A Nutcracker themed dessert board with Frangelico Nutcracker Cakes surrounded by sweets and treats fit for the sugarplum fairy herself. This is the ultimate dessert board to serve this Christmas!
Nutcracker Dessert Board
Dessert boards are one of my favorite things to arrange and serve. Much like a Christmas Charcuterie, there is something for everyone on the table and family and friends can help themselves to whatever strikes their fancy.
How to Make a Dessert Board
When making a dessert board, more variety is always better! I usually center my board around one main dessert or theme, such as these Nutcracker Cakes (recipe to follow)...or Christmas Cookies, for example. Once you decide what the star dessert will be, it's easy to fill in around it with all of your favorite treats and candies.
Frangelico Nutcracker Cakes
The entire board was inspired by this Nutcracker cakelet pan. I knew right away that I wanted to make a hazelnut cake with Frangelico hazelnut liqueur, similar to my Bourbon Brown Sugar Christmas Tree Cakes.
Frangelico adds a delicious subtle nutty flavor to these cakes and after they are done baking I brush them with more Frangelico so that the resulting pound cake is rich and never dry. A dusting of powdered sugar over the top and they are ready to serve.
How to Arrange a Dessert Charcuterie Board
- Start with a serving tray or cutting board and place largest dessert items, in this case the nutcracker cakes, evenly around the board.
- Working largest to smallest, begin clustering desserts such as peanut brittle, cookies, candies and nuts in small piles and or rows around the board.
- Fill in any open gaps with small candies or nuts and sprigs of herbs like fresh rosemary, or mint.
Tip: when you are finished you shouldn't see any of the actual board! When in doubt, add more.
Christmas Dessert Charcuterie Ideas:
- Small Cakes - such as my Nutcracker Cakes (recipe to follow), Tree Cakes, or Gingerbread.
- Christmas Cookies - such as snowball cookies, Linzer cookies and bourbon balls.
- Candy - homemade peanut brittle, candy canes, peppermint bark or even fudge.
- Nuts - mixed salted nuts and pretzels add a salty balance to all of the sweet.
- Mini pies, butter cookies, chocolate oranges, Ferrero Rocher and Turkish Delight all made it onto my dessert board.
I hope you enjoy recreating this dessert board or dreaming up one of your own! You can find almost everything you need to create a fabulous dessert board at the grocery store without ever baking a cake or cookie, however adding one or two homemade treats does add a personal touch and is always more delicious.
If you do make a dessert charcuterie this Christmas, I would love to see it! Leave a comment below or tag me on Instagram, @freutcake.
- 1 cup butter, softened
- ½ cup shortening
- 2 cups light brown sugar, packed
- 5 large eggs
- ½ cup whole milk
- ½ cup Frangelico
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon clove
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- powdered sugar for dusting
- Preheat oven to 325°. Grease cake pan by brushing with softened butter and sprinkling with flour. Tap pan firmly over sink to remove any excess flour.
- In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and shortening at medium speed until creamy.
- Gradually add brown sugar, beating at medium speed until light and creamy.
- Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.
- In a liquid measuring cup, measure Frangelico, milk and vanilla extract.
- In a seperate bowl stir together flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and clove.
- Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
- Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition.
- Pour batter into a greased and floured bundt pan. Fill nutcracker pan ¾ of the way full and give the pan a good bang on the countertop to release any air bubbles.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 to 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely (about 1 hour).
- Dust top lightly with powdered sugar before serving.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 625Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 149mgSodium: 328mgCarbohydrates: 77gFiber: 1gSugar: 48gProtein: 8g