Christmas entertaining does not have to be stressful or overly fussy! Copy these ideas to create a beautiful, fun, festive dessert buffet that is mostly store bought with just a hint of homemade.
This post is sponsored by Christmas Tree Shops. All food and decor were purchased in my local store. To receive $10 off your next in-store $50 Christmas Tree Shops purchase please click here!
Perhaps you just found out today that a family member has generously volunteered your home to host the annual Christmas party this weekend. No problem. You’ve got this! Entertaining for Christmas can be fun, festive, and practically fuss free! Read on for my tips on how to shop and style an affordable, beautiful dessert buffet that looks and tastes great.
Tip 1: Save time and money with one-stop shopping for serveware, decor, and food at Christmas Tree Shops.
Christmas Tree Shops offers beautiful home decor and delicious foods year round! They have a fantastic selection of seasonal dishware in both ceramic and melamine options, as well as a fun paper product selection. My tablecloth and all tabletop decor and serving dishes pictured throughout this post were purchased at Christmas Tree Shops!
Tip 2: Choose desserts with a wide variety of flavors, textures, and colors.
I adore chocolate and could happily eat an entire buffet of nothing but chocolate dessert options. However, as crazy as it seems to me, I realize that not everyone likes chocolate! In fact, some people don’t care for it at all. When trying to please a crowd, it’s a good idea to offer a wide variety of desserts that hit a plethora of tastes. Also keep in mind textures, flavors, and colors when choosing your desserts. I wanted my desserts to incorporate my blue and white Christmas palette so deliberately looked for a few treats that would tie in blue and white colors.
Here is a quick list of items to include on your Christmas dessert buffet. Again, keep in mind that I was able to buy every single item listed at Christmas Tree Shops with no additional stops elsewhere required!
- dessert croissants
- soft cookies
- hard cookies
- gourmet boxed chocolates
- salted caramels
- yogurt covered pretzels
- trail mixes and mixed nuts
- gourmet popcorns.
Tip: Buy a few treats that complement your desired color palette!
Tip 3: Create a cookie charcuterie board!
Move over cookie platters because charcuterie cookie boards are here to stay! The term charcuterie board used to only apply to meat and cheese platters but is now used to describe any assorted, decorative display of food on a tray. All you need to create a cookie charcuterie board is a large food-safe tray and an assortment of cookies and treats.
Christmas Tree Shops has a plethora of trays to choose from and I knew this beautiful blue and white snowflake tray would be perfect for my cookie charcuterie! As cookies disappear off the tray, the beautiful blue and white snowflakes peek through, still looking beautiful on the table.
Tip 4: Place smaller charcuterie board treats inside dipping bowls and candy dishes.
I like to place smaller treats inside a few ramekins or candy dishes. On this cookie board, I used a snowflake candy dish and two white dipping bowls to corral Moose Munch Popcorn and smaller cookie items. You can also use cookie cutters placed on your tray to contain M&M’s, chocolate covered nuts, or smaller candies and cookies.
When arranging cookies on the board, I typically work from the outside in, placing cookies in a circular pattern around the edge of the tray. I then place my ramekins inside the tray and fill in the spaces around them. There are no hard fast rules when creating any kind of charcuterie board so just have fun with it!
Pro Tip: If your tray is looking a little dull or flat, add some sprigs of green! I used fresh lavender from my garden to enliven the tray. You can also use rosemary or other fresh herb springs. In a pinch, even a few faux green sprigs will do the trick!
Tip 5: Use the principle of symmetry when styling your serving platters to create a visually appealing dessert buffet.
Whether you are serving from a round or rectangular table, styling your platters in a somewhat symmetrical fashion will help you create a pulled together look. Round tables are trickier to style because the focal point changes as one walks around the table. Choose a main focal point for the table, in my case it is the mini Christmas tree centerpiece, and work from there.
I styled my cake platters symmetrically and balanced the “weight” of my items on each side of the table. You don’t have to have everything perfectly symmetrical, but keeping this styling tip in mind will help when setting everything up on your table!
Tip 6: Provide one show stopping, semi-homemade treat on your buffet!
I always like to bake something fresh for my dessert buffets and semi-homemade treats that pass for made-from-scratch are always a great option! I will dedicate a separate blog post with more in-depth directions on making these Christmas Tree Cupcakes, but the process is really simple.
Purchase a cake box mix, frosting, sprinkles, and sugar cones. Again, I purchased everything at Christmas Tree Shops including all of the cute cake platters and serving trays!
For a more homemade taste when making your box mix cupcakes, replace whatever amount of water is suggested on the recipe box with milk and the oil with butter. To create the Christmas trees, decorate the sugar cones with piped frosting. Cover in sprinkles and place the frosted cones on your cupcakes. Not everyone is going to want to eat all of that sugar, so save yourself time and energy and just make a few for show. Yes, some kids (of all ages) may fight for a cupcake with the tree but that can just be part of the fun!
Thanks so much for stopping by today! I hope these tips and tricks help you feel empowered to tackle your upcoming Christmas and holiday party! All food, serveware, and decor items were purchased recently at my local Christmas Tree Shops. Click here to sign up to receive $10 off your $50 in-store purchase!
Check out my other Christmas Tree Shops Christmas posts for more decorating inspiration:
How to Instantly and Affordably Decorate a Themed Christmas Tree and Dining Room
Woodland Glam Holiday Table Setting
Rustic Glam Christmas Family Room Decor from Christmas Tree Shops