Making Your Dessert Table POP With Acrylic Risers

Though people eat dessert after the main meal it shouldn’t be an afterthought. A surefire way to impress your guests is by making your dessert tables stand out. But what types of desserts should you include in the spread? What design elements should be incorporated into the dessert table? How do you tie it into the event’s theme? While there are a lot of decisions to be made, using acrylic risers is an easy choice for displaying desserts. They make it easy to organize and make your dessert table pop. But here’s what you should know first about what to include on your table and how to style it.


Conveniently convertible this acrylic riser cupcake stand display tower transitions to 4 individual stands as well!
Create an impressive dessert tower, four individual layers or any configuration you like with this Acrylic Cupcake Stand with 4 Configurable Tiers.


The dessert course is anticipated at any event, whether it’s a wedding, family reunion, business luncheon, or baby shower. The cake usually takes center stage on the dessert table—especially if the event is a wedding. From there, a multitude of sweets—from cake pops, cookies, candy, and cupcakes to s’mores, macaroons, and mini donuts, fill out the dessert spread. But your table does more than just present cookies and confections. Here is what else you can display on the dessert table.

Place Card Holders 

Until dessert is served, the buffet can serve as décor as well as welcome guests by arranging their place card holders on it. If table arrangements are not needed at your event, other paper elements such as small, folded cardstock signs to label each dessert or small signage, such as acrylic easels or chalkboard signs, with event or menu information can be displayed there.

Signature Drink

A signature drink simplifies entertaining and offers a visually refreshing design element. Lemon martinis, mojito slushies, red sangria, whiskey punch, blue mules, and more can be blended up to match your décor and theme. Lemonade, hot chocolate, or any cocktail made into a mocktail offers a non-alcoholic quencher for guests.



One of the first details of event planning is to select a theme or color scheme. This will set the tone and guide the aesthetics for your event, including your dessert table. Popular themes include rustic, romantic, garden, and vintage. Once settled on a theme, choose two or three colors (with the third color being a neutral) to help define the theme. Tip: Neutral can be white or clear—you want that third color choice to blend into the background.

Symmetrical Arrangement
For a foolproof display, create symmetry in your dessert table arrangement. Decide on a focal point—a floral arrangement or a tiered layer cake—and center it on your table. Then balance the centerpiece with serving dishes, utensils, and other desserts. Tip: Acrylic risers in sets of two, or a pair of display pedestals flanking the table, will help create balance and can be customized to match any theme.

A Centerpiece
This is typically a tiered cake but can be a single-tiered cake placed on a pedestal cake stand. If you’re serving smaller sweets, you can go with a beautiful floral arrangement as your centerpiece. But since it is a dessert table, after all, you want to make sure your desserts stand out. For instance, cake pops make for a visually appealing display when dipped in icing that matches the party’s theme and displayed in an acrylic cake pop stand or plopped in cake pop liners and arranged on an acrylic tray. Likewise, placing a variety of sweets, hors d’oeuvres, flowers or party favors on an acrylic configurable cupcake stand  in tiered tower form, double or triple tiers or four perfectly separate pedestals makes a statement all by itself!

Props and/or Backdrop

If you’re not lucky enough to have a dessert table positioned underneath a bay of windows or a framed mirror, there are still so many ways to decorate the background. Hang or lean your own mirror, or consider an arch of balloons; crepe tissue paper pom poms, paper fans and lanterns; chalkboard signage; a custom backdrop; or simply, a soft, sheer fabric to create a curtain backdrop. Even a color-coordinated garland or bunting will do the trick. Tip: If you can’t decorate the wall behind the table at your venue, add height on the table by placing desserts and props on u-shaped, block, and cylinder risers and a configurable acrylic cupcake display used in a tower or at varying heights. This also maximizes space and makes the dessert offerings more accessible to guests. You can also lean a framed photo or graphic on the wall behind the desserts or place helium-filled balloons on the table using balloon weights to add some vertical interest.

Party Favors
To make desserts a part of your party favors, package a few treats in cellophane, takeout boxes, or decorative bags and line up on a serving tray, on space-saving acrylic tiered risers, or on a modifiable acrylic cupcake display.  Add a “thank you” tag in a coordinating color and they’re ready for guests to grab as they go. Or place a container of bags or mini boxes on an acrylic tray and let guests pack their own favorites on their way out.




Now that you know what goes on the table, keep it all cohesive by choosing a theme. Here are a few popular party themes and ideas to try for any soiree.

Farmhouse Style

String lights, mason jars, and wooden accents all personify this popular rustic look in home and event décor. Create a table using two wooden barrels as a base then secure a weathered wood plank on top for its surface. A wooden cart can also stand in to display desserts, such as homemade pies, tartlets, and mini cupcakes. Create a backdrop of string lights and hang a large chalkboard sign to display a message. On the table, mason jars can hold candles, strands of battery-operated string lights, or individually wrapped candies. Clear vases hold blooms and acrylic risers display dessert (use small chalkboard signs to identify dessert offerings). A stack of wooden crates next to the table continue the theme and can hold plates, napkins, and utensils.

Romantic Pastels
Be pretty in pink—and yellow, green, blue, and purple—with a pastel-colored spread. Acrylic risers shine here, allowing the hues from flowers to the icing on the cake (or cupcakes) to be the center of attention. You can also custom order acrylic risers in candy hues to match your theme. Create your arrangement on a white wooden table or dresser for maximum impact. If you have a wood table, drape a piece of white lace over it as a tablecloth or use doilies for the dessert plates. Up the romance with battery-operated tealights on or around risers and battery-operated pillar candles in acrylic cylinder risers. For additional desserts, serve pastel-hued meringues, macaroons, and cupcakes and place candy-coated almonds, or candy-coated chocolate in clear vessels. Nice to know: light-and-sweet meringue pops are a tasty alternative to cake pops.

Garden Theme 

Show off a green thumb with flowers and greenery. Place the cake on a pedestal to make it the focal point. Flowers on the cake define the theme and candlesticks and vases with fresh flowers add ambiance. Flowers and greenery can also be tucked under acrylic risers with desserts displayed on top. You can even add blooms to your desserts. For example, stack donuts on a 3-tiered tray and tuck flowers in between. Or if your table is actually a dresser or sideboard, open a few drawers halfway and fill with fresh flowers for a dramatic display.

Hot Chocolate Bar

Warm up a fall event or winter wedding with a hot chocolate bar. Thermal carafes can offer different varieties (dark, milk, white, or milk alternatives) of cocoa that are on tap; an acrylic tray can hold liqueur and flavorings to customize drinks, acrylic cylinders can hold peppermint swizzle sticks, and bowls can hold mini marshmallows and cinnamon. Desserts include anything chocolate, of course! Think chocolate bark, brownies, a chocolate fountain with fresh fruit to dip.

Donut Wall

Short on table space? Free up some room by creating a vertical buffet. Paint a pegboard to match your décor. Dowels glued into the board perfectly hold donuts—just place a doily on the end and slide the treats on the peg in any pattern you choose. Just right for a brunch or post-wedding breakfast, donuts (or bagels) are sure to delight. A table in front of the board can hold plates and napkins as well as tiered trays and risers with donut holes, mini donuts, and other enticing treats.


Brunch is synonymous with bunches of flowers. Start with a tall floral arrangement as a focal point (place bouquets on pedestals for added height). For food, try charcuterie board but make it sweet with pastries and cut fruit with a ganache dip. If mimosas are on the menu, include foods that complement champagne, such as chocolate-covered almonds, chocolate truffles, biscuits, cookies, shortbread, almond cakes, and cheesecake. Place on an acrylic configurable cupcake stand or assemble the layers to your space and needs.

Employ an old hutch or Hoosier cabinet for a vintage vibe. Some Hoosiers have a pull-out cutting board that you can use for display space, or you can even leave an upper drawer open to hold rolled fabric napkins filled with utensils. Remove upper cabinet doors or leave open for easy access to shelves and place risers and tiered trays on the countertop. Empty antique frames up the ambiance. Or fill them with black and white pictures or chalkboards to feature the dessert selections. No hutch? Outfit a table with vintage accessories like suitcases. Use an open, smaller case to hold stacked plates on the table and larger ones under the table to decorate the empty space. Other vintage finds to use include bird cages, teacups, typewriters, and hat boxes.


What do all these dessert table ideas have in common? Acrylic risers. These displays are perfect for presenting dessert selections and maximizing their visibility and accessibility—all while blending into the background. With the rise in popularity of dessert tables, you can rely on acrylic risers to display all the (baked) goods at your next event. Acrylic display stands come in numerous sizes and encompass a variety of forms, such as pedestals, u-shaped, tiered steps, columns, solid blocks, and more.

ShopPOPdisplays has an extensive line of acrylic risers (in stock and customized) to meet your dessert table design needs and match any party theme. Feel free to contact us with questions, to place an order, for help creating custom display risers, or even just some friendly advice on your event’s design.