What Are the Different Types of Mini-Desserts?

Amber Eberle

Mini-desserts have become very popular and are often served at parties and on special occasions. These types of sweets can often be eaten in one or two bites, and some may be eaten without the use of utensils. Specific recipes are available for baking tiny desserts or traditional recipes may be modified to make many micro portions. Some of these small desserts require special baking pans. Examples of mini-desserts include cheesecakes, tartlets, cupcakes, shortcakes, and pies.

A cupcake.
A cupcake.

Cheesecakes are a popular dessert option that many people enjoy. A mini cheesecake can be made using the same ingredients as a traditional cheesecake by changing the baking dish used, as well as the cooking time. After the cheesecake batter is made, it can be placed into small muffin tins to bake. A graham cracker crust can be made, but many mini cheesecake recipes also call for whole cookies or shortbread to be used as crusts instead. The small cheesecakes need to chill before serving, and may be topped with whipped cream, fruit, or chocolate sauce.

Pastries can be served as a mini-dessert.
Pastries can be served as a mini-dessert.

A tartlet is typically made by combining fruit and a cream or custard filling in a puff pastry shell. The puff pastry is usually placed in a small muffin tin and then filled according to recipe instructions. While it bakes, the pastry usually becomes light and flaky. Puff pastry dough tends to be delicate, so care must be taken to prevent the tartlet from burning as it bakes. These mini-desserts may be served warm, chilled, or at room temperature.

Chocolate pots de crème are baked in individual ramekins, then chilled.
Chocolate pots de crème are baked in individual ramekins, then chilled.

Cupcakes are sweet, small cakes that are typically topped with some kind of frosting or icing. There are recipes for many flavors of cupcakes, which makes them a very versatile dessert. A mini cupcake is usually half the size of a normal cupcake, and pans to bake them can be purchased in retail stores. This type of mini dessert can be decorated in a variety of ways, so they are usually popular for bridal and baby showers, birthday parties, and themed events.

Shortcakes are simple desserts that usually combine a sweet cake with fruit and whipped cream. A mini shortcake can be prepared by baking small, individual shortcakes or by using a cookie cutter to cut out small rounds from a large shortcake. These mini-desserts are often served in shot glasses or small ramekins to keep the fruit filling and whipped cream from making a mess.

Pies can be made with a variety of fillings, such as fruit or a cream. Mini pies can be made by pressing the dough into small muffin tins or individual ramekins and baking until the crust is a golden brown. Some mini pies have a top crust, while others do not. These types of mini-desserts are commonly topped with whipped cream or a small scoop of ice cream.

Chocolate mousse is a decadent kind of individual dessert.
Chocolate mousse is a decadent kind of individual dessert.

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Discussion Comments


I don't know if they could be served at a party, but I do love mini pancakes. I think if they're dressed with some powdered sugar, syrup and/or fruit, it could work. The Dutch make excellent mini pancakes. I've had them in Amsterdam.

Cake on a stick is also becoming a popular mini dessert lately. There are even bakeries featuring cake on a stick with different themes. I was very sick a few weeks ago and a friend of mine sent me a small box of them. They were quite cute, shaped as nurses and medicine. They tasted very good too.

So for those looking for a very unique idea and who don't mind spending a little extra, cake on a stick could be ordered to match the theme of the event or party. I think ones shaped like Santa Claus and reindeer would be cute too.


Italian desserts seem to be very conducive for serving as mini desserts at parties. I've been served small cannolis as mini desserts at events. They are perfect because one can eat them with the hands. The crisp pastry is easy to hold and the dessert can be eaten without making a mess. Not to mention that they are very, very delicious.

Italian honey balls and mini eclairs would work great too. The honey balls would probably need toothpicks because they are a little sticky.


Mini cheesecakes are always a hit no matter what the event. There is just something about a bite-sized cheesecake. Of course, it should be fresh and well-made or else, there is no point.

I'm also fond of mini tarts. They are also great desserts to be served during social events where people are just snacking and can't use utensils.

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