American Flag Dessert: 4th of July Candy Board

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Updated 2021. This is a fun take on a traditional 4th of July flag cake—you know…the kind with a whipped cream topping and berries laid out to create a flag. Those are cute and all, but if it’s too hot to turn your oven this year (which, who are we kidding, it probably will be), here’s a super easy, oven-less dessert option that’s just as cute and festive. I’d opt for the candy version any day, but if you’re not hankering for something super sweet, try my Red White and Burrata Appetizer Board, Bring Your Own Hot Dog Board, or Proud to Brie an American Board!

American Flag dessert

How To Style Your Flag

Okay, first thing’s first, to really get a true visual of a flag, it’s best to use a rectangle board (instead of a round or square one). Then, to distinguish the blue star section from the stripes, I placed a square platter, on the top left-hand corner of the board, that measures approximately one-third the width. It just helps keep everything separate, especially as guests start to graze. Here is a link to the one I used from World Market. And here’s a similar one from Crate&Barrel.

Ingredients

Red

  • Heart Gummies
  • Red Butterfly Gummies
  • Red Rock Candy
  • Red Lip Gummies
  • Red Licorice Ropes
  • Red and White Sour Gummy Skulls
  • Red Gummy Bears, optional

White

  • Yogurt Covered Pretzels
  • White Chocolates with Red and White Sprinkles

Blue

  • Blue Sour Gummy Tape
  • Blue Gummy Bears
  • Blue and White Sour Gummy Rings

Directions

  • First, add a square dish to the top left corner of a large, rectangular board.
  • Working from the top of the board (to the right of the square dish), add a single line of gummy hearts that reaches the right edge of the board. Then add a single line of gummy butterflies, followed by a single line of yogurt-covered pretzels, a double, layered line of red rock candy, a single line of white chocolates, a single line of lip gummies, another line of pretzels, a single line of red licorice ropes, and finally a single line of red and white skulls.
  • Add the blue sour tape and blue gummy bears to the dish. Then add the blue and white gummy rings on top in a pattern to emulate the stars on the flag.
  • You can also add extra red and blue gummies in festive dishes on the side.

Make Your Candy Colors “Pop”

Full disclosure, I could have planned this board out a bit more, and I’ll give you all the ways I think you can improve on mine. I made this board as a last minute idea with the candy I had in my pantry. I know I know, I have so much candy. It’s a real habit, you guys. 

For the white stars, I think more of a clearly contrasting color would have made a bigger impact. I used blue and white sour rings, and they give the subtle idea of blue and white, but maybe white gummy bears or at least one all white item would have stood out more. 

In the stripes, I would have repeated candies throughout the stripes to make it more uniform and really pop. Instead of mixing white pretzels, cake bits, and the skeleton gummies, I would have either used all white pretzels or limited it to two white candies and alternated them in each stripe. Same goes for the red candies. I would have kept the red candies consistent here, but limited it to two types—personally I really love the lip gummies and the licorice wheels. If I did this over, I would have alternated them within each red stripe, just like the white ones. 

The rock candy didn’t really need to be in there. I cut the bottom of the rock candy stick to make it work on this board, but it’s not very practical to have cut off stick pieces. Let’s be honest it’s a bit of a safety hazard, for hands and mouths and kids—it just didn’t work. 

What if I Don’t Want a Flag Shape?

If you don’t have a rectangle board, or if you are a dessert overachiever (go you!) and want to have a candy board AND a flag cake, you have options. I made a different version of this board, using mostly the same candy (see the additional types listed below), just not in the shape of a flag. Don’t worry! It’s just as festive. I used star shaped bowls (you could place candy inside of a cookie cutter as well) to add the shape. Then I layered in sections of my red, white, and blue candies. (The rock candy works really well in this form!) 

4th of july dessert

Additional Candies

  • Red Vines or Twizzlers
  • Red Gummy Bears
  • Swedish Fish
  • Sour Blue Soda
  • Sockerbit White Candies (M&Ms or Jordan Almonds would work too!)
  • Red and White Striped Peppermint Sticks
  • Reese’s White Minis Unwrapped
  • Blue Rock Candy
  • Raspberry gummies
  • Sockerbit Marianne Toffee

Where to Find Interesting Candies

One of my favorite parts of building a candy board is shopping for goodies. Certainly you can find some in mainstream stores, but to get really creative I have expert tips on where to source interesting shapes for all your candy flag dreams! 

My absolute favorite place for candy is Sockerbit. It’s sweedish candy of the highest quality. The company uses all natural colors, plus there is no high fructose corn syrup, no trans fats, and no GMOs. There is a location in LA by me and one in NYC, but you can also order online. Fun fact: IKEA sells candy that is very similar in their Food Market (the one after checkout, not the cafeteria).  

Dylan’s Candy Bar is ah-mazing. I truly love that store because you can find just about anything—and in any color! There’s a gigantic section of M&M’s and Jelly Beans in every color imaginable. You can find colors to correspond to any holiday design you want. 

My local CVS has great traditional candy. M&Ms always has different colored ones for various holidays. I can usually find lots of fun shapes of red licorice there too. 

Party City has some nice color options for parties. This is where I got the rock candy on a stick. If I’m being totally honest, I’ve found their candy isn’t as fresh as other places, so I always do a taste test first. 

The Best Candy Scoops

These candy scoops are great, and my preferred method of serving. You can alway place out some tongs (that’s what most candy stores use as their serving vessel). If you anticipate having leftovers you can leave out baggies for people to take leftovers home. Kids especially will love this. 

Show Me Your Boards

Nothing makes me happier than your take on my boards. If you make a spread inspired by this post, please tag me at @ainttoooproudtomeg and use #AintTooProudToSweet so I can see and share!

And, if you liked this board recipe, please rate and review.

flag 4th of July Candy Board

American Flag Candy Board

Description

A play on the traditional red, white, & blue flag cake, this candy board is a super fun way to get festive for 4th of July.

Ingredients
  

Red

  • Heart Gummies
  • Red Butterfly Gummies
  • Red Rock Candy
  • Red Lip Gummies
  • Red Licorice Ropes
  • Red and White Sour Gummy Skulls
  • Red Gummy Bears optional

White

  • Yogurt Covered Pretzels
  • White Chocolates with Red and White Sprinkles

Blue

  • Blue Sour Gummy Tape
  • Blue Gummy Bears
  • Blue and White Sour Gummy Rings

Instructions

  • First, add a square dish to the top left corner of a large, rectangular board.
  • Working from the top of the board (to the right of the square dish), add a single line of gummy hearts that reaches the right edge of the board. Then add a single line of gummy butterflies, followed by a single line of yogurt-covered pretzels, a double, layered line of red rock candy, a single line of white chocolates, a single line of lip gummies, another line of pretzels, a single line of red licorice ropes, and finally a single line of red and white skulls.
  • Add the blue sour tape and blue gummy bears to the dish. Then add the blue and white gummy rings on top in a pattern to emulate the stars on the flag.
  • If desired, add extra red and blue gummies in festive dishes on the side.
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