Hi Everyone, I am looking for some inexpensive dessert ideas. I make desserts for my sons teacherl luncheon to feed about 60-70. But this time I am on a strict budget so I need to find some good ideas but i’d love the desserts to still be special. Does anyone have any good ideas for some desserts? I know its crazy but I only want to spend $50-$60 max (you can laugh now!). I’m thinking about maybe a special cheesecake or flourless type of chocolate cake (fills up easy and is rich) and some other gourmet style dessert or pie. Any help would be appreciated. In the past i’d always do a big cake (from scratch) and one or two desserts. I figure w/ my budget that two items will be sufficient. They are eating lunch, this is casual and dessert is kind of optional. Keep in mind, i’ve got tons of flour, sugar & vanilla so these would not have to come out of my budget, also I have a Sam’s club membership. Eggs are inexpensive and whipping cream is $5.00/qt. Thanks for your time. p.s.-Skill wise, I can bake most everything, meringue, baked custards, cakes, egg based desserts, etc.
Yikes! Whipping cream is at $5/qt where you are?! Here in the greater Boston area, it is about $3/qt retail at the grocery store or wholesale club.
Cookies and brownies are easy and casual enough for a teacher’s luncheon where people might be coming and going at different times based on their class schedule, plus if the teachers prefer they can wrap one in a napkin and take it for later. The brownie recipe in Rose’s Christmas cookie book are excellent, and one of my go-to recipes. (I have several favorite brownie recipes, including more than a few from Maida Heatter. Her chocolate cream cheese brownies are to die for, as well as her adaptation of Katherine Hepburn’s brownies. Both recipes are in the Great American Desserts book)
You could have an arrangement of different types of cookies, bars and brownies and they will still look good as people take things away from the display.
Thanks so much for your reply. We’re in Florida and our prices are crazy!! I think i’ll try to look up the brownies they sound great. My only problem (self inflicted) is the group is used to desserts, i am usually the only one who provides desserts, usually gourmet style so they are expecting desserts. They stay the whole time and wait for when I start serving the desserts so i’m afraid cookies (though usually great) would probably be too casual for this since they are used to rich desserts. Its my fault, for spoiling them to begin with, since they are used to 2-3 desserts, but my budget is dicatating my actions now and I want to slowly decrease how much I spend but still want to provide some nice desserts. Thanks for your advice though, i’ve never made any of Rose’s brownies only cakes, and I think they would definitely something I could work with. Thanks again and have a great afternoon!
Ouch… $5 per quart of heavy cream????? Man… I’m near Washington DC and I only pay $3.
Anyway, I say make it easy on yourself and make a lot of one thing instead of lots of different things. I love the cheesecake idea - they might cost you $10 a piece, but each 10” cake can serve 14-16 people - you can add variety by offering different toppings such as blueberry, strawberry, cherry, etc.
i know we all love scratch made, but ghirardhelli makes an excellent double choc brownie mix that is available in bulk from costco. i think it has 6 packets of mix (1 pan of brownies each) for around $7. they are delicious and decadent.
Cupcakes are all the rage. Does that qualify as a “dessert”? Once again, they provide the portability that teachers always need; dispense with the need for serving utensils; and you know how many portions you have. You could even make cheesecake cupcakes.
I like the idea of the cookie platter. But that’s kind of my niche around here. I have done baskets of decorated (see my avatar to left) or just yummy cookies for the teacher appreciation week at my sons’ school. But it is just one offering of many. Most cookies can be prepared in advance, so the work is spread out over a few days or a week.
You could do tartlets.
I’ve done miniature black-bottom banana cream pie things in the foil cupcake liners.
Single serving mousses in little cups with a cookie on the side. Mousse piped into a small dish with a star tip would be elegant and rich, but relatively light. I did little “mousse shots” in the plastic oyster cups for a party.
I haven’t done anything except the mousse shots for a large crowd. They were served alongside other sweets at a Christmas party. But if I was faced with your task, these are some of the ideas I would entertain.
Hi, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone for your advice and help. I’m definitely going to be trying rose’s brownie recipe and I think I need to pick up Rose’s pie and pastry bible I only have her cake book and it sounds like there are alot of good recipes in that book. I appreciate everyone’s input. Thanks again.
I also love the cupcake idea, because it is portable and serving size is controlled. You could do little chocolate oblivion tortes, or cheesecakes, or brownies, or carrot cakes (carrots are pretty inexpensive!). Then decorate them attractively to up the sophistication factor.
You could also vary toppings. I made up a batch of All-American chocolate butter cake cupcakes, and a large batch of caramel silk meringue buttercream. Then I divided up the buttercream and made several variations on the theme: burnt orange, coffee-caramel, caramel, and chocolate-caramel. The buttercream was piped in a nice swirl, and tops were garnished according to flavor, with candied orange peel, coffee beans, and chocolate shavings.