How To Spruce Up Any Cheesecake For Your 4th Of July Festivities

strawberry cheesecake with American flags
strawberry cheesecake with American flags - Roman_studio/Shutterstock

The 4th of July is cause for celebration as we ring in the birth of our independent nation with fireworks, gatherings, and a much-awaited spread of all our favorite American dishes. While burgers, hot dogs, barbecue, and an assortment of pasta and creamy potato salads cover your savory bases, no spread is complete without dessert. With a creamy decadent texture and sweet, tangy flavor that's best served chilled, cheesecake is the perfect dessert for Independence Day. A cold slice of luxurious cheesecake is a special treat on a hot summer night, and no-bake recipes will save you from turning on your oven.

Plus, its milky-white batter gets you a third of the way to the patriotic color scheme that no 4th of July bash should go without. After all, red, white, and blue aren't just for bathing suits, snow cones, and bomb pops. There are plenty of ingredients and methods to make your cheesecake a work of patriotic art, and we're here to give you all the ideas! Whether you're looking for simple, easy-to-execute ideas or a challenging new recipe to try, read on for a wide variety of ways you can spruce up any cheesecake for your 4th of July festivities.

Read more: Styles Of Regional BBQ In The US

Use Summer Fruit For Fresh Decorations

no bake cheesecake decorated with strawberries and blueberries
no bake cheesecake decorated with strawberries and blueberries - Carey Jaman/Shutterstock

Take advantage of the seasonal bounty of berries and stone fruit to complete the American flag color scheme by using fresh blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, concord grapes, and cherries. Fresh fruit provides the brightest color scheme and a pop of juiciness to complement the richness of a cheesecake, and you can cut and arrange fresh fruit in many creative ways.

You can mimic the format of the American flag using blueberries and strawberries or raspberries by arranging the red fruit in horizontal rows with a blueberry studded rectangle in the left corner. A recipe for ricotta cheesecake becomes a start with a fresh berry topping, making it 4th of July-ready. If you're making a New York-style cheesecake with glazed strawberries, you can swap half the strawberries for blackberries or concord grapes to make a checkered red and blue pattern. Use maraschino or Luxardo cherries to save yourself the trouble of pitting fresh cherries, creating circular spirals with blueberries or concord grapes.

You can also make edible flower bouquets or star shapes with all the different types of fruit for a more elegant approach. Use muffin tins or premade mini pie crusts to make individual cheesecakes, so you can top each one with a different arrangement of red and blue fruit.

Get Creative With Sprinkles, Candy, And Cookies

red, white and blue pinwheel cookies
red, white and blue pinwheel cookies - Katarzyna Hurova/Shutterstock

Just as the candy industry revolves around holidays like Halloween and Valentine's Day, they also pump out a wide range of cookies, candy, sprinkles, and more in various shades of red, white, and blue. Head to the candy or baking aisle at a grocery or drugstore, and you'll find all the decorations your 4th of July cheesecake needs.

M&Ms, Jelly Belly, Candy Corn, Nerds, and numerous brands of gummy candies offer red, white, and blue options to sprinkle over your cake or form into any number of patriotic symbols. You could use blue raspberry and cherry-flavored dum-dums or blow-pops, pressing them stick-first into the top of the cheesecake to anchor them in.

Sprinkles and edible glitter are easy and affordable ingredients to decorate your cake. You can reward your kids with the task of raining red and blue sprinkles over the top, using cookie cutters to help form shapes. Fold red and blue sprinkles into the batter for a patriotic twist on Funfetti cheesecake.

If cookies are more your style, peruse the bakery section of the grocery store for freshly baked cookie packages. You'll find buttery sugar cookies dotted with red and blue sprinkles, M&Ms, and frosting that you can arrange on top of your cake. Look for (or make!) red and blue-hued French macarons to create a crunchy and colorful border around the cake's perimeter. Use red, white, and blue pinwheel cookies as a border for a glazed no-bake cheesecake.

Colorful Glazes, Preserves, And Whipped Creams

strawberry cheesecake slice with berry glaze and blueberry topping
strawberry cheesecake slice with berry glaze and blueberry topping - Enez Selvi/Getty Images

If you're looking for a fun challenge, consider making colorful glazes and whipped cream to drizzle, pipe, or pour over your cheesecake. Glazes can be as basic or elaborate as you like. You can use fruit to color and flavor your glazes naturally or simply add a few drops of food coloring to a basic blend of powdered sugar, milk, and maybe some butter. If you're an experienced baker, try a mirror glaze made with gelatin sheets and red and blue food dye to pour over the entire cake for a show-stopping presentation.

Strawberry, raspberry, and blueberry glazes often contain fruit preserves like jellies or jams that reduce over the stove. You can skip the reduction and use just the fruit preserves, making dollops and using a knife to drag their edges into elegant shapes.

Whipped cream is a decadent, light, and super easy decoration ingredient to pipe onto your cheesecake. Add a drop or two of blue and red food coloring to heavy cream and confectionsioner's sugar in two separate bowls before whisking, then add each colored cream to separate piping bags. Let the metal piping tips handle the work from there. You could also stuff your piping bags with melted colored chocolates to draw shapes or write patriotic phrases on top of your cake.

Coloring The Batter And Cheesecake Hybrids

slice of cheescake and cake hybrid on a beige plate
slice of cheescake and cake hybrid on a beige plate - CM_S/Shutterstock

Cheesecake's white batter is a blank canvas for imparting colors and layering, swirling, or otherwise shaping into a red-white-and-blue masterpiece. If you've ever made a rainbow cake, the same methodology applies. You can make your cheesecake batter according to the recipe you use, and then divide the batter into three different bowls. Add red and blue food coloring to two respective bowls, mixing to create colored batters. You can then layer the batter, using a spatula to smooth each color before baking.

If you're using a no-bake cheesecake recipe, use a transparent glass dish so that guests can see each colorful layer. Another avenue would be to layer the dyed cheesecake batter over a graham cracker or cookie crust in lined muffin tins before freezing everything to help it set, so you'll have colorful individual cheesecake cupcakes.

Lastly, you can make a hybrid cheesecake cake with both cake crumb and cheesecake layers. Make a multi-level cake, sandwiching the white cheesecake batter between two layers of red and blue-hued cake batter. You can divide and color boxed white cake mix batter to facilitate the recipe.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.