4th of July Cookies

5 from 6 votes
5 Comments

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Whether you’re baking for a backyard barbecue, a family gathering, or a fireworks-watching party, these easy 4th of July cookies will be a hit. Sprinkle on Pop Rocks or fresh fruit for an added surprise!

4th of July Cookies decorated with strawberries, blueberries and Pop Rocks on a plate.
Featured with this recipe
  1. Ingredients for 4th of July Cookies
  2. Sugar Cookies for Any Occasion
  3. Tips for Toppings
  4. Cutting Out Shapes
  5. Make Fourth of July Cookie Bars instead of Cookies
  6. Frequently Asked Questions about 4th of July Cookies
  7. Need more ideas for the 4th of July?
  8. 4th of July Cookies Recipe

These 4th of July Cookies are the perfect treat to celebrate Independence Day! Not only are they delicious, but they also bring a spark of excitement with the Pop Rocks sprinkled on top. Kids absolutely adore the sensation of these popping candies… it’s like firecrackers bursting in their mouths!

For the adults, fresh fruit makes a delightful and more sophisticated topping choice. It adds a refreshing burst of flavor and a colorful touch to the cookies. With this recipe, you can easily please both the young and the young at heart, making it a delightful treat for all ages during your 4th of July celebrations.

Ingredients for 4th of July Cookies

This easy-to-follow recipe combines simple pantry ingredients to make a cookie dough that is as versatile as it is delicious. With a few additional ingredients, you’ll have a heavenly cream cheese frosting that perfectly complements the cookies.

For the cookie dough:

  • Butter – make sure it’s softened to room temperature.
  • Shortening – this helps make the cookies softer and not spread as much, but you can substitute the ½ cup of shortening with another stick of butter.
  • White sugar
  • Powdered sugar
  • Eggs 
  • Flour
  • Vanilla extract – for an even deeper flavor, you can combine the vanilla with some almond extract.
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
Ingredients to make 4th of July Cookies including flour, butter, sugars, baking soda, shortening, vanilla, egg, salt, cream cheese, strawberries and pop rocks.


For the cream cheese frosting:

  • Cream cheese
  • Butter (room temperature)
  • Vanilla
  • Powdered sugar
  • Optional: Use food coloring to make the frosting any color you like.

Sugar Cookies for Any Occasion

This simple sugar cookie base can be dressed up for any holiday or any occasion or anytime your sweet tooth strikes.

  • Use purple, orange and green sprinkles for Halloween
  • Red hots and pink hearts for Valentine’s Day
  • Pastel candies and sprinkles for Easter,
  • Green and red sprinkles and candy for Christmas
  • Red white and blue sprinkles, blue m&m’s or other red white and blue candies to make this a special 4th of July dessert.
Cooling rack with decorated 4th of July Cookies with Pop Rocks and fresh fruit.

Tips for Toppings

I used a combination of Pop Rocks and fresh strawberries and blueberries. Pop Rocks can usually be found in party stores, dollar stores, and grocery stores that carry a variety of candies. If you plan a couple days ahead, you can also order them on Amazon. They are actually a really good deal online, cheaper than what I got them for at the grocery store. Plus, you can get a few extra to pass around for your 4th of July party. I’m sure you won’t have any complaints. Kids love this stuff!

If you are topping your cookies with fresh fruit, wash and dry the fruit well before decorating your cookies. Also, add the fresh fruit just before serving. When the fruit sits on the cookie for too long, the moisture in the fruit will bleed onto the frosting of the cookie.

Star sprinkles are another fun option. You can find them at Hobby Lobby or Amazon. The earlier you shop the more likely you are to find them.

Placing fresh strawberries and blueberries on a frosted sugar cookie for 4th of July Cookies.

Cutting Out Shapes

This cookie recipe can easily be adapted for cut-out cookies. Star shaped cookies would be super cute! If you decide to go this route, after mixing, you will want to roll the dough into a ball after mixing and allow to chill in the fridge for little while. Remove from the fridge and roll out dough onto a floured surface using a rolling pin. Don’t roll them out too thin though– you want them to be chewy still. Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes. Bake at 375 for about 9 minutes. Don’t overcook or they will be too hard. Store them in an airtight container on the counter or in the refrigerator.

Pop Rocks sprinkled on top of frosted Firecracker Sugar Cookie Bars.

This recipe was originally published as “Firecracker Sugar Cookie Bars.” We have modified the recipe for sugar cookies, instead of bars, but don’t worry!

We have our original bar recipe in the recipe notes below.

The sugar cookie bars are a great way to go if you are short on time or just don’t want the oven on as long in the heat of the summer. I love making sugar cookie bars when feeding a crowd because they are just SO easy.

Side view of Firecracker Sugar Cookie Bars with Pop Rocks.

Frequently Asked Questions about 4th of July Cookies

What does resting the cookie dough do?

While you don’t have to chill this cookie recipe, resting your dough in the fridge allows the flour to hydrate with the wet ingredients and will give your cookies a richer flavor.

What happens when you don’t chill cookie dough?

Because the butter is at room temperature, the heat of the oven can make the cookie dough thinner, resulting in a crispier cookie. For softer, thicker cookies you can pop the dough in the fridge for a few minutes before baking.

Can I freeze 4th of July Cookies?

Yes! Store cookies or sugar cookie bars tightly covered in an airtight container for up to two months.

READ MORE:33+ Easy Dessert Ideas

Need more ideas for the 4th of July?

Plate of 4th of July Cookies with sliced strawberries, blueberries and Pop Rocks.

4th of July Cookies

5 from 6 votes
These 4th of July Cookies are the perfect festive treat to celebrate Independence Day! They're a simple yet scrumptious treat that captures the spirit of the holiday in every bite.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 9 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 24

Equipment

  • Cookie Sheet Pan

Ingredients

Cream Cheese Frosting:

Toppings:

  • strawberries and blueberries
  • 4 packets Pop Rocks (combination of red and blue)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Beat butter, shortening and sugars together. Add egg and vanilla.
    Mixing bowl with creamed sugars and butter to make 4th of July Cookies.
  • In separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt.
    Dry ingredients combined for Firecracker Sugar Cookie Bars.
  • Slowing add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Mix together until all combined.
    Dough for Firecracker Sugar Cookie Bars.
  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Shape dough into 2 inch balls and place evenly on cookie sheet.
    Cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and scoops of cookie dough for 4th of July Cookies.
  • Flatten each dough ball with hands or the bottom of a glass.
    Hand holding a glass pressing down the tops of the cookie dough balls for 4th of July Cookies.
  • Bake 9-11 minutes until edges are BARELY golden. Do not over bake! Allow cookies to cool completely on a cooling rack before frosting.
    Cooling baked sugar cookie on a rack for 4th of July Cookies.

For frosting and topping:

  • Beat together cream cheese, butter, and vanilla. Add powdered sugar to desired consistency.
    Mixing bowl with cream cheese frosting for 4th of July Cookies.
  • Spread frosting over cooled cookies.
    Cooking rack with frosted sugar cookies with cream cheese frosting for 4th of July Cookies.
  • Top with fresh cut fruit, Pop Rocks or sprinkles. Serve immediately. The Pop Rocks and Fruit will start to melt and get wet on top the longer it sits.
    4th of July Cookies with fresh strawberries and blueberries and Pop Rocks.

Notes

Firecracker Sugar Cookie Bars

This recipe was originally published as Firecracker Sugar Cookie Bars. We recently updated it as a cookie recipe, but the frosting is the same. The sugar cookie bars save baking time in the heat of the summer. Here is the original recipe for the bar cookies:
Pop Rocks sprinkled on top of frosted Firecracker Sugar Cookie Bars.

Ingredients for Firecracker Cookie Bars

  • 2/3 cup shortening or butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

 

Instructions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat shortening (or butter) and sugar together.
  2. Add eggs, milk and vanilla.
  3. In separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. Slowing add dry ingredients to wet ingredients.
  5. Mix together until dough can hold together into a ball. Line a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Drop clumps of dough evenly around pan.
  6. Press dough down evenly with hands or spatula. Bake 15-18 minutes or until dough BARELY starts getting golden around the edges. Do not over bake!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 304kcalCarbohydrates: 44gProtein: 2gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 32mgSodium: 150mgPotassium: 31mgFiber: 0.3gSugar: 35gVitamin A: 314IUCalcium: 14mgIron: 1mg

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About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her three beautiful girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I’m with you, bars are much easier which is usually what I’m looking for particularly in the summer. These are perfect for Independence Day.

  2. 5 stars
    What a fun idea to use pop rocks to top with!! Can’t wait to see my kids’ expressions when they take their first bite.

  3. 5 stars
    So festive and soooo delicious! Definitely going to make these again for our 4th of July party.