If you need a July 4th dessert quick, fast, and in a hurry we got you covered. Take advantage of store-bought items to make dazzling desserts in a matter of minutes instead of hours.
Sparkling Ice Cream Floats with Berries
Credit: Kelsey Hansen; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners

It’s the night before the cookout and you suddenly remember you signed up to bring the dessert that you haven’t made yet... or even thought about. We’ve all been there. If you’re short on time and need a dessert on the quick, it’s A-OK cut a few corners with store-bought items. If you do it right, you’ll still end up with a truly made-from-scratch look and taste. Not to mention, you can and should definitely take advantage of berry season and the availability of tropical fruits to add natural sweetness and vibrant colors to your treats. The following spirited summer desserts can be assembled at rapid speed and will make you look like you had a plan all along.

Sparkling Ice Cream Floats with Berries

Swap out the root beer for sweet bubbly rosé in this reimagined ice cream float. Fresh blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries weave through the ice cream to create a berry-tastic collage of colors. Once you pop the rosé, assemble the floats on site for made-to-order dessert service.

Rose Petal-White Chocolate Bark

Rose Petal-White Chocolate Bark image
Rose Petal-White Chocolate Bark image
| Credit: Whitney Ott; Food Styling: Mary-Claire Britton; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Rose Petal-White Chocolate Bark image Photo: Whitney Ott; Food Styling: Mary-Claire Britton; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Almost too pretty to eat, edible rose petals and roasted pistachios adorn this white chocolate bark with red, pink, and green hues. Zap the white chocolate in the microwave for melting within a minute. Spread it, sprinkle it with goodies, and you’re almost ready to go. (Seriously, it’s almost magical on how soon the white chocolate sets back up into a solid bark). Feel free to also use milk or dark chocolate as a substitute if you’d prefer.

Mini Strawberry Shortcakes


Booze up your strawberries with a splash of amaretto liquor with this insanely quick take on strawberry shortcakes. Instead of traditional biscuit shortcakes, lady finger cookies (which are perfect to soak up the boozy berry juices) are layered with sweet, whipped mascarpone cheese, and your macerated amaretto strawberries. You can arrange the 3 layers of this treat in a large serving bowl and let people dig in or make individual portions.

Cheesecake Sandwiches

Cheesecake Sandwiches
Credit: Hector Sanchez Styling: Caroline Cunningham

Take the guess work out of baking cheesecake and opt for a speedy, and rather adorable, cheesecake finger sandwich instead. Fluffy cream cheese and fresh tart raspberries are smashed between two chocolate wafters for a handheld creamy delight.



Spruce up this classic dessert with a display the season’s best fruit pickings. Roughly crumble store bought pound cake to build alternate layers with feathery whipped cream and fresh fruit. This might be one of the prettiest desserts you’ll make this summer, and it doesn’t require any oven time or measuring spoons. #winning

Easy Ice Cream Cake

Easy Ice Cream Cake
Credit: Marcus Nilsson

Turn ordinary store bought ice cream sandwiches into a decadent layered cake. The whipped cream acts as an icing that glues the sandwiches together and develops an ice cream-like texture itself when frozen. Chop up your favorite chocolate candy and sprinkle on top for an impressive finish.

By Briana Riddock and Briana Riddock