Restaurant News & Reviews

Best easy desserts to make for a July 4 potluck

Grace Hiegel shows a Berry Shortcake from Pure Bliss Desserts in Bellingham.
Grace Hiegel shows a Berry Shortcake from Pure Bliss Desserts in Bellingham.

An Independence Day potluck is the quintessential American party. Hot dogs, hamburgers, potato salad, cole slaw, corn on the cob. You’re invited — and you’re assigned to bring dessert.

“If I were bringing a dessert from here, I would say our berry shortcake,” said Megan Mowry, manager at Pure Bliss Deserts in Bellingham. “It’s one of our more popular treats. We use local, fresh berries. It’s not heavy or dense, which is what you look for in the summer.”

Mowry herself, though, might bake petite cupcakes. “They’re small, about the size of a golf ball, so you’re not committed to an entire slice — it’s a great bite,” Mowry said.

Alternately, she’d toss a batch of oatmeal-butterscotch cookies in the oven.

“Those are my favorite,” she said. “It’s a pretty simple recipe. I just use the one on the package (of butterscotch morsels). “I like that it’s not overly sweet, and the oatmeal gives it a chewy factor.”

Want to whip something up yourself? Try these suggestions, from local residents who responded to inquiries on Facebook and Twitter:

Snickers Salad

“I have no idea how to make it, but it’s always there and ... it’s amazing,” wrote Ingrid Patrick of Cain Lake.

No worries, Ingrid. has you covered.

Fruit Pizza

Fruit Pizza with blueberries, strawberries and cream cheese frosting to make a flag! It’s the best and I should know with a Fourth of July kid,” said Heather Rockney Stevenson of Sudden Valley. She bakes a simple sugar cookie dough on a pizza pan and adds the toppings after the cookie has cooled.

Berry Graham-Cracker Cake

“It’s just three layers of graham crackers with three layers of fresh whipped cream, and then I add blueberries and strawberries in an American flag design,” said Mojan Sami of Bellingham. “After settling in the refrigerator overnight, it is perfectly moist and delicious. The recipe is easy and light enough for summer.”

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

“It’s basically my childhood in a dish,” said Sabrina Yarsley of Sudden Valley, who uses her aunt’s recipe. Try it yourself with directions at or watch the video at Natasha’s Kitchen.

Robert Mittendorf: 360-715-2805,, @bhamMitty