15 Best Desserts in Cups

Dessert cups are all the rage! Check out the 15 best desserts in cups for your next party. These party desserts are fantastic for any celebration! They’re easy to serve and just enough to satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth without going overboard. You can also offer a variety on your dessert table and make an epic dessert buffet!

Why desserts in cups are a party must-have

Move over, grand cakes and towering trifles! There’s a new dessert darling in town, and it’s not afraid to be small but mighty. We’re talking about the humble dessert in a cup, a trend that’s taking the world by storm with its convenience, creativity, and individual flair.

Forget about portion envy and messy slicing. Desserts in cups offer a personalized experience, where each bite is a tailored journey for your taste buds. From creamy mousses to layered parfaits and decadent puddings to playful mug cakes, the possibilities are endless.

But why the cup desserts craze? There’s a whole lot to love:

  • They’re perfect for satisfying a sweet tooth without overindulging. Individual servings make it easier to stick to your resolutions (or not, no judgment!).
  • No more elaborate plating or battling with stubborn cake pans. Whip up a quick parfait in minutes, or bake a mug cake in a variety of flavors while your coffee brews. Easy clean-up is a bonus!
  • Dessert cups are canvases for your culinary imagination. Layer colorful fruits, crunchy granola, and creamy yogurt for a tropical paradise in a jar. Or, indulge in a decadent chocolatemousse topped with a sprinkle of sea salt and a drizzle of caramel.
  • Cater to different dietary needs and preferences with ease. Make a vegan mousse for your plant-based friend, or whip up a gluten-free cake in a cup for your cousin with celiac disease. Everyone gets their own delicious mini dessert!

So grab a spoon and embrace the single-serving revolution. From quick microwave mug cakes to layered mousse creations, dessert cups offer a world of convenience, creativity, and pure deliciousness. Give them a try, and you might just find yourself saying goodbye to those towering cakes and hello to a whole new realm of sweet satisfaction on your dessert table with these mouth-watering desserts in cups!

What type of cups do you use for desserts in a cup?

The best type of cup for desserts in a cup really depends on the kind of dessert you’re making and the overall presentation you’re going for! Here are some ideas:

For layered desserts in cups:

  • Mason jars: Glass Mason jars are classic and versatile. They come in a variety of sizes and are clear so you can see the layers.
  • Wine glasses: Stemless wine glasses are a more elegant option for layered desserts. They’re also great for showcasing colorful layers.
  • Parfait glasses: These tall glasses are perfect for showing off individual layers of yogurt, granola, fruit, and other ingredients.

For individual desserts in cups:

  • Small glass or plastic cups: These are a great option for portion-controlled desserts like mousses, puddings, and custards. You can find plastic dessert cups in various sizes and styles, so you can choose ones that match your dessert.
  • Paper or plastic shot glasses: Plastic shot glasses are a fun and festive option for small desserts like mini cheesecakes or trifles.
  • Edible cups: Get creative and make your own cups out of chocolate, cookies, or even waffle cones!

Other factors to consider:

  • Material: Consider whether you need the cups to be oven-safe, dishwasher-safe, or disposable. If you’re having a party for children, ditch glass cups and opt for plastic cups.
  • Lid: If you’re planning on storing the desserts or transporting them, you’ll need cups with lids.
  • Size: Make sure the cups are the right size for your dessert. You don’t want them to be too small or too large.
  • Presentation: Think about the overall look you’re going for and choose cups that will complement your dessert and event. Think about your occasion. If you’re making a dessert for a special occasion like a wedding, you might want to choose more elegant cups like square ones.
  • Budget: Cups can range in price. Choose ones that fit your budget.

What size cups do use for dessert cups?

Choosing the cup size for desserts at a party depends on several factors, including the type of dessert, the desired portion size, and the overall presentation. Here’s a breakdown to help you decide:

Mini desserts (2-3 oz):

  • Perfect for bite-sized treats or offering a variety of options.
  • Good for: Mousse cups, pudding shots, mini cheesecakes, fruit parfaits, and mini trifles.
  • Cup options: 2-3 oz plastic cups, shot glasses, small ramekins, or edible cups.

Medium desserts (5-6 oz):

  • Ideal for individual servings with a bit more substance.
  • Good for: Yogurt parfaits, mousse, puddings, custards, fruit salads, cake in a cup.
  • Cup options: 5-6 oz plastic cups, small glass mason jars, parfait glasses, or wine glasses.

Large desserts (8-10 oz):

  • Best for satisfying portions or sharing between two people.
  • Good for: Ice cream sundaes, layered desserts, trifle bowls, and large parfaits.
  • Cup options: 8-10 oz plastic cups, large mason jars, stemless wine glasses, or parfait glasses.

How do you store your dessert cups?

Storing desserts in a cup requires some strategic planning to ensure they stay fresh, delicious, and visually appealing. Here are some key tips and methods to keep in mind:

Before storage:

  • Chill it down: Most desserts, like mousses, custards, and puddings, benefit from thorough chilling before storage. This helps solidify the ingredients and prevents soggy layers.
  • Portion control: Consider the serving size and store accordingly. Individual cups are ideal for portion control and prevent overindulgence.
  • Seal the deal: Tightly cover your cups with lids, plastic wrap, or aluminum foil to prevent air exposure and moisture loss. Airtight storage also minimizes the risk of fridge odors seeping into your dessert.

Storage methods:

  • Refrigerator: The go-to option for most desserts. Place them on a shelf or in the back of the fridge to avoid temperature fluctuations from the door opening. Most chilled desserts keep well for 2-3 days, though some, like mousses, might start to weep liquid after a day.
  • Freezer: Ideal for long-term storage, especially for layered desserts or those with delicate textures. Freeze them in airtight containers or wrap individual cups in plastic wrap and then foil. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving. Freezing times vary depending on the dessert, but most can last for up to 2 months.
  • Pantry: Certain dry or room-temperature desserts like cookies in a cup or granola parfaits can be stored at room temperature in airtight containers. However, keep them away from direct sunlight and heat sources. Their shelf life will depend on the ingredients used.

Additional tips for storing your desserts in a cup:

  • Label your cups: Clearly label the contents and date of storage to avoid confusion and ensure timely consumption.
  • Prevent condensation: If storing hot desserts in the fridge, let them cool slightly before covering them to prevent condensation build-up, which can make them soggy.
  • Think ahead: Consider the transportation factor if you plan on taking your desserts to a venue. Choose sturdy cups with secure lids.

15 best desserts in cups to satisfy your sweet tooth

Ditch the predictable cake and treat your guests to a fabulous mini dessert buffet! 

I was recently at a wedding, and the couple didn’t have your traditional wedding cake. Instead, they had an amazing mini dessert buffet, which was fabulous! 

We tried a variety of desserts in cups, and they all paired perfectly with our after-dinner coffee. All the guests loved trying multiple mini desserts, and many commented on how they loved the mini dessert station instead of cake and ice cream. 

So, whether you’re hosting a birthday party, baby shower, bridal shower, wedding, or graduation, add a mini dessert buffet for guests. You won’t regret it!

Let’s get into some of our favorite desserts in cup recipes you can make for your next event. 

Whether you’re in the mood for chocolate dessert cups, trifle dessert cups, or cheesecake dessert cups, there’s a bite-sized recipe here for everyone!

Ready to enter into the world of cup-tastic desserts? Here are some perfect ideas to get you started:

  • For the fruit lover: Layer berries, mango, and kiwi with whipped cream and granola for a refreshing parfait.
  • For the chocolate addict: Try a decadent chocolate mousse with a raspberry swirl or a gooey chocolate mug cake with a hidden peanut butter center.
  • For the health nut: Blend spinach, banana, and almond milk for a creamy dairy-free smoothie bowl.
  • For the nostalgic soul: Get your childhood fix with a miniature apple crisp baked in a mug.

See also:

Best toddler birthday party finger foods

Smores in a jar dessert in a cup


S’mores In a Jar is always a favorite of the young and old alike! And who could resist when the end product looks as delicious as this?

I love how the marshmallows are even crispy on top, just like you’ll find in a real s’mores sandwich made around the campfire.

Layered with marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers, this dessert in a cup will be a bite-sized favorite at your party!

Key Lime Cheesecake in a cup


Key Lime Cheesecake is a personal favorite of mine, and this sweet treat above looks like a perfect, refreshing dessert for a summer soiree!

Sprinkle some graham cracker crumbs on top and garnish with a lime and this mini dessert will be the hit of any celebration!

No Bake Pineapple Cheesecake Dessert In a Cup


This No-Bake Pineapple Cheesecake is the perfect mini dessert for a fun luau or summer event! Look at how delicious this is!

Any quick, easy, and no-bake dessert is a favorite in my book! No baking skills are required for this tasty dessert in a cup.

Boston Cream Pie in a jar


Are you a Boston Cream Pie fan? Then this dessert in a cup is perfect for you.

Treat your guests with this sweet treat, and you’ll surely score some brownie points from everyone.

Black Forest Trifles - Easy Party Desserts in Cups


Trifles are such a fun way to have a dessert, and these Black Forest Trifles in small cups are an elegant and gorgeous way to present dessert at your next event.

Chocolate and fruit? How could you go wrong?!

Depending on the type of event you’re having, mini glass cups are great for an elegant indoor party.

If you’re hosting a children’s party or an outdoor event, plastic is the way to go!

Red Velvet Cupcakes in a Jar - Mini Desserts in Cups Ideas


Red Velvet Cupcakes in a jar are a BIG hit in my home, and when I saw this sweet red velvet dessert in a cup, I just couldn’t resist.

What a sweet treat for your sweetheart if you’re getting ready to celebrate an anniversary or Valentine’s Day. This is a great wedding dessert idea, too!

Brownie Strawberry Shortcake In A Cup - Party Desserts


Brownie Strawberry Shortcake will be a hit at any birthday party for the little ones this summer. Or how about serving these dessert cups at a family reunion?!

And with how eye-appealing it is, you’ll be hard-pressed to keep the party moving until dessert is finally served. They’ll be mesmerized!

Banana Caramel Cream Dessert in a Cup - Mini Party Desserts


Banana Caramel Cream mini desserts are a must-have for any event. These decadent dessert cups make an easy and delicious party dessert that you can whip up in no time!

They will look amazing on any mini dessert buffet. And we’re sure they’ll be the first desserts to go!

Peanut Butter Brownie Trifle in a cup - Mini Dessert Cups


This Peanut Butter Brownie Trifle in a cup dessert is going to be a hit with all of the peanut butter chocolate lovers in your circle!

Check out this great recipe, and get ready to make all of your chocolate lovers’ dreams come true!

Strawberry Pretzel Dessert in a cup - Mini Dessert Cups


Strawberry Pretzel Dessert is a wonderful treat in its regular pan form, but it takes on a whole new meaning when it’s in mini-mason jars!

This is a family favorite for Thanksgiving in my house, and I think this coming year, we’ll have to try serving it like this. It’s so adorable and delicious!

Mini Lemon Parfaits in a cup - Easy Party Desserts


11. Meyer Lemon Parfaits in tiny shot glasses will give you just the right combination of sweet and sour that you’re looking for.

Serve them up at your party and see how much your guests enjoy them!

Carrot Cake Shots - Small Desserts For Parties


Carrot Cake Shots are a fun way to serve this staple dessert.

Carrot cake is a favorite around here, and if you find some little carrot icing embellishments to serve on top of these, everyone will think it’s the cutest idea ever!

Caramel Apple Trifle Dessert Cups


This Caramel Apple Trifle mini dessert looks SO delicious!

I love that while the recipe calls for specific cup sizes, you can always change the recipes to whatever you have at home.

Stars and Stripes Cheesecake Dessert Cups


These Stars & Stripes Cheesecake Shots are absolutely perfect for your Memorial Day or Fourth of July picnics this summer!

Show up with these in your arsenal and everyone will be so impressed they won’t even notice what else is being served!

Layered Cherry Cheesecake in a Cup


This Layered Cherry Cheese Pie dessert cup looks so tasty! We can see this party dessert served this summer for one event or another.

This is another mini dessert I might have to make for the fun of it.

So now that you’re ready to eat dessert after seeing all of these delicious dessert cups, head to the kitchen and whip up your favorite!

And the next time you host a party, make sure you offer your guests a variety of these bite-sized mini desserts.

Forget just one dessert when you can have several, right?!

Which of these 15 Best Desserts in Cups are your favorites? Let us know in the comments below.

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    1. I prepare each component of the desserts and don’t assemble them until the day of the event. If you do them ahead the crust gets soggy. They are very easy to make and if not combined will last a long time in the refrigerator.

  1. Thanks for sharing this Best Desserts in Cups , this recipe seems amazing . I never tried this before . Will love to make this one .

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