8 Tips To Creating a Charming Holiday Dessert Table

As the holiday season approaches, we're all thinking about our plans, from which family members are coming, to which pies to bake, to which decorations to put up. One of the most festive ways to ring in the holidays is with a themed dessert table, covered in sweets and beckoning your guests to grab a bite! A dessert table is more than just a place to put the pies, it's part of your holiday decor, and if done right, it can add a celebratory touch to any room. Here are 8 tips to make your dessert table ideas come to life!

Whether your dessert table is for a baby shower, a birthday party, or a wedding reception, it will add a classy flair to your big day, along with providing a spot for all the sweets you desire. For holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, a dessert table is yet another way to celebrate family and appreciate the things you love (food, obviously).

1. Get Creative

The first tip for charming, welcoming dessert table ideas is to use what you already have. You can make a DIY dessert bar without breaking the bank. Start by figuring out your theme- is it Easter brunch, a bridal shower, or Thanksgiving dinner? Then, look around your house and in your storage and get creative with the decorations you'd typically put around the house. A garland is a nice touch for a decor idea, hanging on the wall above your table or artfully placed around the cookie platter. Christmas lights will add glam to the display, and a few dancing Santas will perfectly complement the brownie tray.

2. Layer It Up

Another essential part of a beautiful dessert table is using stands and plates of varying heights to add an element of depth to the table. Cake stands are a great way to do this for a cake table, or you can go for the natural look with slabs of wood. By layering your dessert table, you're giving it classy look, creating more space for sweet treats, and promoting the most aesthetically pleasing snacks.

3. Flower Power

Flowers are a surefire way to make your dessert display eye-catching and welcoming. My family always puts freshly-picked flowers on the trays of birthday cakes, and it makes the whole plate more special. Depending on the holiday, use bright spring flowers like tulips, autumnal flowers like chrysanthemums and pansy, or classic Christmas flowers like amaryllis to complement your other party decorations.

4. Keep it Simple

You're already going to all the trouble of making a beautifully decorated dessert table, so don't kill yourself making fancy desserts too. We recommend buying pre-made desserts or making quick, no-bake ones like chocolate chips cookie dough bars or chocolate pudding. Buy some simple tarts and cupcakes from a grocery store or bakery, or even get a cheesecake platter. You can satisfy a sweet tooth without going crazy on the prep-work.

5. Find Your Center

Having a centerpiece is another key element of this sweets table. Depending on your dessert table idea, different focal point will be appropriate. If it's a wedding reception, of course the wedding cake should be front and center. Maybe your centerpiece is a particularly lovely holiday decoration, or maybe you have a chalkboard with fancy writing saying "Happy Holidays!" No matter what you choose, a centerpiece will bring order to your table, giving your guests something to focus on.

6. Snackable Is the Way

A dessert table should be full of fun and snackable treats your guests can munch on as they mingle. Mini desserts is always a hit, plus they can try a bit of everything. Buy cake pops, macaroons, doughnuts, s'mores bars or brownies to provide small, sweet bites for all. Or, have a candy bar with little bowls of marshmallows, candy corn, and M&M's for an easy dessert table idea.

7. The More the Merrier


Fill that dessert table to the brim! If you're going all out and making a dessert table in the first place, you definitely want one that lives up to the hype. You don't want big empty spaces between your sweets, as this looks awkward and lacking. Even if you don't have a ton of desserts to put on the table, fill up the spaces with decorations like doilies, flowers, candles, or whatever best matches the theme!

8. Colors Galore

Your color scheme is another important factor to consider when choosing between dessert table ideas. To play it safe and keep it classy, use pastel colors for your table decorations and neutral serve wear, like white plates. Your table cloth shouldn't be anything too bright, since it might drown out the rest of your decor. If it's Christmas, you'll of course want to do red and green, or if it's a birthday, use the favorite colors of the honored guest. No matter what, choose a color scheme and stick to it!