Dessert platters (or dessert boards) can be a fun, easy way to treat family and friends. This dessert board for two includes ideas and options for the sweets, the drinks and the decor. You can always focus on home-made treats (some recipes included), but the idea with this how-to dessert board is “easy” so it is focused on ready-made treats.
Dessert Plates vs. Dessert Platters vs. Dessert Boards?
Dessert “plates” tend to be small affairs for 2 or 3 people, with dessert “platters” focused on small gatherings of 5-6 people, and dessert “boards” designed for larger parties or celebrations.
Then of course you have the dessert “grazing table” that is more typical of weddings and large events.
Basic Design of a Dessert Platter or Dessert Board
Whether a small plate or a large grazing table, the design elelments are similar. Here are some tips to building a plate or board that is beautiful, tasty and awesome for your guest(s):
- Include a variety of textures. Examples might include smooth, creamy chocolates paired with crunchy shortbread cookies and fresh juicy fruit.
- Include a variety of heights. I choose some long, thin rolled wafers, added a few dishes of different heights for the candy, and placed some of the items flat on the plate or board
- Keep it simple and not so cluttered. When looking at other dessert plates on the internet, I found many of them to be extremely busy which was not that appealing. Find a centerpiece item and arrange the food artfully around it.
- Add some drinks – alcoholic or non-alcoholic. The drinks themselves can be part of the dessert if they are sweet. The other option is to have non-sweet, refreshing drinks to cleanse the palate between the sweet treats.
How to Decorate a Dessert Board (or Dessert Plate)
- Search your home (or the thrift store) for interesting decor that fits with the theme. Because this theme was Valentine’s Day, I found some pink, red and white items that worked well
- Vary the colors. With dessert boards this can get tricky because chocolate and dark fruits are often involved and you need to liven up the brown colors. I chose some bright pink gummy hearts and some cream colored shortbread cookies to offset the browns of the chocolates and the darkness of the raspberries.
- Include something meaningful to your theme or guests. Because my Valentine guest was my husband, I added the glass piece that was the topper for our wedding cake way back when. If you are not designing for your guests, go for something that fits with the theme of the event.
Homemade Treats for the Dessert Platter
If you prefer homemade sweet treats vs store-bought, here are some of my favorite chocolate or sweet fruit recipes:
- Chocolate Pots de Creme
- Low Carb Chocolate Truffles
- Chocolate Quick Bread
- Strawberry Brownies with Rosewater Frosting
- Shippable Cookies and Treats for Valentines Day Care Packages
Cocktails or Mocktails for the Dessert Platter
- Raspberry Inspired Cocktails
- Using Shrub Syrups in red cocktails or mocktails
- Using Shrub Syrups in Italian Sodas
There you have it! If you want a recipe for making a simple dessert for two for Valentine’s Day, rather than a whole dessert plate, check out this easy Raspberry Trifle.
If you’d like to watch a video showing how these tips all come together, see the youtube video below.