Do you know what a Dessert Buffet really is?
It’s an excuse to love your neighbor!

It’s not just an excuse to indulge your sweet tooth… it’s an excuse to open your heart and your home, and to develop a relationship with your neighbor. This can be as simple as spooning out an extra serving of ice cream and inviting a neighbor to sit on your couch, or you can extend the invitation to several others.

Who doesn’t love dessert?!

Welcome to the most delicious way to love your neighbor! My friend Nan McCullough, author of Entertaining for Eternity, has put together these sweet tips for opening your home. I’ve had the pleasure of being a guest in Nan’s home, so I can vouch for her gift of hospitality!

dessert buffet

Parties with a Purpose

Perhaps there have been times when you have gone to a function out of social obligation. Sometimes you come home thinking: “Why did we go to that?” or “I wish we had stayed home.” Then there have been times when you have attended something and it has been a pleasant surprise and you were so very glad you made the effort to go. The Scriptures teach us that whatever we do we should “do to the glory God” and that things should be done with excellence. You want your guests to feel glad they came as they go home. You want them to think, “I want to go to their house again sometime.”


Possible Themes

As if DESSERT wasn’t enough, you can add some more sprinkles by choosing a theme. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, expensive or time consuming. These types of events can set your event apart from the “usual” occasions people attend and will send your guest home with fond memories and a desire to come again.

  • Ice Cream Social: Provide the beverage and ice cream and have guests bring toppings
  • Holiday Bakery: ask guests to bring their favorite seasonal holiday dessert
  • Cookie Decorating: supply plain sugar cookies cut in seasonal shapes as well as colored icings, and ask your guests to bring sprinkles
  • Pie Party: everyone brings their favorite pie
  • Cookie Exchange: each guest brings 2 dozen cookies of one variety, and returns home with an assortment of 2 dozen different cookies baked by other guests

Of course, you can always provide all the delicacies yourself… but asking your neighbors to contribute makes the event easier for you, and gives them a sense of purpose and responsibility.



The first person to invite to your event is Jesus! Think and pray about who you should invite to your event. Be open to the Holy Spirit’s prompting. Generally, it’s nice that the guests have something in common but sometimes a mixed group makes interesting conversation. Start with a group such as neighbors, co-workers, club members, classmates or teammates. As you pray, keep a list and write down names as they come to you. The key to an event’s success is the prayer behind it rather than great planning or fabulous food.

how to host a dessert buffet


Next, think about a day of the week and time of the day that would be conducive to the maximum number of people on your list. Take into consideration holidays and school vacations. Decide if it will be for women only or couples or families. Evening desserts for couples are especially good because men can enjoy them, too. If your guests have children, you will have to consider childcare. At some family or holiday events, children can be more easily tuned in to the spiritual aspect than their parents may be.


Sample Menu

  • Regular and decaffeinated coffee
  • Various tea bags and hot water
  • Pitcher of water or juice for people who don’t drink coffee or tea
  • Assorted desserts
  • Fresh fruit for a healthier choice


Favorite Recipes

Try these recipes from some of our favorite contributors, then let us know yours!


Entertaining for Eternity

Download the Kindle version of Entertaining for Eternity today for countless tips on loving your neighbor in your home. Here’s what others are saying –

“It has been a treat for me, as a governor’s wife, and for other First Ladies to experience Nan’s hospitality. I’ve watched as Nan has guided our friends through the wonderful world of entertaining with such a gracious spirit of love. This book will guide you through that same journey to share the uniqueness of feeling special through entertaining with God’s greatest creation, a friend.”

Janet Huckabee, wife of Former Governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee

What’s your favorite dessert recipe?
Share it in the comments or on our Facebook page!

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