store-bought desserts - dessert table

Make store-bought desserts upscale bakery worthy! Here are the expert tricks…

Store-bought desserts can be showstoppers with a few upscale tweaks.

You might think these desserts were custom-made! We’ll let you in on a little secret: they’re all store bought! A few expert food-styling techniques make these grocery store sweets look upscale and over the top.

Baker Tara Boss shared how to get the bakery bougie look in your own kitchen. Bakery bougie is a term that Tara defines as, “Beautiful desserts you’d see in a fancy bakery, with intricate detail and thoughtful designs.” If you want your desserts to look like you’ve spent hours in the kitchen, or just paid a whole lot of money for a caterer, keep these tricks in your back pocket.

Tara shared three ways you can upscale your sweets, using entirely store bought basics.


Cream Puff Tower


  • Foam cone (can be found at any craft store, size depends on how many servings you want)
  • White candy melts or white chocolate chips
  • Colored candy melts for cream puffs unless coloring white melts or chips
  • Heavy cream
  • Toothpicks
  • Frozen Cream Puffs
  • Flowers
  • Gold leaf
  • Oil based food coloring, or gel if using white melts or chips


  1. Prep cone by covering with melted candy melts or chocolate chips. This will make the cone food safe as well as provide a surface for your cream puffs to adhere to.
  2. In a microwave safe bowl, melt one cup of candy melts or chips with ¼ c heavy cream in the microwave stirring well every 30 seconds until smooth.
  3. Add food coloring a little at a time if using white melts.
  4. Dip tops of cream puffs and let them rest on a cookie sheet until chocolate has a chance to dry or place the cookie sheet in the freezer for a few minutes.
  5. After chocolate has set up poke half of a toothpick into the base of the cone.
  6. Dip bottom of cream puff in a bit of melted white and push puff onto the toothpick.
  7. Continue the process until the cone is full. You can insert flowers or ribbon into the cone to fill in any gaps.
  8. Brush on golf leaf for the finishing touch


Layered Cheesecake Cups


  • Clear small cups
  • Cheesecake filling
  • Graham cracker crumbs
  • White sugar
  • Melted butter
  • Assorted pearls
  • White chocolate bar pieces
  • Gold luster dust
  • Flowers
  • Oil based or gel food coloring
  • Piping bag or ziplock bag
  • Extract flavoring if desired


  1. Make crumb base by mixing 1c crumbs, 2 T sugar and 6 T melted butter together.
  2. Add a spoonful of mixture to each cup and press into the bottom of the cup with the end of a small flexible spatula or small rolling pin.
  3. Color your cream cheese filling the color of your choice. To neutralize the yellowish tone add a tiny amount of purple first. This should help turn the filling to a whiter tone.
  4. Add a few drops of the desired food color until you reach the right hue.
  5. Fill piping bag with filling.
  6. Cut a hole about the size of a dime in diameter. Fill cups ¾ way full with filling.
  7. Top with a flower, pearls and a white chocolate piece dusted in gold luster dust.


Layered Chocolate Cheesecake Cake with Hazelnut Filling


  • 2 6” frozen chocolate celebration cakes
  • 2 6” frozen cheesecakes
  • Tub of chocolate buttercream
  • Nutella
  • Salted caramel sauce
  • Gold luster dust (highlighter dust)
  • Paintbrush at least 1” wide
  • Water, clear lemon juice, or Everclear


  1. Place one cheesecake on a cake board in the center securing it with tape.
  2. Spread or drizzle Nutella over the cheesecake followed by a layer of salted caramel.
  3. Remove cake board from one chocolate cake and place it on top of the cheesecake.
  4. Remove any raised piped buttercream piles from the top of the cake, repeat the process with the hazelnut and salted caramel drizzles.
  5. Remove the cake board from the other cheesecake and flip it over before placing it on top of the chocolate cake layer. The curve of the cheesecake will fit the top of the cake better this way.
  6. Drizzle the cheesecake bottom which is now facing up with the hazelnut and salted caramel.
  7. Remove cake board from the last chocolate cake and place cake on top.
  8. Remove buttercream piles along with any sprinkles or confetti on both cake layers. Spread chocolate buttercream over entire cake using an offset spatula and smooth with a scraper or spatula.
  9. Place in freezer for at least 10 mins.
  10. In a bowl, combine food safe gold power with a little water or lemon extract or Everclear.
  11. Using a wide paintbrush, paint the entire cake using even strokes.
  12. Top with a large flower or any statement piece. This can be done using white cake, strawberry swirled cheesecakes and white buttercream with a good quality strawberry spread or jam.

Tara offers custom dessert orders and classes. Find more from her on Instagram,

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