My DIY dessert buffet...
For my recent wedding, I did a DIY dessert buffet. The buffet was both the dessert and the favor – there were both plates and boxes for people to eat some at the reception and take some home. This was a huge task. My dessert buffet included cookies, cupcakes, cakes, and pies. Here is how I did it:

Almost everything was baked in advance and frozen. The unfrosted cupcakes and cakes were individually wrapped with plastic wrap then placed in freezer Ziploc bags and frozen. The cookies were simply put in freezer bags. The cakes and cupcakes retain their moisture better if they are still a little warm when wrapped in plastic.

The frosting was also made in advance and frozen. I put the frosting in plastic freezer safe containers.

The pies were made the day before the wedding with premade crust and canned pie filling.

My wedding was on a Saturday. The Wednesday before my wedding, I moved all the cakes and cupcakes from the freezer to the refrigerator.

Married: 05/11/2013
Posted On: May 23, 2013 at 3:05 PM • Vendors are allowed • Add to My WatchlistFlag As Inappropriate0 likes

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Married: 05/11/2013
May 23, 2013 at 3:05 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
The frosting was brought out of the freezer and put on the countertop. The cookies remained in the freezer. The Thursday before my wedding, I frosted all of the cupcakes and some of the cakes. I finished frosting the cakes on Friday morning. Friday afternoon was venue set-up and Friday evening was rehearsal.

As everything was frosted, I put it back in the fridge to keep it chilled. All my frostings were buttercream or cream cheese, so they need to remain chilled until time to serve.

For the 3-tier wedding cake, each tier was frosted separately and then assembled at the venue.

The day before the wedding, we were allowed to set-up. Originally, I had thought that there was enough fridge space at the venue to store everything there overnight before the wedding. One of the fridges was broken, so there was not enough room.

Married: 05/11/2013
May 23, 2013 at 3:06 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
It was supposed to remain chilly overnight, so I put everything on a table away from the heaters, told the venue owner, and he agreed to keep the heat away from it. (My venue had two sources of heat – large space heaters that they use when it is a little bit chilly and the full fledged heat system they only fire-up when it is cold).

The day of the wedding, my bridesmaids and I set out all the desserts after hair & make-up but before it was time to get dressed – about 4 hours before the ceremony. At this time I assembled the large cake and stuck on some sugar flowers I purchased from etsy.

This took a large amount of freezer and refrigerator space, so it is not possible for everyone. I have a chest freezer at my house. My parents run a product business and had the extra freezer and refrigerator space for me to use.

Married: 05/11/2013
May 23, 2013 at 3:08 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
I had about 170 wedding guests. My buffet included (listing amounts and popularity as well):


- Peanut Butter Chocolate M&M Cookies: Made 7 dozen, had about 2 dozen leftover
- M&M cookies: Made about 5 dozen, had less than a dozen left.
- Cookie Dough Brownie Bombs: Made about 12 dozen, had about 3-4 dozen leftover. This was my first time using this recipe, and it did not list how many it yields, so I ended up with way more than I intended. People loved these and I have had several ask for the recipe. They are incredibly rich, I can only eat 1.
- Cherry bombs: Made 5 dozen, had none left over.
- Sugar cookies: made 5 dozen, had more than 3 dozen left over. I guess they were too plain compared to everything else…
- Lemon Spritz cookies: Made 16 dozen (they are little), had about half of them left over.
- Peanut Butter cookies: made 5 dozen and I don’t think I had any leftover
- Chocolate covered oreos: made 6 dozen. Ran out of these first.

Married: 05/11/2013
May 23, 2013 at 3:09 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
-Almond Wedding cupcakes with raspberry filling and almond buttercream frosting swirled with raspberry buttercream. Made about 6 dozen, had none left over.
- Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes with lemon cream cheese frosting: Made 6 dozen, had about a dozen and a half leftover. I thought these would have been more popular. H thinks I had leftover because these were at the end of the line when people had no room left on their plate/in their box.
- Oreo Crumb cupcakes: made about 6 dozen. These were gone fast. Incredibly popular!
- 2-layer chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream filling and frosting: I made 2 9-inch cakes. Had about a half cake left over.

Married: 05/11/2013
May 23, 2013 at 3:09 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
- The large wedding cake was a 3 tier cake. All tiers were the same: vanilla cakes with strawberries & cream filling and chocolate buttercream frosting. The bottom tier was 12 inch, the middle tier was 9 inch, and the top tier was 6 inch. H is very traditional and wanted to keep the top teir for our one year anniversary. We had a little less than half of the 12 inch tier left over.

We had 2 apple pies and 2 cherry pies. We had 1 whole apple pie left over and 1 ½ of the cherry pies leftover. Waste of time to make these.

Tips for people wanting to make do this:
- The more variety you have, the more people will want. It is a natural tendancy of many people to want to try a little bit of everything.

Married: 05/11/2013
May 23, 2013 at 3:12 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
- Focus on cookies. They are really easy the days leading up to the wedding – take them out of the freezer and they are good to go. Some types of cookies tend to be much more crumbly after they come out of the freezer, so be careful not to use dry cookies or overbake.
- I wanted my buffet to look homemade and delicious so I didn’t stress about getting my cakes frosted too smoothly. And the chocolate frosting I used does not spread too smoothly, but it is super yummy!
- I started my baking at the end of March, so I did it all in less than 3 months.
- I purchased cardboad cake boxes to transport everything. I borrowed cake plates and platters from friends and bought several from garage sales and second hand stores. I plan to resell at a garage sale to get most of my money back.

Overall, I loved doing this and everyone was really impressed. It is the single thing that is going to make my wedding memorable to everyone that came. It was a big hit! Let me know if you have questions.

Married: 10/04/2013
Reviews: 2
May 23, 2013 at 6:47 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Sara, this is an awesome post. Do you have recipes for the cherry bombs, lemon spritz cookies, and/or the brownie bombs that you wouldn't mind sharing?

Married: 04/26/2013
May 23, 2013 at 7:16 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
wow. That's quite and undertaking. Glad it was a hit.

Married: 05/11/2013
May 23, 2013 at 7:49 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Lirana - The recipe for the lemon spritz cookies came from my Taste of Home cookbook. It is a normal spritz cookie recipe, I just added lemon extract and a bit of yellow food coloring. Ingredients:

Spritz cookie recipe:

1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and add vanilla. Separately, combine the dry ingredients. Gradually add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture. Using a cookie press, press dough onto baking sheets. Bake in preheated oven at 375 degrees for 7-9 minutes.

I also have used peppermint extract and dipped them in chocolate for a Christmas cookie. Very yummy!

Married: 05/11/2013
May 23, 2013 at 7:51 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
The cherry bombs and cookie dough brownie bombs are both from Pinterest. For the cherry bombs, I used maraschino cherries instead of fresh and did not have the stems sticking out. For the chocolate, I always use semisweet chocolate chips and add a small bit of shortening instead of candy melts. No reason why - it was just how my mom taught me.

Married: 03/27/2015
May 23, 2013 at 8:08 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
You're wonderful. Wish you lived in NYC!

Married: 06/21/2014
Reviews: 3
May 23, 2013 at 8:31 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
That's awesome.... I have considered doing the deserts but I suck at making things look pretty! Though I might do my own cookies ;)

Married: 10/04/2013
Reviews: 2
May 23, 2013 at 8:38 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Awesome. Thanks, Sara!

Married: 05/11/2013
May 24, 2013 at 2:22 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Bumping since I just referenced this in another thread.
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