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choosing your perfect cake: dessert tables, what are they all about?

There has been such a lot going on of late and so I thought I would take a step back and indulge myself in a bit of blogging. I am planning to run a series of regular posts on my blog, covering a variety of cake-related subjects. The first of these, Choosing Your Perfect Cake, will be fortnightly (yes, I am setting myself some regular deadlines here) tips on what to look for, think about and consider when choosing cakes for your special occasions. There are a lot of cake myths out there and my aim is to dispel as many of them as I can. Yes, there are certain rules, but these are mainly for the cake designer to stick to. In terms of design, flavour, construction and layout, you can have pretty much anything you like!

So first up, I thought I would jump in at the deep end and talk about the exciting subject of dessert tables. What are they, why would you want one and where do you start?

A dessert table is pretty much exactly that. It is a table, beautifully decorated with a range of coordinating desserts, treats, sweets and goodies. Very popular in the US, this trend for making pudding a big deal is really catching on over here, as people want ways to make their event stand out in an exciting and different way. I recently launched my own range of dessert tables as I was getting a lot of requests for a main cake with extra treats, but my clients weren’t always sure how best to display everything together. I like things clean, fuss-free and symmetrical so decided to bring my ideas and skills together into a new service. You may have already read about this on the fantastic Boho Blog, Manchester’s Finest or in Living Edge magazine, but I thought I would talk a bit about them myself, so that you could get a real feel for what they are and why you might want to have one.

Chocolate & raspberry wedding dessert table

My dessert tables feature a central cake, surrounded by cookies, cake pops, cupcakes, tartlettes, pies, French macarons, coconut macaroons, coordinating sweets, in fact a whole host of custom desserts. The tableware is contemporary, with clean lines and can also be in colours to suit the overall theme. Everything is labelled so guests know what they are helping themselves to, and all colours, flavours and designs can be mirrored across the entire display.

So why would you want a dessert table? Of course, I can think of hundreds of reasons! 🙂 They look beautiful and create a real buzz when guests walk into the room and find out that they have lots of choices when it comes to dessert. At your wedding, they help to make a real feature of your wedding cake, no matter what size it is, without detracting from it. Here is a small dessert table for an intimate wedding. The cake itself would serve about 50 guests and the banana meringue pavlovas and banana and chocolate meringue bites were an exciting little extra.

Sunshine wedding dessert table

If you are having a buffet or serving your cake for dessert, both at weddings and parties, a dessert table will ensure that there is plenty to go around, especially with large numbers of guests, and there will be something for everyone. Guests with dietary requirements can be catered for, such as with gluten-free and vegan options, and younger children can have their own section of the table, with bite-sized items and alcohol free options if you choose to have boozy flavours elsewhere. In fact, the whole display can be very child-orientated, such as with this really fun baby shower dessert table display:

Blue cyclops baby shower dessert table

This table even featured a Happy Hatching message box, where guests could write a little note to the soon-to-be parents and bump, wishing them all the best for the future.

So where do you start with the design? If you have an overall theme for your event, this is key as the dessert table will draw out the main elements, colours and styles, and really help to show off your theme. If you don’t have a really strong theme, your main cake is a great starting point is this is the centrepiece so everything else will tie into this. If you then have particular dessert requirements or preferences, likes and dislikes, or fun things that you want to include, all the little extras can bring all of these together. for the baby shower display, they key elements were “blue for a boy”, a cute cyclops and daisies, so everything fitted around these three key points. For the chocolate and raspberry dessert table, the main cake was all about roses, in both buttercream swirls and lipstick pink, but the other desserts were based around a more subtle blossom design, bringing together the chocolate and raspberry colours and flavours, with some citrus twists.

So there we have it, a little bit of information on dessert tables. I will be discussing the individual desserts, as well as where to start with designing your main cake, in future posts. Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed it 🙂

Beth x

01/11/2011 - 10:05 am

Cheshire Wedding Magician - Excellent cakes! love the Monsters Inc cake, brilliant work 🙂

22/11/2011 - 10:09 am

cakesbybeth - Thanks so much! Yes, the cyclops baby shower does resemble the little green guy from Monsters Inc. That wasn’t the intention but I love that guy so a similarity is not a bad thing 😉 x