Desserts Only Reception?

Lounge By jonahsmom Updated 20 Sep 2010 , 6:19pm by scp1127

jonahsmom Posted 26 Jun 2010 , 9:04pm
post #1 of 34

Anybody here been involved in one of these? Our 10 yr anniversary is coming up and we want to have a party, but we're thinking we'd love to do a desserts only since that's our favorite part!!!! But I've never been to one before and wouldn't have the slightest idea where to start!!!

We're going to Vegas about 1 month after our anniversary where we will be renewing our vows, but there will only be a couple people with us. We want to celebrate with everyone else who has been through hell and back with us.

Any ideas?!


33 replies
Kellbella Posted 26 Jun 2010 , 9:17pm
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Can't go wrong with a choc fountain and fruit, pound cake to dip with! I love the idea of a desserts only reception. Indydebi's former website had a pic of a spread that she looked beautiful.

abeane Posted 26 Jun 2010 , 9:33pm
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Desserts are my favorite part too! I do have to have to offer this warning boyfriend works in a conference center and has served at countless receptions. He always has interesting stories when he gets off work icon_lol.gif So he recently worked an all-dessert reception and said that while people really seemed to enjoy the desserts, a lot of the guests were excessively drunk by the end of the night. This is certainly not uncommon at a wedding reception, but it seemed to him that a greater than usual proportion of the guests were drunk, and he suspected it was because they had nothing in their stomachs except for sugar to soak up the booze. I'm not saying this will happen with your crowd, don't know if you're even planning on serving alcohol, but you may want to consider having a few savory munchies available, or at least letting people know that it is going to be an all-dessert reception so that they can eat dinner beforehand!

jonahsmom Posted 26 Jun 2010 , 9:45pm
post #4 of 34

Good tip about the alcohol!

Truthfully, we're not big drinkers so we probably won't even have alcohol. And I'm thinking we're planning on a total candy theme - and kids are going to be MORE than welcome as family is such an important thing to us!

That said, we'll have some salty types of things, too, I'm thinking. Salt and sweet go so well together. YUM!!!!


indydebi Posted 26 Jun 2010 , 9:54pm
post #5 of 34

Dessert Reception doesn't have to mean just sugar.

abeane mentioned what I was going to mention. With all of that sugar, have some pretzels, peanuts, other salt alternatives to counter the sugar. With a chocolate fountain, you can provide fruit, rice krispie treats, and pretzels that are not-as-much-sugar items. You could even have a bowl of nuts on eat table as part of the centerpiece. Lots of coffee should be available, too.

Fresh Fruit kabobs: http:[email protected]/4085094118/

The square things are 8x12 dessert bars from GFS that I cut into 1.5"x1.5" squares; the round things are just frozen desserts from GFS or Sams': http:[email protected]/3773192343/

More fruit squares with fresh fruit: http:[email protected]/3557945619/

Of course mini-cupcakes are always good, especially for those who want "just a bite" of cake: http:[email protected]/3212093456/

Dessert bars and chocolate covered fruit served in mini champagne glasses: http:[email protected]/3080419439/

Chocolate Fountains:
http:[email protected]/500041532/
http:[email protected]/431920561/

And then of course there's my "masterpiece"! http:[email protected]/2930064470/ icon_biggrin.gif

jonahsmom Posted 26 Jun 2010 , 9:56pm
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Indydebi - you're my fave! THANK YOU!!!!

abeane Posted 26 Jun 2010 , 10:10pm
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Indydebi that impressive display of desserts definitely got my mouth watering! In fact, I'd go bake something right now if my oven was working icon_sad.gif
I think having bowls of nuts on each table is a great idea. Sweet and salty is such a great combination!

sweetiesbykim Posted 26 Jun 2010 , 10:26pm
post #8 of 34

And I'm sure you wouldn't do this, but my friend held a large desserts only party buffet at 6pm!! Needless to say, guests were walking around hungry with sugar headaches, and the kids were flying off the walls!! They did have a few baskets of chips and pretzels, a meat and cheese tray, and a veggie and fruit tray, but not nearly satisfying enough for supper! They didn't even have coffee!!

indydebi Posted 26 Jun 2010 , 10:27pm
post #9 of 34

Chocolate covered cherries (and no, I don't mean that nasty stuff sold in the candy aisle! icon_biggrin.gif ): http:[email protected]/412280187/

A serving idea: http:[email protected]/412280175/

The gold liner items are cups made of chocolate (can be purchased thru GFS), filled with chocolate mousse or pudding that I flavored with some of the raspberry sleeved filling. You could also flavor them with rum flavoring for Chocolate Shots. http:[email protected]/412280128/

Mini dessert cups can be filled with pudding, yogurt or fruit.

Mini dishes can be found here and are available thru GFS (click on the catalog "Reflections Petites"):

indydebi Posted 26 Jun 2010 , 10:30pm
post #10 of 34
Originally Posted by sweetiesbykim

... my friend held a large desserts only party buffet at 6pm!!

OMG!!!!!!!!!! icon_surprised.gificon_eek.gif

jonahsmom Posted 26 Jun 2010 , 10:33pm
post #11 of 34

I think we're gonna keep it short from 2-4. They can eat lunch before they come (or not if they wanna save room!) and eat supper when they're done with their dessert! Seemed like the perfect time....agree?

Thank you so much! And I'd thought about the little tart shells and filling them with anything good...thanks again indydebi!

tararenee29 Posted 26 Jun 2010 , 10:43pm
post #12 of 34

When I got married we had a dessert only reception, I wanted everything to be small. Emily Post says you can serve only desserts after 7pm. For some reason my mom was very concerened about what Emily post would think of my receptionicon_razz.gif . Mini brownie bites, mini eclairs, cream puffs, and little cherry pies made in filo cups were a few of the things we served. We served sangria and punch only, so no one got sloshed.

tararenee29 Posted 26 Jun 2010 , 10:45pm
post #13 of 34

Oh and by the way Congratulations! on your anniversary! and 2-4 sounds like a great time to have a dessert party, that part of the day is when i want sugar most.

jonahsmom Posted 26 Jun 2010 , 11:03pm
post #14 of 34

Okay - so I'm sure I'll change my mind a hundred times, but these are the things I'm thinking of serving. Please let me know if I'm missing something or if you think I'm thinking of too many things!

Ganache truffles (white chocolate, chocolate)
Mini cuppies (caramel macchiato, white chocolate, lemon)
Cookies (chocolate chip, snickerdoodle)
Cheesecake bites (new york cheesecake with 3 different sauces for them to help themselves)
Fruit cups
Mock champagne

Hubby thinks people will be more excited if I make everything myself - which I totally want to do anyway - so I'm gonna make it all. I can hack it, I'm pretty sure!!!! And it's going to be a come and go type affair - although most people will probably stay the whole time. We're going to make a video of the two of us and our life together thus far and just have that playing the whole time in a designated area. Do you think that sounds like enough to do. Mostly I know people are going to want to visit with eachother and I don't want it to be super formal. KWIM?

Am I thinking too hard?

jonahsmom Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 5:38pm
post #15 of 34

Do you gals (and guys) think it would be dumb to make a dummy cake to display with all the goodies at the dessert table? I would like to, but hubby (and mom!) thinks it would be more work than I need to do. I think it would round out the table nicely, but wanted to see what your thoughts are. In all your infinite wisdom! icon_biggrin.gif

-Tubbs Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 6:32pm
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I wouldn't do a dummy cake - people would think it was real and expect it to be served.

Have you seen the amazing dessert displays Amy Atlas does:

abeane Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 7:19pm
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I agree with Tubbs, I wouldn't do a dummy cake unless you are planning to serve cake because when people see your delicious looking cake they're going to want to eat some!

cakecraft Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 11:33pm
post #18 of 34

I agree with Tubbs and abeane re. the dummy cake.

Just in case you want more reason to do desserts only, I did this for my baby shower. Some people thought it was nuts (what? no egg salad sandwiches? lol) BUT it was delicious, people still mention it when shower-talk comes up. And that was 7 years ago!

Moral of the story: do what makes you happy icon_smile.gif

jonahsmom Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 11:40pm
post #19 of 34

I'm toying with making an actual cake. I sketched a couple today that would be so cool! I guess I'll make my final decision when the time comes! I change my mind so often anyway! icon_smile.gif

-Tubbs Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 11:43pm
post #20 of 34

I would. Do a cake and drop a couple of the desserts you suggested - much more bang for your buck, especially if you put it on a nice cake stand.
Congratulations, by the way!

jonahsmom Posted 15 Jul 2010 , 2:09am
post #21 of 34

I'm so full of questions! Sorry!

Since I'm going to have soooo much sweet stuff, I'm not sure what to serve to drink. Obviously I'll have coffee, but I'm not sure about punch or anything. I'm thinking with all the sweets I should have something not so sweet to drink to sort of cleanse the palette so to speak. I'm tempted just to have nice ice cold water. Any suggestions?

Again, thanks soooo much! (Oh, and I think I've talked myself out of an actual cake - I don't want to have to be cutting the cake while I'm trying to have fun!!! I'm sticking with little desserts for sure!)


SecretAgentCakeBaker Posted 15 Jul 2010 , 1:49pm
post #22 of 34

Maybe you can have cold bottles of those frappuccinos or something. Oh, and milk too, especially for the kids. Depending on how formal you are planning, it might be fun to have the little boxes of milk. They come in plain, vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. You can buy both kids of drinks in cases at the wholesale clubs, or even Amazon.

You could also put milk in pitchers, or even in glasses as long as you keep them iced down. There are a lot of pics on Kara's Party Ideas blog with party table ideas, and many of them have milk out.

mkolmar Posted 17 Jul 2010 , 3:14am
post #23 of 34

Not to try to sway you late in the game but have you thought of a savory dessert option?
The only way I would do a solid straight sweet desserts table is if dinner was being served or even just salads or sandwiches were an option.

Don't get me wrong your idea is wonderful. I'm just thinking as a way to not over kill the sensed and taste buds with sugar a savory option might be a good idea. I know that's the whole idea behind the peanuts and pretzels but that's a salt option not a savory. Salt is good because it pairs well with sugar and makes it pop. I often do a chocolate with a orange or gray Cyprus sea salt on top to make it pop and it pairs well together. A savory dessert though tends to mellow the taste buds some and gives something unexpected. Kind of another way to cleanse the pallet before moving on to the next sugary item.

I do a lot of events with dessert bars. Coffee is a must as well as ice water. Punch if it's a dessert only doesn't go over as well. Some will take it but once they attack the desserts they usually turn to water or coffee drinkers. What about a refreshing lemon aid with mint or lemon basil added to it. A cucumber water or a slight watermelon flavored drink would be refreshing also. Iced tea would work too.

Do you not want anything with alcohol in it?
You can buy these chocolate shot glasses or cups. I fill the cups with a raspberry mousse or Baileys Irish Cream mousse usually. If in a shot glass form the mousses work well but I pair them often with different forms of alcohol with sometimes bits of fruit on the inside. If in the shot glass form a spoon will not be needed.

What about a spoon with something piped on it. I often make savory items this way for savory and sweet. One spoonful and then they are done and moving on to the next wonderful treat. It's also easy to impress this way. For some reason something as simple as this and people go crazy over it.

Creme Bruele? Easy to make and can be made in a variety of different ways, too many to even list. It's not overly sweet either and I have had people almost fist fight over the last one.

I like the idea of the cheesecake bites with different sauces. Cheesecake always goes over well.

Have you ever made pate choux? Super easy to do and pipe with. This is what makes creme puffs and eclairs up dough wise. People go nuts over those lil' cream puff swans that are easy to do.

Heck, I often do sliced and grilled pineapple soaked in rum. Usually coconut rum is what I use. I just cut the pineapple in half take, leave the green stem and leaves on, take out the fruit, prepare it the way I have to and then fill it up with the cut and soaked pineapple again. It makes it's own pretty display for the table also. Easy to do and easily impresses.

jonahsmom Posted 17 Jul 2010 , 3:45am
post #24 of 34

Definitely not too late in the game mkolmar! Thank you for your suggestions!

Not to sound too stupid, but what do you mean by savory desserts? icon_redface.gif

I've changed my menu a little bit. So maybe some of the other additions might qualify as a savory dessert? This is what I've decided (and if some count as savory it's pretty set in stone, but if not maybe I'll change some things around!): cookies, mini cuppies, mini cheesecake, truffles, popcorn, pretzels, melon medley, stuffed strawberries, chocolate dipped marshmallows. The melon and strawberries are new, maybe they count as savory? I'm definitely open to suggestion as far as savory options - obviously I don't know much about THAT! icon_smile.gif

And hubby and I talked today and we are gonna do coffee and bottled water. We didn't want sugar overload with the drink, too, and I'm not a huge fan of most punch anyway, so we thought bottled water (with cute lil labels) would be perfect.

Pate choux sounds interesting. I assume that would be a savory option? And I had thought about the spoons with something piped on, but haven't really delved too far into that! I wasn't even sure what would work there, but I'm gonna check it out now!!!

Thanks again!!!!

mkolmar Posted 18 Jul 2010 , 12:27am
post #25 of 34

How to describe it?
For savory I guess the easiest way to compare would be a NY cheesecake vs. a blue cheese cheesecake or a sun dried tomato cheesecake.
Or a something like a dessert with fresh herbs added like a warm chocolate cake with a light basil sauce.
Chocolates with a touch of heat added to it, like a light chili type of heat.
A rustic apple tart with cinnamon and drizzles of a caramel/salted caramel topped with slivered smoked almonds.
Grilled peaches are always good too and the grill adds a nice flavor to them.

If done correctly they are wonderful. May sound odd to some people but savory desserts are really catching on and are on the up as a new trend, even though they've been around for awhile. Just now getting their do so to speak.

jonahsmom Posted 18 Jul 2010 , 12:45am
post #26 of 34

Thanks mkolmar! That's kind of what I was thinking you meant but wanted to double check! I was kind of thinking like a spicy chocolate type of situation! And I looked up some recipes last night that just looked (IMO) weird! But very interesting at the same time.

I definitely think you're right and could use something like that! I'll for sure have to find something. I like the spoon idea with something piped on it. I think that would look really cool, too. I'll probably try to use that idea. Maybe in place of the dipped marshmallows. They were an add-on anyway to try to balance out the strawberries (in my head anyway!).

If you have any "to die for" ideas, I'm all ears! But I'll definitely start looking and sampling some ideas!

Again thanks!

Doug Posted 18 Jul 2010 , 12:49am
post #27 of 34
Originally Posted by mkolmar

How to describe it?
For savory I guess the easiest way to compare would be a NY cheesecake vs. a blue cheese cheesecake or a sun dried tomato cheesecake.
Or a something like a dessert with fresh herbs added like a warm chocolate cake with a light basil sauce.
Chocolates with a touch of heat added to it, like a light chili type of heat.
A rustic apple tart with cinnamon and drizzles of a caramel/salted caramel topped with slivered smoked almonds.
Grilled peaches are always good too and the grill adds a nice flavor to them.

If done correctly they are wonderful. May sound odd to some people but savory desserts are really catching on and are on the up as a new trend, even though they've been around for awhile. Just now getting their do so to speak.

how soon are you serving up samples? have plate & fork ready!

jonahsmom Posted 18 Jul 2010 , 3:15pm
post #28 of 34

Grrrr....I feel dumb.

I am looking online for recipes for some savory dessert that I can pipe onto a spoon and either I'm not typing in the right search terms (I feel like I've tried EVERYTHING) or I don't know exactly what I'm looking for. It's probably the latter of the two.

The things that I'm finding don't sound like they'd be any type of dessert at all. At first I thought I'd just take a page out of the "frosting shots" page and make some sort of savory-ish buttercream type of situation - I know it would pipe well onto the spoon and look cool. But then I thought that sounded pretty disgusting? Then I thought I'd look for some kind of mousse situation. I'm coming up with crab mousse and things like that. I don't think that sounds desserty at all. Am I wrong?

So...I totally understand that you (collective "you") may not want to share specific recipes, BUT if you could give me a shove in the right direction as far as where in the heck I should be looking....specific cookbooks, a good website, etc I would soooo appreciate it!

I tried searching for amuse-bouche inspired desserts and didn't come up with anything either. I want my dessert reception to be well-rounded and doing something different than what my family normally would do, would be awesome!

Glad I still have time and didn't wait until the last second!!! icon_smile.gif

mkolmar Posted 19 Jul 2010 , 12:47am
post #29 of 34

Most savory items that I've done that can be piped on a spoon are not what your probably looking for. I've made salmon mousse and a different types of crab filling that was piped before. Those items I usually do for an appetizer, not dessert. What I usually do for desert spoons is pipe raspberry mousse or a chocolate mousse, something along those lines.
You probably could do a sweet option with some herbs added in with a light hand. In other words, just a touch of herbs to give it a slightly different flavor, or you could just sprinkle them on top.

When is your anniversary party? I'll pm you a few recipes and try to help you come up with ideas if you'd like.

jonahsmom Posted 19 Jul 2010 , 1:17am
post #30 of 34

Okay - so at least I know I'm not totally dumb when I found so many different meat mousse options for the spoon thing! I thought maybe I was just looking at the wrong things. Glad to know my google skills aren't going down hill as bad as I thought!!! icon_smile.gif

I think those spoons are such a neat way to present a goodie! Hmmm...maybe I could make teeny tiny little cheesecakes and serve those with the different sauces on the spoons. Oooh...I think I like that idea.

Okay, so you said before a little heat added to chocolate is an option, so I could make a chipotle chocolate cupcake maybe instead of one of the other flavors. Or, maybe chipotle chocolate ganache and make truffles out of it instead of just regular truffles. Maybe my truffles could be my secret little savory dish. Bite size little surprises! Hmmm...I'm going to maybe work on that a little bit.

We're pretty bland cooks in our house. We have a hard time experimenting with new things - my husband thinks this savory dessert thing is crazy. But I've learned that if you don't try new things you might miss something awesome! And I would love to wow my friends and family at our party with something off the wall! I know they're going to look at me like I'm nuts. But they all know what a picky, PICKY eater I am and if I like it, it HAS to be good! icon_smile.gif

Our anniversary party is at the end of September. I would love some recipe ideas if you wouldn't mind sharing them. I literally have been on the computer every spare minute the past couple of days to try to work it out.

I really appreciate your help! I cannot wait until we have this party. I'm so excited! icon_biggrin.gif

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