Types of Garnishes for Desserts

Types of Garnishes for Desserts

When most of us think of garnish, what comes to mind?

Maybe a wilted sprig of parsley, a soggy radish rose or slimy cucumber slice.

If you any of those visions resonate with you, you’re not alone since most everyone’s experience with garnish is that it’s something to be seen, not eaten.

However, it doesn’t have to be that way because dessert garnishes not only add a touch of class and flair to your beautiful creation but they can be delicious in their own right!

In fact, you might be surprised to learn that there are many types of garnishes for desserts and virtually all of them should be enjoyed right along with that decadent treat.

We’ve got all the most common ones here for you and probably a few you’d never considered.

So, if you’re ready to add something special to your next dessert, read on and try not to lick your lips too much! 

Candied Dessert Garnishes

Candied fruit has the moisture (or water) removed from it either by drying or dehydrating before being glazed with crystallized sugar. It can make a wonderful dessert garnish thanks to its sweet flavor and satisfying chewy texture. Some examples of candied fruit include:

  • Candied Citrus Peel
  • Candied Cherries
  • Candied Dates
  • Candied Lemon Slices
  • Candied Orange Slices
  • Candied Pineapple 

Confectionary Dessert Garnishes

Most confectionary dessert garnishes could also be referred to as toppings since that’s how they’re most likely to be used. The list below is by no means exhaustive so feel free to experiment with your favorite sweet treat!

  • Brittle (Almond or Peanut)
  • Cake (Crumbs)
  • Chocolate (Curled, Grated or Shaved)
  • Candy Bars (Chopped, Diced or Pieces)
  • Candy Melts
  • Chips (Semi-Sweet or Sweet)
  • Confetti Candy
  • Edible Glitter
  • M&Ms
  • Sprinkles (Jimmies)

Crunchy Dessert Garnishes

There’s nothing like adding a palate-pleasing crunch to any dessert to make it much more enjoyable. Add some sweetness to the equation and that can only mean a more delicious treat.

  • Cookies (Chopped, Crushed or Whole)
  • Meringue
  • Wafers

Fancy Dessert Garnishes

Sometimes you want to go the extra mile and really make that dessert you worked on shine. Fancy dessert garnishes like edible flowers or Tuile are a perfect choice for situations like this. Not only do they look pretty but they add a refreshing element of flavor.

  • Edible Flowers
    • Borage Blossom (Notes of fresh sliced cucumber)
    • Buzz Button (Notes of fresh citrus)
    • Carnation (Notes of a mix of pepper and spice)
    • Chamomile (Notes of fresh apples)
    • Chrysanthemum (Notes of fresh cut grass)
    • Cornflower (Notes of cloves and warm spice)
    • Elderflower (Notes of vanilla)
    • Gem Marigold (Notes of citrus)
    • Karma Orchid (Notes of fresh lettuce)
    • Lavender (Notes of citrus and floral aromas)
    • Marigold (Notes of citrus)
    • Micro Dianthus (Notes of tart citrus)
    • Rose (Notes of sweet fruit)
    • Viola (Notes of tart citrus)
    • Violet (Notes of sweet fruit)
  • Tuile
    • Coral
    • Lace

Fruit Dessert Garnishes

Garnishing your dessert with fruit can help cleanse the palate and sharpen the taste of almost any dessert. By adding a refreshing burst of flavor, fruit can bring out the delicate notes of lighter desserts like cheesecake or pudding.

  • Bananas
  • Blueberries
  • Coulis (Fruit that’s been pureed into a fine sauce)
    • Apricot
    • Raspberry
    • Pineapple
    • Strawberry
  • Cherries (Fresh or Maraschino)
  • Coconut (Flaked or Grated)
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries

Nut Garnish for Desserts

Nuts whether candied or not, add another dimension to any dessert. Their distinctive earthy flavor and satisfying buttery, crunchy mouthfeel make for a perfect garnish.

  • Candied (Almonds, Cashews, Pecans, Peanuts, Walnuts)
  • Halved, Sliced or Pieces (Almonds, Cashews, Pecans, Peanuts, Walnuts)

Spice and Herb Dessert Garnishes

Whether it’s a light dusting or a fresh sprig, herbs and spices can make a for a flavor-enhancing dessert garnish that’s sure to make your creation something special to behold.

  • Cinnamon
  • Cocoa powder
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme 

Sweet or Syrup Dessert Garnishes

From a simple drizzle to ornate spun sugar designs, the possibilities are only limited to your imagination and to your palate.

  • Honey (Raw or Honeycomb)
  • Sugar
    • Sanding
    • Confectioner’s (Powdered)
    • Bubble
    • Pulled
    • Spun
  • Syrups
    • Butterscotch
    • Fruit
    • Caramel
    • Chocolate
  • Whipped Cream (Non-Dairy Whipped Topping)
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