Chill Out! Super-Easy Frozen Red, White & Blueberry Shortcake

berry shortcake hero 4th of july

It’s America’s birthday again! This year, give your patriotic party a sweet spark with a color-coordinated dessert.

We always love a fancy flag cake or star-spangled cake, but making something special doesn’t have to include complicated elements like elaborate cut-outs and dyeing cake batter: Our charming red, white & blueberry shortcake only requires four ingredients (!) and about 10 minutes of prep time. Just pop it in the freezer in the morning (or make it the night before), and then slice and serve cold to give your summer festivities some light, refreshing, and truly scrumptious flair.

Trust us, the kiddos won’t leave a single crumb on their plates—so make sure you have enough for the grown-ups, too! Here’s how to make the magic happen (full recipe below):

ingredients for berry shortcake

With only four ingredients, this patriotic pastry could not be easier to prepare. Store-bought angel food loaf cake works perfectly, but if you’re feeling mildly ambitious (or you just enjoy cracking eggs), you can make your own: This airy, vanilla-spiked version by the Food Network’s Melissa d’Arabian can be puffing up in your oven in 10 minutes flat. Not a fan of angel food? Use pound cake or any other white or pale yellow loaf cake instead.

No matter what cake you use, we suggest making your own whipped cream (The Pioneer Woman blog shares four ways to do it) because let’s face it: Those sweet, rich, dreamy drifts are outrageously delicious. Short on time? Use store-bought whipped topping, such as Cool Whip®, softened vanilla ice cream, or a combination of your favorite creamy fillings.

Fresh berries provide fabulous flavor, of course, but also pack in loads of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants—always a bonus when it comes to dessert!

mid process of making berry shortcake

To make your shortcake, slice the angel food cake horizontally into thirds and place them on top of each other, adding a mixture of whipped cream and berries in between each layer. Top it off with whipped cream and place the whole thing in the freezer for a few hours.

Helpful tips:

Building the cake in a loaf pan will better maintain its structure (i.e. no layers of cake slip-sliding away), and lining the pan with parchment paper will make the cake easier to remove when you’re ready to dig in.

let's eat berry shortcake table all set up final hero

Time for dessert? Pull your cake out of the freezer and remove it from the pan using the parchment paper “handles.” Garnish with more berries or serve them on the side. Freezing the cake makes it easier to slice—and gives your Fourth of July celebration a delightfully refreshing grand finale!

smiling girl with empty plate whipped cream on face

In our centers, we embrace family-style eating—encouraging children to serve themselves teaches important social skills like passing items, sharing, being patient, and saying “please” and “thank you,” and it helps them listen to their own bodies and hunger cues.

Giving kids the freedom to serve themselves can also inspire them to try new foods, so go ahead and let them garnish their cake slices themselves. It may be hard to believe, but some tots are wary of fruit—getting hands-on with the berries just might be the push they need to discover what they’ve been missing!

Sure, there will likely be some spills when children take the lead, but also a lot of smiles.

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EASY FROZEN RED, WHITE, & BLUEBERRY SHORTCAKE

Serves: 6

Total time: 10 minutes prep/4 hours in freezer

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 standard-size loaf of angel food cake, pound cake, or any other white or pale yellow cake (Note: If your cake is on the shorter side, you may want to use 1½ or 2 of them to get nice, thick layers)
  • 3 cups (1 ½ pints) homemade whipped cream, whipped topping, and/or softened vanilla ice cream (you can use a combination if desired)
  • 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries and/or raspberries, plus extra for garnish
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries, plus extra for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving extra paper hanging over both long sides.
  2. Slice your cake horizontally into thirds, creating three layers. Place one of the pieces into the parchment-lined container.
  3. Put two cups of the whipped cream in a medium bowl. Add the berries and gently mix it all together.
  4. Spread half of the fruit-and-cream mixture over the bottom layer of cake in your pan, and then top with another layer. Spread the remaining mixture over the middle layer, and then top it with the final piece of cake. Dollop or roughly spread the remaining cup of whipped cream on top.
  5. Place the pan in the freezer for about 4 hours, or until the filling is very firm.
  6. When ready to eat, remove the cake from the freezer and take it out of the pan, using the parchment as handles. Slice and serve with extra berries as a garnish or on the side. Enjoy!

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