Styling a Dessert Table needn’t be expensive or time-consuming. Start with what you have and slowly build your entertaining supplies. A styled table adds to the joy of entertaining and your guests will be thrilled that you spent a little more time on the presentation. Here are a few ideas that helped me with my Mini Valentine’s Dessert Table.
This may not be for everyone but it’s a point worth considering to add a little wow factor to your spread. When deciding where to place your dessert table choose a location where you can add décor or a backdrop to the wall behind the table. Paper fans, poms, wrapping paper, premade vinyl backdrops, even fabric attached to the wall can take your table to the next level. The cherry blossom backdrop shown here is from AliExpress and was less than $15.00. When applying décor to your walls remember my favorite, wall mounting putty. It’s easy to apply and will not leave any residue on your walls. Kitchen counters, coffee, and console tables are other options.
To cover the table or not, that is the question. If you decide to display your sweet treats on a wooden table be wary of spills. If this happens make sure to take care of the spill as soon as possible to protect your table. Table covers come in many forms. Here I used a large white fabric remnant from the thrift store. It was uneven so a quick trim was in order. Sheets, curtain panels, throws and large scarves are also inexpensive options. This pink rosette runner is from Efavor.com. It’s a bit fancy, but fancy runners aren’t a necessity. You can also put several placemats together lengthwise to form a runner.
Before or after you cover the table, have a run through with the serving pieces. Place them and put a little note on them with the name of the dessert that they will hold. Trust me, it’s easy to forget where you planned on placing the dish.
There aren’t many rules on how to style a dessert table, however, there are some basics you want to keep in mind. This image shows a larger layout where you can easily see how the tallest item is in the center and on either side the height gradually decreases. Symmetry, balance, and rhythm create a harmonious display. Another important element is the color palette. For instance, combining traditional Christmas colors with an Easter color palette just won’t work.
Displaying your sweet treats on risers and stands to create height is a great way to create a focal point. Risers and stands can be pre-made or you can use stacks of books or covered boxes to create height. Another important tip is to label the dishes. With so many food allergies and intolerances, you want to make sure your guests know what they’re eating.
The flavor of this heart-shaped cake is Cherry and Chocolate Chip and it’s frosted and filled with Italian Meringue Buttercream.
I used acrylic picture frames for serving trays. They can be lined with theme/color appropriate scrapbook paper or other embellishments like the pearls shown here. You can find them at Michaels and they’re a great deal with the 40% coupon.
On the left are Vanilla Cupcakes frosted with buttercream and decorated with maraschino cherries and almond slices. I placed them in a gold paper holder.
In the tray on the right are Cake Parfaits served in plastic martini glasses. They are layered with cake rounds, lemon curd, and white chocolate pudding. For the final touch, I added a chocolate heart to each one. In the post Cake Tips and Cutting Guide, I explained how these parfaits are the result of a cake disaster.
White trays in all shapes and sizes are useful items to have in your party/entertaining stash. They coordinate with pretty much everything and you can never have too many. These Pineapple Crescents started with crescent dinner rolls and they’re filled with cream cheese and crushed pineapple. A light powdered sugar glaze added a touch more sweetness.
When you’re Styling a Mini Valentine’s Dessert Table or any other table, ceramic white trays, cake stands and the like aren’t the only way to put together a beautiful table. Some plastic pieces look very real and are affordable. Most party stores have sections of plastic serving pieces that don’t have to be throwaways. My parfaits are served in plastic martini glasses. The stem and base are painted gold and I’ve used them several times. Goodwill and thrift shops are also a wealth of serving pieces and linen.
The last tip and perhaps the most important one is to relax and enjoy your event. If your table doesn’t live up to your dreams remember no one knows what you had in mind. Your guests will be impressed that you took the time to make it special for them.
I’m sharing this post at the following link parties. Drop by and show them a little love!