8 Great Treats For Kids' Parties

When hosting a birthday party or celebrating another kid-friendly occasion, offering a sweet finish at the end of the celebratory meal is often what each child looks forward to most. But the next time there is a party in the house, instead of pulling out that recipe for your tried-and-true triple chocolate cookies or calling the corner bakery to order a standard layer cake, why not make a dessert that is more memorable (and can be assembled or customized by each child)?

We're sharing eight of our favorite sweet, kid-friendly treats that they can help make, assemble, or customize — and are perfect to serve at any celebration.


1. Oatmeal Cookie Sandwiches

This party treat marries every kid's love of twisting apart a sandwich cookie (dunking it in milk, optional) with the timeless combination of peanut butter and jelly, resulting in a homemade variation on a Nutter Butter. Spread one oatmeal cookie (raisins optional) with peanut butter, then top with raspberry or fig jam and a second cookie. Have your kids help you assemble the sandwiches before the party — or set out different jams and butters on the table so guests can create their own combination.


2. Fruit Kebabs with Chocolate Fondue

It's something many parents struggle with: How to get your kid to eat more fruit? Instead of serving fruit salad, let the kids create their own fruit kebabs. Set out bowls of chopped bananas, melon, grapes, and strawberries along with wooden skewers for assembly. Kids will love customizing their own dessert (and it makes eating your fruit fun). For an added surprise, bring out individual bowls of melted chocolate for dipping.


3. Cookie Cake

A still-warm, perfectly-baked chocolate chip cookie is a party treat that is hard to beat, but baking tens and tens of cookies for a birthday party can be time-intensive. Why not bake the cookie dough into one pie-shaped cookie instead? Read our tips here, then follow one of these easy recipes and have guests press multi-colored M&Ms into the dough before baking for a fun alternative to a personalized message in frosting.


4. Mini Tarts

What child doesn't like to play with food? Stock up on miniature tart shells (shells can be found in your market's freezer section or here. You can also make your own) and let party guests create their own custom fruit tart. Make vanilla pudding and lemon curd for the filling, and set out a variety of sliced bananas and berries for garnish. All each child needs is a spoon for filling the shell — their fingers will do the decorating. 


5. Gluten-Free Whoopie Pies

What's not to love about tender chocolate cakes sandwiched around a fluffy marshmallow filling? For the birthday boy or girl who is gluten-intolerant, these rich and chocolaty hand pies are the perfect thing to serve instead of a traditional flour-based cake — especially when dressed up with a tinted filling that ties in with the party décor (just add a couple of drops of food coloring to the filling and mix well before assembling the pies).


6. Brownie Balloons 

Decorating cookies at the holidays is an activity many kids look forward to all year, so why not make it a tradition at birthdays, too? Instead of sugar cookies, use brownies that have been baked thin in a sheet pan instead. Cut out shapes once the brownies have cooled slightly and arrange on a tray. Come dessert, set out an array of frostings, sanding sugars, and sprinkles on the party table for the kids to create their own colorful balloon creation.


7. Smoothie Jellies with Ice Cream

What child doesn't love jiggly Jell-O? For an easy party treat that you can make in advance, try one of these nutritious Jell-O alternative. Combine gelatin and your child's favorite fruit smoothie flavor and pour into individual (preferably clear plastic or glass) cups. Just before serving, top each jelly with a scoop of ice cream or sorbet. Our favorite combination reminds us of an orange creamsicle: orange-mango jelly with a scoop of vanilla.


8. Cupcake Pops

You've had cake by the slice, but cake on a stick? Ranked #9 on our list of top food blogs, Bakerella is many a home cooks go-to resource for decorating tips and recipes. Her Cupcake Pops are a birthday party favorite that can be decorated in a variety of ways — plus, they're sure to appeal to kids both young and old.