Ten Fabulous Dessert Bars


Whether you are throwing a shower, celebrating a birthday or just having a group of friends over for a movie night, serving a themed buffet will not only save you time, but it will save you money!

I’ve come up with ten really delicious and simple dessert bar options that you can use for your next party. Go simple and select one item from each category, or go all out and provide lots of toppings and sauces! For most of them, they are dump and display – meaning you can buy all the supplies at the store, dump them into the containers and you are ready to party – barely any prep! They adapt really well to serve 10 or 100. Another great thing about them is that depending on how you display them and the decorations you add, you can fit them to almost any themed party and they can be dressed up for a fancy affair or made casual for a family get-together.

– S’mores:

Base: graham crackers, thin mints, chocolate cookies, cinnamon graham crackers, keebler fudge stripe cookies, biscoff cookies, ginger snaps, thin brownies

Chocolate: peanut butter cups, plain chocolate, white chocolate, caramel filled chocolate, twix, kit kats, andes chocolate/mint, nutella,

Marshmallows: plain, chocolate, coconut covered, strawberry, peeps

Other toppings: berries, shredded coconut, bananas

smores bar 1

– Trail Mix:

Options could include: chocolate covered pomegranates, marshmallows, pretzels, chocolate covered almonds or peanuts, shelled pistachios, dried cranberries or cherries, raisins, chocolate covered raisings, peanuts, granola, dried fruit, M&M’s

trail mix bar

– Ice Cream Sundae:

Ice-cream – Since you are topping them with lots of goodness, stick with the basics: chocolate, vanilla and strawberry

**Freeze scoops on a cookie sheet or in cupcake lined muffin tins and once frozen place them in a bowl so they are easier for guests to serve themselves

Toppings: Caramel, Fudge, Strawberries, Whip cream, Cherries, Bananas, Oreos, Reeces, Gummy bears, Sprinkles, Brownie bites, Sponge cake bites, Peanuts, Marshmallows, Skor bar, M&m’s, Snickers

ice cream sundae bar

– Ice Cream Sandwich:

Cookies: oatmeal, chocolate chip, snickerdoodles, ginger snap, sugar, chocolate

Softened Ice cream: select flavors that pair well with your cookies: vanilla, chocolate, cinnamon, caramel, etc.

Toppings to roll the sides in: peanuts, toffee, crushed oreo’s, mini chocolate chips, toasted coconut, sprinkles, mini m&m’s

ice cream sandwich bar

– Fruit Pizza

Base: sugar cookies

Glue: whipped cream mixed with berry flavored yogurt, whipped cream, lemon curd, buttercream frosting, cream cheese frosting

Toppings: strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, kiwi, bananas, coconut


– Mini Pie or Tart:

Base: mini pie shells or tarts – grahm cracker crust, traditional crust or almond flour crust

Pie Fillings: cherry, raspberry, lemon, apple, banana pudding, crème anglaise

Toppings: whipped cream or ice cream (cinnamon ice cream, caramel ice cream, lemon ice cream)

pie tart buffet

– Crepes or Waffles:

Base: Crepes (they sell precooked crepes at Costco now!) or Waffles (cheat and use Ego if you are in a time crunch or make them ahead and freeze them, then toast them on the day of the party)

Toppings: variety of berries, fresh fruit, pie fillings (apple, cherry, banana cream, etc.), Nutella, whipped cream, chocolate mousse, lemon curd, ice cream, caramelized bananas, peanut butter

crepes bar

– Hot Cocoa:

Hot chocolate: a variety of chocolate powder flavors (like Stephens Gourmet)

Liquid: steamed milk (soy, almond, coconut, milk)

Toppings: marshmallows, caramel topping, whipped cream, sprinkles, chocolate shavings, candy canes (crushed or whole), cayenne pepper, cinnamon, red hots, wafer cookies

hot cocoa bar

– Cupcakes:

Cupcakes: since you are topping them, stick with basics like chocolate & vanilla

Frosting: (already loaded into piping bags) offer 3-5 choices – cream cheese, butter cream, strawberry, mint, chocolate, peanut butter, coconut, lemon/lime, german chocolate

Toppings: a variety of candy bars that have been chopped small, sprinkles, coconut, marshmallows, fruit, chocolate covered strawberries, chopped nuts, pop rocks – anything miniature

cupcake bar

– Popcorn:

Variety of popcorn: caramel, white cheddar, cheddar, ranch, cookies and cream,  butter, kettle, white chocolate

Toppings: chocolate (like M&M’s, Jr. Mints or Reeces Pieces), nuts, offer plain popcorn and then the shakers (you can get a bunch of flavors at Orson Gigi)

popcorn bar

popcorn shakers

Photo credits: Smores, Trail Mix, Ice Cream Sundae, Ice Cream Sandwich, Fruit Pizza, Mini Tarts, Crepes, Hot Cocoa, Cupcakes, Popcorn, Popcorn Shakers

Ten Fabulous Dessert Bars


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