Flag Ices

These colorful sorbets make the perfect Fourth of July dessert.

grand old ices

Chelsea Cavanaugh

Prep Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
8 hrs 25 mins
18 cups

Here's a lip-smacking way to pledge allegiance to the Stars and Stripes: An all-American display of raspberry and lemon ices makes a fun Fourth of July dessert. The individual cups of sorbet are a refreshing way to end your big cookout—plus they're a treat pretty much everyone can enjoy, since they're gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan.

These ices are easy to make. The lemon ice has just two ingredients, lemon juice and simple syrup. The raspberry has three: raspberries, lemon juice, and simple syrup. They do need plenty of time to freeze, but a make-ahead dessert is a boon when you're hosting a crowd on this holiday—or anytime during the summer season.

If you're pressed for time, use store-bought sorbet cups instead and place them in the shape of the American flag.


  • 1 ½ cups plus 1 ½ teaspoons fresh lemon juice

  • 1 ½ cups plus ¾ cup simple syrup

  • 4 ½ cups fresh raspberries


  1. Combine the lemon juice and simple syrup:

    Combine 1 1/2 cups each fresh lemon juice and simple syrup in an 8-inch baking dish.

  2. Blend the raspberries with simple syrup:

    Blend raspberries with remaining 3/4 cup simple syrup and 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice until smooth; strain into a second 8-inch baking dish.

  3. Freeze:

    Freeze both mixtures, raking with a fork every hour, until flaky and frozen, 4 hours.

  4. Blend each flavor with water:

    Blend each flavor with 1 1/2 cups water until smooth.

  5. Transfer to paper cups and freeze:

    Transfer to 3-ounce paper cups and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours.

  6. Arrange in the shape of the American flag:

    Line a 9-by-13-inch baking sheet with parchment, then arrange ices in alternating rows, leaving room for a stack of blue napkins. Let the fully assembled sheet chill in the freezer until ready to serve.

    Freezing the baking sheet the flag ices are served on keeps them colder for longer (and a quarter-size baking sheet fits in most freezers).

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