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Dessert party ideas

Whitney Coy is a freelance writer and editor based in Columbus, OH, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. She writes frequently for SheKnows, as well as several other websites. She writes on topics including parenting, pets...

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Throwing a party is a daunting task. Lighten your load by throwing a dessert party. It’s easier on the budget because you’re not serving a full meal. It’s a lot less stressful as well, since most desserts can be prepared ahead of time. But don’t throw out just any desserts for your guests. Kick things up a notch by choosing one of these fun themes for your dessert-only soiree.

Skip straight to dessert

Brownie bar

The prep for this party couldn’t be easier. Bake a few pans of boxed brownies (don’t worry, they’ll never know!) the day before your party. Keep them covered overnight so they stay fresh, then slice them just before your party begins. To keep the slices clean, place your brownies in the freezer for 20 minutes before you cut them. Offer whipped cream, buttercream, chocolate syrup, sprinkles and crushed cookies and candies as toppings.

How to make the best brownies >>


There are a billion different types of cupcakes out there – why not serve up a few dozen at a cupcake party? Set up a buffet table with as many different cupcakes as you can make. Use tiered trays to give your display height and to make space for more sugary sweets. Be sure to offer some cupcakes that are more savory than sweet in case all that delicious icing becomes too much to handle.

Cupcake recipes >>

French theme

Transport your guests to a French bakery by offering up some of the best treats Paris has to offer. Think Napoleons, creme brulee, eclairs, mousse and macaroons. Use French-themed decor to really set the tone.

Easy macaroons recipe >>

Childhood favorites

Take your guests back in time by offering favorite sweets from a time when everything was sweeter. Offer homemade versions of Ding Dongs, Twinkies and Sno Balls. Serve grown-up s'mores and root beer floats – anything that you remember coveting as a child. Put together gift bags filled with retro candy so your guests will remember your bash for days to come.

Dipping stations

These types of parties can get messy, but they sure are a ton of fun. Set out warm dipping sauces in flavors like chocolate, vanilla cream, white chocolate and white chocolate raspberry. Serve fruit, plain cookies and homemade marshmallows for dipping.

Quick tip

Make it easy! Avoid having to deal with silverware by serving only bite-sized desserts.

More on desserts

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The scoop on frozen desserts

Easy dessert ideas

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