Elaborate boards of meat and cheeses are nothing new, but they are having a moment. On Google, searches for "charcuterie" went from nonexistent to skyrocketing, starting about four years ago. On Instagram, #charcuterie has nearly one million posts, and #charcuterieboard has more than 350,000. There's even a Facebook group with more than 14,400 members called Show me Your Charcuterie, which is dedicated to beautiful boards and their creators.
Although charcuterie is technically just the meat (Merriam-Webster defines charcuterie as "a delicatessen specializing in dressed meats and meat dishes" and "the products sold in such a shop"), the word describes just about anything you can aesthetically arrange on a platter. (However, some people do refer to them as grazing boards or smorgasbords, to be accurate). On social media, we've seen holiday-themed versions, brunch-inspired options, and, most recently, boards featuring sweet treats only.
Dubbed dessert boards, these edible works of art are for those with a serious sweet tooth. (Or as an addition to your salty meat and cheese board.) Like their classic and innovative counterparts, these designs are popping up all over our social media feeds. Through #dessertboard, which has more than 5,500 posts, we found mouthwatering selections to give you sugar rush. Here are 8 of our favorites that might inspire you to make one for yourself.
Celebrate Good Times
This eye-catching selection is colorful enough to brighten anyone's day. Candy from @seecandycook put this together for one lucky person's 21st birthday. She selected a variety of multi-colored candies, including rock candy, gummy bears, and M&Ms, but the real winner of this display is the chocolate champagne bottles. Candy says she found the pair at Williams Sonoma, for $12.95.
Pretty and Pink
Now, this rose-colored round board is almost too beautiful to eat. Gemma and Megan, the duo behind @thegrazingsisters_, used a mix of homemade and store-bought goodies for this creation. They first put down a base of different chocolate and candies and then added meringue chocolate pyramids, donuts, cupcakes, shortbread cookies, and more from a few of their local bakeries.
The Bigger, the Better
More is more, right? Lauren from @silverlakesocialite, who makes different kinds of charcuterie and grazing boards, created this jaw-dropping display. There is something for everyone's palate, including sweet (cheesecake, brownies, and cookies), salty (white dipped pretzels), and even fruit (kiwi, blueberries, berries, and apples) for a hint of healthy. Out of everything, Lauren says the sprinkle cake donuts are her favorite.
The different sizes of treats on this board keeps our eyes wandering. (How cute are those mini peanut butter cups?!) Melissa from @balaboostas_bakery made this platter for Rosh Hashana. Everything on this board looks delicious, but our favorite bites are the pieces of chocolate chip cookie cake and rainbow cake. Melissa says she bakes each cake in a sheet pan and carefully cuts them into small squares for her boards.
If you're more of a baked goods kind of person, especially when it comes to cookies, this board from @onboardwithdana is for you. Dana's assortment features black-and-white cookies, s'mores brownies, rugelach, mini cinnamon rolls, and much more. She says that everything on the board is from a local bakery or store.
All the Heart Eyes
This year, we spotted a handful of Valentine's Day snack boards. This one from Crystal at @apumpkinandaprincess features color-coordinated candies (including conversation hearts), chocolates, macarons, Oreos, and chocolate-covered strawberries. Crystal's idea would work for any holiday, especially Halloween, when you already have plenty of candy.
Forget the cake—we want this display for our birthday. Jenn from @twobytwomomblog made this board for her daughters' birthdays. This option is perfect when you're on a budget or don't have time to bake. Jenn says she bought the bark, popcorn, and pretzels from Trader Joe's. The donuts are store-bought, and she found the rock candy at Target that you can buy for $24.99 for a 36-pack. The simple "make a wish" napkin centerpiece makes this creation party-ready.
Every Color of the Rainbow
This is another birthday display that is perfect for a child. (Or anyone who's a kid at heart). Meaghan from @everyday_tables made this option that would be pretty easy to recreate as you can buy everything from the store, including the candy, Oreos, donuts, frosted cookies, and chocolate-covered pretzels. Plus, the board isn't overwhelmingly large.
The next time you're asked to bring a dessert to an event, keep these creations in mind. Partygoers will appreciate that there's a little something sweet for everyone.