it’s baked. —Lisa Allen, Joppa, Alabama

Try our blueberry cobbler, too!

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Red, White 'n' Blue Salad

Our striking "flag" salad drew plenty of attention at our Independence Day party. The shimmering stripes are formed with distinctive gelatin layers. It makes you want to salute before spooning some up! —Laurie Neverman, Green Bay, Wisconsin
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Blueberry Lattice Bars Exps Hca18 19073 C05 19 6b 4

Blueberry Lattice Bars

Since our area has an annual blueberry festival, my daughters and I are always looking for amazing new recipes to enter in the cooking contest. These lovely bars won a blue ribbon one year. —Debbie Ayers, Baileyville, Maine
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Watermelon Slice Cookies

Once when I made these butter cookies for a party, a neighbor thought they were so attractive that she froze one to show friends. They're easy to make, too! —Sue Ann Benham, Valparaiso, Indiana
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Chocolate Pudding Pizza Exps Bdsmz17 11608 C03 02 3b 7

Chocolate Pudding Pizza

My sister Brenda and I made up this recipe while talking on the phone! My family loved the classic pairing of chocolate and peanut butter presented in a whole new way. —LaDonna Reed, Ponca City, Oklahoma
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S'mores Crispy Bars

My aunt always brought s’mores-style bars to our family's summer cottage. Plain or frosted, they’re perfect for eating on the run. —Betsy King, Duluth, Minnesota
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Crispy Star Pops

These patriotic pops are a hit at our annual Fourth of July get-together. Serve them as an after-picnic dessert. Or slip them into cellophane bags, tie on ribbons and give them as favors. —Colleen Sturma, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Grandma's Star Cookies

Grandma's Star Cookies

My husband's grandma would make these butter cutouts only with a star cookie cutter. I use various shapes for celebrations throughout the year. —Jenny Brown, West Lafayette, Indiana
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Lime Cheesecake Pie Exps Ft22 10101 F 0517 1

Lime Cheesecake Pie

“This light citrus pie combines two of our favorite dessert flavors – lime and cheesecake,” reports Vivian Eagleson of Cumming, Georgia. “It’s the perfect treat on a hot day – and all the more inviting because you don’t have to heat up the kitchen to prepare it.”
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S'mOreos

My son introduced us to this twist on classic s'mores when we were camping. Have a jar of Nutella around? Slather on the inside of the graham cracker halves before you build this one-of-a-kind treat. —Christina Smith, Santa Rosa, California
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Berries & Cream Torte

It's so easy to see why this fruity dessert always impresses dinner guests. I sometimes substitute the berries with sliced bananas.—Tina Sawchuk, Ardmore, Alberta
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Watermelon Sorbet

Summertime and watermelon go hand in hand. My melon sorbet is fresh, fruity and without the gluten and eggs you get in many other frozen desserts. —Rachel Lewis, Danville, Virginia
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Strawberry Pretzel Salad

Need to bring a dish to pass this weekend? This make-ahead strawberry pretzel salad will disappear quickly at any potluck. —Aldene Belch, Flint, Michigan
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Red, White ‘n’ Blue Torte

My guests see fireworks when I turn a frozen pound cake into a patriotic pleaser! Assemble this 4th of July dessert early in the day and keep it in the refrigerator until it’s time to enjoy. —Margery Bryan, Moses Lake, Washington
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Star-Spangled Lemon Icebox Pie

With a little chill time, my no-bake lemon pie turns into a potluck superstar. My kids like to arrange the berries in a patriotic pattern. —Lauren Katz, Ashburn, Virginia

Lara Eucalano
Lara is a writer, editor and gardener who loves to cook almost as much as she loves to eat. She will absolutely hop on a plane in search of good food!
Lisa Kaminski
Lisa is an editor at Taste of Home where she gets to embrace her passion for baking. She pours this love of all things sweet (and sometimes savory) into Bakeable, Taste of Home's baking club. Lisa is also dedicated to finding and testing the best ingredients, kitchen gear and home products for our Test Kitchen-Preferred program. At home, you'll find her working on embroidery and other crafts.