Let me show you how easy it is to put together a Dessert Charcuterie Board and surprise your friends and family with a special treat. Dessert boards appeal to the masses through their creative display, and all the colors and texture of the ingredients added. Go ahead and Dive in! I'll help you make a Pinterest Worthy dessert tray idea for the BEST Finger Food Desserts ever!
Wow, that was a mouthful. But dessert boards are meant to be loaded with cookies, fruit, candies, and even nuts if you wish along with dessert dips too.
I love dessert, and I typically prefer chocolate dessert but I love to shock everyone now and again and enjoy a light and refreshing dessert too. Guess what? I'm not alone! Everyone has a preference so why not cater to those you love and make a charcuterie board dessert tray with a variety!
To make this easy for you, I'm breaking this post down into sections and will be discussing the following to help you when making your dessert platter.
- Cutting Boards
- Dishes, Cups, and Bowls
- Choosing Ingredients
- Placing Ingredients on Board
- Holidays and Special Events
- Recipes to make to include on your dessert tray
Choosing a Cutting Board Tips
Cutting boards come in all shapes and sizes. Long and skinny, fat and round, big, small and everything in between. They can be wood, plastic, and I've even used a metal baking sheet. Shock! Yes, I have.
There is no need to purchase a special cutting board when you likely have many options right at home.
When choosing a board or tray, think of how many people you wish you serve. Maybe it's a special dessert for 2, or a much larger group of 8-10. Boards don't need to be any specific shape either. I find a board roughly 8x11inches works nicely for 2-4 people.
The wagon wheel board in these photos is 18 inches in diameter and is perfect for 8-10 people. With or without edges does not matter. Sometimes I enjoy having the edges to pile up candies and other times I like a flat surface. It's purely personal preference.
Choosing Cups, Bowls to use for Charcuterie Dips and other items
I enjoying adding a few small bowls that I can add dips, spreads, or small candies. They give dimension to the tray along with keeping things from scattering to much once everyone dives in.
The variety of sizes makes all the difference. Some bowls are tiny and others are still small and will hold about ½ cup which is ideal.
Dessert Board Treats
It's fun to add some of your favorite homemade treats but make them mini. Remember everyone will want to sample lots of items from the tray as their eyes take it all in. Mini Cheesecakes, store bought mini cream puffs, and bite sized cookies are ideal.
Regardless of the type of charcuterie board I love to add fruit. Fresh berries not only add color but also help to tame the sugar overload that these trays often have.
So add Blueberries, Strawberries, and Raspberries. You can also add bananas and cut apples. Just make sure to treat them with lemon juice so they don't turn brown.
My generic not so generic list of candies and favorite treats to add. This is where I draw inspiration when I go shopping and choose candies and chocolates for the theme or holiday I've chosen.
- Candies: M&M (Plain, Peanut, Peanut Butter, Almond, Brownie). Rolo's, Whoppers, Mini Candy bars. I love the different sizes and colors for the holidays. Choose your favorites.
- More Candies: Jelly Beans, Conversation Hearts, Candy Canes ,
- Pretzels: Sticks or smaller swizzle Pretzels or Dips Chocolate covered Pretzels (White or Chocolate)
- Chocolates: Sea Salt Caramels, Almond Rocha, Lindt Chocolates, Ghirardelli Squares
- Cookies: Oreos, Wafer Cookies, Butter Cookies, Sugar Cookies, Macaroons,
- Marshmallows, Meringue Puffs,
- Fresh Fruit: Strawberries, Blueberries, Blackberries, Raspberries. Apple Slices or Bananas are fun too
- Mini Desserts: Mini Cheesecakes, Brownie Bites, Cream Puffs, Mini Cupcakes, Mini Pies (think apple pie) even Red Velvet Cake
Dips for Charcuterie Board
We can't forget Dips, you know something to dip cookies, brownies, and marshmallows into? Don't worry, I've got you covered.
Choose Dips that make sense with what you are serving. A Fluffy Fruit Dip is perfect with a board full of fruit, but what about the simplicity of having chocolate sauce or caramel sauce to dip into? It's so fun!
Here are my favorite dessert dips
- Chocolate Sauce
- Caramel Sauce
- Fruit Dip
- Peanut Butter
- Cookie Butter
- Cream Cheese Dip
- Marshmallow Fluff
How to put a Sweet Charcuterie Board Together
Now that you have chosen a few small bowls, you have all your ingredients and you've decided if you will add dips to your tray it's best to start with the larger items. I love to build the tray with 2-3 small groupings of each ingredients and scatter them around the board.
Place the bowls first, because they will need to fit on the board and it's easies to add them now. Then add the larger items making sure to add 1-2 groups of larger items on the board.
It can be fun to snack one ingredient like a cookie through the board sometimes too. Notice how I have placed all the raspberries into a bowl in the center of the larger dessert board? This is my center focus and I build from there.
On the smaller dessert board I use both Strawberries and Raspberries to create a diagonal in the corners and then added other ingredients and filled in the space.
Make sure to play on sizes, textures and shapes giving the board a fun contrast. This gives the eye even more to look at and take in. Remember we eat with our eyes first! Presentation is key.
No need to make the board symmetrical either. DO NOT get hung up here. This is where it's meant to be fun and creative. Add a grouping of small wrapped candies, then
Building a tray comes together VERY quickly. Within minutes your Dessert Charcuterie Board is complete.
Dessert Charcuterie Board Ideas
Let's dream a little bit, shall we? This is where we get creative! Choose theme like a color or a Holiday. Of course we love to enjoy a fun dessert for all the major holidays like Christmas, Halloween, Easter and of course a Valentines Charcuterie Board Dessert.
There are so many ideas when you also incorporate a theme such as a color, or a season. Think Apples with caramel treats in the fall, or a beautiful red dessert board filled with all red sweet treats. How about the school colors of your child's sports team. Be creative and fun for those you are making this board for.
Maybe an all Candy Board is appealing or a Chocolate Charcuterie Dessert Board. How about a Cookie Charcuterie Board with plenty of homemade cookies? Yum! I'll be sure to help you add to it to make it look spectacular, I promise!
Here is a fun S'more's Chocolate Dessert Board where you can dip Graham Crackers, Stroopwafel, Nilla Wafers and so much more!
Recipe Ideas to make at Home
Here are some of my favorite recipes you can make to add to your Dessert Tray. But remember, add your own favorite recipes and treats too. That's what makes it fun and personal!
- Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Ball
- Mini Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Strawberry Cheesecake Bites
- Pumpkin Fluff Dip
- Rolo Pretzels
- Oreo Cream Cheese Ball
- Peanut Butter Fudge
- An Affair from the Heart - Valentine Oreo Bark
- Fresh April Flours - Red Velvet Bundt Cake
- Hostess At Heart - Easy Valentine’s Day Fudge Recipe
- Lemon Blossoms - Pink Champagne Cake
- Family Around the Table - Chocolate Peanut Butter Bundt Cake with Peanut Butter Glaze
- A Day in the Life on the Farm - Chocolate Cheesecake
- Daily Dish Recipes - Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcakes
- The Fresh Cooky - Red Velvet Donuts
- Devour Dinner - Dessert Charcuterie Board
- Jolene's Recipe Journal - Copycat Flaky Puffs
- Art of Natural Living - Bailey's Chocolate Martini
- Jen around the world - Strawberry Mojito Mocktail
- Kathryn's Kitchen Blog - Sugar Cookie Bars
- Soulfully Made - Easy Red Velvet Brownies
- The Redhead Baker - Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Layer Cake
- Magical Ingredients - Soft White Chocolate Strawberry Fudge
- Take Two Tapas - Valentine's Pretzel Hugs
- SueBee Homemaker - Chocolate Cake for Two
- Palatable Pastime - Strawberry White Hot Chocolate
- The Spiffy Cookie - Red Velvet Molten Lava Cakes
- Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks - Pomegranate Moscow Mule
- Books n' Cooks - French Martini
- Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice - Nutty M&M Peanut Butter Cup Valentine Cookies
Dessert Charcuterie Board
- M&M's Peanut, Plain, Almond, Brownie
- Mini Candy Bars
- Jelly Beans
- Holiday Specific Candy
- Wafer Cookies
- Nilla Wafers
- Mini Cookies
- Chocolate Sauce
- Caramel Sauce
- Cookie Butter
- Fruit Dip
- Cream Cheese dips
- Pretsels Rods, Twists, Squares Etc
- Marshmallows Big
- Mini Desserts Brownie Bites, Cream Puffs, Mini Cheesecakes
- Chocolates Sea Salt Caramels, Almond Roca, Lindt Chocolates, Ghirardelli Squares
- Choose a board or tray for your Charcuterie Board. Smaller boards can be used for smaller trays. Make a Dessert Board for 2, 4, 6, 8, 10+ People.
- Choose 1-3 Larger Items like cookies, fruit, or Brownie Bites, Mini Cheesecakes, etc
- Choose 2-3 Medium size items like mini cookies, wrapped chocolates, pretzels, marshmallows
- Choose 2-3 smaller size items like M&M's, or other Candies.
- Start by placing larger items and dips on board making 2 or 3 small groupings on tray.
- Fill in with medium size items and make small groupings. It's fun to place them around the board filling in space
- Finish by adding small groups of candies, chocolates or nuts to fill in the empty spaces.
- TIP: Use a variety of shapes, sizes, and textures for an eye appealing Dessert Board