I’m always looking for small little sweets to end a summer meal and these certainly will put smiles on everyone’s faces. Classics like cupcakes with simple colored sugar or chocolate toppings are so easy to make yourself. Dress up your cupcakes with patterned cupcake papers from Viking Importing Company or search unique toppers of all kinds on Etsy for a special theme or interest. (You can even use cupcakes as place card holders.) Individual strawberry shortcakes are another great classic, instead of baking the shortcake in a pan, drop the batter in cupcake tins, then slice each one in half and fill with cream and strawberries. And I love this idea from food stylist Elizabeth Colling (who styled all these photos) – butterscotch pudding with ‘dirt’ chocolate and real chamomile. Chocolate as the dirt- how clever. Paper napkins of course are always easy for outdoor dining and great to bring in color for cocktails and tiny desserts like these. Caspari has a lot of patterns to chose from. An easy tip: I stock up on paper napkins whenever I see a pattern I like throughout the year and I keep a drawer full in my pantry. This way I’m never running out to get the ‘perfect’ color at the last minute, chances are I have something on hand already.
Chocolate pudding with chocolate ‘dirt’, garnished with real herbs and wood markers with stamped initials- fun for almost any type of summer gathering. Gum paste flowers adorn carrot cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. (Search Etsy.com for a large assortment of gum paste flowers to purchase.)