How To Make A Thanksgiving Dessert Table


It’s almost Thanksgiving week…

Which means it’s time to start thinking about all things sweet!

This Thanksgiving let’s give our guests a reason to stand up and stretch their legs. If you are having a traditional Thanksgiving with family or a modern Friendsgiving with close friends, try incorporating a dessert table.

Which means, you no longer have to walk to the kitchen, bring desserts to the table and pass them around. There is a much easier and beautiful way to present your delicious sweets. Whether you choose to serve dessert right after the big meal, or – choose to wait until later in the evening, it will be an experience to remember. Here is how to make a Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving dessert table.

Don’t forget to check out the full list of everything I used at the bottom below to create this look…

Choose Your Table

Your table should be based on the size of your dining area. Everyone doesn’t have a “dining room” and that is perfectly fine. If you are working with a small space use a bar cart…or round table (there are tons of them at thrift stores)…or a counter top if you have one that joins the kitchen and dining area.

If you are working with a larger space, use a table that can sit near your Thanksgiving table. Preferably against a wall. I keep a few folding tables tucked away for these occasions. They are light, easy to move, and store away.


Choose Your Desserts

I recommend three to four desserts because everyone has different tastes, and often -dietary restrictions.  Finding one perfect dessert is like ordering one pizza that everyone will want. Not gonna happen : ). So, make the evening easier by providing Thanksgiving dessert variety. 

I opted for two light options: Chocolate Espresso Meringue Cookies   -and- Caramelized Pears with Hazelnut Crunch, Cardamom Cream & Caramel Sauce.  I paired these with two hearty desserts:  Bourbon Pecan Caramel Sauce Cheesecake -and- a Gingerbread Bundt Cake.


Plan Your Table Design

Before the desserts are made, think about how you want to display them. I recommend a High and Low approach. Create height and plan to place one dessert on a tall cake plate. Use books or decorative boxes to create second area with medium height for another dessert (or decorative time, which I will cover next).


The other two desserts can be placed flat on the table. You will have a few empty spaces. Fill those areas with a few tall candles and bowls of nuts, dark chocolate, or dried fruit.

Dessert Display

I suggest white cake plates and platters so your Thanksgiving desserts stand out. That said, if there are colorful platters that you love, go for it. I just happen to be a fan of white serving dishes. Place small plates and utensils on one of the tables so there is room to graze. If your table is big enough, champagne and glasses can be displayed at the other end.


When you are ready to layout your desserts on the big day, know that tablecloths don’t have to be draped across the entire table. They can be used to wind the fabric around the desserts. You can also weave clear white lights throughout the table for extra sparkle. The goal is to give your guests a beautiful and tasty reason to get up and enjoy your treats.



 Bourbon Pecan Caramel Sauce Cheesecake

Gingerbread Bundt Cake

Chocolate Espresso Meringue Cookies 

Caramelized Pears with Hazelnut Crunch, Cardamom Cream & Caramel Sauce


Create The Look

Various vintage antique store finds: old books, oval bowl, rustic table, glass mug, cutlery

Crate & Barrel

Beckett 60″x90″ Natural Linen Tablecloth

Wood Marble Pedestal

Emmett Antique Brass Taper Candle Holder

Libations Antique Brass Bar Cart


Rochelle Flutes

Michele Dinner Plate

White Satin Dinnerware: Wolf Ceramics

Hand & Fire Ceramic Plates

Felt & Fat serving dish

Williams Sonoma Hammered-Copper Pitcher

Beautifully Served copper server

Target by Magnolia 16″ Round Wood and Wire Tray

Elsie Green French Chairs

unique ceramic pieces: Berlin- based ceramicist



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