How to Arrange a Dessert Buffet Table

Photo and Desserts by Kim Kunaniec

Having a buffet when you entertain guests allows for movement and conversation while people are eating. However, just because you're dining casually doesn't mean your buffet table has to look drab. Arranging a dessert buffet table in a beautiful way will give your party a more elegant look. You can dress up your table using simple items that can be found in any home. When you arrange your dessert buffet, keep the overall theme and style of your party in mind.

Choose the best space to set up your dessert buffet. The placement of a table can either help the flow of traffic or cause trouble. If you have the space, place the table someplace where people can access it from both sides.

Use small boxes of different heights to display your dessert dishes on your table. Having your desserts placed at different elevations creates an interesting visual. Many professional caterers use items as simple as Styrofoam blocks or the containers that hold wine glasses. Cover everything with a large, white tablecloth.

Add a layer of lace or tulle over your basic tablecloth to give your table more interest. Using a white lace will give the table texture without being too bold. If you use a colored layer, try to keep your platters white or other simple colors.

Purchase unframed mirrors to place your desserts on instead of just using platters. Small mirrors are not that expensive and will give your dessert buffet a professional look.

Use different size and shape serving platters, but stick to one theme or color palette. Your food should be the center of attention. Use solid-colored platters so the desserts will stand out.

Cut your desserts into smaller portions than you would if you were creating a plated dessert. This will allow your guests to try several different desserts without stuffing themselves.

Avoid using fragrant flowers near your food. Strong smells can interfere with the flavor of the desserts. Though the flowers might smell wonderful at the store, they will probably not mix well with the desserts.

Keep the other decorations on the table simple. Stick to one or two important pieces instead of cluttering the table with everything you own. Avoid glitter and confetti in the decorations, because you don't want them to get in the desserts.