Design, Food

A simple DIY dessert/candy table


Dessert tables have been taking the party world by storm in the last few years and if my Pinterest feed is anything to go by, the trend is definitely here to stay!

There’s a lot to love about dessert tables. They’re quick and easy to set up, everyone gets to pick and choose what they want, and most importantly – they contain sweet treats.

Here’s how to create a pretty dessert/candy table without breaking the bank or spending hours in the kitchen:

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Step 1: Create a dessert/candy menu

Before you start designing your buffet, it’s important to first decide which treats you’ll be serving and whether you want to offer candy, desserts, or a mix of both.

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Here are a few tips to create a winning menu:

  • Don’t go overboard. While a table overflowing with treats might sound like dessert heaven, it can also sadly quickly get expensive and overwhelming. Go with a quality-over-quality approach instead and offer your guests between 6 and 8 different treats (or even less if only serving desserts).
  • Don’t feel like you have to do all the desserts from scratch – it would defeat the easy part of this exercise. Instead mix store-bought items (i.e. cookies, candy, macarons) with a few homemade favourites (i.e. easy cakes, pies and slices).
  • Pre-cut your cakes or even better, make everything bite-size, so that your guests can easily help themselves.
  • Pick ‘bulky’ candy items rather than small ones as they will fill up your vessels quicker.
  • Pick a simple colour palette for a cohesive/sleek look.

My dessert table (which I made for a birthday party) included: homemade brownies, coconut cupcakes, and mini lemon meringue pies, as well as store-bought chocolates, candy, popcorn, and cookies.

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Step 2: Display your desserts/candy in pretty vessels

Before you rush out and buy brand new servingware for your buffet, have a good look through your cupboards first as there’s a good chance you have everything you need already. For example, glass items such as vases, apothecary jars, and bowls are great for candy whereas plates, cake stands, and platters are perfect to show off desserts.

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If you do need to buy additional items – apothecary jars, mason jars and cake stands can often be found at discount stores or thrift stores for bargain prices! You can also DIY cake stands by sticking bowls/ or glasses to the back of plates (see this article for a list of easy tutorials).

Choose food vessels in various shapes and sizes for a strong visual impact. You can also use gift boxes, crates, books, etc. to create different heights. Place tall items at the back of your buffet and short ones at the front. Try to balance out the items so that there is a sense of symmetry.

Finally, have serviettes, cutlery, and candy bags available (either as part of the buffet or on a side table).

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Step 3: Create a background

This is not a 100% necessary but it will definitely increase the WOW factor and bring even more attention to your dessert table.

Ideas for a cute background include:

  • Bunting
  • A curtain made out of colourful streamers
  • Tassel garlands
  • A banner
  • Balloons

Match your background to your colour theme for a gorgeous, party perfect look.

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I hope you found these tips useful! Have you ever created a dessert buffet for a party? I’d love to hear any tips you might have and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask them in the comment section!

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Soraya-Pearl Jolly is a French girl living in Melbourne with a passion for entertaining, travelling, and all things pretty. She runs the lifestyle blog Pretty Mayhem and recently released her first e-book ‘The No Stress Hostess’ which is all about hosting great parties with minimal fuss and hassle.


I hope you enjoyed this post everyone! And because Pearl is super generous, she is giving away 3 copies of her new ebook The No Stress Hostess Book. Enter below!

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  • Reply Cathleen @ A Taste Of Madness June 1, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    Awesome tips! I think I would make the mistake in going dessert overboard.

    • Reply Swah June 1, 2015 at 2:38 pm

      It’s very easy to go overboard isn’t it!

  • Reply THE HUNGRY MUM June 2, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    what a beautiful table. I have done a few of these for my daughters’ double bday party and always ended up going totally OTT – then demanding everyone take home the copious amount of excess items! Yours is far more chic ;)

    • Reply Swah June 8, 2015 at 1:22 pm

      Haha I think we are all guilty of that don’t you worry! Sometimes less is more :)

  • Reply Gourmet Getaways June 2, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    Great tips! Sometimes, we do want to just fill up the entire table. But you’re right, choose the quality ones and you can’t go wrong! Thanks, Swah!

    Julie & Alesah
    Gourmet Getaways xx

    • Reply Swah June 8, 2015 at 1:23 pm

      You girls are welcome, so glad you liked it! x

  • Reply Lucy @ Bake Play Smile June 3, 2015 at 11:14 am

    This looks absolutely gorgeous!! I do love a dessert bar!

    • Reply Swah June 8, 2015 at 1:24 pm

      Me too Lucy, they are probably the best part of a party ;)

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