Wreaths and Christmas trees tend to get all the attention, but they’re certainly not the only things that contribute to a merry and bright holiday look. Case in point: these seven homes, each of which has plates and platters of sweet treats displayed in creative, clever and downright festive ways. They’re almost (almost!) too pretty to eat.

Photo: Tracey Ayton

Create a Snow Globe

White frosting, a glass cloche and a few dollar-store toys are all you need to mimic this cute cake display. It’ll probably take you more time to decide what flavour of cake to bake than it will to actually put this together—it’s that simple! See how else photographer Tracey Ayton decorated her beach house for Christmas.

Bowl Over Your Guests

Like charcuterie boards, cookie platters can be difficult to style. There’s an art to putting all your ginger snaps, jam thumbprints and financiers on display—and one misplaced biscuit or royal icing colour clash can throw the whole thing off balance. You don’t need that kind of pressure on your shoulders during the holidays, so put your cookies in an ornate bowl instead. It’s way less fussy, but just as pretty (perhaps even more so). Get Betty Hung’s French cookie recipes.

The kitchen island and backsplash are finished with Fior di Bosco—a grey Italian marble that has been honed to a matte finish. Photo: Janis Nicolay.
Photo: Janis Nicolay

Put All Your Cookies in One Basket

Every bit of holiday decor in this Denise Ashmore-designed Whistler home was meant to “feel homespun and handmade.” The Christmas tree is decorated with felt ornaments, presents are wrapped in linen and the table is set with textured pottery. As for the cookies? They’re on display in a cloth-lined basket, looking as if they’ve just been picked up from the market. Check out the rest of this all-natural holiday makeover.

Photo: Ema Peter

Satisfy Every Sweet Tooth

Designer Kelly Deck took a more-is-more approach when decorating this North Vancouver home for the holidays—especially in the kitchen. “Christmas is a time of gratitude and abundance, and decorating with food has always been done,” she says. Multiple cakes are displayed on the island, plus each place at the table is set with individual gingerbread houses. Tour the rest of former NHLer David Jones’s Edgemont Village home.

Photo: Kevin Clark

Tie ’Em with a Bow

So you’ve finished wrapping all your gifts, but have a bunch of ribbon leftover? Tie your extra (and scrap!) pieces around a small stack of sugar or shortbread cookies. It’s the perfect way to add a touch of colour and texture to your platter. Find out how you can use five cookie dough recipes in 24 different ways.

Eat Display Your Greens

Tanya Krpan, owner and principal designer of TKDC, gave her Mount Pleasant home a nearly all-white look. To keep it from being too stark, she added a few strategic pops of greenery—around the windows, down the centre of the dining table and on the cake stand, peeking out from underneath a fresh bundt cake. Step inside this Vancouver townhome.

Photo: Janis Nicolay

Say No to Food Colouring

We don’t know about you, but our icing never turns out right. The red is always lighter (read: pinker) than it should be and the green is always a little too far on the Grinch side of the colour spectrum. The solution? Not adding any colour at all. These all-white cookies on display in a West Vancouver home designed by Ami McKay look just as festive and just as delicious as your standard holiday fare. Check out the rest of this non-traditional Christmas style.