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Betty’s Sweetest Dessert Idea: Build-Your-Own-Dessert Bar

Updated September 5, 2019
Betty’s dessert grazing board
An impressive dessert that’s not complicated? This is it. Learn how to pull it off, with a little help from Betty Crocker.

When it comes to crowd-pleasing desserts, selecting the perfect one is always a tough decision. That’s the beauty of Betty’s build-your-own dessert bar, you don’t have to choose just one! No one is boxed in when customizable sweet treats are on the menu. And even better, Betty’s irresistible dessert mixes make it easy to assemble.

So, what’s a build-your-own-dessert bar? Trays and plates piled high with brownies, cookies and cupcakes arranged buffet-style alongside bowls of toppings like sprinkles, crushed nuts, hot fudge and ice cream, so your guests can go to town! It’s just about the best way to entertain—whether it’s a potluck, birthday party, holiday or anything in between, this easy do-it-yourself party trick will get everyone excited from ages six to sixty. Ready to give it a try?

Here’s how to pull off this deluxe dessert bar in three simple steps.

1. Choose Your Dessert Base (or bases!)

The base is the building block for your dessert bowl, which means it’s essential to the whole process! Try fudgy brownies, crispy cookies or fluffy cupcakes—whatever type of dessert tickles your fancy, Betty’s got a treat perfect for you and your party goers. Choose one base as the building block for your dessert bar or go all out and choose a couple.


  • We may be biased, but there’s nothing quite like the combo of Betty’s fudgy Supreme brownies, sweet ice cream and tons of toppings—trust us when we say, you’re going to want an extra scoop! Serve your chocolaty brownies with whatever toppings you desire. The only limit here is your own imagination! In case you’re not convinced or want to start with a recipe, here are 25 Reasons We’re Never Without Brownie Mix.


  • Chocolate chip, sugar and peanut butter cookies are all unbeatable classics, and we love using Betty’s cookie mixes for extra-easy assembly. Add some of Betty’s Rich & Creamy Frosting and some fun sprinkles or M&M’s™ candies, so guests can decorate as desired. If you’re feeling a little extra, try hacking Betty’s mix with 15 Creative Ways to Hack Cookie Mix.


  • What could be cuter than a cupcake, especially one you customized yourself? These sweet treats are high on our list of dessert bar must-haves! We recommend baking classic flavors like vanilla or chocolate, because they take so well to all sorts of plus-ups from nuts and chocolate chips to candies and drizzles of hot fudge. If you want to make them extra special, check out The Cupcakes We’ll Never Stop Making.

2. Gather Your Toppings

Now that you’ve got your bases covered, it’s time to top it all off with something sweet! Pick out your favorite dessert toppings—there’s no wrong answer here. Once you’ve gathered your goodies, scoop out portions into small bowls so your guests can get creative when building their treat. To make it extra easy, we’ve put together a grocery list of essential dessert fixings:

  • Sprinkles
  • M&M’s™
  • Gummy bears
  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Maraschino cherries
  • Frosting
  • Ice cream
  • Crushed Oreos™
  • Hot fudge
  • Whipped Cream

3. Build Your Dessert Bar

Time for the grand finale! Trays, sheet pans and cake plates are cute ways to present the brownies, cookies and cupcakes. Put all your toppings in bowls with spoons for guests to scoop out whatever they desire. Make sure there are plenty of individual bowls so everyone has a chance to get in on this sweet party trick.

Build-your-own dessert bowls

Now that we’ve shared the sweetest party trick in the book, it’s your turn to create this crowd-pleasing spread! If you want even more tips on entertaining, check out All the Secrets to Simplify Hosting.