Desserts are the final goodbye your guests leave with. These treats are the last thing they taste from your party, besides whatever goodies you stuffed their gift bags with, and you want a “wasn’t this party awesome?” type-taste to linger on their lips long after they have left. Sure, cake is typically the most classic dessert choice for big events, but cake is often a hit or miss for most. Cake is pretty subjective, some love it, others can leave it, but all guests have been served it before. With these ten dessert station ideas, your guests will be leaving with a sugar high and serious envy that they didn’t think of these sweet send-offs.
1. Mini Waffles Bar
Belgium waffles are one of the most delicious breakfast splurges. Having batter and a waffle maker on deck makes creating waffles pretty simple. Have a server pour batter for guests while having whipped cream, fresh fruit, syrup, and sauces available so guests can create their IHOP fantasy. Waffles are fluffy and delicious and are a perfect late night treat that seamlessly blurs the line between dessert and breakfast in case your party runs extra late.
2. Candy and Caramel Apple Bar
Perfect for fall events, DIY candy and caramel apple stations will take your guests back to their younger years where summer nights were spent at carnivals, eating cotton candy and funnel cake. Have a vat of the red sugar simmering and another pot of caramel sauce, with a staff member responsible for the dipping so there is minimal spillage. Add chocolate sauce as another dip flavor with the sticks pre inserted into the apples so service is quick and easy. Have all of your favorite candies like mini m&ms, shredded coconut, and crushed oreos, lined and labeled in decorative bins, exactly how you see them at the froyo spot down the street from your apartment. Another option is to prepare different types of candy apples prior to service and guests can choose from those options, but we recommend the guest do as much of the work as possible. Guests love being involved and the hands-on self service adds spice to these sweet endings. Use every chance you have to incorporate your event colors and themes into the party. If one of the colors in the scheme is pale pink, have one of the dips that color or order bags of m&ms and include the colors of your party. If you think whole apples are too much work, use an apple corer and serve slices instead.
3. Donuts IN Drinks
Most guests will probably request coffee or some sort of caffeinated beverage in hopes of avoiding their inevitable hangover the morning after the soiree. Use this opportunity to serve up happy endings and hot beverages simultaneously. Cute mini donuts with hot chocolate, coffee, or cappuchinos are a great way to get after meal beverages and desserts distributed in one! Nothing beats dipping a warm dessert in an even hotter beverage. If it is a chilly evening or the leaves are just starting to change, incorporate the season! Serve warm apple cider with sugar donuts if coffee isn’t your cup of tea. Simply place mini treats on sticks with personalized brown cardboard straw accents and cup sleeves to contribute to the color scheme and give drinks that authentic “coffee house” feel.
4. Jar Desserts
Using jars for containers and decor is quickly becoming a trend in event planning and crafting party favors. There are tons of recipes for pies, breads, and pastries where the jar acts as the container. This technique allows service to be easy while remaining aesthetically pleasing if you use glass jars. Portions are just right and enable guests to pop right back to the dance floor without feeling heavy.
5. Cupcake Tiers…NO
If I see another five tier cupcake display I’ll vomit on my party dress and carry my heels over my shoulder. Create a unique alternative to this dessert classic and allow guests to create their own. Leaving service up to the guests is easier for you and the staff while remaining fun for everyone. Have a few flavors of cupcakes mixed and matched with frosting flavors ready, (fine they can be in tiers), and have toppings on the table. Use cardboard spoons coded with a message like “thank you” or the name of the guest and occasion to personalize the station.
6. Donut Tiers…YES.
Now we may have hated on the cupcake tiers, but we never said anything about the triple D, Delightful Donut Displays. Donuts are versatile and easy. Don’t worry about making this dessert more elegant, the simplicity and mess-ticity of these cream filled delights is fun and playful. Have an array of all flavors from Jelly to Boston creme to create an upscale Dunkin Donuts that will keep your guests running back for more.
7. Dessert Pizza
Pizza and pleasure are virtually synonymous. Pizza is a crowd pleaser and well, dessert pizza..that’s an everything pleaser. Have a sweet pastry crust or a lightly sweeter pizza crust with cream, chocolate, or buttercream “sauce.” Top with fruit, candies, or frosted sugar. Guests will love the twist on the go-to junk food.
A churro is traditionally a Latin American snack consisting of a strip of fried dough, coated with sugar and cinnamon with consistency similar to funnel cake. As portable and convenient as fries, churros with a sweet dipping sauce is a wonderful end to a magical night. Wrap churro “fries” in personalized wrap to give it a fun fair-like presentation with an intimate touch. Serve with a chocolate sauce or sweet strawberry sauce, or a dollop of ice-cream and caramel sauce. Mmmmhm.
9. Get Crepe-y with it.
Crepes are becoming a trend on the dessert and lunch scene with popular restaurants like Crepe Vine emerging. Crepes are not overpowering and are just sweet enough. Serve a classic lemon crepe or have guests fill their own with nutella, fruit, nuts, and finished with powdered sugar. Because of the thinness of the crepe, have a crepe maker on the table and guests can whip up their own rather quickly without creating a line. Serve with whipped cream and fruit sauce.
10. Fried Oreos.
Fried oreos bring us back to boardwalks and corn dogs. Frying anything pretty much equals deliciousness and oreos are a treat that even vegans can enjoy. These delectable cookies are also perfect to personalize! Use little edible discs to put the guest of honor’s name or the newly initials of the couple! Dipped oreos are often found in holiday gift baskets because they are loved by all! Dip oreos in different flavors and cover with sprinkles frosting, and other toppings to add a little variation to the classic.