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Dessert-Only Catering Event Ideas

Dessert-Only Catering Events Are A Sweet Option

Want to really impress your guests with something different?  How about a catered event solely designed to please the sweet tooth?  Dessert-only events are gaining in popularity and for good reason.  They’re colorful, visually stunning (hello Insta!), and oh so much fun!

Dessert-only Variety

When desserts are the star of the show, the key is variety. Various textures and flavors offer contrasting morsels that are light and rich, smooth and crunchy, airy and dense, and sweet and tart.

Desserts are spectacular sights to behold, and very versatile.  So, consider having some plated, stationed or on a buffet, with others being passed. However the desserts are presented, a major key to a dessert-only event is the portion size. Bite-sized delights are best so your guests can try more than one (or two, or three…).  Having small portion sizes allows your guests to sample your assortment, without slipping into a sugar coma before their second trip to the bar.

Dessert varieties


Although a dessert only catering menu may be thematic in in of itself, incorporating a stylized theme elevates the occasion and provides cohesiveness.


Want a posh, stylish flavor to your dessert-only event? Go with a black-tie theme and let the iconic tuxedo serve as inspiration for desserts served.

The catering menu might contain a classic black and white cookie, black forest cake, tuxedo cake, pots de crème, tiramisu, and Oreo truffles. Ensure that fine, coordinating linens are on all tables and use luxury serving platters like silver, crystal and china. Incorporate tiered serving ware to elevate your desserts to a lofty elegance. And for that extra flair, flambé is a must.  Messina’s Catering & Events has a spectacular Flaming Crêpe Suzette station that is perfect for such occasions.


Desserts are so versatile that they can work with a casual, laid back theme as well. What about a theme like Farmhouse Chic where desserts are more rustic in nature?  This catering menu might include homemade classics like fruit pies, cobblers, tarts, upside-down cakes, crumb cakes, strawberry shortcakes, smores and lemon bars. Have small, imperfect cut portions that guests can grab with their hands and pop in their mouths. Decorate with reclaimed wood, salvaged pieces, wrought iron, burlap, wicker serving platters, and assorted wildflowers flowers that look handpicked. Set the mood with some fun music – maybe folk rock, indie or country.  Finally, have some paper sacks and raffia ready so your guests leave with a sweet treat – like a country store, but as a nice party favor instead.

Strawberry shortcake at a desert only event


Let the feelings of the season run wild.  Autumn just begs for pies, apple-cider donuts, candied apples, and everything pumpkin. For winter or Christmas, serve up lots of gourmet Christmas cookies, poached pears, yule logs, warm bread pudding, chocolate lava cake, and peppermint everything. Don’t forget the hot chocolate bombs!


Pick your favorite locale and theme your desserts accordingly. Messina’s has been serving New Orleans’ favorites like King Cake, pralines, Doberge cake, bananas foster, and of course, beignets. Get the jazz going, hand out the Mardi Gras bling, and let the good times roll!

Around the World

You can give your event an international flair by taking your guests on an exotic journey of desserts from around the globe such as Indian Rasmalai – ricotta cheese dumplings in a sweetened milk flavored with cardamom; Mexican Tres Leches – a creamy sponge cake made with three kinds of milk; Piñata cookies — sugar cookies with hollow centers and treats inside; or Egyptian Basbousa – cake made from semolina soaked in a rose or orange blossom syrup. Or you could showcase a whole assortment of fine treats with a French accent, such as  crème brulee, tartes, macarons, clafoutis, and so much more.


The type of drinks served for a dessert party are crucial, and coffee is a must. For an upscale theme, go for an espresso bar. The drinks themselves can be part of the desserts as well, like Kahlua or Baileys with cream, espresso martinis, Red Velvet Cake Martinis and the classic Jell-O Shot (topped with whip cream of course). Also consider pairings, like red wine and dark chocolate, bourbon and sweet potato pie, or Cider and salted caramel cake. For the sophisticated affair, champagne and dessert parties are on trend. Your caterer can help you determine the best drinks as well.

Espresso martini


Not only are dessert-only events often more economical to host, they are a fun alternative to a typical dinner party.  Ideally you would want to host the event later in the evening, giving your guests a chance to eat dinner beforehand. (   Eight in the evening is a great time to throw a dessert-only event.  Messina’s Catering & Events can help you plan the perfect catering menu, and serve it at just the right time.  Dessert only events are a perfect option for weddings, bridal or baby showers, and housewarming events.

Colorful French macarons

Hosting at Home

Home sweet home has never been sweeter than when you host a dessert-only party in your residence.   It’s warm and inviting for guests and stress-free for you when you use a full-service caterer like Messina’s. Leave the mixing, baking, and caramelizing to us. Messina’s Catering and Events has provided full service catering to the New Orleans area for 60 years.  We’ve been selected by New Orleans CityBusiness readers as one of the  Best Caterers for three years running.

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