Dessert Tables Part 2- Set it Out

Once you’ve narrowed down and planned your selections, it’s time to plan the presentation. Whoever said, “We first eat with our eyes”, must have posted up to a couple of dessert buffets in their lifetime. No matter how delectable your offerings are or how expertly they are decorated, desserts placed haphazardly on a table aren’t appealing. Flow, symmetry, and rhythm invite your guests to what their eyes tell them will be a good time.

birthday dessert buffet seven

taste of soul eleven

Elevating one or more desserts help to create this. Think of a beautiful cake on a stand in the center of the table beckoning you in. On either side slightly lower in height are mini towers of cookies or cupcakes. Down front from the cake guests have the options of hand pies or cake truffles. Drinks are displayed at either end along with favors or jars of candy. Your eyes should naturally take in the table and should comfortably progress from left to right or top to bottom. When training my fitness students I advise them to train symmetrically. What they do on the right side of their bodies they should do on the left, same for the front and back. This is to keep everything in balance and to keep one body part from overtaking the rest. Hope that makes sense when it comes to styling your buffet.

For displays don’t get locked into the idea of having to use an actual footed stand. They are so nice to have but not the only way to elevate your sweets. Let these ideas spark a few more for you:

  • Books place under the table cloth
  • Books tied with ribbon or covered in wrapping paper
  • Boxes covered with fabric or wrapping paper
  • Overturned glasses or goblets
  • A small plate place on a candlestick
  • Platters on overturned bowls

outside the box collage

valentines table 005

Scrapbook paper is one of the most underused decorating accessories on the planet. They can add shine, texture and lots of fun color to any table. Try placing a sheet under your trays and platters. Placed down the center of the table they become a runner. See how much fun you can have with this?

black filigree 2

One more very important consideration is to label the food. Here again, keep it simple. In light of food intolerances such as peanut allergies, milk and gluten you want to let your guests know what their choices are. The internet is loaded with free downloadable printables for food labeling. Some come fully decorated; others are plain and allow you to customize them. Simply place them next to the item or use note card holders to hold them.

holly2 banana pudding parfaits

The most important thing is to have fun with this. Don’t fret if your first cousin once removed spills her punch, or take to the fainting couch if you run out of brownies. If you’re relaxed and having fun chances are your guest will also. Remember it’s just desserts!!!

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8 thoughts on “Dessert Tables Part 2- Set it Out

  1. Liz

    Thanks for sharing so many tricks of the trade! I love the scrapbook paper idea…and I also try to use labels. I need to check out the downloadable options.

  2. Alycia Nichols

    Believe me…if my first cousin once removed spills her punch in my house, she’ll GET her just desserts!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Good points, Sandra, and I like how you’re such a wiz with the craft paper! You also made a great point about labeling food items. The reality is that people are suddenly allergic to a lot of things like peanuts and such. Better safe than sorry!

    1. Sandra Post author

      With Gabrielle’s allergies we really became more aware. It seems that so many children have allergies these days. What’s even more baffling is how many adults come down with them also.

  3. Ramona

    I love all your tips and tricks. It’s always good to have different heights at a table…. that’s something I’m working on remembering. 🙂

  4. Nami | Just One Cookbook

    I especially love the cherry blossom wrapper paper! <3 You make beautiful buffet tables! Look at that pineapple! I'm in love with that. Decorations are very pretty too. Loving all the great ideas you share! Very very inspiring!

    1. Sandra Post author

      Thank you Nami! I’m loving all the sweet treats you’ve been featuring on you blog. I knew you’d be great at it!


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