Classic French Croquembouche

The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

Glamorous Holiday Hosting: The Glam Dessert

For the baker, the Croquembouche is your party showstopper

Glamorous Holiday Hosting

This Glamorous croquembouche recipe and accompanying set of Glamour-ish recipes are part of our 2022 Glam Holiday Hosting package, which is a choose-your-own-adventure style approach to building out your perfect party menu. For the full package and set of options, visit our Glam Holiday Hosting introduction page.

Glamorous Dessert Recipe: Croquembouche

The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati + Sabrina Tan

If you’re never one to be intimidated by a baking project, then you know that the more advanced the recipe the better. While baking may be stressful to some, to you it’s a form of moving meditation, matched only by the joy you get from adding another star-tip to your piping bag collection. The croquembouche is the stuff of baking lore, but this holiday season, you are ready to pretend you have a spot competing in the Bocuse d'Or World Pastry Cup and whip up this architectural masterpiece in your kitchen. Beyond the choux dough and luxurious vanilla pastry cream, it’s the fashion-a-cone-from-paper and that spun sugar crown that really sends this into project territory. But the awe of your guests and the personal satisfaction you will get from tackling this classic will be well worth it.

With your show-stopping dessert figured out, you can pick from these Glamour-ish cocktails, appetizers, and entrées, to complete your party menu.

The Spruce Eats / Sabrina Tan

The Recipes

  • Batched Negroni: The negroni is a simple 1:1:1 cocktail meaning you can whip up and bottle a batch of it for as many as you need by simply combining equal parts of the gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari that makes up this classic drink. Try swapping in smoky Mezcal to replace the gin. Chill until party time, then set out the batched-bottle and provide ice, glasses, and some orange zests so guests can pour and garnish their drinks. 
  • Kir Imperial Bar: Sparkling wine or Champagne with a hit of raspberry Chambord. A cocktail so easy, you can trust your guests to make it. Just set out some bottles on ice and glasses.
The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  • Batched Coquito: A cream of coconut based eggnog is a Puerto Rican classic and easy to scale up or down depending on the size of your guest list.
  • Brandy Alexander: Brandy and cream combine in this great retro cocktail. If you don’t want to shake individual cocktails, batch out the mixture and let guests pour into a glass with a large ice cube. The dilution will be different than a shaken version served up, but it will save the hassle and be equally delicious.
  • Everything But the Kitchen Sink: Fill your kitchen sink to the brim with ice and stock it with mini canned cocktails from brands we love like Slow and Low and Tip Top. Add a few bottles of mini Prosecco or champagne like Moët for bubble lovers and some no-proof options like St. Agrestis’ Phony Negroni (Ghia and Recess brand cans are also staff favorites) to fill out the menu. Asking guests to each bring their own favorite mini-canned or mini-bottles of cocktails is a great way to get everyone involved.

The Spruce Eats / Sabrina Tan

The Recipes

  • Crab Stuffed Mushrooms: Crab and mushrooms are best friends and this sheet pan appetizer is ready in under 45 minutes.
Party Ham Rolls

The Spruce / Wanda Abraham

  • Bacon Wrapped Dates: Three ingredients and a little assembly is all it takes to make these bite-sized, umami-packed treats.
  • Cheese Balls: Whether you opt for the classic Nut, or go off-script with a salmon or  pineapple version, this make-ahead, one bowl recipe is easier than putting together a cheese plate.
  • Party Ham Rolls: Store-bought everything and some sheet tray magic will yield 24 mini ham rolls all in one go, without the fiddling effort of most finger food.
  • Cranberry Brie Bites: Store-bought puff pastry, brie, and jam are all you need to make these decadent bites. If the walnut glaze in this recipe feels intimidating or too much trouble to make, you can skip it altogether or simply sprinkle some walnuts on top after baking the bites.

The Spruce Eats / Sabrina Tan

The Recipes

  • Crab Fondue: Once you gather the ingredients, this is as simple as dump, heat, and stir. If you don’t want to get a fondue pot, a small slow cooker set to low is a great way to keep the fondue warm. Lay out pieces of bread, cubes of salami, and a variety of veggies and boiled potatoes for a filling main.
  • Braised Chicken: Braising meat is a surefire way to get a tender and flavorful meal, and the fact that this cooks in the oven means no need to stand over a stove watching and wondering. 
Hot Crab Fondue

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  • Leek Pie: Store-bought phyllo sends this easy to assemble sheet pan leek pie to a whole other level. No need to fuss over making pie crust, and the finished product is flaky and light.
  • Skillet Pasta: Cozy and filling, this one pot meal can be made using frozen meatballs or your favorite meatless vegetarian brand.
  • Clam Pasta: Our simple, yet satisfying recipe lets you serve your guests what some consider to be a restaurant-only meal. You can make the sauce in advance, and when you are ready to serve, simply toss in the pre-cleaned clams and boil the pasta.

The Spruce Eats / Julie Bang