How to Make Edible Holiday Centerpieces

These fun, creative ideas are sure to be the star of any holiday party, and they're easy enough for kids to help with.

Photo By: Jackie Alpers ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Jackie Alpers ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Jackie Alpers ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Jackie Alpers ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Jackie Alpers ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Jackie Alpers ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Jackie Alpers ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Jackie Alpers ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Jackie Alpers ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Jackie Alpers ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Jackie Alpers ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Jackie Alpers ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Jackie Alpers ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Jackie Alpers ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Jackie Alpers ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

5 Edible Centerpiece Ideas That Will Wow Your Guests

Start the music! Light the lights! Get the party going with an edible centerpiece tonight! These fun, creative projects are sure to be the star of any holiday party, and they're easy enough for kids to help with. Use them as a single element, or in a group on a buffet or dinner table. 

 

By Jackie Alpers

Doughnut Hole Trees

These wintry trees made from doughnut holes have a Dr. Seuss-like quality to them – minus the Grinch. This project is especially easy for kids, and more stunning than the sum of its parts.

Simple Supplies

For each tree you will need: one 3-by-7-inch Styrofoam cone (available at most craft stores), plastic wrap, a container of toothpicks and about 2 dozen white doughnut holes. I found the pompom toothpicks at Target.

How to Make Them

Wrap the Styrofoam cone in plastic wrap. Starting at the bottom, poke toothpicks into the cone about 1/2 inch apart. Poke a doughnut onto the toothpick. Do the whole row before moving up to the next row. When you get to the second row, place the toothpicks in between the lower holes as shown. Accent the finished tree with fancy toothpicks and red cinnamon sugar sprinkles

Holiday Appetizer Tree

Here's a savory alternative or addition to the doughnut hole tree. Place the trees on the table together to make a wintry tree forest, or serve them alone. Choose vegetables and cheese in colors that complement your party's color palette.

What You'll Need

For each tree you will need: one 3-by-7-inch Styrofoam cone covered in plastic wrap (see doughnut hole tree above); a container of pretty toothpicks; a small star cookie cutter; approximately 1 pound of cheese, cubed (the cheese in the photo is cranberry chipotle cheddar from Whole Foods Market); 1 pound of tiny tomatoes; 1 cucumber, cubed; 1 head of cauliflower, broken into small florets; 1/2 pound of provolone cheese, cut into thick rounds; and fresh rosemary for garnish.

Cheese Stars

Cut stars out of provolone with a small star cookie cutter. I found this one at Ace Hardware for 89 cents. Accent the tree with the stars, using one as a tree topper.

Easy Assembly

Press cauliflower florets and cheese cubes into the cone with a toothpick, starting at the bottom and working up. Then go back and accent the tree with tomatoes and cucumbers in the spaces that remain. Garnish with cheese stars and sprigs of rosemary. Make snacks for your little helpers with any remaining cubes of cheese, tomatoes and rosemary sprigs, and serve them on the side. 

Cinnamon-Sugared Fruit

Coat seasonal fruit with a thin layer of diluted marshmallow creme, then dip in sparkling sugar crystals and superfine Baker’s Sugar laced with fragrant cinnamon to give it a frosty sheen. You will need: fresh fruit, washed and dried; 2 tablespoons marshmallow creme; 1/3 cup water; 2 cups Baker’s Sugar with 1 tablespoon cinnamon mixed in; bright white sparkling sugar, such as India Tree’s.

How to Sugar-Coat Fruit

Whisk together the water and marshmallow creme in a medium bowl. Place the cinnamon sugar and the sanding sugar in separate bowls. Paint the diluted marshmallow creme mixture onto the fruit, then spoon cinnamon sugar followed by sanding sugar over to coat completely. Place on a baking sheet lined with wax paper or parchment and let sit until dry, about 4 to 6 hours. 

Cheese Tower

Cheese towers are so awe-inspiring that some people are even replacing their wedding cakes with them. Constructing a cheese tower is all just a matter of balance. I knew I wanted an impressive, sturdy cheese for the base, so I ordered a wheel of Beekman 1802’s Blaak from their website. It is a semi-hard goat/cow cheese that weighs more than 2 pounds and is covered in a striking, edible layer of black ash.

Choose Your Cheeses

The cheese expert at my local Whole Foods helped me pick out the other cheeses, which were cut to my specifications from big blocks they had in the store. In my quest for cheese I also noticed that Trader Joe’s has some of the same varieties in pre-cut wedges.The cheeses are from left to right, bottom to top: Humboldt Fog goat cheese, Cowgirl Creamery’s Red Hawk, Whole Foods’ chipotle cranberry cheddar, Brie with truffles, Mimolette Vielle, Stilton, an Amish Blue wheel and Beekman 1802’s Blaak. The cheese with the herringbone-patterned rind in the photo below is P’tit Basque.

Stacking Strategy

I wasn’t sure exactly how I was going to stack the cheeses I’d gathered, so I laid them all out together, let them reach room temperature to see how soft they became, and then determined which were solid enough to hold up the rest. Tap into your inner architect and stack the cheese different ways until you find a version you like. Plan for 2 to 3 ounces of cheese per person.

Gold and Silver Mixed Nuts

Glam up unshelled mixed nuts by spraying them with shimmery metallic edible food coloring. They’re beautiful on their own or as an accent in other centerpieces. You will need: 2 cups unshelled mixed nuts; gold and/or silver edible food coloring, such as Wilton Color Mist; and sparkling silver and/or gold sugar, such as Betty Crocker’s Cupcake Decor.

How to Make Them

Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. Spray edible food coloring evenly over nuts and sprinkle with metallic-colored sparkling sugar. Let dry completely, then turn the nuts over and repeat on the other side, covering the nuts in color and sprinkles. Serve them alone or use them to accent another centerpiece, such as the cheese tower above. 

More from:

Holiday How-Tos

Next Up

5 Edible Holiday Centerpiece Ideas That Will Wow Your Guests

These fun, creative edible centerpieces are sure to be the star of any holiday party, and they're easy enough for kids to help with.