The Fourth

Freedom, independence & a marine named Carlos. Last week I was trying to decide what kind of Fourth of July sweets to make or if I was even going to make anything at all. Then I received an email from a reader’s boyfriend and I knew I wanted to… had to… do something for the holiday.

Here’s his letter. And by the way, I couldn’t make anything sweeter than this.

Hi there Bakerella!

My name is Carlos and I’m a United States Marine, and have been one since 1998. If you wouldn’t mind just giving my e-mail some thought, I’d be grateful. Here’s the story:

My girlfriend just went away to Marine Corps bootcamp not yet a month ago. She LOVES to bake, but unfortunately didn’t get much time to do so because her job took up most of her free time, so she lived vicariously through you. She’s a fan of photography also, so your blog was a welcome reprieve from a long, hard day at the office. As you may or may not know, bootcamp for Marines is 13 weeks long; the only contact with the outside world is through snail mail. I miss my girlfriend immensely and while I know she’s doing something for her country that she’s always wanted to do, it’s hard on me. I digress, she loves your blog. I know the 4th of July is coming up and I ask you this not only for her, but also for the men and women in the Armed Forces who really know and FEEL the meaning behind this holiday. I think it would be very patriotic and meaningful to bake and decorate something in the spirit of the military, not just flags and sparklers like everyone else is doing – but something to show people that our military needs support and we need to remember them while we’re lighting off fireworks at the family BBQ. You know?

Now, I’m asking this because I think it would touch a special place in some of your reader’s hearts. I’m willing to bet you have quite a following amongst military wives and/or girlfriends. How nice would it be to show your support? I’ve served 3 tours in Iraq and am due to go to Afghanistan for a year in the next few months. I won’t get to see my girlfriend graduate from bootcamp in September, I won’t get to see her looking sharp in her uniform, I won’t get to see the pride on her face as finally, at 28 years old, she joins the ranks of The Few, The Proud… so this would be my chance to show her I thought of her. This is your chance to show you think of our military, as many others should be doing. Maybe it’ll get people to look for ways to support us with baked goods? During the colder months overseas, my girlfriend would bake cookies and anything else she could that would hold up to the travel and heat, and send on enough for my whole platoon. A taste of home, a taste of love… opening up a box with the smells of back home was something you just can’t explain. It was magical. My girlfriend didn’t stop there though, she adopted Marines, Soldiers and Airman through and sent them care packages and notes of encouragement.

I realize I’m all over the place here, but trying to get my point across is difficult without writing you a novel. I think you get the gist. 4th of July is about more and I’d love to write my girlfriend a letter and say, ‘Bakerella appreciates the Armed Forces, when you get back to the real world and have access to a computer… go see her 4th of July post.’ Now, I don’t know if you’ll do this or not and it’s fine either way. I just wanted to tell you a little story and hope that maybe a tiny blurb in your blog would entice your readers into caring just a tiny bit more and thinking just a bit deeper on our Independence Day.

I appreciate your time in reading this!


What a sweetheart. When I read his letter, I immediately wanted to make and send something to surprise his girlfriend. I thought, how cute would it be for her to open a box of colorful cake pops! Then, Carlos informed me that they can’t receive food during boot camp. I pictured her being forced to eat all the pops at one time and then made to run 10 miles or something. I don’t think she’d like that too much. Picture it. Cute little cake pops. Marines. Lollipop sticks. Marines. Sprinkles. Marines. Not the best idea for her sake.

Now, I can’t send her anything sweet, but I can send her these sweet simple words of appreciation.

Military Pops

It’s not much, but I hope that if you do see this when your 13 weeks of boot camp are over, that it puts a smile on your face. And know that you and all members of the armed forces were thought of this July 4th.

Plus… that Carlos… he sounds like a keeper.

Cake Pops

Marine Pops

Cake Pops

What about you? Is there someone on your mind… or in your heart… this holiday?

Hope you all have a happy, safe and sweet Fourth of July!

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426 comments on “The Fourth”

  1. If you are still make awesome edible art then visit — there are vegan products and all the edible glitter in vibrant colors. Thank me later!

  2. Hi. 
    Planning a retirement party for my husband and wondering where you got the marine corps tag on your cake pops?
    Thank you

  3. Such a sweet letter. This really inspires me.

  4. I just want to say Happy 4th of July Past, Present and FUTURE!!

    Thank you Carlos to not only both of you, but to EVERYONE, who sacrifices themselves and their families for us to enjoy our freedom. I try to teach my children to be grateful for all we are privileged to have for all you endure.

    May God Bless you all.
    From a daughter of a Navy Sailor, daughter-in-law of a Marine and Granddaughter of 2 ARMY (RIP)

  5. Can you please tell me how you made the different color toppings for the balls? Is it just frosting? Thank you!

  6. wow… I am way late on this haha, but this story is awesome. My boyfriend is also a Marine and i too am about to join myself. thank you for sharing his email with us. this made me feel a lot better about joining. ha this sounds just like something Terrence would do for me. I LOVE IT :)

  7. Carlos you are awesome, I know it’s been 2 years since the original post, however, I hope you are doing well and that you and your girlfriend are still together. Thanks for your inspirational words, I am seriously going to look into the website you provided for supporting a military person. Bakerella, thanks for taking the time to post this wonderful and touching story. I APPRECIATE MY FREEDOM!!!

  8. those are really cool cake pops and tht is really cool that u made them for all the men and women in armed forces….

  9. My son is in the Army. Cried when I read this. Thank you Bakerella and Carlos. I was looking for something to take to my son and his troop for Memorial Day when I am visiting him. What a great idea. Where did you get the military logos for the sticks? Can’t wait to do this.

  10. I can’t thank you enough for your lovely and inspiring site!! I hope you don’t mind but I will be “borrowing” this military appreciation decorating extravaganza to thank my cousin Greg and his men as they fight in Afghanistan…and they will grace my sweets table on Memorial Day when we set out stationary and envelopes for letters to the troops. Thank you!

  11. These are beautiful! Where did you get the logo tags?

  12. Look simple n very nice… inspiring

  13. Wow! Maybe I’m just having a girl moment but…Jeez Can’t fight back the tears on this one! Carlos you are AWSOME! Bakerella did a GREAT job with that letter, ;) Sniff Sniff.

  14. I am an Air Force wife and an Army mom and love these cake pops. Can you please let me know where I can find the patches that you used. I have a few bake sales coming up on base and would love to make them. Thanks for showing your support to the troops. It means a lot to a wife and a mom of servicemen.

  15. These are truley awsome! being an army wife it is nice to see some military inspired cake pops!

  16. I love your cake pops! They are brilliant! Can you tell me how you get the chocolate coating so red and blue? I have tried using candy coloring, but the white chocolate is a yellowish color to begin with and when I add the colors it dosen’t look anything like yours. I promised my kids I would make them christmas colored pops. Please help. thank you.

  17. This brought tears to my eyes! the letter is so sweet, and the cake pops are beautiful. Beautiful job!

  18. i absolutly love this post. it put a knot in my throat. im a navy wife for 5 years and i proudly support my husband along with all of our armed services present and past. great job bakerella on these meaningful cake pops = )

  19. Thank you so much for this post! I am a Marine and also a Marine’s wife. I have been following you for about a year now. You are such an inspiration to me. Thanks for your great ideas!

  20. Just wanted to say thank you! My little brother is away in the Navy and i thnk these are great!!! :)

  21. Those are awesome! So great to support the troops! But I was wondering… did you color candy melts to be that blue or do they sell them that bright??

  22. My Grandpa was a marine. These are great and that email was great too. Thanks.

  23. so cutteee, happy 4th, what a cute couple:]

  24. On Jan. 11th, my 19 year old son, Nick, left our home in Texas for Marine Corps Boot Camp in San Diego, CA. Today I received my 13th letter and in closing he requested “Can you bring Cake Balls to my graduation? OMG that would be AMAZING”……

    I want to make them just as you did for The Fourth, can you let me know where I can find the Marine Corps tags you used? I’m planning on making around 300 and will be transporting them from Texas to California for Nick’s April 9th Graduation! Wish me luck :)

    With Gratitude to ALL who Serve,

  25. I owe many many thanks to for introducing me to this AMAZING site of yours! I LOVE your web-site….you have so many creative and wonderful ideas and very helpful hints to help the little baker in all of us re-create you ideas. I made my very first cake pops last night for my cousins 4th bday today with strawberry cake and pink candy melts. They turned out great! But I did have an important question for you. I have a friend who is leaving for boot camp for the Marines this Saturday and what better place to look for something great to make for him…! I love your idea for these patriotic cakepops, but I was wondering, where did you get the mini patches with the armed forces names on them?? I gotta have em!

    Thanks for all your wonderful help,

  26. bakerella* you are simply heaven sent :)

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