When it comes to candy, we’re firmly in “the more the merrier” camp. And if you are, too, then allow us to introduce you to the best thing to happen to candy lovers since the invention of chocolate: the candy charcuterie board.

Candy charcuterie is for those of us whose first thought when looking at a standard charcuterie board is, but what’s for dessert?. It’s also the perfect whimsical treat for birthday parties, holidays, and any other time you need something extra special in your life. There’s no wrong way to make it either, although we do have some helpful suggestions for how to take your candy charcuterie board to the next level.

Ready to indulge? Here’s your short and oh-so-sweet guide to making candy charcuterie.

Candy fans, this one’s for you. 

Quick Links

What is a Charcuterie Board?

Candy charcuterie boards are a take on the traditional charcuterie board, which is an aesthetically pleasing arrangement of meats, cheeses, nuts, crackers, fruits, dips, and spreads. Charcuterie history can be traced back to 15th century France and a growing appreciation for salt-cured meats (the word “charcuterie” is French for “pork-butcher shop”). And today, they’re staples of home entertaining, with tons of options for customization based on your occasion, theme, and culinary preferences.

What’s Typically on a Charcuterie Board?

The sky’s the limit in terms of charcuterie board ingredients. But if you want to keep it authentic, there are a few staples to stick with—cured meats like salami, prosciutto, and sopressata; a mixture of hard and spreadable cheeses; fruits and crackers; and accents like salty roasted nuts and fruity jams.

The key when choosing ingredients for a charcuterie board is to hit a wide range of flavors and textures that can be paired to create delicious bites. Which brings us to the sweetest option of all, which is to follow those same guidelines but ditch the standard ingredients and make candy the star.

How Do You Put Together a Candy Charcuterie Board?

The process for making a candy charcuterie board is the same as making any type of charcuterie, with the one important caveat that all of your ingredients will be chosen from the very top of the food pyramid.

Candy charcuterie
Candy charcuterie brings a whole new meaning to “taste the rainbow.” (Via @allaboardcandy)

It’s common to build your candy platter around a specific theme, such as a holiday or color scheme—but it’s not necessary. Most important is to include an assortment of flavors and textures and to focus on grab-and-go items that really do taste as good as they look.

Choosing Your Charcuterie Candy

Whether you go with a board that’s all candy or a more varied dessert board, try to choose a wide range of sweet ingredients—both store-bought and homemade—that you know you and your guests will actually want to eat. 

If you don’t want to do just candy on your board, ganache truffles, nut brittles, and sweet gourmet popcorns are all more than at home on a candy charcuterie board and bring some alternate textures and flavors to your platter.

Chocolate Made Easy

Easy Chocolate Making: All the Basics from Bean to Bar

Fun Candy Charcuterie Board Ideas

Is all this talk of candy charcuterie activating your sweet tooth? Give it what it wants and try out one of these yummy candy charcuterie board ideas.

Easy Candy Charcuterie Board

There’s truly no right or wrong way to make a candy board. But for the quickest and easiest route, head to the store and stock up on your candy favorites, then grab a big platter and arrange them however you’d like. Aim for at least four to five types of candy, and increase the wow factor by removing all or some of the pieces of candy from their packages.

Date Night Candy Charcuterie for Two

Candy charcuterie—or even full-on chocolate charcuterie—is a great way to end (or start) a date night. Include romantic ingredients like chocolate-covered strawberries, gummy hearts, and spicy Red Hots, and use rose petals to fill in gaps on the platter. Serve alongside flutes of champagne, and you’ve got a candy charcuterie board with lots to love.  

red candies
Date night just got a lot sweeter. (Via @blooming.blissful.blair)

Birthday Candy Charcuterie Board

Make your little one’s birthday even more special with a birthday candy charcuterie board! Build your board around a birthday-inspired centerpiece, such as a cake, or go with a number platter in the shape of your child’s age. Include all of your kid’s favorite candies and sweet treats, and consider opting for mostly packaged candy so that guests can take their treats home as part of their goodie bags.

Holiday-Inspired Candy Charcuterie Boards

Bring even more joy to your holiday celebrations with fun and memorable themed candy charcuterie boards. From a festive Christmas charcuterie board to a Valentine’s charcuterie board on a heart-shaped platter, the holidays are the perfect time to let your creativity shine and start new traditions with your loved ones. The boards are also easy to put together, which is good news when you’re juggling other hosting duties.

christmas candy Charcuterie
Leave this out for Santa and you might get your best presents yet. (Via @allabouttheboard)

Candy Charcuterie Tips

It’s pretty much impossible to mess something up that’s so inherently delicious. That being said, here are a few extra tips to take your candy charcuterie board up a notch:

  • Choose a large platter. When in doubt, go big with your charcuterie board. That gives you room for more candy, and it also lets you properly display all of the items instead of trying to cram everything in.
  • Think flavor in addition to aesthetics. Color, texture, and whimsy are all essential parts of candy charcuterie, but flavor is what’s most important. Go with ingredients you know will get eaten rather than just what looks cool, otherwise you’ll end up tossing more than you eat.
  • Mix it up. Pair candy with other dessert items or with more standard charcuterie ingredients like fruits and cheeses. Even if it’s not the only thing on there, candy will always be a welcome addition.

Time to go satisfy those candy cravings. Enjoy!

Make More Impressive Cookies

Cookie Decorating for Beginners: Create Incredible, Edible Art

Written by:

Laura Mueller