Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Last minute 4th of July dessert: No bake flag cake cups!

I know I'm cutting things close, but I've got one more recipe for you to consider adding to your party menu for tomorrow or,  heck, anytime this summer.  You might want to sit down for this one.  Because the overload of cuteness and sweetness might knock you on your behind.

No bake individual flag cake cups!

I know, right?!

I just can't.  Seriously, guys.  I don't know if I have the words or composure to write about this dessert in coherant sentences not flooded with words like cute, adorable, tiny, and best ever.  So, I'm not going to make any promises.  Here goes nothin'!

Juicy ripe strawberries and fresh tart blueberries layered with freshly whipped, lightly sweetened cream and the most squeal-worthy petite cookies you've ever seen.

Basically, all the flavors you know and love from traditional flag cake but in a portable and miniature form.

Every year since I've known Matt, he's asked for flag cake.  And by asked, I mean begged.  His first request usually comes at the first mention of Memorial Day.  From there, he'll mention flag cake at least once a week and certainly every time I bring up making dessert.  The kid doesn't give up the fight until after Labor Day, though he'll voice an occasional plea sometime during the winter months when berries are so, so out of season.

Over and over, I've told him that while I also love flag cake, I most certainly will not make a massive 9-by-13-inch dessert for just the two of us.  When your husband constantly reminds you that he has no self-control in the presence of his favorite foods, you do what you can to minimize damage and a sure sugar coma.  #wifeoftheyear

But, before his cries grew too loud to ignore, I was one step ahead of him this season.  I figured out a way to have our cake and eat it (in moderation), too.

Traditional flag cake usually starts with a homemade yellow cake.  Instead, I wanted to make a version that didn't require a hot oven or cutting up a cake and making a mess.

Channeling my no-oven motto of previous summers, I thought of the chocolate wafer icebox cake I made for my birthday last year.  Sweetened whipped cream layered with thin chocolate cookies.  After a few hours in the fridge, the cookies become soft and velvety smooth, almost like an Oreo dunked in milk.  I applied the same principle to my one serving flag cakes with fantastic results!

Oh, and I can't even begin to put into words how excited Matt was to have surprise flag cake for dessert.

The cookies softened just as I imagined they would, from the whipped cream and the moisture from the fruit.  They were so soft that just a little pressure from a spoon was enough to slice cleanly through the cookies.  Soft like buttah!

I could eat this dessert every day for the rest of summer.  It's perfect sweet and refreshing without being heavy.  And there's something so special about having your very own dessert, right?  Like telling yourself, "Hey, you there.  This is just for you.  No sharing required."  Why, thank you, self!  Although, it'd be mighty kind of you to make a bunch of these to make family and friends feel super special, too.  They'll love you for it.

The sweetest part about this recipe besides the delicious dessert?  It took almost no time at all to assemble.  So, you're free to use the last hours before the party begins to devote all your energy into making a stellar 4th of July party playlist.  Probably the only time Miley Cyrus and Neil Diamond will be mentioned in the same sentence, well, basically ever.  God bless America, y'all! :)  Have a safe, happy, and sweet Independence Day!

One year ago: Butterfinger caramel bars
Two years ago: Watermelon, arugula, goat cheese salad with balsamic glaze
Three years ago: Pizzeria chicken foil packets

No Bake Flag Cake Cups
(an original recipe!)
-makes 2

A few notes: Feel free to take a shortcut and use store-bought whipped cream or another whipped topping, if you like.  Also, while I can't imagine any reason you'd want to forego buying miniature cookies, full size vanilla wafers, whole or broken up, or even graham crackers would work well, too.  For a chocolate twist, try these wafers.

8 strawberries, hulled and cut into smaller pieces (about 4 per cup)
1/2 cup blueberries (about 1/4 cup per glass)
1/2 cup heavy cream, chilled
1 Tablespoon powdered sugar
25-30 Mini Nilla wafers

In the bottom of a small wide glass, place some strawberries and blueberries, about 1-inch high.  Dollop roughly 2 Tablespoons of whipped cream and smooth to cover.  Place mini wafers in single layer over whipped cream (however many it takes to cover most of cream without overlapping).  Repeat berries, whipped cream, and wafers layer once more.  Finish by topping with remaining berries.  Cover glass with plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours or up to 1 day.  Serve and enjoy!


  1. Thanks for the inspiration! We've included your recipe into our list of 150+ Delicious 4th of July Dessert Recipes.

    Happy 4th of July! :)