How to Make Your Own Dessert Bar for Yummy Holiday Gatherings

This sweet spread of cookies, cakes, drinks, and more will be a huge hit!

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It’s time to level up your holiday parties with something that’s unique, sweet, and a total crowd-pleaser… aka the dessert bar.

No, this isn’t the individual dessert bar that calls for a recipe — this is a delicious spread of cookies, cakes, treats, and beverages that are hugged by holiday decor and begging to be grazed on by your party guests.

The dessert bar trend was born from weddings in which couples wanted to offer more than just a showstopping wedding cake. Now, its made its way into the average party-planning arena, infiltrating everything from kids’ birthday parties to New Year’s Eve bashes.

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Offering a dessert bar is especially appreciated around the holidays when everyone is banking on having their favorite Christmas cookie or Hanukkah dessert… even just one bite.

Here, the European-style grocery store The Fresh Market provides step-by-step instructions for how to make your own wow-worthy dessert bar for holiday gatherings.

How to Make Your Own Holiday Dessert Bar

Step 1: Find the perfect spot

If you’re hosting a dinner party, the dessert bar serves as the grand finale of the night… so it can’t take center stage too early.

Find a counter, table, or other flat surface that can serve as your dessert bar. It should be close enough to the action and big enough to lay out a full spread of yummy things.

Step 2: Use platters to build your bar

Displaying your sweet treats will be easiest if you put each of them on a platter or serving tray/board. Think: Whatever you use as your Charcuterie board, plus a few more.

Step 3: Choose and arrange your desserts

The Fresh Market Dessert bar
The Fresh Market

The options are truly endless for this step, and you should go with what you and your guests will really appreciate. But, some specific ideas include:

Step 4: Serve beverages that match

Coffee and tea are no-brainers here, but you can also have a little festive fun with your dessert bar drink selection. Think:

  • Make your own hot cocoa using hot cocoa bombs!
  • Bubbles! Garnish Champagne or sparkling cider with a festive rosemary and cranberry skewer. Simply skewer a few cranberries on a rosemary stem, mist with water and dust with granulated sugar.

Finally, decorate your dessert bar with seasonal dried flowers, pinecones, and/or holiday greenery, and place appetizer plates, napkins, and cups nearby so people pick up on the serve-yourself design of your dessert bar.

And there you have it, an impressive make-your-own dessert bar that will wow all of your holiday party guests!

Faye Brennan
Faye is the Chief Content Officer of Galvanized Brands, overseeing all editorial content for Eat This, Not That!, Best Life, and other brands. Read more
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