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Mar 30, 2009 02:07 PM

Dessert ideas for large group (200 people)

I'm helping plan a dessert event. There's a set schedule with speaker and dessert will be served.

Any fantastic dessert ideas and advice on where to get it?

I'm planning to plate ahead of time and serve once guests or seated (so what it looks like in original form does not matter so much). Conversely, I could do a dessert buffet with multiple dessert stations, but I think, logistically, it will be difficult (with a limited amount of time and people getting up and down).

The event is in Pasadena, so the closer to Pasadena the better. I will be able to refrigerate but have no method of warming anything up, if that's required.


Right now, I'm thinking of talking to Portos and getting stuff from there - but I'd love any suggestions you may have.


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  1. My first thought was to get a dozen or more x-large cheesecakes at Costco, then slice them thin & plate them.

    You can still set it up buffet style, with maybe some fresh fruit or whipped cream, caramel sauces, fruit sauces so people can top them as they like.

    1. Porto's would be great. Tons of cheese rolls mmmmmm...cupcakes are also a good idea, maybe even minis.

      1. Ice cream cart? *Some* Ben & Jerry's stores have a cart they'll rent. I'm not sure about Fosselman's or Dr. Bob's, but it might be worth a call.

        Also, how about a massive spread of fresh strawberry donuts from the Donut Man?

        2 Replies
        1. re: Professor Salt

          "... a massive spread of fresh strawberry donuts from the Donut Man?" Excellent idea. I did that once for a much-smaller group -- about 20 family members -- and they thought I was a genius. Unless you can coordinate the timing very closely with Donut Man, however, I suggest having them provide the strawberries in tubs, separate from the donuts, so it doesn't get soft and mushy in advance. Then, either you and your crew do the final assembling (quite easy), or let people do it themselves. The latter was my solution, and it led to some very happy siblings, nieces, and nephews.

          1. re: Professor Salt

            Professor - you and I are on the same page. I wanted to do an ice cream sundae theme (serve scoops of ice cream and then have assorted toppings at the tables) but my other half of the planning committee thought it would be too casual.

            Love the donut idea... I'm gonna remember that for future a future event :)

          2. How about some of the individual sized pastries at a place like Phoenix Bakery or Van's?

            1 Reply
            1. re: ipsedixit

              Or how about some of those great petite pastries at Ap-petite? ( ) Fabulous tiny morsels that would provide each guest with a diversity of excellence. Tell your speaker not to expect anyone to pay attention, however.

              140 N Lake Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101

            2. Check with Frank's Deli & Bakery in Montrose....they do house-made desserts and they're good, and they specialize in catering events so will have some good ideas as to what will work best for 200 persons.

              Frank's Famous
              3315 N Verdugo Rd, Glendale, CA 91208