Sunflower-Themed Thanksgiving Dessert Buffet

Treat Thanksgiving guests to a bountiful dessert buffet and dining table set with fall-inspired touches.

Sweets for the Sweet

The arrival of fall means company's coming. What better way to entertain guests of all ages than to decorate your home in autumn's hues and fill a table or sideboard with layer upon layer of tasty treats? A dessert buffet is sure to be a crowd-pleaser because everyone can serve themselves.

Set the Tone

Ensure that guests save the date with this printable invitation. Traditional fall colors paired with a trendy trellis pattern create a fresh take on Thanksgiving.

Festive Fall Decor

Celebrate the season by decorating with pumpkins, autumn-hued leaves and sunflowers. Take a stroll outdoors to discover natural elements you can use to enhance the tablescape.

Sweet Treats

Bring the outdoors in with a custom-made tiered wood cupcake stand. Cupcakes topped with fondant sunflowers or cute cupcake toppers are perfect for this occasion. To create the cupcake toppers, print the template below onto card stock and use a paper punch to create the decorative edge. Use a 1-inch white circle label to attach a 4-inch lollipop stick to the back of each topper.

Embellished Napkin Ring

It's a snap to create these decorative napkin rings. For each ring, cut a strip of burlap 1' x 1 1/2". To make the accordion-folded medallion, cut two strips of decorative paper 6" x 1 3/4", then fold the paper strips back and forth, accordion style. To form pointed ends, use scissors to clip one end of each folded strip at a 90-degree angle. Hot glue ends of strips together to create a circle, then push the edge of the paper in and hot glue the center. Hold for a few moments until glue dries. Print the attached "enjoy" party circles to embellish the center of each medallion.

Pretty Presentation

These pumpkin mousse parfaits are absolutely delicious and look so pretty on the dessert table. Use mini serving glasses to show off the layered effect. These are so easy to make and are sure to leave your guests impressed. Start with a layer of crushed gingersnaps in the bottom; using a freezer bag with a cut corner, pipe in the pumpkin mousse and whipped cream, and top the parfaits with finely crushed gingersnaps. Serve with mini spoons.

Moss Wreath

Warmly welcome guests with this easy-to-create rustic wreath. Use hot glue to attach moss to a foam wreath form, completely covering all sides. Make paper medallions in various sizes using the same technique previously explained for the napkin rings. Attach medallions to the wreath with hot glue and embellish centers of medallions with buttons. Print the attached "welcome" template onto craft paper; trim at the dashed line and fold each end toward the back. Add more folded craft paper to the ends of the "welcome" portion with hot glue. Cut triangles on both ends and attach to wreath with hot glue.

Fresh Sunflowers

A must for fall, fresh sunflowers arranged casually in a white stoneware pitcher are the perfect centerpiece. If you have a moderately green thumb and a sunny spot in your yard, you can grow your own. Or check your local grocery or produce store for an inexpensive bunch.

Coordinate Colors

Keep the look cohesive by selecting desserts from the same color palette, like these chocolate, yellow and orange cake pops.

Continue the Theme

Sunflower-embellished salad plates are an inexpensive way to carry the theme when stacked with your everyday plates. Sunflower pillows add an extra layer of comfort, inviting guests to linger.

Dessert Labels

Save guests from guesswork: Print or handwrite the names of desserts on our cute printable labels. Download and print the template below.

Know Your Place

Make guests feel at home with customized printable place cards. Pop the cards into small frames embellished with ribbon to dress them up. Bonus: Guests can take the frames home and fill them with a photo of the day's festivities.

Creative Cake

Make a spice or pumpkin cake even more special with a charming cake bunting. Use the same paper medallion technique used earlier for the napkin rings, but make the medallions quite a bit smaller. Attach the completed medallions to twine or string with hot glue. Knot each end of the string to branches and insert branches into each side of the cake. Use the same technique explained in the wreath instructions to create the "family" banner.

Simple Place Settings

Make each place setting special. Use everyday white plates topped with smaller plates along with customized framed place cards and handmade napkins rings.

Family Time

Make as much of the meal in advance as possible so you'll have plenty of time to spend with friends and family around the Thanksgiving table. This is the time of year to reconnect with loved ones and reflect on life's blessings.

Serve Seasonal Treats

Fall-flavored desserts, like these pumpkin whoopie pies, are perfect for Thanksgiving. Create a pretty display by placing them in several small dishes grouped together.

Printable Menu

Tempt your guests by placing a printed menu of the day's courses on the dessert buffet or at each place setting. This way they know what to look forward to — and will be sure to save room for dessert.

Beyond the Table

Find other focal points in your home to liven up with autumn decor. Concentrate especially on rooms that adjoin the dining room, like the living room. Here, a burlap "give thanks" banner brightens up the stone fireplace, while textured wreaths and fruit-filled apothecary jars are beautiful accents.

Burlap Banner

Dress up a mirror, mantel or entryway with this easy burlap banner. First, cut 11 pieces of burlap 6" wide x 7" tall, fold in half and cut away a triangle from the bottom of each panel (center point at approximately 1 3/4" up from the bottom). Use a circle cutter to cut 11 5-inch circles out of yellow card stock. Attach the yellow circles to the burlap panels using hot glue. Print the attached template onto white card stock, then use the circle cutter to cut out each letter. Attach the letter panels to the yellow circles using foam dots to add dimension. String the panels together with ribbon or tulle.


While cupcakes aren't typically a Thanksgiving tradition, stacked on a tiered tray they create a lovely presentation and kids will gobble them up!

Be Thankful

Send guests home with a sweet memory by filling small favor boxes with chocolates, nuts, dried fruit or luxurious fall-scented soaps. Wrap each with thick chocolate brown ribbon and top with a printable favor tag.

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