Displaying traditional sweets for the holidays

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Use your imagination in displaying traditional sweets for the holidays

Use your imagination in displaying traditional sweets for the holidays

Whether it?s for a small gathering or a large party, you?ll want your sweets to look as good as they taste. Sure, you can use your basic every day plates. But might higher quality displays make your desserts more appealing to your guests? Here are some ideas to help you create the perfect tablescape for displaying traditional sweets for the holidays.

Treat trays

These tiered trays are made up of three sizes of plates or platters with a rod running through the centers to hold them together. You might remember seeing them at grandma?s house when you were a child. They aren?t as common as they once were, when people entertained more often. If you can?t find one you like new, check vintage or antique shops.

Another alternative is to make one yourself. Find three porcelain or china plates in ascending sizes, pick up a carbide drill bit and a cake stand kit. The kit usually comes with rod pieces that screw together and handle for your completed stand. Drill a hole through the center of each plate using the carbide bit. The hole needs to slightly larger than the rod, so the rod section can fit easily through the hole. Next, thread the rod through the plate and attach according to kit directions. This usually means fitting on an included washer, then plate, then washer again. Repeat this process two more times, ending with the handle. Set your stand upright, give it a quick clean and then fill up with treats such as traditional English toffee.

Cake stands

Yes, as the name implies, these are traditionally reserved for displaying cakes. And if you?re serving cake ? go for it. Or, you can think outside the box and use the stand to display cake pops instead. Pops can be set directly on the stand or you can put down a paper doily or fancy napkin first.


If you don?t have a cake stand, they are simple to make. Visit a dollar or craft store to pick up a candle stick holder that has a wide base so it won?t easily tip over. Next, buy a plate to set on the top of the candle holder. Use a hot glue gun to connect the two and give it a few minutes to set. Once the glue has hardened, you can paint the stand and then embellish it with crystals or glass beads.

Bling and shine

Jazz up your dessert table with this idea. Use inexpensive mirrors as plates for your treats. Not only will the mirrors reflect the deliciousness on top of them, they will also bounce ambient light, creating even more shine. If you?d like even more sparkle, drape micro LED lights in and around the mirrors. To hide the light strings and bring some more color into your table design, wrap the strands in netting or tulle first.

Many of these are battery operated, so you don?t have to worry about having power outlets nearby.

Use unexpected items

If you?re serving cookies, consider quaint boxes for serving them in. Use shallow, lightweight boxes to hold your cookies, similar to a bakery box. Each box can contain a different flavor of cookie. Store-bought take out containers are perfect for holding caramel corn or doughnut holes. Mismatched crystal glasses uniquely display peppermint canes or dipped pretzel rods.

Serving petit fours? Use tapas or appetizer dishes for individual portions. Guests will appreciate having the plate for other goodies, too. To serve homemade snowball cookies or truffles, a punch bowl works well. 

Get creative with your holiday displays. Just because your desserts are traditional doesn?t mean your tableware has to be!