A dessert buffet offers the guests at your event multiple treats to choose from in a grab-and-go format. This dessert option is perfect for weddings, bridal or baby showers, sweet 16 celebrations and graduation parties. While not a traditional way to serve the last course, dessert buffets are growing in popularity, and can be seen across Instagram and Pinterest.

Step 1: Choose Your Dessert Buffet Menu

Serving dessert from a buffet requires a varied menu. Even without a cake, there is a seemingly unlimited number of desserts to serve your guests.

Your dessert buffet menu should emphasize easy-to-grab items. Bite-sized options like cupcakes, cookies, cake pops, macaroons and truffles are all easy to display. Chocolate-covered fruit and pretzels are a fun addition as well. To make large desserts easier to serve and enjoy, pre-slice cake, tarts and pies before creating your dessert display.

Your dessert buffet can also become a themed “bar”: ice cream bar, s’mores bat or donut bar.

Step 2: Cake Stands, Candy Jars and Decorative Trays

Of course, cake stands, candy jars and decorative trays are just a few of the ways you can display your dessert menu items. There are containers to complement any menu and event.

For pieces of pie and cake, wood slices and the shelves of a glass-front cabinet work well. Baskets and bowls are perfect for smaller, bite sized items. Cake pops are easy to display. Just stick the skewers into a stand designed specifically for the pops.

Choose stands and trays with layers to add height to your setup. Your dessert buffet can be assembled on a table at your venue, or you can choose a more decorative base, such as a bar cart.

Step 3: Accessorize Your Dessert Buffet

Accessories and texture are what give your buffet of treats its Instagram-worthy aesthetic. First, cover your table with linens to match other tables. Use a banner and small signage to point out the goodies your table holds.

Accent your delicious dessert buffet menu with an assortment of flowers, greenery, lighting and floating balloons. Knick knacks like patinaed antiques and pretty votives and lanterns can also help fill space between trays of desserts.

Use pieces of your dessert menu to tie into your event décor. Cupcake frosting and accents on chocolate covered pretzels or fruit can be dyed to match other elements of the event. Instead of a separate candy bar, a common element of many weddings and other events, add jars of candy between your desserts!