How to Display Donuts for a Party

A finger food like donuts makes for a great party treat that your guests can enjoy. Displaying them well can be a challenge, especially if you’d like to make your donuts the star of the show. Try to match the theme of your party with your donut arrangement to make your guests appreciate the look and aesthetic of your tasty treats.


[Edit]Mimicking a Cake

  1. Pile your donuts on a cake stand for a high tower. Place a cake stand in the center of your food table. Arrange your donuts layer by layer so that they create a pyramid with 1 donut at the very top. Lay them flat so that they don’t fall over.[1]
    Display Donuts for a Party Step 1.jpg
    • This is a great look if you don’t have a large cake at your party but you’d still like a nice centerpiece.
    • You can also use mini donuts for a smaller party.
  2. Stack them sideways on a tiered stand to mimic a stacked cake. Set a 2 to 3 tiered cake stand on a table. Place your donuts one by one on each tier so that they are on their side and leaning on each other. Make them look like the sides of a beautiful and intricate cake.[2]
    Display Donuts for a Party Step 2.jpg
  3. Display your donuts on a baking tray for easy access. Set out a few large baking trays on a table. Arrange your donuts in straight lines sitting next to each other on the trays to mimic a sheet cake look. Direct your party guests to grab a donut one at a time.[3]
    Display Donuts for a Party Step 3.jpg
    • If you don’t have a lot of room, this might not be the best way to display your donuts.
  4. Assemble your donuts on top of a cake if you have one. You can never have too many treats at a party. If you’d like your guests to have a few layers of sweets to work through, use a small, flat cake as the base for your donuts. Stack your donuts on top of the cake in a pyramid to add more delicious layers to your cake.[4]
    Display Donuts for a Party Step 4.jpg
    • This is a great idea if you are throwing a party for someone with a sweet tooth or you are displaying a wedding cake as well as donuts.

[Edit]Displaying Donuts on a Table

  1. Stack 2 to 3 donuts in a to-go box as a party favor. Your guests don’t have to eat the donuts while they are at your party. Instead, fill some small cardboard boxes with a few donuts each and have your guests grab them on their way out.[5]
    Display Donuts for a Party Step 5.jpg
  2. Arrange donuts holes with toothpicks in them for yummy finger food. Full-size donuts can be a lot to eat, and they might make your guests’ hands sticky. Stick a toothpick into each donut hole and arrange them on a tray for your guests to pick up.[6]
    Display Donuts for a Party Step 6.jpg
    • This goes great if you have other finger foods, like small sandwiches.
  3. Use your donuts like a placecard at a wedding. Since you’ve already arranged a seating arrangement, you can add a donut to each place before your guests sit down. Delight your guests with a sweet treat before dinner to whet their appetites.[7]
    Display Donuts for a Party Step 7.jpg
    • Feeding your guests a donut before the reception is a great way to tide them over until dinner.
  4. Add donuts to your floral centerpieces. If you already have beautiful floral arrangements, stack a pyramid of donuts on top of them to add an edible feature to your displays. Make sure your guests know that only the donuts are edible, not the flowers.[8]
    Display Donuts for a Party Step 8.jpg
    • This looks great at wedding receptions when flowers are already used a lot.

[Edit]Hanging Donuts on a Pegboard

  1. Purchase a large pegboard. Depending on the size of your party, you may need a larger or smaller pegboard. Determine if you’d like 1 large pegboard or a few small pegboards and buy one made of wood for a classy look.[9]
    Display Donuts for a Party Step 9.jpg
    • You can find pegboards at most hardware stores.
  2. Attach wooden dowels every . Pegboards have small holes that are spaced about apart. Stick wooden dowels into every third hole so that there is enough room for each donut to hang off of one.[10]
    Display Donuts for a Party Step 10.jpg
    • You can buy wooden dowels at most hardware stores.
  3. Push the dowels in about halfway. Wooden dowels are usually about long. Leave about of the dowel sticking out of the pegboard to give enough room for the donut to hang off of.[11]
    Display Donuts for a Party Step 11.jpg
    • Arrange your dowels in a geometric design, like a square or a triangle, for some added flair.
  4. Hang 1 donut on every dowel. Wash your hands and carefully pick up your donuts one at a time. Hang them off of your wooden dowels. Handle the donuts carefully so that they all stay in 1 piece.[12]
    Display Donuts for a Party Step 12.jpg
    • If you have a lot of donuts, consider hanging 2 on each wooden dowel if there is room.
    • If your donuts are different colors, arrange them in a color gradient that fades from light to dark for an attractive detail.
  5. Attach a funny phrase or message to your pegboard for some added flair. If you have extra room up top or you’d like to display a message to your guests, use some wooden letters and set them on top of the wooden dowels at the top of your pegboard. Use them to spell out “Happy Birthday,” “Welcome,” or something donut related, like “It’s Donut Day.”[13]
    Display Donuts for a Party Step 13.jpg
    • You can find plain wooden letters at most craft stores.
    • Use acrylic paint to decorate your wooden letters to match the theme of your party.

[Edit]Using Shelves

  1. Hang free standing shelves on your wall for a decorative display. If your party is indoors or you already have some shelves in your house, you can add your donuts to them for a permanent display. Use a drill and some screws to attach shelves to your wall. Make sure you screw them into the studs in your wall so that they stay secure. Set your donuts up on the shelves on their own or on top of small plates.[14]
    Display Donuts for a Party Step 14.jpg
    • Clean your shelves thoroughly before setting up your donuts to get rid of any dirt or dust.
  2. Set a small bookshelf on your table for a cute addition. If you want your dessert table to really stand out, set up a small, 3 shelf bookshelf at the very back of the table. Set your donuts up in layers on the shelves for a cute and simple display.[15]
    Display Donuts for a Party Step 15.jpg
    • Paint your bookshelf to match the theme of your party for a matching look.
  3. Make your donuts the center of attention with a large bookshelf. If you have a lot of donuts and you want to make them the life of the party, arrange them in a single layer on each shelf of a bookshelf. Make sure your shelf is on flat ground so that it doesn’t wobble around as your guests reach for their donuts.[16]
    Display Donuts for a Party Step 16.jpg
    • If you want to mix it up, look for a bookshelf with a geometric design to stack your donuts on.
  4. Find some clear shelves for a classic donut display. Donuts in a diner or cafe are usually set in a small clear shelf with 2 to 3 layers. Set your donuts on a table in one of these to call back to the original way that donuts were displayed.[17]
    Display Donuts for a Party Step 17.jpg
    • You can find donut shelves online or look for used ones at a thrift store.


  • Try to order at least 1 donut per guest, or more if you want people to take them home as party favors.