I am patriotic to my core. So we celebrate in a big way for holidays like the 4th of July and Memorial Day. One of my favorite 4th of July dessert recipes is this strawberry cheesecake parfait. I love how it is no bake (because let’s be honest… it is HOT this time of the year and who wants to turn on their oven, unless it is absolutely necessary?!) Plus, this 4th of July dessert is perfect for kids to make. My eight year old, Hannah, made this completely on her own for us this year! We will even discuss how you can turn this recipe into a hand strengthening activity for your kids!
Cooking Classes for Kids
We are having so much fun doing cooking classes for kids this week! Don’t forget to check out our shopping list for all of the items you will need for our virtual cooking classes for kids. Also, join our Facebook group to see our live classes and follow us on Pinterest, so you won’t miss a thing! You definitely need to follow Hannah at Inspired Sparks too, because in a little bit, she will post an awesome video to teach kids how to make this 4th of July dessert! Here are the links for the other cooking classes we have done thus far, in case you missed any:
- Tortilla Pizza (SUCH a staple in our house!)
- Brigadeiros (Brazillian Fudge Balls)
- How to Make Edible Slime (including a pb & slime sandwich for lunch!)
- Bread in a Bag Recipe
4th of July Dessert Ingredients
Here is the list of ingredients that you need to make these strawberry cheesecake parfaits. It is a very forgiving recipe, so if you want to substitute graham cracker crumbs for vanilla wafers, go for it! If you only have strawberries or blueberries, that is fine too. Love bananas? Add them right in! Not a fan of vanilla instant pudding? It tastes AMAZING with white chocolate, banana or cheesecake flavored pudding too!
- 24 vanilla wafers
- 1.5 cups blueberries and strawberries
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 1.5 cups milk
- 1 package (3.4 oz) vanilla instant pudding
- 1.5 cups Cool Whip (thawed!)
- parfait glasses (or clear plastic cups)
Strawberry Cheesecake Parfait Recipe
Here are the steps for making this 4th of July dessert that is the perfect combination of creamy, crunchy, tart and sweet! We doubled the recipe, because we are a family of six and plan to have several 4th of July celebrations over the long weekend! One recipe makes around 8 servings, depending on how large your parfait glasses are.
1. Place your cream cheese on the counter until it is soft
There is nothing worse than a lumpy parfait! In order for the cream cheese to whip up beautifully, you want to start off with a softened block of cream cheese.
2. Use a mixer to beat the cream cheese in a large bowl until creamy
Both a hand mixer and a stand mixer work perfectly well. The most important thing is to make sure that you beat the cream cheese until it has absolutely no lumps.
3. Slowly add in your milk
Continue beating your cream cheese while gradually adding your milk. Don’t forget to stop every so often to scrape the sides of your bowl with a spatula!
4. Add the pudding powder & keep mixing
To be super clear, you should NOT make the pudding according to the directions on the box! Just add the pudding powder into your bowl directly! Then, continue mixing your cheesecake filling. You will notice that it starts to thicken.
5. Fold in the Cool Whip
Incorporate the Cool Whip into the cheesecake mix by folding it in with a spatula.
6. Crush the vanilla wafers
You can crush the vanilla wafers with a food processor, but who wants to clean up another thing in the kitchen?! Plus, kids love to crush up cookies! Just put the vanilla wafers in a Ziploc bag. Hand your kids a can from the pantry and tell them to gently crush the cookies! Make sure that they do the “crushing” on a surface that can take the impact without damaging it though!
7. Rinse your berries & slice the strawberries
Make sure to rinse your blueberries and strawberries well. I STRONGLY recommend getting plastic kids knives and letting your kids cut up the strawberries on their own. It is such a good life skill and gives them a great sense of independence, without you worrying about them cutting their fingers off! Our kids have been using these knives since they were 2 or 3 years old… best kitchen investment for kids, hands down!
8. Layer your berry cheesecake parfait into your glasses
Alternate between the cheesecake filling, the vanilla wafers and the strawberries and blueberries. My kids LOVE this part!!!
Before we get into why I HIGHLY suggest that your kids use piping tips, let’s take a look at the final 4th of July dessert that Hannah made!
She was super excited to do a pre-4th of July taste test! Look at how perfect this will look at a 4th of July picnic or bbq!!!
Tip #1: Build Hand Strength with Piping Tips
Having strong hand strength is important for kids writing skills. So I absolutely love recipes where you can incorporate piping tips, because squeezing piping bags is great for building hand strength! If you don’t have piping bags, that is totally fine! You can use a gallon size Ziploc bag and cut a tiny bit off of the corner. Just don’t cut off too much, because you want a snug fit on the piping tip’s coupler. Here is what our piping setup looked like, using a Ziploc bag.
Tip #2: Make in Advance
You can make the cheesecake filling in advance, and keep it in the fridge for a couple of days. However, don’t assemble the parfaits until a few hours before you are ready to serve the 4th of July dessert.
How Did Your 4th of July Dessert Turn Out?
Be sure to let us know how your strawberry cheesecake parfait turns out, by posting a photo of your 4th of July dessert in our Facebook Group, and don’t forget to follow us on Pinterest and Hannah at Inspired Sparks (she will have a step-by-step video up shortly!)