This year, make your 4th of July extra special by whipping up a few festive appetizers, snacks and desserts. From red, white and blue dips to wow-worthy cookies and cakes, we’ve gathered up a bunch of dishes to take your Independence Day to the next level. Keep reading to let the fun begin.

Patriotic Push Pop Cake

For an adorable dessert that won’t require you to turn on the oven, you’ve got to make these push pop cakes from Love from the Oven. With some store-bought pound cake and colorful frosting, they’ll come together in no time. Click here to get all the details.

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American Flag Cheese Plate

Get inspired by The Kitchen Prep to make a festive cheese plate for your 4th of July bash. It’s easy to customize it to fit your family’s tastes, and makes a delicious appetizer before your barbecued feast. Get the scoop on how it’s made by clicking here.

Patriotic White Chocolate Pretzels

Get the kiddos involved in making these fun chocolate-covered pretzels from Beyond the Chicken Coop. They’ll love decorating each one with a splash of sprinkles. Click here to get the recipe.

Flag Parmesan Garlic Chip Dip

We’re obsessed with this dip idea from The Creative Bite—cutest appetizer ever! Pair blue corn chips with a garlic parmesan dip and cherry tomatoes, and you’ve got a flag-inspired appetizer that your whole crew will love. To get the recipe, click here.

Patriotic Cake Cookies

These cookies from Tuxedo Cats and Coffee are everything we want from a 4th of July dessert: easy, delicious, and pretty. They’re made using cake mix, so you don’t have to be a baking expert to pull this one off. Click here to grab the recipe.

4th of July Cake

We’re gaga for this uber-creative cake. It’s colorful, fruit-ful, and doesn’t require any fancy cake pans—really! Now that’s what we call a show-stopping July 4th dessert. Find out how to carve your own country over at Jacks & Kate.

No Bake Triple Berry Crisp

Whip up a fabulous Independence Day dessert without ever turning on your oven! It's totally possible with this simple no-bake crisp that uses the season's freshest berries. For the full recipe, visit Get Inspired Everyday.

Red White and Blueberry Cheesecake Bars

These creamy, patriotic cheesecake bars are the perfect way to set the July 4th mood. They feature Greek yogurt, fun fruit flavors and even a graham cracker crust! Get the whole delish scoop at Well Plated.

July 4th Toast

Ready for a brilliant 4th of July breakfast? We’re loving how this idea is super easy to pull off but totally tasty and festive. Bonus points: you probably have all the ingredients ready to go. You can learn more (and even get a recipe for honey wheat bread) at Real & Quirky.

Dessert Nachos

Nachos for dessert? We’re in! Especially if it involves coconut cream, fresh fruit, and homemade tortilla chips. (Did we mention there’s minimal baking? Score!) Head to The Scrumptious Pumpkin for the full how-to.

Vegan Watermelon Cake

Looking for a 4th of July dessert that’s vegan, low-calorie, gluten-free and totally wow-worthy? You’re in luck, because this watermelon cake fits the red, white and blue bill! Learn how to make your own (it's easy!) at Abbey’s Kitchen.

Greek Yogurt Breakfast Bark

If you’ve got a full Independence Day schedule, you need to check out this breakfast you can take on the go. It’s simple to whip up and a healthy way to balance out all that barbecue you’ll be eating. Get the recipe at Go Eat & Repeat.

Patriotic Pancake Stacks

Serve up the breakfast of July 4th champions with this perfect pancake idea. Think: kid-sized pancake stacks, fresh berries and a healthy dollop of whip cream. Yum! Get the full scoop at Modern Parents Messy Kids.

Vanilla Cream Fruit Tart

We love how this fruit tart is equal parts sweet and creamy. (Psst! The crust uses coconut oil, which adds an extra dose of delicious flavor.) Visit Homemade Food Junkie for the full recipe details.

Patriotic Mocktail

We're awarding major points to this drink for having a patriotic presentation AND being completely kid-friendly. Now that's something we can all toast to! Get the whole how-to at The Merry Thought.

Brownie Flag

This sweet recipe couldn't be easier (hint: the prep time is only 15 minutes!). You can even make the brownies from a store-bought mix. Get the full lowdown on this jaw-dropping idea at Spicy Southern Kitchen.

Savory Bacon and Balsamic Watermelon Salad

This recipe isn't just a tongue-twister...it's also ultra-delicious and packs a sweet and tangy punch. Plus, it'll add a little something different to your July 4th spread. For the full how-to, hop on over to Simple Roots Wellness.

Cheesecake Popsicles

Give the traditional popsicle a 4th of July makeover! This idea has granita-like fruit layers and a rich cheesecake center you won't be able to resist. For the full rundown, visit The Midnight Baker.

Watermelon Star Bites

Do as we say: put down the melon baller. These star bites burst with flavor and will be a hit at your July 4th BBQ. Bonus: it's easy to get your kids involved in making this treat. Hop on over to Weelicious for the easy instructions.

Flag Candy-Coated Pretzels

These treats are a little salty, a little sweet and great to munch on between backyard games. We dare you to stop at one. Thanks to Poca Cosa for sharing these awesome patriotic treats.

Red, White and Blueberry Salad

Give your standard caprese salad a blueberry upgrade. Remember: if you're short on time before your big BBQ you can always prep the ingredients in advance. Get the full recipe over at the food blog, Shared Appetite.

Kettle Corn

Major pops, errr...props to Food Pusher for this easy July 4th themed kettle corn. Simply pop your popcorn like you normally would and add food coloring. Voila! You've got yourself a bag of patriotic bite-sized treats.

White Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries

The kiddies will love making strawberries patriotic by dipping them in white chocolate and then blue sprinkles. Just create a dipping station assembly line and let 'em loose. Check out The Sister's Cafe to find out how to make these delectable treats.

Watermelon and Blueberry Salad with Feta

This refreshing salad only takes 15 minutes to make but the result is totally memorable. The full recipe can be found at the food blog Wholesomelicious.

Patriotic Quinoa Salad

If your cuties are crazy for quinoa, you need to add this colorful recipe to your 4th of July menu. It's got strawberries, blueberries, citrus dressing and a protein punch for all those 4th of July adventures. Get the recipe over at It’s Yummi.

Independence Punch

4th of July games can build up quite a thirst! This patriotic punch uses cranberry juice, your favorite blue-colored sports drink, sparkling water (or a diet clear soda) and ice. Check out the recipe (and quench everyone's thirst) at Big Bear's Wife.

Red, White and Blue Trifles

Here’s the lowdown on this oh-so-pretty trifle: it’s got angel food cake squares, fresh blueberries and a fresh cherry sauce that’s easy to make. And if you want to top it all off with a dollop of freshly whipped cream? Well, we wouldn’t blame you at all. Boulder Locavore has the full trifle scoop, so click on over ASAP.

Grilled Chicken with Red & Blue(berry) Salsa

Get your grill on this Independence Day with this fun recipe that features festive salsa! Pro tip: If you don't feel like chicken, the salsa works well with grilled fish, too. To expand your grill horizons, head on over to An Edible Mosaic.

Double Berry Puff Pancake

Fact: It’s impossible to resist something that’s part pancake, part summer berry explosion. We can’t settle the debate about the best topping (whipped cream? powdered sugar? honey?), but we can guarantee that there will be no leftovers. Get the sweet how-to from Recipe Girl.

Flag Pizza

We can’t think of a better, cheesier way to celebrate Independence Day than with a pizza shaped like Old Glory. You can even make your pie extra veggie-centric for a healthy win-win dinner. Take a cue from My Judy the Foodie and grab a slice.

Red, White & Blue Potato Salad

Potato salad is pretty much a requirement at any 4th of July picnic, but why not give this classic dish its own patriotic twist? With the help of some colorful spuds and a drizzle of olive oil, you can whip this up in no time. Get inspired to make your own over at Proud Italian Cook.

— Abigail Matsumoto

Feature photo: Christi Johnstone via Flickr Patriotic recipes