Are you bummed because summer is almost over? We understand, but it doesn’t mean the best times are behind us. You still have time to put together an end of summer dessert party to end all parties!
It doesn’t take a lot of planning. A fabulous last minute fête can be fun and easy. Just keep it simple, casual and stress-free. Gather your friends and family, offer a sweet spread, stir up some cocktails, and then chill out and soak up the sun.
Here’s how to share those summer vibes with a blow out bash your guests will be talking about through fall. Browse through the images below and click through the links for recipes and details. Feel free to share your own end of summer dessert party ideas with us at the end of the post!
The Guest List
Less is more. Your party doesn’t have to be a popularity contest. Keep things intimate and simple with six to eight guests.
Guests truly appreciate receiving handmade invitations. If you have the time and inclination, you can make something cute and creative. Here’s a free printable template for darling DIY Popsicle Invitations (from Club Crafted, shown above). Of course, you can always opt for the easy-breezy-lemon-squeezy solution and send evites or free summery online invites. Almost everyone does and we’re not judging.
When it comes to choosing a summer party palette, the brighter the better. Orange, pink, yellow and blue or green punctuated by splashes of white are perfect choices.
Fresh cut flowers are always stunning, though sometimes expensive. Consider using gorgeous hand-crafted paper blooms instead like this DIY Crepe Paper Bouquet (from Bird’s Party, shown above). Another option is to forgo floral arrangements altogether and decorate your buffet table with citrus fruits like lemons and limes on rustic trays or in bowls or oversized apothecary jars. They add a pop of color and you can also use them to garnish cocktails.
Don’t overlook decorative staples. You can’t go wrong with string lights. Nothing sets the summer party mood as well as the twinkle and glow of little lights hanging overhead!
No outdoor space. No worries. We don’t all have big backyards or posh patios. Hosting a party inside isn’t so bad. Rain or shine, the party’s on! Plus, you can turn your indoor space into an enchanting end of summer dessert party paradise by simply mirroring our suggestions above. It’s all about bringing the outside, inside. Decorate with a color scheme that pops. Add inexpensive pom poms to a vividly hued background, incorporate the warm glow of candle light with colorful votive candles, and showcase desserts on white plates and pastel cake stands.
Enjoy summer’s bounty for a healthier, lighter addition to the menu. Bowls of fresh seasonal fruit like juicy peaches or ripe red cherries serve multiple purposes. They add colorful flair to your décor as edible centerpieces or consumable takeaways that your guests can nibble on during the party or take home after. Also, offer fresh fruit skewers or this Fruit Pizza (by I Am Baker, shown above). Little star-shaped watermelon bites (from Weelicious) add a special summery touch, too. Grilled peaches topped with mascarpone cream (from Long Distance Baking) are another amazing sweet treat!
Bite-size sweets are always a hit. Who doesn’t love their own single serving portion of dessert goodness. Imagine your guests happily noshing on Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes (by Sprinkle Bakes, shown above). Don’t want to turn on the oven, go with Frozen Key Lime Pie Waffle Cones (by Lemons for Lulu, shown above), easy, no-bake desserts or homemade popsicles.
Set up a cookie bar. The day before the party, bake up a few dozen popular favorites like chocolate chip, peanut butter and embellished sugar cookies like these adorable Watermelon Sugar Cookies (by Sally’s Baking Addiction, shown above).
Set your end of summer dessert party apart and impress your guests with an applause-worthy showstopper cake. Need a few go-to recipes? Try this One-Bowl Victoria Sponge Cake (by Oh Sweet Day, shown above) or a One-Bowl Chocolate Cake with Fresh Fruit (by I Am Baker). A multi-layered no-bake Strawberry Crepe Cake (by Contemplating Sweets) is easy and impressive too!
Now is the perfect time to serve a specialty drink that screams summer. Cool weather is coming. You and your guests deserve a vacation in a glass! Large batch drinks that you can make ahead of time like fruity sangrias or this refreshing Caribbean Rum Punch (by Lemons For Lulu, shown above) are ideal. And so sip-worthy! Set up a cocktail station so guests can serve themselves. Remember to include non-alcoholic options as well. Here are two that are sure to be crowd pleasers: lavender pink lemonade (by The Hungry Bites) or virgin stone fruit sangria (by Cali Girl Cooking).
Want to keep those pesky bugs out of your drinks? You can purchase a set of mason jar mugs with lids that accommodate straws here, or try this thrifty tip (from Susty Party, shown below): Punch holes or cut small “X”s in cupcake baking liners, fit upside down over glasses and insert straws. Voilà, cute cocktail covers!
What’s a party without the music? We’re sure you already have your summer soundtrack, but may we suggest adding a few classics to the mix. Like anything by Bob Marley or how about songs that pay homage to the season? Think: “Summer Breeze,” Seals & Crofts; “Summer,” War; “Hot Fun In The Summertime,” Sly & The Family Stone; and Summertime,” DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince — you get the idea.
Send guests home with a little something sweet to enjoy later! We think this delicious handmade Peach Bellini Jam (from Kristina Vanni, shown above) is an ideal end of summer dessert party favor. Guests will remember your party fondly each time they spread it on a piece of toast. Of course, if you’re short on time, you can always hand out mini baskets of fresh fruit.
We hope these simple tips and ideas inspire you to host your own sweet-centric gathering. And don’t forget to share your favorite end of summer dessert party ideas by leaving a comment below!
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