Have you started planning for your July 4th parties? Every year I dream of making desserts that are totally holiday-themed, but I rarely succeed in actually making something. This year, I decided to test drive a few desserts in the weeks coming up to the 4th, so I’d know exactly what I wanted to make for that day. This weekend I made a cheesecake in the shape of the flag!
This dessert is so easy for anyone – even if you’re not a great baker. The top is slightly time consuming, but you can simplify a few of the steps I did them (like using canned whipped cream instead of fresh) to make it a bit quicker. The cheesecake can be made the night before, which also makes it easier if you’re short on time.
Here’s the recipe, and photos, step by step, along with some shortcuts!
I used the easiest cheesecake recipe on earth, that I’ve seen one million places:
- 1 stick butter, melted
- 1 1/2 – 1 3/4 cups Graham Cracker crumbs
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 4 8 oz. packages cream cheese (full fat, please.)
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla (I used a little extra!)
For the Crust:
Mix in the butter and sugar, and spread along the bottom of a Pyrex rectangular pan. (I THINK its a little smaller than 13×9. It’s the standard size one!)
Next, using a stand or hand mixer, mix the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. It’ll take a bit for the cream cheese to become really soft, so its best to use a stand mixer and just let it mix for a few minutes. You want it to become very, very soft, so you can pour it out. After a few minutes, add in the 4 eggs. Continue mixing.
Pour it into the Pyrex, on top of the Graham Cracker Crumbs:
Bake on 325 degrees for about 45 – 48 minutes. Check it after 40 minutes, just in case your oven is hotter than mine. It should be a bit light brown along the sides, but cooked in the middle.
Let cool, and then chill. Preferably overnight.
For the decoration:
I decided to use strawberries, blueberries, and homemade whipped cream for the colors, but blackberries and raspberries and cool whip, or canned whip cream would also work, if you like those better.
I was worried about the fruit sliding all over – not sticking to the cake. So I first blended a few blueberries with a little bit of honey. Looking back, this could likely be skipped – you could probably JUST put blueberries down in this section.
I first spread this mixture down on the part that would be covered with blueberries – the Stars portion of the flag. Then I covered it with blueberries.
Then I layered strawberries on top:
Finally, we made some fresh whipped cream using this fancy whipped cream maker my mother had got me. You could also use canned, cool whip, or make whipped cream with hand beaters, and lay it in the stripes. We didn’t add any sugar, we just used heavy cream. This part is really up to however you like your whipped cream!
And that’s it! We have a flag shaped cheesecake! Perfect to take to a party.
The whipped cream on ours got a little messed up because it was the first time we were using our new tool, but next time it will be perfect!
For those worried about cooking cheesecake in a glass pan instead of a spring form, don’t worry – it cooked perfect! You can’t take it out of the dish, though, that’s the only downside. You just have to be comfortable serving it in here.