If you’re looking to spruce up the dessert table this year, you can easily add some major flare with a Dessert Charcuterie Board! Dessert boards are perfect for celebrating any and every occasion and holiday!
The secret to a beautiful presentation is not only about how you build the board but what you put on it. Whether you’re on the hunt for a Thanksgiving sweet treat masterpiece or a Valentine’s Day show-stopper, this guide will cover all your board basics; from how to make the best selections all the way down to the dessert board assembly process.
When you hear the word charcuterie board, it’s easy for your mind to go straight to meats and cheeses! But, charcuterie boards can be so much more than this!
Dessert boards are a great way to serve a variety of fun and festive treats to a crowd, and they are so very perfect for entertaining! They are make-ahead and easy to assemble thanks to store-bought goodies. Not to mention, your guests can help themselves to it, allowing you more playtime at your party. Yes, please!
Dessert Charcuterie Boards can be as homemade or as store-bought as you’d like. It’s a sweet and special touch to have at least one or two homemade goodies on your dessert board, but this is not necessary if time is of the essence!
WHAT TO PUT ON A DESSERT CHARCUTERIE BOARD
Before you can make the board, you first have to think through exactly what you want to go down on it. Regardless of what you choose to put on your Dessert Charcuterie Board, the most important thing is to actually you allow yourself to have fun making it!
So before we get into the nitty-gritty, remember, this is supposed to be a stress-free route for serving dessert to a large crowd! No need to overcomplicate things.
The items that go down on your Dessert Charcuterie Board will of course depend on what you are celebrating. If you are creating a dessert board for Valentine’s Day, let your mind run to chocolate truffles, heart-shaped items, and any food items you can use to incorporate Valentine’s Day colors such as pink and red.
THINK IN COLORS
Color is very important on charcuterie boards as it lends a festive touch and mood to the board! For example, when it came to the Dessert Charcuterie Board featured in this article’s photos, I was preparing the board for a fall gathering. Therefore, fall colors like burgundy red, orange, and different shades of brown were incorporated.
ADD A VARIETY OF TEXTURES
You might also find it helpful to note that different textures add excitement to your board as well. This is why you will often see a combination of crunchy, soft, chewy, and even bright and fresh items like fruit on a Charcuterie Board.
Nuts, pretzels, and popcorn are great for adding crunch, dried fruits pivot toward a chewy texture, cookies can provide either softness or crunchiness, and fresh fruit will lend those bright, fresh notes to the board!
COMBINE FLAVORS THAT DON’T FIGHT
The flavor profile of the items you choose to put on your Dessert Charcuterie Board will also depend on what you are celebrating, and the time of year that celebration falls within. For example, a dessert board in the summertime looks different than a dessert board you serve come winter!
You should also try not to place items that don’t pair well together on the board. Especially right next to one another. For an extreme example, chocolate-covered almonds and blue cheese might not be the best food pairing on a charcuterie board of any sort.
The goal is for your guests to be able to pick up any item on the board, put it on their plate, and enjoy nibble after nibble, regardless of the order they’re eating the items in!
DESSERT CHARCUTERIE BOARD ASSEMLY PROCESS
Once you have all of your items picked out, you can begin the assembly process! It is best if you begin placing the larger items on the board first and fill in the spaces with the smaller items to follow after that.
You should consider anything that’s going to go in a small bowl a large item, because of the “heaviness” the bowl will add looks-wise to the board. As for what to put in the bowls, you could fill them with small items like dried fruit, chocolate-covered almonds, or candied nuts. You could also go the dip route with your bowls and add in some whipped cream or marshmallow dip!
POPULAR DESSERT CHARCUTERIE BOARD ITEMS
If you’re still feeling stumped as to how to fill up your Dessert Charcuterie Board, here is a list of popular items you can use:
- Milk, dark, or white chocolate truffles
- Chocolate-covered pretzels or nuts
- Candied pecans or almonds
- Flavored popcorn
- Graham crackers, Nilla Wafers, or your favorite crunchy store-bought cookies!
- Your favorite homemade cookies (peanut butter, chocolate chip, etc…)
- Fresh fruit such as grapes, sliced apples, oranges, berries, and more!
If you are wanting specifics as to what I put on the board shown in these photos, you can find the items in the recipe card below!
6 MORE CHARCUTERIE BOARDS YOU’LL LOVE
- Halloween Charcuterie Board
- Thanksgiving Snack Board
- Easy Meat and Cheese Tray
- Cheese and Summer Sausage Platter
- Summer Cheese Platter
- Fall Fruit Tray Idea
Easily spruce up the dessert table this year with a Dessert Charcuterie Board! They're perfect for celebrating any and every occasion and holiday.
- Fresh fruit (e.g. sliced apples, pears, oranges, grapes, blackberries)
- Store-bought cookies (e.g. pumpkin and maple leaf sandwich cookies)
- Homemade cookies (e.g. Ginger Molasses and Maple Pecan)
- Dried fruit (e.g. dried cranberries)
- Chocolate or Yogurt Pretzels
- Chocolate truffles or squares (e.g. Ghirardelli White Chocolate Salted Caramel Squares)
- Chocolate-covered or glazed nuts (e.g. dark chocolate covered almonds)
- Sweet flavored popcorn (e.g. caramel corn)
Pick a theme for your board. This should revolve around the time of year or event you are celebrating.
Choose the items for your board. The items listed above are merely a suggestion. Feel free to get as creative as you like when it comes to adding sweet treats to your board. Think of the colors you want on your board and find food that matches them, include a variety of textures, and avoid any items that fight with one another flavorwise.
Have ready a large serving board. Place the larger items on the board first and fill in the spaces with the smaller items to follow after that. Anything housed in a bowl should be considered a "large item." Serve and enjoy!