Dinner Party Desserts: Your guide to easy dessert recipes that are simple yet stunning

Discover easy dinner party desserts that are quick to make but look stunning when served, and simple dessert ideas that you can make-ahead so you have more time to enjoy the company of your guests

A composite image of three different dinner party desserts
(Image credit: Future)

These dinner party desserts make for the perfect final course for any meal and we've got a range of simple dessert ideas to suit all seasons and guest tastes. So whether you're looking for light desserts to serve after a heavy meal or dinner party desserts you can make-ahead, there's a recipe for you below.

If you’re throwing a dinner party this weekend and want a show stopping pudding that will be remembered fondly by your guests, look no further than this delicious collection of dessert recipes to get you on the right track.

From easy fruit desserts to elegant tortes, chocolate puddings and individual desserts that are simple to serve, these dinner party desserts are sure to impress.

18 impressive dinner party desserts and pudding ideas

1. Marsala and Mascarpone Syllabub

Marsala and Mascarpone Syllabub

(Image credit: Future)

A syllabub is a real English classic when it comes to dinner party desserts and this recipe with a marsala twist is one of our favourites. The pudding can be made in a few simple steps and will also keep overnight, meaning you can make it the night before and pop in the fridge to chill before it's ready to serve. 

Get the recipe: Marsala and Mascarpone Syllabub

2. Banoffee Pie

Dinner Party Desserts banoffee pie

(Image credit: Future)

A classic dessert recipe that will instantly take you back to your childhood - your guests will just love this delicious but super easy dessert recipe. Ready in just an hour and big enough to serve eight - you can prep this ahead and serve a big crowd. We made this in a high-sided cake tin for a deep-pan filling finish, but you can also make it in a traditional flan tin for a thinner base.  

Get the recipe: Banoffee Pie

3. Chocolate Florentine Torte

Chocolate Florentine Torte

(Image credit: Future)

A chocolate torte is a winner for any dinner party you might be throwing, and this Florentine version is extra impressive. Easily serving 10 people, it's a great pudding to bring out at larger gatherings and special celebrations.   

Get the recipe: Chocolate Florentine Torte 

4. Bourbon Glazed Doughnut

Dinner party desserts: Bourbon Glazed Doughnut

James Martin's glazed doughnut and homemade malted milk ice cream takes a bit of extra effort but is well worth the results for a perfectly spongy doughnut. For a dessert that feels really different from the norm, give this special sweet treat a try.

Get the recipe: Bourbon Glazed Doughnut

5. Lemon and Prosecco Sorbet

Lemon and Prosecco Sorbet

With lemon and elderflower this pudding offers a summery lightness that will help cleanse the pallet after a heavy meal and it also smells delicious. Plus a hint of prosecco offers a boozy element to this dessert which we love. Try it next time you're entertaining and you'll not be disappointed.

Get the recipe: Lemon and Prosecco Sorbet

6. Vanilla Panna Cotta

Vanilla Panna Cotta

(Image credit: Future)

This vanilla panna cotta is best made a day in advance so it has time to set before you add the final decorations and serve it. Making it the night before your dinner party means more time chatting to friends and less time in the kitchen on the evening of your dinner. Win win!

Get the recipe: Vanilla Panna Cotta

7. Lemon, Raspberry and Thyme Tart

Lemon, Raspberry and Thyme Tart on a large white serving plate beside a blue napkin.

(Image credit: Future)

For a simple yet delicious pudding for your next dinner party, you can't go wrong with a classic lemon tart with a crystallised thyme twist. Sweet, sharp and ready in just an hour and a half, this is a real treat of a dessert option. 

Get the recipe: Lemon, Raspberry and Thyme Tart 

8. Summer Berry Pavlova Recipe

summer berry pavlova on a blue table

(Image credit: Future)

For a bright berry dessert that will make the perfect pink pud, give this summer berry pavlova a go. It’s an easy meringue based dessert that will please all your guests, whether it’s a summer barbecue or posh dinner party.

Get the recipe: Summer Berry Pavlova

9. Double Decker Tart

Double Decker Tart

(Image credit: Future)

If you love the classic chocolate bar, you'll just love this Double Decker inspired tart. A reinvention of the delicious chocolate treat that's much more grown up and fabulous - it takes a bit of effort, but it's totally worth it. Everyone loves chocolate, so using it in your dinner party dessert recipe is a great way to ensure satisfied guests! 

Get the recipe: Double Decker Tart

10. Salted Caramel Roulade

Salted Caramel Roulade

(Image credit: Future)

Salted caramel flavoured desserts are so popular at the moment, and this delicious roulade is one to add to your favourite dinner party recipe list. Ready in just over an hour, this easy dessert serves 12 - so it's great to fill everyone up. 

Get the recipe: Salted Caramel Roulade

11. Eton mess tart

Eton mess tart on a linen table cloth

(Image credit: Future)

For a real summer showstopper that will look incredible at the centre of your dinner table, this Eton mess tart is a real winner when strawberries are in season. Decorate with the fruit, meringues and mint leaves for a dinner party dessert that tastes as good as it looks.

Get the recipe: Eton mess tart

12. Mary Berry's Pineapple and Ginger Pavlova

Dinner party desserts: Mary Berry's Pineapple and Ginger Pavlova

(Image credit: Tony Briscoe)

You can't go wrong with a classic pavlova when you've got people coming over. Crunchy and full of sweet flavours, Mary Berry's version is a great option to try next time you're entertaining. Ready in just over an hour, you won't be wasting valuable time in the kitchen either. 

Get the recipe: Mary Berry's Pineapple and Ginger Pavlova

13. Avocado Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate Mousse With Honey Hazelnut Praline served in three individual storage jars on a blue tablecloth.

(Image credit: Future)

For a delicious dessert that is super light and ready in just five minutes, try this avocado chocolate mousse dish. Because it's so speedy it's great to whip up if you're entertaining at the last minute. This recipe is from Deliciously Ella too, so you know it's going to be good.

Get the recipe: Avocado Chocolate Mousse

14. DIY Raspberry Eton Mess

eton mess in a glass

(Image credit: Future)

For something a little more fun for your next dinner party, why not let your guests put together their own dessert? This fun pud is ready in just five minutes, and part of the fun is that your guests put their dessert together themselves - just serve up all the elements to the middle of the table and let them tuck in.

Get the recipe: DIY Raspberry Eton Mess

15. Ginger treacle rye cocoa tart

Ginger treacle rye cocoa tart Recipe

(Image credit: Future)

If you've got a chocolate lover or two coming round for tea, why not treat them to this deliciously rich pud? This striking ginger treacle and cocoa tart looks great and tastes even better - but be warned, it's very rich, so one slice goes a long way!

Get the recipe: Ginger treacle rye cocoa tart

16. Blackberry Fool

Dinner party desserts: Blackberry Fool

With homemade sweet and crunchy shortbread and a sharp but smooth fool - this blackberry recipe is the perfect combination of tastes and textures that work so well for a dinner party. Whether you've got blackberries to use up or just want to make the most of blackberries while they're in season, give this wonderful dessert a go when you're next entertaining. 

Get the recipe: Blackberry Fool

17. Forest Fruits Parfait

Dinner party desserts: Forest Fruits Parfait

A great wintry dessert option for your next dinner party, forest fruits are full of vitamin C and just taste great. Slicing it up and serving the finished parfait to your guests individually makes for a really special treat too. 

Get the recipe: Forest Fruits Parfait

18. Drunken Bunny Lemon and Fruit Trifle

Drunken Bunny Trifle in a large glass bowl topped with fruit and cream.

(Image credit: Future)

A classic English dessert makes for the perfect pudding course at a dinner party because it is full of rich and sweet flavours that your guests will just love. We love the fresh fruit twist on this trifle that doubles as a stunning finishing touch. 

Get the recipe: Drunken Bunny Lemon and Fruit Trifle

Samuel Goldsmith

Samuel has a BSc in Food from the University of Birmingham and nearly 16 years after he began his professional food career, his work has featured in national and international publications including Waitrose Food, Australian Delicious, and the LAD Bible Group. 

He was also a nutritional consultant for BBC’s Eat Well for Less. Throughout his career he has specialised in recipe writing and has produced many recipes for woman&home. Samuel is also Co-Vice Chair of the Guild of Food Writers and a Trustee of 91 Ways CIC.