Ideas for Dinner Party Desserts

By Taylor Holbrooke , last updated February 4, 2011

If you feel like you’re stuck in a rut when it comes to dinner party desserts, consider these unique and tasty ideas. Everyone has been there planning a dinner party. You have the perfect main course prepared, but what to serve for dessert? Chocolate mousse? Been there, done that. Apple pie? Delicious, but not exactly a show stopper.

Decadent Trifle

This elegant impressive dessert is a knockout. It consists of layers, of cake, custard, berries, and chocolate, drenched in sherry and topped with whipped cream. This dessert when presented altogether in a large glass container, looks like the ultimate parfait for a decadent giant. Guests will say it looks too pretty to eat, and then devour it with abandon.

Supernatural Brownies

These supernatural brownies are out of this world. The secret of the deliciousness is the ratio of chocolate and butter (lots and lots) to flour (not so much). They give you the rich experience of a flourless chocolate cake with a less pretentious down-to-earth feel. Plus you can hold them in your hands.

Drunken Berries

If you’re looking to do something special with strawberries, give a drink or two to liven them up. This recipe simply involves putting the berries in sugar and brandy. It can be made well ahead of time, as both sugar and alcohol are preservatives. Actually, any alcohol and any fruit works in this scenario. Rum and blackberries, or raspberries in vodka are also excellent combinations. Serve over shortcake, chocolate cake, vanilla ice cream, or anything else you can think of.

Ginger Ice Cream

The health benefits of fresh ginger counteract the not-so-healthy sugar and cream, so feel free to indulge. Another way to make ice cream healthy is to combine it with exercise. You and your guests can make dessert together by tossing around one of those Play and Freeze ice cream balls after dinner.

A Lazy Option

If you want a sophisticated dessert with absolutely no cooking, take a trip to a gourmet chocolatier before the party. Select a mix of rich truffles and exotic chocolates, arrange them artfully on an elegant tray and serve. No one will complain that you didn’t create these sumptuous morsels with your own two hands.

Crazy Options

Call a taxi service to drive everyone to the local ice cream shop. Your guests can choose their favorite dipped cones, Peanut Buster Parfaits or banana splits. If you arrange the evening with the store owner or manager in advance, you may be able to negotiate a flat fee. The silly outing will put new life into the party and guests can then taxi back to your home for after-dessert drinks.

Another crazy option guests will enjoy is a candy grab bag. Before the dinner, take a trip to your corner convenience store and stock up on mass market candy bars, such as Snickers, Dove Bars and Almond Joys. Throw in a few wild card options like Charleston Chews and Good 'N' Plenty. When dessert time rolls around, your guests get to draw their dessert from the bag. Blindfold them if they try to peak. Your guests will enjoy the random factor, and if they don’t like their pick, they can trade. You’ll have so much fun watching your guests behave like children, and don’t be surprised if you find yourself acting like a kid in a candy store.

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