If you, like most people, love desserts, you’ll be excited to hear about this fun-filled national holiday. On October 14th Americans celebrate National Dessert Day and fill their plates with the desserts of their dreams. This holiday is a great way to explore desserts you’ve never tried, indulge in your sweet tooth, and explore your creativity by making sweet treats.
Who Can Celebrate National Dessert Day
With the wide variety of desserts available today, nearly anyone can celebrate and enjoy this day of decadence. From children to the elderly, you would be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t enjoy a sweet treat from time to time. Plus, there are so many ways to enjoy dessert, you can even celebrate this one-of-a-kind day without breaking a diet!
While most people can enjoy dessert without complaint, there are a few situations when you should avoid taking part in this national holiday. If you suffer from certain illnesses, this holiday may not be for you. Be aware that sugar-laden desserts can have a negative impact on your overall health. Also, you shouldn’t feed dessert to anyone under six months of age.
If you are watching your weight or following a specific diet, feel free to take part in this unique holiday. But, be sure that the desserts you’re eating are in line with your goals or dietary restrictions. Also, if you’re celebrating with young children, consider sticking to healthier desserts like ripe fruit or whole grain muffins.
Why Celebrate National Dessert Day
It may seem obvious, but the main reason to celebrate National Dessert Day is so that you can eat more dessert. As we mentioned above, most people love some indulgent confection. This day is all about embracing the sweets you love and sharing them with others. You can find immense joy in meeting up with loved ones to share your favorite treat.
In addition to eating more dessert and celebrating with friends and family, this particular holiday is a great way to show some love for local businesses in your community. By paying your local bakery or restaurant a visit, you’ll likely find a great dessert and support a small business owner at the same time.
If neither of the reasons we mentioned above encourages you to celebrate this unique holiday, consider using this day as an opportunity to explore this history of desserts in America. While new desserts are being invented by up and coming chefs every day, there are plenty of traditional desserts that deserve a place at the end of our meals.
Brief History of Desserts
In America, we’ve become accustomed to eating desserts at the end of a meal, but when exactly did that tradition begin? What inspired the trend of ending meals with a sweet treat, and what kind of desserts graced the plates of our ancestors?
Human beings are indeed not strangers to the delight of consuming sweet foods. In fact, before sugar became widely available, people enjoyed the subtle sweetness of ripe fruit and the decadently pleasant flavor of honey.
Throughout the middle ages and before, there was little separation between sweet and savory foods. People enjoyed rolling fruit and nuts in sticky honey to create primitive candies, but these were often served alongside any other dishes at the table. Once sugar became available, only the wealthy enjoyed sugared treats on a regular basis.
Like many prominent food traditions, you can find the origins of dessert in the French culture. The word “dessert” comes from a French verb that means “un-serve.” French chefs used this word to indicate a food course presented after all other plates and dishes had been removed from the table.
While the French cultivated the separation of dessert from the main meal, it wouldn’t be until the 1900s that dessert would flourish as we know it today. During this period, a wide variety of desserts would become popular across the U.S. From Boston Creme Pie to Key Lime Pie; confections became a representation of their place of origin.
Today, many pastry chefs and home cooks alike enjoy experimenting with new dessert techniques. And as these trailblazers uncover new and exciting flavor combinations and presentation techniques, it seems that dessert is now an endless frontier to explore.
How to Celebrate National Dessert Day
As you might imagine, celebrating National Dessert Day is pretty self-explanatory. But, to get the most out of this one-of-a-kind holiday, check out our recommendations below. We included some different ways to enjoy this dessert and make the most of this unique day.
Throw a Party
Like most holidays, one excellent way to celebrate desserts is by throwing a party. While any party theme can be enjoyed on this day, we love the idea of hosting a dessert potluck. Have your guests bring their favorite dessert with them and indulge in trying a bite of each dish.
This idea is particularly great if you’re celebrating with small children. By hosting the celebration at your home, you can let the kiddos run off the sugar in the backyard instead of trying to contain them at a bakery or restaurant. Plus, who doesn’t love a good potluck?
To get the most out of this idea, decorate your home with dessert-themed decorations. Also, consider serving dessert-friendly beverages like fresh coffee and cold milk. Don’t forget to include a few “healthy” desserts like fresh fruit and sugar-free options.
Go Out for Dessert
If the idea of hosting a party sounds awful to you, celebrate your way by going out for dessert. Hit up your favorite bakery or restaurant and indulge in the dessert of your choice. If you’re feeling particularly spirited, consider visiting more than one place and enjoying a variety of different desserts throughout the day.
Indulge at Every Meal
While we typically consume desserts at the end of dinner, there’s no reason to limit yourself on this day of celebration. Let your sweet tooth guide you through breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You may feel a little guilty about indulging so frequently, but keep in mind it’s just one day. You’ll be back on track before you know it.
Take a Cake Decorating Class
One of the best ways to celebrate the dessert-themed day is by taking a cake decorating class. By commemorating this way, you can have fun, express yourself creatively, and enjoy learning a new skill. Don’t forget; you’ll likely get to eat the concoctions you’re decorating.
Learn to Make Your Favorite Confection
In the same vein as trying out a new recipe, you can use this holiday to learn how to make your favorite dessert. If you have a deep affection for a specific dessert, find a recipe and teach yourself how to make it. You’ll have fun in the process and learn how to make something you know you’ll enjoy.
Try Something New or Unusual
Many Americans associate dessert with cakes, pies, or ice cream. But, around the world, other unique desserts are commonplace. Challenge your taste buds and your current idea of what constitutes dessert and try something new. A few international dessert ideas include:
- Crème de Abacate
- Deep Fried Candy Bars
- Chocolate Covered Crickets
- Ais Kacang
- Wasabi Ice Cream
A few of these ideas may be hard to get your hands on here in America, but the point here is to think outside the box. Enjoy learning about other cultures and give their tastes a try. You might be surprised to find that you love something that once sounded strange.
Easy Desserts to Make at Home
As we mentioned above, several of the best ways to celebrate National dessert day include cooking something sweet from scratch. If you don’t consider yourself much of a cook or baker, check out some of these easy to make desserts.
While making "homemade” pie can be quite challenging, crafting a “semi-homemade” fruit pie is’ pretty straightforward. Just pick up some premade pie crusts, a can of pie filling, and get to baking. Most fruit pies will need to bake for 40-45 minutes. And don’t forget to pierce the top pie crust.
Trifle is just a fancy word for a big bowl of layered deliciousness. Dessert trifles can be made with premade sponge cake, chocolate pudding, and whipped cream. Just layer the ingredients in a deep dish and add some decorative sprinkles.
Delight your loved ones with “homemade” cupcakes. Pick out a boxed cake mix and prepare it according to the directions on the box. Divide evenly into a cupcake pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center on one comes out clean. For bonus points, use a premade frosting and other decorations to top your delicious handheld treats.
No matter how you choose to celebrate, your National Dessert Day is sure to be a sweet one. Don’t forget that many desserts are simple to make and easy on your pocketbook. Also, keep in mind that something as simple as fruit and whipped cream can make for an impressive treat.