Pie Garnish & Dessert Garnishes | The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures - The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures Pie Garnish & Dessert Garnishes | The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures
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TIP OF THE DAY: 25 “Double” Pie Or Tart Garnishes

Pecan Pie
[1] Pecan pie with whipped cream and caramel corn (photo courtesy Edwards Desserts).

Chocolate Tart
[2] Chocolate tart à la mode with chocolate sauce and a salted peanut counterpoint (at Le Colonial | New York City).

Pie With Caramel Sauce
Pumpkin pie with an easy garnish: caramel sauce and walnuts (photo courtesy King Arthur Flour).

Pumpkin Pie With Meringue
[4] Pumpkin pie with a bit more effort: torched meringue, plus pepitas and finely-crushed shortbread crumbs (photo courtesy Bien Cuit | Brooklyn).

Key Lime Pie With Lime Zest
[5] Key lime pie with whipped cream and fresh lemon zest (here’s the recipe from Mom On Time Out).


The two popular pie garnishes are ice cream and whipped cream. Sometimes, a dessert sauce is swirled on the plate. Maybe a mint leaf.

But we’ve been inspired to add an extra layer of flavor.

Our inspiration was this simple idea from Edwards Desserts.

For photo #1, their contributor, Kate Arends of Wit & Delight, topped the pie with whipped cream—normal procedure—plus the unexpected additional garnish of caramel corn.

The recipe follows, as well as our 25 ideas for “double garnishes” for pies and tarts, below.


  • Pecan pie (Edwards frozen pie or your own homemade)
  • Homemade whipped cream
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Caramel corn
    While Kate also adds caramel sauce to the pie—a triple garnish—we think adding a very sweet topping to a very sweet pie scores too high on the cloying meter.

    1. THAW the frozen pie. Drizzle pie with optional caramel sauce.

    2. TOP with homemade whipped cream, caramel corn and a pinch of sea salt.
    Editor’s note: If you have a red or pink sea salt, like alaea red volcanic salt, kala namak, Peruvian pink sea salt or pink Himalayan salt, it makes a great color contrast.)

    In addition to the ice cream or whipped cream, add another flavor with one or more of the garnishes below.

    As you peruse the list, match up your flavors. For example, crystallized ginger may go well with chocolate pie but not with grasshopper pie, which is a chocolate-mint combination.

    You don’t want your garnishes to be too sweet. Thus, no caramel sauce or crushed toffee on the pecan pie.

    You can use triple garnishes and even quadruple garnishes, if they’re simple and don’t overwhelm. Go for different textures and colors.

    It’s not gilding the lily; it’s food fun!

  • Baking chips: butterscotch, chocolate, mint, etc.
  • Candied citrus peel: lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit (recipe)
  • Candy: Hershey’s kiss, mini M&Ms, mini PB cups, chocolate-covered coffee beans
  • Cereal: Granola or Chocolate Frosted Flakes
  • Chocolate: curls, shavings, grated chocolate
  • Chocolate covered: nuts, strawberry
  • Chocolate novelties: coin, leaf, solid round ball (with or without the foil wrap), seasonal (e.g. flower, leaf, Christmas tree)
  • Coconut: plain or toasted
  • Crunch: chocolate covered or regular mini pretzel, chocolate covered potato chips
  • Crystallized ginger: chopped
  • Crown garnish: a whole cookie or sliced star fruit (carambola), inserted into the ice cream or whipped cream
  • Crumbs: cookie or pie crust
  • Dessert sauce: butterscotch, caramel, chocolate, crème anglaise, dulce de leche, fruit purée, etc.
  • Dried fruit: raisins, dried cherries or cranberries
  • Fresh fruit: raspberry or small strawberry…and O.K., a mint leaf
  • Frosted grapes (recipe)
  • Fruit chips: apple, banana, pear
  • Marron glacées: whole, halved, diced
  • Nuts: sliced, crushed, candied (recipe)
  • Pomegranate arils
  • Popcorn: caramel, chocolate or other sweet flavor
  • Salty: a salted caramel (whole or half), peanuts, mini pretzel, potato chip
  • Seasonal candy: candy corn, cinnamon candy, crushed peppermints, Easter egg malt ball, seasonal-wrapped Kisses, etc.
  • Tang: crème fraîche (recipe), slightly sweetened sour cream
  • Toffee bits
  • Zest: lemon, lime, orange
    Have we left your favorite off the list? Let us know!

  • Crème fraîche
  • Flavored yogurt
  • Marshmallow cream
  • Mascarpone
  • Sour cream, plain or lightly sweetened


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