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Dessert Shooters - The new mini-dessert craze!


Dessert Shooters - when just a small taste of something good is enough - Perfect for Valentine's day!

I first ran across Dessert Shooters when I was trying to come up with smaller desserts for my 95 year old Mom's sweet tooth. A full size dessert was just too much; she wanted just a taste of something sweet following a meal.

And then I saw them - those mini-desserts you see on most restaurant menus these days are usually served in small glasses, some as small as 2 oz shot glasses up to a 5 oz juice glass.

A properly constructed dessert shooter will give you and your guests just enough taste of something delicious to top off any filling meal. Serve more than one on a pretty silver tray and gather in the "Wows" from your dinner guests! Click this link to see some great dessert shooter supplies to serve up your own delicious mini desserts.

Absolutely any of your favorite desserts may be adapted to dessert shooters - get creative and mix and match ingredients and create your own dessert shooter masterpieces. Even better - set out various dessert items and let your guests create their very own individual dessert shooters. And, shh....don't tell anyone I gave you the idea. Take full credit yourself!

Delicious dessert shooters can be adapted for about any holiday. Just select an ingredient or color that is indicative of the holiday and use your imagination. How about a red, white and true blue dessert shooter for the 4th of July? Add some red jello to the bottom of your shot glass, layer in some whipped cream, and top with blue berries. Add a sparkler on top and serve a tray to your adoring picnic guests.

You'll find plenty of ideas and supplies in this dessert shooter article, including 4 delectable ideas:

Key Lime Pie Dessert Shooters, Coconut Dream Dessert Shooters, S'mores Dessert Shooters and 4th of July Dessert Shooters.

Photo credit: All pictures which are not products on are my own creations.

A great miniature dessert set with spoons

I love serving mini desserts.

These demure desserts are definitely in style these days for many reasons. And, my favorite reason, of course, is that I get to eat more than one with little guilt!

This Libby dessert set has everything you need to serve up a platter of delicious dessert shooters, including the spoons. The only thing this dessert shooter glass set is missing is the dessert ingredients!

Get the whole dessert shooter set at once

Libby dessert shooter sets

These Libbey dessert shooter sets comes complete with glasses and long handled spoons so you can get every single lick from the bottom of the glass. I love the shape of the glasses too - they're adorable filled with the key lime pie shooter and served on a pretty tray.

Dessert shooters make a beautiful display in these dessert servers

One of the fun things about serving dessert shooters is finding pretty dessert servers to place them upon.

I love the tiered dessert stands. I usually load it up with all different types of dessert shooters including:

Key Lime Pie Dessert Shooters

Fruity Dessert Shooters

S'more Dessert Shooters - My personal favorite

Tiramisu Dessert Shooters

or any kind of Chocolate Dessert Shooters

Scroll to Continue

Think about creating 3 or 4 different types of mini desserts and arranging them artfully on one of these dessert stands. Your table will shine!

Here's another take on a fun way to serve delicious dessert shooters - Desserts in Jars: 50 Sweet Treats That Shhine. This beautifully illustrated cookbook offers some unique recipes and presentations for these dessert shooters. You'll find recipes that combine peaches and raspberriess with a delicious lemon cream, and cardamom with fresh pears. This book can be your entryway into creating your very own dessert shooters

A satisfied dessert shooter customer - my darling 95 year old Mom, Gertie - 1 month after hip surgery!

A satisfied dessert shooter customer - my darling 95 year old Mom, Gertie - 1 month after hip surgery!

A satisfied dessert shooter customer - my darling 95 year old Mom, Gertie - 1 month after hip surgery!

If you can't make it to Key West, a taste of the island is in this glass

If you can't make it to Key West, a taste of the island is in this glass

Bonus dessert shooter recipe - Key Lime Pie in a glass

If you love tart desserts, a good key lime pie can't be beat unless, of course, you make a key lime pie shooter and have just a taste. Your full stomach will thank you, as will your hips in the morning. The below recipe may be adapted to your individual tastes; this is just how I make a delightful key lime pie dessert shooter.

Note: this key lime pie dessert shooter is the easy way to make this delicious dessert. You can go to the trouble of making your own key lime pie filling with key limes, egg yolks and condensed milk but, for ease, just follow this recipe.

Additional note: the below recipe is the *easy* way to make a Key Lime Pie Dessert Shooter. I've actually created another squidoo lens: Key Lime Pie Dessert Shooters which has my actual recipe for the key lime pie layer. It's truly delicious and customizable in that you can make the Key Lime Pie Dessert Shooter as sweet or as tart as you like.

Make these delectable treats as tart you like by adding a bit of extra key lime juice to the pudding.

If you prefer to make your own Key Lime pie filling (as I do), click HERE to go to another more involved Squidoo lens about Key Lime Pie Dessert Shooters.


  • 1 package key lime pudding prepared and chilled
  • 1/2 cup graham crackers
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • Fresh whipped cream
  • 1 key lime
  • 4 shooter glasses
  • 1 tsp Nellie's Key Lime Juice (optional)


  1. 1. Mix the graham crackers, sugar and butter just until moist.
  2. 2. Layer the graham cracker mixture in the bottom of the dessert shooter glasses. For a pretty presentation, press into the bottoms and up the sides of the dessert shooter glass just a bit. Sprinkle on just a bit of the Nellie's Key Lime Juice for added tartness.
  3. 3. Add in 3 tbsp of the prepared key lime pudding
  4. 4. Add in a bit of whipped cream.
  5. 5. Repeat layers with more graham cracker mixture, Nellie's Key Lime Juice, key lime pudding, and whipped cream.
  6. 6. Top with a sprinkling of graham crackers and garnish with key lime peel and a splash more of key lime juice.
  7. Note: if you like a tarter filing, squeeze 1/4 of the key lime juice right into the pudding mix. Taste and add more key lime juice if you want it tarter still.

Get a quick start to the world of dessert shooters with this dessert shooter cube glass set

The first key to making the best looking and tastiest dessert shooter is to have the right dessert shooter glass. Since these mini desserts are, well, small, you want to make sure they're not too small. A glass which is two to five ounces is just about right.

Come read more in my latest dessert shooter article: Dessert Shooter Glasses.


Bonus #2: Coconut dream dessert shooter

I just came up with this wonderfully light dessert shooter the other night. And, it's so simple to make, you can whip one up in about 3 minutes.

Crumble a coconut macaroon and add a layer to the bottom of the dessert shooter glass. Top with a scoop of any flavor ice cream (I had Rocky Road - the marshmallows made it even tastier). Drizzle with chocolate sauce. Add another layer of each ingredient and top your dessert shooter with toasted coconut and a few chopped peanuts.

Note: a small blow torch is a very quick way to toast coconut. No need to heat up the whole kitchen for a bit of toasted coconut.



A challenging position when making dessert shooters

Aka: how the heck do I get THAT into a skinny glass?

Since presentation is 9/10ths of the beauty of serving dessert shooters, you might want straight lines between your layers. But, how the heck do you do that when working with a teeny weeny 2 or 3 ounce shot glass? Well, for one thing, realize that straight lines shouldn't drive you crazy. So what if they're off? The dessert shooter will still be a beautiful presentation and taste good. But, if you have OCD you might want to invest in a good funnel to layer in liquid ingredients.. Another good purchase is asmall ladle to help construct your dessert masterpiece.

Well, if it's cake you're layering, cut the cake into very small cubes and pack them down into the dessert shooter glass with any flat ended item. A very small pestle (like used for muddling mint leaves) will work well for this purpose.

For layering liquid ingredients, try a plastic bottle like the kind used for ketchup and mustard in restaurants. You can also use a pasty bag with a smaller tip to reach into the bottom of the shot glasses. For liquid items on top layers, if you don't have a pastry bag, use a plastic bag and just cut off the corner.

If you're layering fruit, use the demitasse spoon or any thinner teaspoon to get into the far reaches of the dessert shooter glass. Cut fruit into very small pieces before attempting to smoosh a whole mandarine orange slice attractively into the bottom of a shot glass. Fruit cocktail works well in dessert shooters as it's already cut into small pieces.

My Halloween dessert shooter recipe - I scared up something special!


Dessert shooters supplies are easy to order from Amazon

Here's some more decent dessert shooter glasses on Plastic dessert shooter glasses are a particular help for larger parties - no clean up!

Dessert shooter glasses with lids!

I love the look of these 4 ounce dessert shooter glasses, and, especially love the little bitty lid!

More pretty mini dessert serving dishes

I have my own collection of dessert shooter glasses going and some of the below are on my wish list. Your little desserts will be elevated to a new status when layered in these beautiful mini dessert glasses.


Mini desserts on Good Morning America!

I saw an expose on the new mini dessert craze documented on Good Morning America (GMA). The show focused more on saving calories as mini desserts are at least 1/2 the calories of full size desserts. For example, the New York Style Cheesecake, full serving at 6 ounces, packs in a whopping 450 calories! The Mini Cheesecake, on the other hand, is still indulgent and is 210 calories. That's quite a caloric savings - not to mention that the mini desserts are a fraction of the price of the full size desserts at various restaurants.

Dessert shooter poll


Restaurant chains which serve dessert shooters

Dessert shooters are a lot of fun to create but, if you're heading out and hoping to have just a taste of something sweet following dinner, head to one of these chain restaurants. You're sure to find one (or six) dessert shooters that are just ripe for the tasting.

  1. Chili's. Called "sweet shots", Chili's offers dessert shooters in the following flavors: Seven layers of chocolate, Strawberry wave cheesecake, and Dutch apple caramel cheesecake.

    Here's Chili's webpage documenting their dessert shooters: Chili's dessert shooters.

  2. TGIF. "Mini dessert shots" at Friday's include Rocky Road, Chocolate Raspberry, Peanut Butter Cup, Chocolate Chip Mint and Orange Cream.

    Click here for TGIF desserts.

  3. Applebee's. Dessert shooters at Applebee's include Strawberry Cheesecake, Chocolate Mousse, and Hot Fudge Sundae Dessert Shooters.

    Check out these beautiful Dessert shooters from Applebee's.

  4. P.F. Changs. PF Changs mini desserts are Great Wall of China, Tiramisu, Tres Leche Lemon Dream Mini, Carrot Cake Mini, Apple Pie Mini, Red Velvet Cake Mini, and Creamy Cheesecake.

    Scroll to the bottom of this link for more information: PF Changs mini dessert shooters.

  5. Outback Steak House. After a filling steak dinner, you might like the dessert shooters served as part of the Sweet Adventure Sample Trio: Chocolate Thunder from Down Under® with pecan brownie, Carrot Cake with coconut and pecans and Classic Cheesecake.

  6. Olive Garden. I was surprised to find Olive Garden on the list of chain restaurants which have dessert shooters as they're pretty much the leader in overeating! The "endless pasta bowl" is just a bad thing all the way around, if you ask me. They did wise up though by offering a good selection of choices of dessert shooters - order any 3 for $6.75 or they're $2.50 apiece.

    Check out these delicious dessert shooters flavors at Olive Garden by clicking this link and scrolling to the very bottom: Olive Garden's Dolcini dessert shooter menu.

Which dessert shooters are your favorites? Which would you love to make if you only knew how?

poetryman6969 on January 20, 2015:

Might have to try it in a restaurant first but I am game.

Royal-Lensmaster on June 22, 2014:

Shoot that dessert. What a great idea :)

richardrose on October 11, 2013:

I love these dessert shooters. But they will make me very fat as I will become addicted lol

Meganhere on October 03, 2013:

What a great idea! Nice lens.

mariacarbonara on June 08, 2013:

oh my gosh, these look so delicious. Im gonna try these very soon!

anonymous on June 06, 2013:

dELICIOUS DEssert shooters, and ur lens seems yummy. cheers

geosum on April 10, 2013:

Great lens. Marian & I generally share a dessert - ask for two spoons. We'll make use of some of your recipes.

FastSecrets on February 07, 2013:

Awesome! Its truly awesome pictures and contents,

I have got much clear idea regarding from this lens.

anonymous on January 23, 2013:

I have seen dessert shooters showing up at french bakeries and truly enjoy eating these desserts. I like to sample different flavors and ingredients.

rockingretro2 on January 01, 2013:

Great ideas! We have to watch our calories and these small bites will keep up from feeling deprived and still not put us over the calorie count. Thanks.

TedWritesStuff on December 23, 2012:

There isn't a dessert I wouldn't eat! Maybe a little to lazy to make them all though..;-)

Freestuffer LM on November 19, 2012:

Nice lens!

Freestuffer LM on November 19, 2012:

Nice lens!

Moe Wood from Eastern Ontario on November 16, 2012:

Have not had any but seems like a wonderful idea to me.

Rose Jones on November 13, 2012:

This is a great idea. It is hard to give up on sugar - the dessert shooters make it possible to indulge without really being BAD. Great lens - congrats on the Purple Star. Pinned and blessed.

mistaben on November 13, 2012:

Many thanks for the great dessert recipe idea.

Magietha du Plessis from South Africa on November 07, 2012:

I love these shooter desserts. What I like about them is that you can do anything you can imagine. I can see how you can make a lovely christmas one with the christmas colors

Tom on November 03, 2012:

Those look so good. Never had one, but would love to try them.

BradKamer on October 24, 2012:

Great lesson on creating artistic and fun desserts while accomplishing the goal of portion control. Great job on lens.

gottaloveit2 (author) on October 22, 2012:

@JoshK47: Thanks so much for your angel blessing!

gottaloveit2 (author) on October 22, 2012:

@JoshK47: Thanks so much for your angel blessing!

gottaloveit2 (author) on October 22, 2012:

@Teapixie LM: Thanks so much for the kind comment!

gottaloveit2 (author) on October 22, 2012:

@OptimalExercise: Your comment made me laugh out loud! I used to eat THREE mini dessert shooters but have kept it to a dull roar these days with just one.

gottaloveit2 (author) on October 22, 2012:

@OptimalExercise: Your comment made me laugh out loud! I used to eat THREE mini dessert shooters but have kept it to a dull roar these days with just one.

anonymous on October 18, 2012:

This sounds delicious!

AshleyCarew1 on October 18, 2012:

These look absolutely scrumptious!

OptimalExercise on October 15, 2012:

I try to stay away from food like this, I should probably try a bit harder I have to admit. I've seen these little things around before and always thought "they're so small....I'd want two". I'm still of that opinion :P

Tea Pixie on October 15, 2012:

I love your recipes. I love the transformation of the shooter glasses. This is perfect for parties!

sailor_man on October 14, 2012:

Very usefull!

anonymous on October 09, 2012:

Coconut dessert shooter is a really great idea. thank you for sharing.

JoshK47 on October 08, 2012:

Popping back in to bless these tiny, tasty treats!

anonymous on October 03, 2012:

thanks for sharing

BestForTheMoneyz on September 19, 2012:

awesome lens great stuff

Sojourn on September 16, 2012:

I was just watching a reality show where someone served these at a party and they were so pretty. She had some sort of lemon desert in a little round glass and it just seemed like such an elegant final touch to the meal. That's what I'd serve! Great ideas on this lens. I was blown away (and left drooling).

RationalHedonist on September 07, 2012:

I love the idea of rich decadent desserts without sabotaging my waistline. Usually I'm full after the meal, but these shooters are just the right size to indulge a few spoonfuls. Definitely going to try them!

TwistedWiseman on August 31, 2012:


looks and sounds Yummy!

sheriangell on August 26, 2012:

I've got my eye on the Key Lime Dessert Shooter, my taste buds are beginning to call to me...... a delicious Angel blessing for this yummy lens.

anonymous on August 12, 2012:

Nice to visit here again, and I'm glad I had a dessert today and am satisfied. Otherwise, I'd be having a craving about now for some. :)

montanatravel52 on August 12, 2012:

I've had dessert shooters before, but not like these! Wow, great display and fun ideas - I can't wait to try the S'mores one, how creative:)

fathomblueEG on July 28, 2012:

I love all desserts. It's just ingenious putting it in little glasses. So you can entertain your guests in style like at those fancy restaurants and still watch your weight because of the dessert being in a little glass instead of a giant cereal bowl. You've made a perfect lens and by the way, you're Mom looks so young are you sure she's even close to 95?

Camden1 on July 25, 2012:

I love this trend - it's a great way to enjoy dessert without packing on too many calories (assuming I can resist the tempation to eat more than 1)!

HouseBuyersOfAmerica on July 25, 2012:

I just love desserts...thanks for this yummy post...!!

CristianStan on July 22, 2012:

Hahahah, dessert shooters. What an amazing idea. Perfect portions and you can make some pretty cool ideas. Thanks for the lens!

LadyKeesh on July 21, 2012:

I was just served one at Culvers. You make me want another one. This lens looks delicious. Time for a Squidoo break, I need a shooter. I like anything strawberry and bananas with caramel.

Melissa Miotke from Arizona on July 21, 2012:

I love dessert but usually don't have room. These shooters are the perfect solution!

TamarWrites on July 13, 2012:

I love these tiny desserts. They are just the right sized sweet and there is no guilt involved!

Elsie Hagley from New Zealand on July 12, 2012:

I love dessert, these are for me. Thanks for sharing. Blessed.

MartieG aka 'survivoryea' from Jersey Shore on July 10, 2012:

I'm a dessert lover and these sound delicious and fun too! ~~~Blessed~~

anooptu on July 09, 2012:

Yummy !

have tendency to ......................................

peggygallyot on July 07, 2012:

i actually like all of them. i just love desserts

belinda342 on July 05, 2012:

Tiny desserts sound like just the ticket for us (sometimes) overeaters! I wish more restaurants offered them!

Onemargaret LM on July 04, 2012:

Wow! You have the scoop on everything! I must try these dessert shooters!

anonymous on June 26, 2012:

IT looks delicious! Well done

anonymous on June 26, 2012:

IT looks delicious! Well done

anonymous on June 18, 2012:

Dessert shooters are perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth when you've just had a big meal and don't really have room for anything else. I'm in a red velvet cake phase right now and would love to have a recipe for for a red velvet dessert shooter.

Kay on May 23, 2012:

I've had these when dining out but never considered making them. I think you have some terrific ideas here!

miaponzo on May 11, 2012:

I love a tiramisu or cheesecake shooter.. but a nice chocolate mousse wouldn't hurt either :) Blessed!

anonymous on May 10, 2012:

Yummy, this made me hungry

WriterJanis2 on May 02, 2012:

Everything looks so good. Blessed!

hippiechicjewelz on April 20, 2012:

DELICIOUS lens! I am going to try the key lime shooter (well, maybe not just one shooter, probably like two or three, I love key lime!)

TaylorLautnerWorkoutFan on April 17, 2012:

Wow - they all look good. :)

Elyn MacInnis from Shanghai, China on April 12, 2012:

It is such a relief to have small portioned desserts. All those years of monster pieces that four people could split and cost a fortune... I am grateful for people who think "small." Thank you!

ViJuvenate on April 11, 2012:

Every time I see this page, I think it says "desert shooters". LOL But I do love these!

Paula Morgan from Sydney Australia on April 09, 2012:

Brilliant idea - I love desserts but always try to eat small portions. I am going to have to try some of these

AustriaChick on April 09, 2012:

Love the idea, I had never heard of them before. Certainly a better choice than a full portion of anything and still gives you a tasty!

AustriaChick on April 09, 2012:

Love the idea, I had never heard of them before. Certainly a better choice than a full portion of anything and still gives you a tasty!

tyrosine on April 01, 2012:

they all look so yummy and elegant!!

Peggy Hazelwood from Desert Southwest, U.S.A. on March 31, 2012:

Back for a virtual dessert shooter! Yum. Pinned it too!

thewebartists on March 28, 2012:

well i am doing Squidoo from a time and i am getting some improvement, I feel i am learning a lot by your lens, at least i can say i never seen such the fabulous post. thanks for sharing.

AJ from Australia on March 25, 2012:

I have a favourite French / Japanese fusion restaurant which does it's main courses in shooter form, but I haven't had dessert shooters - a fantastic idea - thank you so much for inspiring my next dinner party!

Michey LM on March 15, 2012:

Just Great! Thanks I'll try a couple... LOL

anonymous on March 12, 2012:

Sounds yummy!

gnomee on March 06, 2012:

Nice reading of this "sugar" lens :) I like desserts and you give me some great ideas :)

pyngthyngs on March 05, 2012:

That smores looks delicious.

anonymous on March 05, 2012:

This is such a yummy lens on dessert shooters, stopped by with some angel dust. :)

TTMall on March 03, 2012:

This is a great lens, it's very informative! Thank you for sharing, I learned something new here.

myamya on February 22, 2012:

Very nice lens! thumbs up!

Peggy Hazelwood from Desert Southwest, U.S.A. on February 17, 2012:

Yum, had to come back for seconds. Those chocolate cups looks so enticing!

entertainmentev on February 13, 2012:

I love these dessert shooters. I'm absolutely going to make the Key Lime Pie Dessert Shooters for my summer parties. Love it!

Chocolatealchemy from London, United Kingdom on February 13, 2012:

What a fabulous Lens you've created and given me food for thought! Thanks for sharing your recipes too. My dessert shooter will have be chocolate based as I love, love cacao!

RomanticMe on February 13, 2012:

I've never head the pleasure of trying one but chocolate is my game!

anonymous on February 07, 2012:

Making one of these would definitely impress a date. I'm going to have to try it. They look absolutely cool. I had no idea there was even such a thing as dessert shooters.

MelonyVaughan on February 06, 2012:

Me too! I'm just scared I'll want to try every one of

anonymous on February 06, 2012:

i like to try some............

KimGiancaterino on January 31, 2012:

I have more than 200 shotglasses, so this is perfect for me!

anonymous on January 27, 2012:


jimmyworldstar on January 25, 2012:

I haven't heard of many restaurants doing these but they're a great way to eat a dessert without all the mess of using your hands. You can also exercise portion control with them too!

nikyweber on January 24, 2012:

another great lens from you!

Morgannafay on January 15, 2012:

I've never heard of dessert shooters before reading this! What a killer idea. Yeah, I don't get out to eat, or out much LOL. I want to try them all. <3

antoniow on January 13, 2012:

Great lens! thumbs up

Alohagems on January 11, 2012:

Congratulations for making this lens. I have 10 desserts to try on.

Alohagems on January 11, 2012:

Congratulations for making this lens. I have 10 desserts to try on.

VillaDejaBlue on January 08, 2012:

Nice lens.

Frugal Bride on January 05, 2012:

These would just tease me and make me crave more.

katiecolette on January 03, 2012:

Love your idea for the 4th of July dessert shooters :)

bharat01 on January 03, 2012:

Wow...., Delicious items here...., and my mouth is watering too......, Lovely lens........:)

Lenskeeper on January 01, 2012:

These look delicious. I'll have to try these for one of my groups that meets once a month!

misterjake on January 01, 2012:

Nice lens friend, very well done. If you don't mind please do check out my lens. Thanks.

anonymous on December 31, 2011:

Beautiful! Love the presentation.

youprintcoupons on December 31, 2011:

OMG, they all look great. YUMMY!!!

Happy New Year:)

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