Dessert bars are still the rage here and there. Actually, we have seen some pretty fun twists on the dessert table from couples who prefer not to have cake (whether because they want something different, don’t like cake, or a mix of the two). Of course, there’s always cupcakes, or mini cupcakes, which are fun not only because of a cuteness factor but because guests can try many different flavors and go back for seconds – both of which are Really. Good. Things.
But what if you want to go a step beyond that? What if you want to do something a little special that’s still delicious but maybe a little more “you”? Thankfully, caterers can handle pretty much anything these days, from pie to cake and beyond, so here are a few of our favorite notions:
1. Donut Bars
Whether it’s just a few types of your favorites, or a “make your own bag of donut holes” or sixteen different types of miniature donuts covered in your five wedding colors, there is nothing more fun, a little nostalgic, and a little luxurious than donuts. We are fans of using clear acrylic displays and doing anything a little interactive – whether it’s letting your guests pick their own sprinkles or their own toppings completely, or even having a pastry chef on hand to custom create (bacon? extra sprinkles? rock candy? of course!) – it’s sure to be a smash.
2. Mini Desserts
This is a new french-inspired trend often seen in fancy coffee houses or fine restaurants. It’s more than just some bars and cookies – we’re talking serious “aw” factor – from tiny delicately decorated petit fours to a full blast of flavor in perfectly designed tiramisu and creme brulee. You can seriously customize this, and be sure your caterer’s pastry chef is fully involved to help with the flavors, design and presentation as well as help you if you have a tighter budget (these can add up fast due to the labor to make them look so fabulous). But it will create a completely delectable ending to your night.
3. Carnival Frolicky Fun.
Ok, we made up that middle word. But think about it. Hand spun cotton candy (maybe done on-location), hot flaky elephant ears covered in cinnamon sugar, cold icy chocolate covered bananas. We’re talking super old school carnival that evokes the long lost memories of even your oldest guests, who might shashay up to get a hot ear in sequins and then relive their childhood at the county fair. Candied apples, ice cream and snow cones all fit the bill. You could have one large station where people can order their dessert of choice, and get ready to have everyone on the dance floor an hour later with a sugar high. It’ll be a highlight for sure.
4. Gelato Bar
We had a couple – oh, back in 2010 – who took us up on the idea to serve gelato in three flavors for dessert instead of cake, and the guests devoured it. It was served in frosted tall glasses with a bit of mint, which is a perfect option if you want to keep it all easy and clean cut. But if you do want to splurge a little, plus make it super exciting for any children at the event – have your caterer bring out a gelato station (heck, rent a little Italian type decor for the table) and hand scoop (with the proper gelato scooper, of course) anywhere from 5 to 10 different flavors to guests. They can have cones or a dish, and maybe a cherry on top.
So there ya have it! Some good eats, and serious treats, and desserts that will definitely have guests talking about the bottom of the menu even before the dessert course comes around.