Classic Holiday Dessert Table

A good friend of ours has a birthday on December 23rd, and most years he (and his lovely wife) use his birthday as a wonderful excuse to have a Christmas/Birthday party.  A few years ago, the birthday boy celebrated his 40th birthday.  Ever since, the party invitations have read, “please join us for John’s (2nd, 3rd, 4th…) annual 40th birthday party!”  Last year, I offered to prepare desserts for the party of about 40 guests.  I’ve enjoyed playing party planner for this family a couple times, and their daughter’s Snowflake Ballerina Party is still one of my favorites!

Please enjoy John’s 3rd annual… or was it 4th annual, 40th birthday party!

This classic dessert table set up could work easily for a variety of holiday occasions.  I started with a set of cake stands in the center (Martha Stewart Collection at Macy’s), some pretty glass trees (Target), added simple boxes wrapped in paper (I use boxes to create height on a table for most of my dessert displays), with square plates (Target) setting on top.  Matching white rectangular platters (Target) work great for displaying lots of treats, and a smaller platter (Crate and Barrel) in the center completed the set up.

Now let’s take a look at the desserts…

 I made my (famous among my friends) Fudge Mint Brownies.

(Left) Coconut Snowballs and (right) Decorated Sugar Cookies.

More decorated Sugar Cookies (not quite sure why I made them blue when everything else was red/green/white… oh well)

(Right)  Delicious Cranberry White Chocolate Bars (think Starbuck’s Cranberry Bliss bars!)

I decorated store bought white fudge oreos with simple royal icing snowflakes, piped directly onto the cookies.

Which treat would you go for first?

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69 Responses to “Classic Holiday Dessert Table”

  1. #
    Amanda — November 13, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    Glory, you did a fantastic job!!! I am so impressed. You style so beautifully and make everything look so classy and elegant! I ADORE that blue in there… its positively genius!!

  2. #
    Katrina {In Katrina's Kitchen} — November 13, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    I love this, Glory! And I think the blue is just so nice in there! Truly I don't know what I would go for first. But I know I would be back for seconds… 😉

  3. #
    Cookbook Queen — November 13, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    I would totally go for brownies first. Mainly because they look delicious but also because chocolate always wins.

    I love seeing your dessert tables, they always look so gorgeous!!

  4. #
    Beth — November 13, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    they are all so yummy looking. but if i had to pick … the snowflakes are just to cute. they are my 1st pick. but i think i would have to try a little piece of them all. (:

  5. #
    Mary Grace McNamara — November 13, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    The chocolate mint for sure! Then I'd get a cup of tea and have one of those beautiful sugar cookies! A gorgeous dessert display! I love the blue and white cookies among the red and green…they add a touch of cold winter to the warmness of everything else!


  6. #
    amalia — November 13, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    Beautiful, Glory!!! I would definitely go for the brownies first, then sugar cookies!!! I'm a chocolate kinda gal!!! I love the touch of blue in there….soooo pretty!!! Everything looks beautiful!!! Also….where did you get your tree cutter???? I love the simple triangle shape…and have been searching for one!!!

  7. #
    Stephanie — November 13, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    I'd go for the brownies for sure! Beautiful table!!

  8. #
    Sharon — November 13, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    aaaawwwwwwwww!! Boy did I check over here at the right time…So sweet Glory!! You are just an angel…..and very generous…as it was the 8th annual..hahjahah..

  9. #
    Kieli_Heart — November 13, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    Oh man that spread looks amazing. *drools* I wouldn't be able to choose which to nom first lol

    Amazing job =)

    ~ Kieli ~

  10. #
    Beverly — November 13, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    Ooooh….definitely the mint brownies!!! The table looks lovely….thanks for the ideas.

  11. #
    SweetSugarBelle — November 13, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    Breathtaking! I love the pop of green. I wish I had some trees like that!

  12. #
    tina — November 13, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    mmmm… they all look delicious!!

  13. #
    Mindy — November 13, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    My birthday is on the 23rd as well! So you can just go ahead and come on over this year and set up a spread like that at my house too. I'll take leftovers. :o)

  14. #
    Jennifer — November 13, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    I love the cranberry bliss bars… They are on my blog (recipes to try list) and I can't wait to make them!

  15. #
    Joy Adams — November 13, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    It all looks so wonderful.

  16. #
    Weddingish — November 13, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    How utterly DELECTABLE! And just in time for the holidays. I think I'd go for the Oreos… :)

  17. #
    Bea @ CancunCOOKIES — November 13, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    What a beautiful dessert table, Glory! Everything looks nice and perfect… I love the touch of blue…

  18. #
    Anne — November 13, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    I'd have to go for those brownies and then the cranberry bliss bars. Your table is beautiful!

  19. #
    naomi — November 13, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    Absolutely gorgeous! I love the brownies

  20. #
    adozeneggs — November 13, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    Glory, what a great, simple and yummy looking table!
    I don't mind the blue in there, I think it compliments all the other sweets.
    I think I'd go for those cranberry bars first, then a mint brownie, then a coconut ball, and then cookies…sorry but you must understand the allure of anything BUT a cookie for me!!!

  21. #
    Highland Holiday Homes — November 13, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    I like this all very much, keep it up!

  22. #
    Susan Bennett — November 13, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    The question "Which treat would you go for first" represents cruel and unusual punishment.

  23. #
    Susan Bennett — November 13, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    The question "Which treat would you go for first" represents cruel and unusual punishment.

  24. #
    Susan Bennett — November 13, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    The question "Which treat would you go for first" represents cruel and unusual punishment.

  25. #
    SweetSugarBelle — November 13, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    I know why you made them blue. Because there are blue balls on the christmas trees. HEHEHEHE, I said blue balls. Blue ornaments.

  26. #
    Jeanette's Bake Shop — November 14, 2011 at 12:08 am


  27. #
    Lisa.lou — November 14, 2011 at 3:42 am

    Glory! This is beautiful! I would have to go for the coconut balls first but would soon go back to try everything. You have such a gift to make things elegant and beautiful!

  28. #
    Haniela — November 14, 2011 at 4:10 am

    Everything Looks Beautiful!

  29. #
    cookies and cups — November 14, 2011 at 4:36 am

    Pretty Table Glory! Those cranberry white chocolate bars look really yum!!

  30. #
    Genevieve — November 14, 2011 at 5:15 am

    Glory, this is fantastic! :) They look too pretty to be eaten! Out of curiosity, why don't you work as a party planner? :)

  31. #
    The Mrs — November 14, 2011 at 6:44 am

    I think it would be a tie between the brownies and sugar cookie trees. Is two fisting dessert at a party rude? :-)

  32. #
    sue — November 14, 2011 at 6:52 am

    I love your brownies, I get asked to make them all the time!

  33. #
    Kathleen — November 14, 2011 at 8:47 am

    Totally gorgeous!

  34. #
    Karyl — November 14, 2011 at 9:27 am

    Beautiful! I would definitely go for the mint brownies first!

  35. #
    Cristin (Pinkie) — November 14, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Absolutely beautiful Glory! I would go for the Christmas trees or the beautiful blue snowflakes. Love them! My son would GRAB those mint brownies!

  36. #
    Misbah — November 14, 2011 at 10:04 am

    wow what a beautiful display. Everything look so delicious, but if I must choose I´ll go for the brownies. Misbah/cupcakeluv

  37. #
    JulieD — November 14, 2011 at 11:48 am

    Looks amazing!! I would go for the snowflakes sugar cookies first…have a taste of everything and then go back for seconds!

  38. #
    Grace Baxter — November 14, 2011 at 11:49 am

    Such a beautiful display of goodies! I would have a hard time choosing which treat to enjoy first. Possibly the coconut ball. No wait, the fudge mint brownie. How sweet are they? Who am I kidding… I'd eat it anyway.

  39. #
    Anonymous — November 14, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    I like your dessert table. But could you tell me how to organize holiday baking? I always have this question when we have something to celebrate. For example: For Thanksgiving I would like to make Sugar Cookies, your Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars and Pumpkin Roll w/filling. Where do I start? What to make first? What do you do when you make dessert table?
    Thank you,

  40. #
    Amalia — November 14, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    I would definitely go for the coconut snowballs! But everything looks wonderful!

  41. #
    kyleen — November 14, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    Wow, everything on that table looks so cute and delicious! I'd definitely go for the snowflake sugar cookies first; they look absolutely divine.

  42. #
    Anonymous — November 15, 2011 at 2:59 am

    Hi, I just adore your blog. Love that holiday christmas party table. I just found you from Tidy Moms blog.


  43. #
    Jennifer @ Mother Thyme — November 15, 2011 at 8:55 am

    You inspire me! This is absolutely beautiful!

  44. #
    Cecilia — November 15, 2011 at 11:47 am

    I love that I know exactly what spot this is in your house! I also love the fudge mint brownies! I have made these and they are awesome! Love you!

  45. #
    Stacy — November 15, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    I LOVE those white plates, platters, etc. from Target! I'm working on building up a collection. I would totally head straight for the mint brownies, and people would have to fight me for them. 😀

  46. #
    Stacy — November 15, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    Forgot to add that this display is amazing! But then all of your parties & displays are. :-)

  47. #
    Anonymous — November 16, 2011 at 6:32 am

    Glory everything looks beautiful!
    Can I ask where you get the little papers that the brownies are on? I am making squares for a bake exchange and would like to put them on something like that.

  48. #
    Amanda — November 16, 2011 at 9:00 am

    I love that table. Specialy the tower with the trees on top. Everything looks tasty. You have officially inspired me.

  49. #
    miss b — November 16, 2011 at 10:30 am

    Wow! This looks stunning – I love the colour combination and like the touch of blue there too.

  50. #
    At Anna's kitchen table — November 16, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    Oh my word! It's all so stunningly beautiful!!

  51. #
    Anonymous — November 16, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    As usual, your display is the most beautiful I've seen! I'm just wondering – how do you keep your sugar cookies from going stale as the icing is drying? Every time I cook them, they come out lovely from the oven, but when I leave the icing to dry after decorating them, they always get stale in the drying process. Any tips? Thanks, and BEAUTIFUL blog.

  52. #
    The Northwest Stamper — November 18, 2011 at 7:15 am

    That table looks amazing! I cant wait to try the mint brownies and coconut snowballs!

  53. #
    triciaz — November 18, 2011 at 10:16 am

    Beautiful photos, and such a breathtaking display!!

  54. #
    Merry — November 18, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    I've just been asked to do a dessert table for a fundraiser. They are expecting about 50 people, any advice on how many goodies and how many of each to make?

  55. #
    Little Susie Home Maker — November 18, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    Now that is a sweet table! And I do mean sweet! I think you made this such an elegant table I would be afraid to mess it up! But after someone else did first, then I would go for the brownie, and then I would also want the rest, because they all look great! Love the square plates on gift wrapped boxes.

  56. #
    MicheleV — November 19, 2011 at 9:56 am

    I've just been pouring over your blog for the last hour! You are amazing – every post has something so special & beautiful. I can hardly wait to go and bake – just not sure what to try first! I love the classic holiday dessert table it is very classy and beautiful!

  57. #
    Tina @GottaRunNow — November 20, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    Looking forward to trying some of these desserts for Christmas. Your photos have inspired me!

  58. #
    Cynthia Fox-Giddens — November 21, 2011 at 8:33 am

    Just discovered your blog which is fantastic. I am going to enjoy the sweet posts :-)

  59. #
    Carol Dee — November 30, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    Minty fudge brownies YUM

  60. #
    hvc — December 1, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    hmmmm…… its very yummyyyy…..

  61. #
    Susan — December 13, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    Just found your website via pinterest. Those oreos are genius!

  62. #
    Wedding Dessert Ideas — January 6, 2012 at 12:08 am


    This is really beautiful dessert table decoration for the Christmas party. Special meal and desserts for Christmas deserves a unique set like this. Thanks for sharing these lovely images of the dessert table.

  63. #
    SoCalMomof3 — January 7, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    I FINALLY tried your version of the white chocolate cranberry bars (I saved your recipe from a year ago). WOW. I just don't have the words to describe how wonderful they are–and this is coming from a choco-holic! Thank you for sharing the recipe! I am always so excited to see an email/FB post from you–your blog is like reading a letter from a friend : ) Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful talents with us!

  64. #
    Find Account Info — July 19, 2013 at 1:34 am

    Hi, Neat post. There’s an issue along with your web site in internet explorer, would test this? IE still is the market leader and a big part of other folks will miss your great writing because of this problem.

  65. #
    Robert — November 4, 2014 at 2:34 am

    Absolutely gorgeous! Decorating using your imagination with what you have on hand is so much more personal than going out and buying what the stores decide is in fashion this season. Happy holidays!


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