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Designing Beautiful Dessert Tables (Part 3 of 5): Desserts

Julia Chan

Hi all! And welcome to the third installment in my series on creating an impressive dessert table.

So far we have discussed the foundation of the table - the linen and the backdrop. Now, we have made it to the main (and tastiest) feature - the desserts!

Sweets really do reign supreme and this becomes quite clear when we take a look at the sheer amount of choices we have. The exciting news is that this is your opportunity to share some of your personal favorites, indulge your guests’ guilty pleasures, or both!

The Centerpiece Cake(s): Speaking of reigning supreme, cake is the king (or queen :D) of desserts, and, traditionally, has been the centerpiece on the table.  If you’re looking for a majestic focal point, you can’t go wrong here. Check out these beautiful cake designs from our very own local Bay Area bakers! We even have cakes made of cheese!

Cupcakes: If your setting is more casual, or your guests include children, cupcakes might be just the thing to delight your guests! Who doesn’t love a cupcake? They are just the right size, fun, portable, and it’s much easier to offer up a variety of flavors and designs! Cupcakes can also cut down on the cake cutting fee that some venues charge.

Macarons & Cake Pops: Does your event fall somewhere in between traditional and casual?  Macarons and cake pops are an elegant option that are still portable and offer variety.  Cake pops are great take home treats for your guests and are easy to personalize! Both of these sweet treats would be colorful and unique additions to your dessert table.

Tarts, Pies, & Donuts: You’d be hard-pressed to find a dessert more timeless than tarts and pies.  If taking your guests back to simpler times speaks to your vision, or if you’ll be serving coffee, you could tie it all together with sweets like tarts (lemon are particularly delightful!), pies, and donuts. It's hard to believe, but not everyone is a fan of cake, and offering up something different may be just what you need to make that dessert table impressive!

Cookies, Truffles, Candy, & More: If you are really looking to color outside the lines, why not offer up a candy bar! Cookies, truffles, candies, Rice Krispy treats, chocolate covered pretzel sticks (chocolate covered anything for that matter!). Your table will pop with color and variety and you are sure to make even the pickiest guest a happy guest! 

Still can’t decide?

Below is a great example of a dessert table that incorporates almost all of the choices I’ve covered! The different sweets complement each other in every way - color, decor, and variety.  And it looks amazing!

                         Credit: The Wedding Scoop & The Little House of Dreams

                         Credit: The Wedding Scoop & The Little House of Dreams

As you can see, there is no hard and fast rule to choosing the right desserts. It's nice to have a variety of sweets to cater to a range of tastes, but it can also reflect the favorites and personalities of the host. I hope I’ve been able to help inspire you and give you some ideas about what you'd like to serve at your next party!  Remember to keep that overall vision in mind and don’t forget to have fun!

Have a dessert you love and want to share with the world? Please leave a comment and let us know.

Next time, we'll be covering dessert stands - our favorite subject for obvious reasons ;) - stay tuned!

Have a sweet day,

Julia :)