Family Night Ideas: Dessert Wars

Are you in a family night rut? Does it seem you’ve watched all the good movies and played all your board game a zillion times? Will you pull out your hair if one more kid whines that they are bored? We’re here to help! Every month we’ll feature at least one fully planned family fun night right here on Growing Up in the Valley’s Bulletin Board, complete with snack, song, movie and game ideas.

Dessert Wars

Summary: A family night dessert bake-off!
This activity is great for large groups, so invite you neighbors and friends over.
Estimated Time: Depends on family set time limits for shopping and cooking, our family went shopping before dinner, but saved the sweets until after we ate our vegetables!
Estimated Cost: Easily adjustable for all budgets, we spent $10 for two teams.

Divide your family into even groups and assign a dessert category such as Cupcake team, Cookie Team and Brownie Team. For younger children you can assign them an actual recipe, but older kids (and competitive parents!) will love looking up recipes and creating their own flavors.

TIP: Make sure you double check everyone’s recipe- try to find ones that have the same oven temp and prep time to make sure everything finishes at the same time- or get creative and find some no-bake cookies & dessert bars!

Set a budget and shopping time limit before heading into your grocery store. You can find affordable cake and cookie mixes in great base flavors for less than $3 each.

Once you’ve returned home you can set up the kitchen- divide the teams cooking areas and set aside common ingredients like eggs, milk and butter. All other ingredients should come out of the team budget! Try to set aside your worries about the mess; you can always have a cleaning race while the treats are baking.

While everything is cooking and cooling you can have some friendly team banter, run that cleaning race to tackle the pile of dirty dishes, or play a quick card game like old maid or crazy eights. Set a time limit for those desserts requiring frosting or decoration, then on to the fun!!


Now for the best part- eating! Print out or recreate our scoring cards and evaluate every one’s desserts (remember- SMALL bites! You have a lot to test!) Do not score your own team’s creation. The team who scores the highest combined score wins! That team gets first dibs at the second helping of treats.


(Click to see full-size)

Tips & Suggestions
Have a neighborhood-wide Dessert war, send out invitations a few days ahead of time to allow for a wide variety of desserts (some no-bakes take a night in the fridge to set up after all)

Simplify the mess and turn it into sugar cookie or cupcake decorating contest- perfect for little ones who can’t help cook quite yet.

Don’t trust yourself around all those sweets after the taste testing? Pack up the leftovers into a few bags and ding-dong-ditch some of your friends!

Check out our Dessert War Pinterest Board for recipe and decoration ideas, and our family night board for some of our favorite bloggers’ ideas for family fun!

Do you have a great family night tradition you’d like to share? Email and you maybe chosen to be a guest blogger!



Growing Up in the Valley is Roanoke's very first family focused magazine. We are the premier source for family fun in Southwest & Central Virginia!
Share This: