A Sweet Finale: Holiday Dessert Table

FLOWER's own Margot Shaw and Amanda Smith Fowler share tips for setting a spread of sweet delights using pieces from Replacements, Ltd. Plus, find a recipe for Peppermint Red Velvet Cake

In the finale of our three-part holiday series, Amanda Smith Fowler, Flower magazine’s style editor, sets an opulent dessert table using pieces from our partner Replacements, Ltd. Margot Shaw, our founder and editor-in-chief, joins her to talk about traditions that make the season special. Learn more about featured items at replacements.com, and find the recipe for Peppermint Red Velvet Cake below.

Holiday Dessert Table Tips

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A stack of Haviland Haute Epoque Dessert Plates topped with Christofle Renaissance dessert forks, both from Replacements, Ltd, on a holiday dessert table
To make a small celebration at home special, Margot is fond of changing rooms for dessert and after-dinner drinks—“repairing to the drawing room” à la Downton Abbey. Pictured: Haute Epoque dessert plates by Charles Field Haviland and Renaissance sterling forks by Christofle, all from Replacements, Ltd.
4 Baccarat Empire Fluted Champagne Glasses, filled with champagne and garnished with rosemary sprigs and cranberries, on a silver tray

Sprigs of rosemary and cranberries make a festive garnish for flutes of champagne. Pictured: Empire fluted champagne glasses by Baccarat from Replacements, Ltd.

Silver sugar bowl (filled with brown sugar cubes) and tongs from Replacements Ltd
Bring out your silver for your holiday dessert table—and all year long. The more you use it, the less it will need polishing. Throughout the year, Amanda likes to find ways to repurpose pieces, such as using a sugar bowl to hold flowers and candies. Pictured: sterling sugar tongs by Georg Jensen and sugar bowl by Whiting Manf Co, both from Replacements, Ltd.
Early 19th Century Orange Blossom Pattern Cake Server, and a Silver Tray with a Greek Key design around the edge, displayed on a deep red velvet cloth on a holiday dessert bar

Start a gifting tradition. “When I had a little girl, I decided to choose a silver pattern and give her a place setting each Christmas,” says Amanda. Pictured: Old Orange Blossom sterling jelly/cake server (1905) by Alvin from Replacements, Ltd.

Peppermint Red Velvet Cake

Red Velvet Cake

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups vegetable oil (we used Wesson)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1 large bottle red food coloring
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)
  • Peppermint candies (optional)

1 | Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda.

2 | Using a stand mixer and beating until well combined after each addition: Cream the sugar and oil. Add eggs one at a time. Combine cocoa powder, vinegar, and food coloring; add to sugar mixture. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk in 2-3 parts, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Lastly, add vanilla, blending well. Divide batter evenly between 2 greased and floured 9” cake pans.

3 | Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool cake layers in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire rack (about 1 hour). Frost cake with Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting. Decorate with peppermint candies, if desired.

Note: In the video, we used 4 smaller pans to accommodate the Versace cake pedestal.

Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes enough to frost a 3-layer cake

  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1-2 teaspoons heavy whipping cream
  • 8 cups powdered sugar
  • 3-4 teaspoons peppermint extract

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add 1 teaspoon heavy whipping cream. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until smooth. Add extract, beating until blended. Use remaining 1 teaspoon heavy whipping cream, if needed, to reach desired consistency.

A slice of Peppermint Red Velvet Cake on a Haviland Haute Epoque Dessert Plate with a Christofle Renaissance dessert fork, both from Replacements, Ltd, on a holiday dessert table

“In my family, we’re bakers and the holidays are a big deal. We always have different cakes and pies and cookies. This whimsical Peppermint Red Velvet Cake is a favorite at our house because my daughter likes to help unwrap the candies and put them on the cake.” — Amanda Smith Fowler

This post is sponsored by Replacements, Ltd. Featured items are available at replacements.com

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