Desserts For Bridal Shower

Baking By angesradieux Updated 26 Mar 2020 , 3:44pm by angesradieux

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angesradieux Posted 26 Feb 2020 , 3:57pm
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So I've been put in charge of desserts for my sister's bridal shower. It's a small, weird event. It's going to be a painting thing, so all the food is going to be set up at a table for people to serve themselves when they take a break from painting. The headcount I have been given is 10-12.

Personally, I always plan on having a little too much food. I know most people will have one piece of cake or cupcake and be content with that. However, especially since this is a self-serve thing, and basically the cake's going to be put out with a knife next to it for people to help themselves, I'd like to have extra. This way if a few people want to have a second helping of dessert or someone cuts a larger slice of cake, it's all good. We don't have to worry about running out, and people can either take home leftovers, or we can offer some to the person teaching the class, or whatever.

I also know that some people in attendance can be fussy and kind of obnoxious to feed. My sister and I are not huge fans of chocolate cake. We both prefer either red velvet or vanilla cake. But other people in attendance are super into chocolate and might grudgingly have the red velvet, and would probably be disappointed if vanilla was the only option. My mom is also really pushing for cupcakes or mini bundts. Mini bundts are out, because I don't have a pan for them and don't want to buy one because I don't see myself using it much. I would also rather not do all cupcakes, because it's more to decorate.

Awhile ago, before I even agreed to make anything, the future mother-in-law showed me pictures of a somewhat time consuming cupcake design and asked if I could do something like that. I could be wrong, but I take that as an attempt at telling me she wants them without outright asking.

There is also, as of the last time I heard anything about it, not going to be a cake at the wedding to save money. So, I thought it might be nice to have a (hopefully pretty) cake at the shower to make up for it.

Basically, I'm working out a plan to have a little more dessert than we actually need, while keeping a bunch of people with different flavor preferences amd ideas about what we should have all happy enough to not whine.

tl;dr: This is my plan to feed everyone at a party for 10-12 people, and hopefully provide something to keep everyone reasonably happy.

1 6-inch red velvet cake, filled and decorated with white balsamic buttercream.

6 chocolate cupcakes, filled with cannoli cream, decorated with vanilla buttercream

6 vanilla cupcakes, filled with raspberry jam and decorated with vanilla buttercream.

I figure a 6-inch cake yields 8 party size slices, plus 12 cupcakes makes 20 servings total. This way, there's enough if anyone wants a second serving, and we should have leftovers to give people to take home and/or offer to the event staff. And between classic red velvet, chocolate with a rich, creamy filling, and vanilla with a fruity filling, there's something for everyone. Plus, I can make the cupcakes the future mother-in-law wants, but making 1 dozen plus a cake instead of 2 dozen cupcakes cuts down a little on the decorating time. I also want to keep most of the dessert shelf-stable since I have limited refrigerator space. The cannoli cream filled cupcakes will have to be kept cold until being served, but having the cake and half the cupcakes safe at room temperature would be helpful.

What do you guys think? Does this sound sufficient?

The one thing I'm a little worried about is everyone unexpectedly deciding they want one of the three options and complaining about that.

47 replies
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kakeladi Posted 26 Feb 2020 , 7:46pm
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Sounds like you have a good plan.

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theresaf Posted 26 Feb 2020 , 9:03pm
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I always over-make for any family or party event! So I understand  your question.  How about adding a cookie tray?  Some biscotti (I have a great cranberry/pistachio one I will share if you want), chocolate chip cookies with or without MM's in springy colors, and whatever your go-to cookie is.  A few different cookies on a platter takes care of anyone who wants more than one or two treats.  Can be made ahead and easy to distribute afterwards.  Notice I did not say complicatedly decorated sugar cookies or Italian tri-color cookies - nobody needs that much extra work!!


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SandraSmiley Posted 27 Feb 2020 , 1:46am
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It sounds like a very generous dessert table to me and anyone who complains is just rude.  Do not worry about trying to please everyone, please you sister.  It is her day.  Personally, I'd make a pretty red velvet cake and a bunch of brownies and call it good.

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kakeladi Posted 27 Feb 2020 , 1:48am
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angesradieux Posted 27 Feb 2020 , 3:51pm
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A small cookie tray may not be a bad idea. Apparently now the mother in law is trying to get my sister to invite more people. Adding a small tray of cookies would make sure everyone, including potential last minute additions, gets fed. 

The event isn't until May, but I'm trying to plan ahead because the timing is kind of awful. It's just a little after Mother's Day, which I'm told is a super busy time at work. I've been told we can expect to sell 100+ cakes just over that weekend, and I'm really the only decorator, so I'm going to have to pick up extra shifts to even have a chance of keeping up with the demand. After that, I'd like a day or two to rest and not have to look at anymore cakes before starting this project. Plus, I don't make a ton of money and ingredients and supplies are expensive.

I figure if I start figuring out what I'm going to do now, I can spread out buying ingredients, molds, and whatever else I need instead of paying for everything in one shot. And I can make buttercream flowers and stuff for the cake ahead of time and keep them in the freezer until I'm ready to use them. I could also probably make some of the cookie dough a couple weeks ahead, stick it in the freezer, and just put it in the oven the day before. 

I'm trying to make sure everyone is adequately fed while also making things less stressful for me.

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theresaf Posted 27 Feb 2020 , 4:18pm
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Whenever I am planning a family party or event I get a new HomeGoods bag (another excuse to go to HomeGoods) and set it up in the corner of my kitchen.  Every time I get something that's related to that event I put it in the bag  and keep  my running list on my phone or separate note.  So I have my platters or cupcake liners and decorations etc, together.  I also wind up buying things a little at a time instead of one giant shop and take advantage of when stuff's on sale.   And cookies can be frozen without losing their taste!


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SandraSmiley Posted 27 Feb 2020 , 5:13pm
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I think it is a little presumptuous for your family to expect you to not only bake all of the goodies for the shower, but to pay for everything all on your own.  This is especially true if they are planning to invite more people.  You should be passing around the hat and getting reimbursed for at least some of the costs.  Remember, the more elaborate you go, the more time it will require and cost.

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theresaf Posted 27 Feb 2020 , 5:34pm
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Ooo boy sandra is right!  Unless this is your gift to your sister that's a lot to be responsible for.  And then adding to the size!   There really is nothing wrong with asking for some chip-ins!  Or have someone else make/buy a cookie tray.  Based on your schedule, which if it isn't already known to the rest of the family should be shared,  you have limited time and resources even if you are more than willing. So everyone should pitch in where they can to help make the shower something special for your sister.

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kakeladi Posted 27 Feb 2020 , 7:36pm
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Ditto what the others have said...…..and start baking now.  Cookies & cake (big or cupcakes sizes) freeze well. If YOU don't have room to fz them inlist relatives to keep them.   If your using b'cream that can also be made now & fzn

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SandraSmiley Posted 27 Feb 2020 , 7:41pm
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Great idea making the buttercream ahead!  For some reason, that is always a big hassel for me.

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theresaf Posted 27 Feb 2020 , 8:08pm
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Sandra is it because no matter how hard you try (meaning me) there is powdered sugar out of the bowl?  Or is that just me?? Ha!

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SandraSmiley Posted 27 Feb 2020 , 9:55pm
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Nope, it is not just you!  I manage to get powdered sugar all over creation.  I once saw an episode of Duck Dynasty where Miss Kay had flour all over her boobs (which were considerable).  Her daughters-in-law were commenting on it and she said she had always had flour on her boobs (because she had always been a cook).  I am exactly the same way, only less endowed, lol!

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theresaf Posted 27 Feb 2020 , 10:18pm
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And I am always wearing black leggings or something dark colored when I'm baking so there's no hiding any white spots (or hand prints!)

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SandraSmiley Posted 28 Feb 2020 , 12:50am
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Haha, even better!

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angesradieux Posted 28 Feb 2020 , 3:56am
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I'm not going to even bother asking for reimbursement. My mom thinks it should have been my responsibility to foot the bill for the whole shower, and I should be grateful she's covering the cost of the painting class and sandwiches, or whatever other food she's planning to get. I'm sure if I said anything about the cost of desserts, she would just say that I shouldn't complain, because I'm getting off easy only having to lay out the money to cover dessert.

But I do have freezer space, so I can start baking cookies and making buttercream soon to make my life easier in May. For at least the next month, I put my foot down at work and insisted on only working 5 days a week instead of 6 or 7. If I pick some simple recipes, I can probably put together a decent cookie tray with one day of baking.

And I have no plans to get my sister any other gift. This is it. I may get some grief from my family over it since I apparently should have been on the hook for the bill for the whole event, but I think covering dessert is a more than adequate contribution.

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SandraSmiley Posted 28 Feb 2020 , 4:24am
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It is not my business, but why the heck should you be responsible for footing the bill for her shower?  Generally several friends go together so it is not a huge expense for anyone.

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angesradieux Posted 28 Feb 2020 , 2:16pm
post #18 of 48

My sister has no bridal party, and I'm the (somewhat reluctant) maid of honor. My mom says that the maid of honor traditionally covers the cost of the shower. I think it's not uncommon for the bridal party to cover the cost, but that's when you actually have a group of bridesmaids who can split the cost. So I've gotten a few snide comments about how she knows I can't because my job is "low income," but I should keep in mind that it's typically the maid of honor's job to pay for the bridal shower.

Honestly, I was reluctant to offer anything towards it after that. But I mentioned to my aunt that I was *considering* offering to make a small cake for the event. She immediately told my mother I wanted to do it, and my mother started going on about mini bundt cakes and cupcakes. So I'm planning on a cake and one dozen cupcakes, because that way I don't have to buy a new pan I'll never use again and I would rather not decorate 24+ cupcakes.

It's probably my fault for opening my mouth and saying anything. But I made the mistake of believing saying I was thinking about offering made it clear I wasn't ready to commit just yet, and that if I did everyone would be satisfied with the offer of just a cake.

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theresaf Posted 28 Feb 2020 , 3:55pm
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Sounds like the shower is the tip of the iceberg and I'm sorry!  It also sounds like you are doing a lot to make your sister happy so good for you!  Only you can decide what you can and cannot do whether it's because of time, expense or your personal threshhold for family bullying.  Turns out this page can be a good place to vent! We've all done it!   You are obviously good at what you do at your job so try to re-focus these as your own personal accomplishment that just so happens to be served at your sister's bridal shower !


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SandraSmiley Posted 28 Feb 2020 , 4:39pm
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Well said, theresa.  Since it appears the bridal shower is your sole responsibility, then it is YOUR decision as to what will be served.  If you want to make a pretty cake and buy a pack of cookies at the grocery store, that is your choice.  Remember, this is not an obligation, it is an act of love toward your sister and it really is no one else's business, including your mom.  It should be enjoyable for both of you and that is all that matters.  Bake and decorate what makes you happy and fill in the spaces with brownies (easy, peasy)!

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kakeladi Posted 28 Feb 2020 , 8:37pm
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jchuck Posted 28 Feb 2020 , 10:11pm
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angesradieux....I’m sorry, I beg to differ about the ...”It’s the maid of honour” responsibility to pay for the wedding shower. I think  you’re Mom is wrong, wrong, wrong. For both my daughter’s  and son’s wedding showers, I as the Mom plus both Mom-in-laws contributed financially and cooking/baking wise. Being the hobby baker, I made the cakes for both showers. I’m actually surprised your Mom & Mom-in-law aren’t contributing financially, nor making something. I mean cookies aren’t that hard to bake. You can whip up a couple of dozen within a hour!!!!! I think this  is a old fashioned and archaic way of thinking. Found this on a wedding etiquette site:  “Traditionally, the bridal shower is arranged and paid for by the maid of honor and the bridesmaids, good friends or relatives. In many instances, the bride's parents offer to contribute to the costs to help alleviate the financial burden for the bridal party (especially if the shower is held in a restaurant).” And fyi, I pretty much paid for half of my daughter-in-laws bridal shower. Split with my daughter, who hosted. You don’t have the bridesmaids to help financially, so sure would have been kind if Mom/Mom-in-lw had offered to bake a few things. 

But since you’ve decided to shoulder the responsibility, do as much as you can ahead of time. I’ve baked both cakes, cupcakes and cookies months ahead. Well wrapped, there’s no problem. I actually deliberately freeze all the cakes I make, even if it’s only 24 hrs. Because it makes the cakes so wonderfully moist. So bake and freeze, and make your buttercream cream ahead too, and freeze. This can be a big lifesaver since you’ll be so busy. And since your bc will be made with white balsamic vinegar, you can decorate the cake 2-3 days in advance, and keep in a cool area, unrefrigerated. The bc will be stable without being in the fridge. I’ve made bc cakes 2-3 days ahead of a celebration, and they’ve been perfectly fine. Looks and taste perfectly fine. And also, ditto, agreed as others have said, since you’re “in charge” you make whatever you want.  Whenever I’ve attended a shower, I’m happy to eat whatever is presented, and been grateful. 

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angesradieux Posted 28 Feb 2020 , 11:10pm
post #23 of 48

I just don't want to be accused of being cheap if whatever desserts I put out don't live up to the expectations. My sister is kind of the golden child, and I'm sure if it isn't up to par I'll hear about it.

My mom is helping with the cost, but that's where the comment about my "low income" job came in. Basically, she's doing me a favor by contributing money towards the event instead of making me pay for the whole thing, and I should be grateful. But there's no way I was ever going to pay for the whole event. The painting class my sister picked is $35 per person. Even with a small-ish group of 10-12, including tax it's going to cost $400+ just to get in the door. Plus the cost of alcohol, food, dessert, and decorations. There's no way I'd be able to afford to pay for all of that. My mom is covering the cost of the class for everyone and she's ordering sandwiches as a meal. That's why I'd get attitude if I started looking for help covering the costs of ingredients. My mom thinks I'm getting off easy because she's not making me cover the entire cost of the party.

But, I will have to spread purchases out. Because even subtracting the cost of the class and sandwiches, it's a lot. I ordered wine today, and that was almost $150. And I got napkins, table cloths, and fake flowers, vases, and ribbon to make a couple little flower arrangements to decorate the dessert table. All of those things added up real fast. With the cost of ingredients for baking, it's still going to end up costing me a pretty penny. But I guess I can manage if I spread the shopping out instead of doing it all in one shot. Either way, what's been designated as "my part" is already a lot and there is absolutely no way I'd be able to afford to foot the entire bill.

Having the flower arrangements for the tables and table cloth taken care of helps. I had a cake design in mind already, but now I can nail down the color palette and make some of the buttercream flowers on my next day off. My plan is to match the colors on the cake as closely as I can to the colors of the fake flowers. The plan for the cupcakes is just plain purple, but now when I get around to making the buttercream I can be sure that the shades I make look nice with the decor. I also picked up plates to arrange the cookies on, and now that I have those I know how much space there is to fill, so I can start baking. I'll probably do some russian tea cookies, snickerdoodles, chocolate chip cookies, and maybe one other kind. But I figure those are all pretty easy, and if I get the cookies and buttercream all done well in advance, hopefully everything else will be somewhat manageable.

And if it makes me tear my hair out, I guess at least I know there will be wine at the event?

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SandraSmiley Posted 28 Feb 2020 , 11:24pm
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Oh my goodness, you family is far too posh for me!  WINE?!  Really?  What happened to a punch bowl?  Putting on the dog does not impress me one iota and I think it is horribly unfair to put this burden on you, I don't care if your sister is made of solid platinum!

P.S.  I would not care a fig if someone called me cheap or even quite speaking to me for a while.  This is ridiculous.

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jchuck Posted 28 Feb 2020 , 11:53pm
post #25 of 48

Well, I agree with what Sandra posted. I didn’t want wine at either of the wedding showers, but I was out voted. As far as I was concerned, unnecessary. And many didn’t drink much wine, because they had  to drive home. So we had a ton of wine  leftover. And despite your Mom’s financial help, it’s still a lot to take on. I don’t know if you’re married. My husband definitely kicked in money for both showers. If you’re a single person, you only have one income. So yes, that is tough. And also, like Sandra, I wouldn’t care if anyone in my family  called me “cheap”. I’d just turn around and say....there was nothing stopping you from organizing everything. My daughter really over spent on my d-in-lws wedding shower for the decorations. I kept telling her, no one cares, and years from now, won’t even remember the decorations. They really won’t. My daughter totally agrees with me now. Hats off to you for taking this on. Wish you the very best. 

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angesradieux Posted 29 Feb 2020 , 1:46am
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Yeah, the name of the place is "pinot's palette," and the whole gimmick is you bring wine to have while you paint. So I ordered wine from a vineyard that makes custom labels for the bottles, so half the bottles will have labels with photos of my sister and half will have both her and the boyfriend on them.

I'm currently very single. So I just have my income, which working in an ice cream shop is not stellar, to fund "my share" of the costs. As far as decorations go, I'm probably done. If I need anything else, I plan to check either the dollar store or Five Below first. I don't plan on spending money on much anything other than ingredients going forward.

I've also gotten lots of flack for not being happy enough for my sister. Which, granted, I'm not. She really hurt me over the summer and our relationship has been strained for awhile, and I do not like the boyfriend at all. I was pressured into agreeing to be maid of honor as an obligation, and I'm honestly struggling with my own mental health. But my family doesn't generally want to deal with me unless I'm happy, perky, and ready to deal with all of their nonsense. I'm also a little afraid if "my part" of this isn't up to snuff, I'll be accused of not trying hard enough out of pettiness, or whatever. Or refusing to make my sister a priority. Or something along those lines.

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kakeladi Posted 29 Feb 2020 , 3:36pm
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Oh my I can understand what you are going through Sorry no advice other than to say I’ll pray for you to have peace

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SandraSmiley Posted 29 Feb 2020 , 9:38pm
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Here is a little tip from a long time painter and wine drinker, the two do not mix!  If I drink 1/4 of a glass of wine, I cannot see.  In no other respect do I feel the slightest hint of impairment and never even realized that my vision was not exactly up to par until I tried sipping on a glass of wine while painting a portrait.  I literally had to stop painting until I could once again focus clearly on my work.  That being said, I do very tiny, detailed work, so that might not be true for everyone.  Sounds like a sophisticated idea, but it really is not!

You are allowing your family to drive you crazy.  Try to just tune them out and do whatever makes you feel good and don't worry about their petty name calling.  How hateful and ridiculous.

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jchuck Posted 1 Mar 2020 , 2:45am
post #29 of 48

angesradieux I’m sorry about the relationship between you and your family. Especially your sister. I know how difficult this can be. I’ve been estranged from both of my sisters for years. Through no fault of my own. I hope and pray you will continue to try and work things out. 

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Laetia Posted 1 Mar 2020 , 1:58pm
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