buffet cupcakes

If you're sweet on the idea of a candy buffet for your next party, here are ten ideas to get your creative juices flowing.  From baby showers to kids' birthdays and holidays, candy buffets work for anything you want to celebrate.  All you do is pick a theme, gather your supplies, and make some cute bags for your guests to take home their collection of wonderful treats.

Below, you'll find 10 of our best ideas, complete with coordinating candies that fit the theme.  Feel free to substitute your own favorite candies- remember, think about appearance as well as tastiness.  Your guests won't want to fill their goody bags with just any old candy!  If you're on a budget, you can interlace your candy buffet with a few dollar-store fillers but try and offer even just a few gourmet candies to make it special and mark the occasion with some style and class.  Most important of all:  have fun!

#1.  The Classic: a Pink Candy Buffet for Baby Showers

Adorn your buffet table with everything under the sun that's pink.  Your supplies will include apothecary jars to put your candies into, lots of pink ribbons, pink goody bags, and some cake pedestals and pink bows everywhere.

Candies used for the Pink Candy Buffet:

#2: Another Classic: The White Wedding Candy Buffet

Here, we want to consider the guests: you'll have men in attendance too.  That's why it's nice to include some not-so-sweet "candies" like chips, nuts, and popcorn...all done up in white, of course!

Candies used for the White Wedding Candy Buffet:

#3: Kids' Birthday Party: Forest Theme

Here, it's essential to use your candies as part of the scenery.  For example, root beer jelly beans are used as the forest floor.  Lollipops are "trees", and blue jellybeans will become a meandering stream.  Your gummy worms live in the "stream" with the candy fish.

Buy some real-looking trees or use plants that look like trees and they become the forest.  Candy owls hide among these trees, looking for guests to pluck them out and take them home.  Matcha green tea almonds and cappuccino dark chocolate almonds become smooth rocks placed in the forest and along the stream.  Chocolate rocks complete the picture.  Of course gummy bears are required...place throughout!

Candies used for the Forest Theme Candy Buffet:

#4: Sweet Sixteen or Quinceanera in Princess Blue

Everyone loves a princess, and what a great idea for a candy buffet: princess blue for a sweet sixteen or quinceanera party.  Adorn your table with silver accessories and sprinkle lightly with strands of fake pearls for a truly regal look.  Even try a silver candelabra or two, and hit up a Claire's (costume jewelry) for some silver and blue "jewels" to adorn your candy buffet.

Candies used for the Princess Blue Candy Buffet:

#5: Bon Voyage Tropical Cruise Party Candy Buffet

Here, you must make the most of your labels.  While the tropical colors of your candy choices will lend to the cruise theme, the fun flavors you choose can add an extra dimension of fun and excitement to the party.  Tropical flavors like coconut, lime, and mango are perfect for this candy buffet.  A fun addition is a "make your own gum kit", useful for that plane ride to the cruise ship.  Use colorful beach towels as a backdrop and table top cover, and don't forget a beach umbrella to frame your candy buffet.

Candies used for the Bon Voyage Candy Buffet

#6: Kids' Birthday Party: Curious George Theme

With the resurgence in popularity of everyone's favorite monkey, Curious George, accessories are a cinch to find.  That makes this candy buffet super easy and fun to put together.  Gather your stuffed monkeys, your CG yellow books, and set up a yellow candy display accentuated by some chocolate pieces and you've got yourself a great kids' party.

Candies used for the Curious George Candy Buffet:

#7: Love is in the Air (Valentine's Party) Candy Buffet

Valentine's Day and chocolate have a long history together, but the chocolate candy buffet is taking it to a whole new level.  The theme is red hot love, chocolate, and your wildest imagination!  Think "decadence", so choice treats for adults are perfect, such as chocolate covered strawberries, for instance.

If ever you were to rent a chocolate fountain, now's the time!  Make that your centerpiece, use lots of red velvet as your buffet tablecloth and backdrop, set the mood lights low, and put out the most sumptuous gourmet chocolate candy you know of.  This is not a kids' party!

Candies used for the Love Candy Buffet:

#8: Magic Kids' Birthday Party Candy Buffet

Since candy buffets make so much sense for kids' parties (provided they don't eat their loot all at once, that is!), here's another idea.  This time it's in wizard purple.  Accessories could include some magic wands placed here and there on the table, plus a big old top hat with magician's top hat to hold some candies.  A few disappearing candy rabbits to complete the picture and you're halfway there!  Now for the candies...purple please!

Candies used for the Magic Candy Buffet:

#9: Retro Themed Candy Buffet

This is a great all-purpose adult candy buffet idea: use it for birthdays, office parties, and anniversaries.  We love to add special touches like retro-packaged candies, if you can find them.  Of course the sky's the limit but if you want to add a subtle touch, "old-fashioned" candies like malted milk balls are great too.

Candies used for the Retro Candy Buffet:

#10: Nuts About You! Candy Buffet for Anniversaries

When there's a special anniversary that needs celebrating and the couple loves nuts and chocolate, the Nuts About You Candy Buffet is born.  Since the focus is on the couple and their relationship, use mementos from their life together...framed photos, scrapbook items. and songs from their courtship days.

Make your candy buffet special for nut lovers but include some nut-free choices too for guests who don't eat them.  Color-wise, deep chocolaty brown is the leading color but choose a fun contrasting shade to spice things up.  Try and keep your colored candies to the nut theme too, like the chocolate sweet soy lemongrass almonds we used in our buffet.

Candies used in the Nut Lovers' Candy Buffet: